I know, I know, that sounds super dramatic. But so far, wedding planning hasn’t exactly been fun for me, which, if you know me, is a little surprising. I LOVE this kind of stuff. (And if my wedding planner is reading this, NONE of this is a reflection of you. You are awesome, so patient and helpful, and I am so relieved to have you as part of my wedding planning team! xo!)
I got engaged in the end of February (read that story here) and have made what feels to ZERO progress wedding planning. We haven’t set a date, we have no venue, nada. I’m basically failing at it.
Well, that’s not completely true. In the past ten months (holy crap, I’VE BEEN ENGAGED FOR TEN MONTHS?!?! Get it together, Salaun! Plan that wedding!), I’ve chosen a wedding planner, set my budget, seen about a bazillion venues, done lots of pinning on Pinterest, and started the beginnings of the registry process (last weekend I registered for ONE thing on Amazon…progress!).
When it’s all written out like that, it feels like I’ve actually done SOMETHING, but for 10 months of being engaged, I definitely feel like I should have done a bit more. (We’ve always planned to get married in August/September of 2015, so we haven’t postponed the wedding or anything due to lack of planning, we’ve just shortened our allotted planning time).
But back to the hating wedding planning thing…I wouldn’t say that I currently hate wedding planning. I think I’ve finally reached the turning point where I’m excited about it again (don’t get me wrong, I was SO excited to get engaged, I have absolutely LOVED being engaged ever since, and I am so pumped to marry to Charlie… it’s just the planning an actual wedding part that is more the headache.) I went to a good friend’s wedding last weekend — Congrats to the Givens!!! — and it helped propel me out of the grumpy planning phase. BUT, before that turning point, every time I dove into wedding planning, I came out on the other end stressed, having a bridezilla-lite freak outs on the regular, and just not wanting to do it. At all. And also feeling extreme guilt every time I saw friends or acquaintances because the go-to conversation starter when you get engaged is “How’s wedding planning going?” My response was always, “Not any further than the last time we talked! Soooo, pretty much nothing.”
And here’s why…
Inside my head, and sometimes on the outside (*sheepish smirk*), I’m a princess. I don’t have one of those wedding binders with all the details already planned for my dream wedding, nothing like that. But, like probably every girl out there, I want to have a FANTASTIC wedding. In my head, I’d love to have a $100k wedding (imagine all you could do!!!), but practically speaking (and even if I had an extra $100-grand to throw at a wedding), that is a bit excessive. Frankly, as princessy as I can be, spending an astronomical amount of money on a wedding just doesn’t make sense to me. I think that amount of money can go a lot further on a number of other things (like buying a house, taking an epic vacation, paying off student loans, getting a new car, investing in something, etc.).
But let’s be honest, the princess in me is at odds with the financially practical side.
We’re planning to get married in the Santa Barbara area (right now, our top venue choice is in Camarillo). This area is one of the most expensive places to get married. It’s a destination wedding location for many people. The average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is $30k (excluding the honeymoon), while the average cost of a wedding in Santa Barbara is nearly $45k (minus the honeymoon). I just started my own business, so I want my wedding to be as economical as possible. Pretty tough when you’re planning a wedding in the 6th most expensive place in the country! And then, when I go to see venues that fit in my budget, they fall dramatically short of the wedding I’m picturing in my head. So, this beginning step, finding a venue, mostly ends in disappointment. None of the venues (aside from the one that was half my entire budget) feel like the right now. Oh, I also have a ginormous family and want all my family and friends to be able to come, which doesn’t alleviate the budget concerns at all.
I do think that choosing your venue is one of the toughest pieces of the wedding planning puzzle. The venue sets the stage for the entire wedding, so it has to feel just right. You have to be able to visualize your entire wedding there. And then it has to fit the price too.
I will also say that right now, in my life, everything is huge and life-changing. I started my own business shortly after getting engaged, I’m remodeling (aka nearly completely rebuilding) my house in Santa Barbara, oh, and I’m planning a wedding. All, huge, things. If you didn’t already know, my fiancé and I don’t currently live in the same city either. I’m based in Santa Barbara, while he’s full-time based in Hollywood (my work does allow me to split my time about 50/50 between the two cities though). So, wedding planning also involves planning to move my life to a whole different city. Another HUGE thing. (Don’t worry, SB peeps, I’ll still be in Santa Barbara about 1-2 days a week, but will most likely be based in Hollywood, rather than based in Santa Barbara). So, as you can see, wedding planning has often been put on the back-burner, for obvious reasons.
Like I said above though, we’ve narrowed our venue options down to a top favorite, and I’m feeling good about it (I’m just seeing one more option this weekend before making my decision). And the wedding I went to last weekend really re-inspired me to get back into the wedding planning game, and I can tell I’ve rounded the corner out of “I hate wedding planning!” town, and it feels good. (Trust me, I know there will be more freak outs, but over all, I’m in a better place with it.)
If you’re feeling like you’re in a wedding planning rut or you just do not like it, it’ll change. It might take 10 months, but it will. And a good thing to keep in mind is that while yes, your wedding is a reflection of you and your fiancé and you want it to embody everything you both are in your love and fabulousness together, but it’s also a reflection of where you are right now, at this point in your lives. It doesn’t define you or dictate your worth as individuals or as a couple, and it doesn’t have to be the end-all celebration of your life together. Saying that out loud seems like an “oh duh” statement, but I think we get wrapped up in trying to make this day something more than it is. Don’t get me wrong, I think weddings are incredibly meaningful, precious, and wonderful, but it doesn’t define your relationship or your future as husband and wife. And that’s something to keep in mind (talking to myself here!).