9 Things I Didn’t Believe About Wedding Planning Until I Started Planning My Wedding

As someone who’s written about weddings for the last several years, and attended/been in more than a handful, I thought when it came time for my own I would have this planning thing down. I used to say that when I got married I wouldn’t get stressed out about dumb sh*t (lol) and I would do what I want without other people’s opinions influencing me (ha!). So when I got engaged this past June and started planning my wedding for next September, I was just as surprised as anybody that I totally did not have this planning thing down. After going through the first six months of planning, my new M.O. on weddings has become, “Don’t judge a bride until you walk a mile in her wedding shoes,” and damn, those shoes are hard AF to walk in. 

Below are nine things I thought about weddings that flew out the window when I started planning my own. 

1. I Won’t Worry About The Little Things

Boy, was I wrong on this one. In fact, the little things are ALL I worry about. I constantly run through all the wedding signage we’ll need in my mind and whether it matters if the fonts on the table numbers match the font on the bar sign. I worry about trying every appetizer during cocktail hour or that I’ll be in the bathroom when the band plays “Sweet Caroline.” I never worry that our caterer won’t show up or that the band will suck. Why would I worry about major issues like that when I can stress about how the welcome table will be laid out?

2. My Wedding Won’t Cost That Much

I’d like to think I’m pretty well-versed in how much different vendors cost, so I have no idea what the hell I was thinking when I said this. Especially since we’re having a tented reception in my grandma’s backyard, and that sh*t ain’t cheap. Every time I see a new bill come in, my heart stops beating for a split second and I honestly wonder how big of a problem it would be if I served McDonald’s instead of beef tenderloin and just made a Spotify playlist for the reception. 

3. I’ll Never Compare My Wedding To Someone Else’s

I have so much respect for the brides that sign up for Four Weddings. I truly can’t imagine willingly subjecting myself to having my wedding scrutinized by three strangers—I’m critical enough on my own. It’s hard not to compare yourself to other people in general, especially when so many friends are getting married around the same time. I find myself thinking about what I’d do differently or the same whenever I attend another wedding, which is actually kind of annoying because I’d like to be able to get drunk and enjoy myself. Plus, I sure as hell don’t want people to be doing that at mine. 

4. There’s No Point In Stressing About The Weather Since You Can’t Control It

HA! This is actually laughable and I’m not even sure I ever really believed it. This is, without a doubt, the number-one thing I spend the majority of my time thinking about. There is honestly nothing in the world more terrifying than the idea that it might actually rain on my wedding day. The closest I ever get to a serious mental breakdown is when I spend more than 30 seconds thinking about a monsoon beginning as soon as I walk down the aisle. 

5. This Whole Planning Thing Is Going To Bring My Mom And I So Much Closer

I will admit, my mom and I haven’t really fought about wedding planning, which I know is rare/weird (I’m sorry if that makes you want to punch me in the face). But it’s definitely not bringing us closer. At the very beginning when we were trying to sort out all the vendors, my mom and I would text and talk on the phone multiple times a day, which was a lot, and it felt like I was engaged to my mom instead of my fiancé. She definitely triggers me with some of  her ridiculous suggestions (like having guests move their own ceremony chairs to the reception tent), but overall the ride hasn’t been too bumpy so far (knock on wood—we’ve still got nine, months to go). 

6. I’ll Get My Way On Everything

I know this sounds like a ridiculous thing to think, but when I was wedding planning in my mind, nobody was there telling me I couldn’t have our family labradoodle walk down the aisle (I’m still not 100% convinced that won’t be happening), so I never foresaw any issues. I didn’t think my photo booth idea would get shut down by my fiancé or that my idea for a limo bus instead of going to our cocktail hour would be considered a waste of money. I’ve only recently come to the conclusion that I don’t NEED everything on my wish list. I know, I’m so mature. 

7. It’ll Be Easy To Make Our Guest List

It would be so cool if there was an etiquette rule that said, “If you haven’t spoken to your great aunt in two years, she doesn’t need to be invited”, so I could just point to it and that would be that. Unfortunately, no such thing exists and people are left to their own judgment when deciding who to invite. Making the guest list was like a balancing act. From trying to keep it under a certain number, to accommodating my future in-laws’ list, while also keeping my mom from inviting everyone she’s ever met, it was one of the hardest parts so far and I’m very thankful it’s over. If you’re going through it now, my best advice is to pick your battles. If you don’t win this one, you’ll win the next. Why does planning a wedding sound like being at war?

8. I Don’t Understand Why Someone Would Want To Elope

Because of all the reasons I just listed and 10,000 more, I truly believe that people who elope are geniuses and we should all be more like them. 

9. Are Post-Wedding Blues A Real Thing?

Absolutely, yes. My mom told me she sobbed on her wedding night because it was over. I’ve heard from all my married friends that they miss being engaged and wedding planning, so I’m trying my best to soak it all in, despite the challenges that come with it. I’m not looking forward to the day after my wedding when I realize it’s all over. Who knows, maybe I’ll end up crying in the back of a limo like a contestant on The Bachelor who’s just been kicked off. Sorry in advance to my soon-to-be husband, but hey, we said in sickness and in health right?

To all the brides I’ve judged before, I’m sorry. there’s a lot I thought I knew about weddings, but just like anything else, you don’t really know until you experience it for yourself. I’m walking a mile in all of your wedding shoes and wondering how the heck you did it. Cheers to you! 

Images: Andre Hunter / Unsplash; betchesluvthis, betchesbrides, disco_infern0, amberpera / Twitter

Crazy Wedding Story Of The Week: Please Pay To Work For Free

Whether you hate the wedding-industrial complex, are a bride planning a wedding and want to feel better about your own demands, or just need something to read, we’re doing a new series where we share the craziest, most out-of-touch wedding story we found on the internet that week. Submit your own crazy wedding stories to [email protected] with the subject line Crazy Wedding Story, and we just might feature yours. And make sure to follow @BetchesBrides on Instagram and subscribe to our podcast, Betches Brides.

Today’s wedding story is dual-purpose for me. For one, it is a great expression of how batshit unreasonable crazy brides (and occasionally grooms) are. And for two, it deals with a situation that is near and dear to my heart: artists being exploited for free services/for exposure/because you’re friends. By “near and dear to my heart,” I really mean, “ask me for free work and die”. K? We good? PSA everyone: artists have to pay bills, too, and you can’t pay them with “valuable exposure.” I’m not sure what causes the sickening, all-encompassing entitlement that makes brides be completely abusive and take advantage of their friends, but it’s creepy and gross, and we’re gonna call it out. What you’re about to see though, is even worse than the 10,000 emails I get from people who promise to make me a *star* as long as I work for free. Because this crazy-ass bride thought her photographer friend should pay HER to work.

The Set-Up

This story comes straight from Reddit’s Am I The Asshole forum, as so many of our psycho stories do. Our bride was getting married, so she asked The Photographer to do her photos. Pretty reasonable. Then the bride gave The Photographer the rate:

“You pay us $50 and then start taking photos that you can sell at the wedding to people who want them. That way we can use the money for the wedding and you still might get paid.”

Did you read that? And then read it again? And then read it one more time? Yes, THE BRIDE is asking The Photographer to PAY HER TO WORK FOR FREE, because then she can harass random wedding guests into buying the photos all night and therefore still “might get paid.” The photographer is also apparently now helping fund this wedding. I mean, I don’t see how The Photographer could refuse such a great opportunity. For the low, low price of $50, s/he can work for free, be a burden on everyone, and STILL might get paid. It’s like the dream.

The Crazy

Somehow, The Photographer didn’t just punch The Bride in the face, but calmly and kindly explained why s/he could not do the wedding. The Bride cried and made a big deal out of it, so The Photographer negotiated that s/he’d do the wedding photos for a fee of $50. At this point, The Photographer is either an insanely nice person, or a really shit photographer, because wedding photos usually cost between $2,000-$10,000. The Bride then lost her mind and called The Photographer a bad friend. I mean honestly, if you don’t have $50, you really should not have a wedding. You should probably use that money for living expenses and reconsider your life choices. But that’s not all!

Because The Bride then sent her army of skanks and her family to harass The Photographer into doing the wedding—again, for free, and while paying The Bride $50 to be there. Who even are these people? How would anyone think this was reasonable? If her friends and family were so concerned, why didn’t one of them front the $50 to pay the extremely cheap photographer? Am I on drugs, here? Am I missing something? It’s $50!

BUT THEN. Our poor Photographer tries to be even nicer:

“The messages got more and more entitled and demanding as this girl kept riling them on. Soon I’m getting messages from people saying I’m selfish and that I’m ruining my best friend’s wedding (they overestimate our friendship) and even that I should be ashamed for leaving a friend ‘out in the cold’. So I said I’d do it for free, because why not. Free booze. That wasn’t good enough. She was insistent I pay her.”

Because why not? How about because The Bride is a registered nutjob and this sounds like the wedding from hell? Also, I like how s/he’s ruining “my best friend’s wedding” when it doesn’t seem like The Photog was even actually invited to the wedding in the first place and was just asked to take free pictures and pay for it. But STILL, our hero, The Photographer, gallantly agreed to do this shit for free. For me, I would have upped my price to like $100k to have to deal with the crazy. That’s how much it would cost to get me to this wedding at this point. But no, still not good enough for The Bridezilla.

After the harassment continued, and got even more aggressive, The Photographer gave in and agreed to do the wedding and pay the $50. However, s/he never had any intention of going and just said it so that The Bride and her crazy family and friends would f*ck right off.

The Photographer is left alone, finally, until the wedding day, when the crazy messages start coming in again:

“Where the fuck are you? Where’s my money? I can’t believe you ruined blah blah blah.”

The Photographer received 100+ texts in 30 minutes, half a dozen phone calls, angry voicemails, and then, THE BRIDE’S DAD showed up to The Photographer’s house, screaming and banging the door down. He eventually left, but the next day, more texts/calls came in about how The Photographer ruined the wedding.

“People saying I really fucked everyone over, the bride needed $50 to pay her officiant which they had to then crowdsource. There were no pictures other than cell phone shots from guests. Apparently I was ‘called out’ in the best man’s speech.”

Wow, it’s almost like they should have hired a photographer. And paid them. Or even accepted the one that offered to do it FOR FREE. Why are these people acting like $50 to pay the officiant is such a huge deal? If you are having a wedding, that is the ONE THING you actually need to pay for. If you can’t afford it, don’t do it? I’m spending exactly zero dollars on weddings right now because I chose the spinster life. Try it.

The Photographer is currently getting roasted on social media and even by their own mom.

The Verdict

I’m sorry, there is just no way The Photographer is the asshole here, IMO. Why would it be their job to fund the officiant at the wedding? Offering to do the pictures so cheaply (and then for free) was way too generous to begin with. If you want wedding photos, you pay for it. Or you at least accept free help and don’t charge them for it. I’m super confused as to how The Bride convinced so many people that she was in the right. Was this wedding her own version of Jonestown? What kind of story did she spin that made this okay? Most Redditors seem to agree that The Photographer is NTA, with some exceptions coming from the fact that the OP did say s/he’d do it and then didn’t show up. But what was The Photographer really supposed to do? The crazies were harassing them endlessly until they gave in.

What would you have done in the situation? Do you think The Photographer was the asshole?

Do you have a crazy wedding story? Send it to [email protected] and we just might write about it.

Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (4)