On November 28, 2015, I got married to my wonderful boyfriend of 11 years. And though I’ve learned a lot from our relationship, I think I learned more when I was planning the wedding. Here are five lessons I’ve learned before, during, and after the wedding.
1. Weddings are expensive.
Yes, this is supposed to be common knowledge, but you won’t know how much expensive it really is until you start planning for it. So even if you’ve started planning before your beau decides to pop the question, by the time he does, you have to re-adjust your initial budget. My husband and I had a long engagement (two years) because we learned our initial budget will not be able to cut it if we tie the knot after a year. But with a lot of saving up (read: giving up a lot of simple pleasures like taking a trip and finding good bargains, we were able to have our dream wedding without breaking the bank.
2. It’s not JUST about you.
Hollywood and pop culture have changed most of our perception about wedding. With all the movies and reality shows that glorify the bride, it does slip one’s mind that there’s also another important person involved in this event: the groom. Most often (although not deliberately), the groom is forgotten when making wedding preparations. His opinion is sometimes undervalued and his choices laughed at. When I was preparing our wedding, I wanted more of his input, so I often talked to him about the wedding. It’s funny that when we started meeting with the wedding planners and the suppliers, they only emphasized what the bride wants. So, as a bride, it is also important to remind everyone that your groom is important too.
3. Your loved ones will understand.
Your budget cannot accommodate all of your relatives? They’ll understand. Your wedding is going to require them to travel out of town? They’ll understand. You’re having a hissy fit over the flower arrangements? They’ll understand. If you’re worried about breaking traditions and disappointing loved ones, you should remember that in the end, they’ll understand. It may take some time before everything goes back to normal, but it will. Have faith that they’ll realize that the wedding is about you and your beau—and not about them.
4. On the actual day, try not to sweat the small stuff.
This is why we have wedding planners, bridesmaids, groomsmen, and coordinators: they’re around to help you enjoy your wedding day. It’s not cool that while you’re having your hair done, you’re also contacting your cake supplier to find out where your orders went. This is YOUR big day. So, if there’s anyone who has to enjoy it, it should be you and your groom. On our wedding day, our venue supplier changed the sitting arrangements. Instead of having tables that could fit 10 people, we only got tables that could fit eight people. This meant that we had to re-design our seating plan just a few hours away from our wedding ceremony. I never knew about this blunder until after the event. It turns out my husband didn’t want me to be rattled and so decided to handle it himself.
5. At the end of the day, your love for each other is all that matters.
An event will never be perfect. A guest could’ve brought an uninvited guest or your suppliers may have switched your orders. What I learned was, I had to let it go. It won’t matter; or rather it won’t hold a candle to what matters most: the love you have for one another. On our wedding day, our priest got stuck in traffic. Our guests waited for two hours for the ceremony to begin. My husband was going around the church, apologizing to everyone. Meanwhile, I had to wait in the bridal car for an hour by myself without anyone to talk to to keep away the pre-wedding jitters. However, when I started walking down the aisle and I saw my husband patiently waiting and smiling, everything faded away: the anxieties, stress, and worries. In the end, I didn’t care anymore if there were problems with the flowers or if there were party crashers. All I cared about is being happy to finally be married to the man of my dreams.
My wedding wasn’t perfect and to be honest, it was a great whirlwind to be caught up in. For those ladies who are planning their wedding, take a deep breath and relax. Enjoy this awesome, crazy event. It’ll always be one for the books.