So you feel like you gave in: 3 ways to bounce back from wedding planning disappointments

By on May. 21st

One way to bounce back! Thanks to redowa for submitting this the Offbeat Bride Flickr pool

You can rest assured that it's going to happen at some point during your wedding planning process: that perfect venue for your vintage submarine-themed wedding is going to fall through. You battle with your in-laws to try to keep the guestlist under 100 people, and you find yourself putting stamps on 200 invitations. Your dreams of locally-sourced, delicately spiced catering is going to be replaced by your mother's "beef or chicken" menu that reminds you of funeral food (true story!).

You're going to be frustrated. You're going to feel like you gave in to family pressure. You're going to feel disappointed and gritty and maybe even a little pissed off. Wedding planning disappointments: THEY WILL HAPPEN. Since there's no avoiding them completely, the best you can do is have your emotional toolkit ready to help you recover.

I'm here to help with that.

Practice gratitude

Make a list of all the things you are grateful for in your wedding planning process. Let's say you gave in on the flowers, your mother-in-law steamrolling your dreams of a butterfly origami bouquet and now you're going to walk down the aisle with the white roses you told yourself just weren't your style.

Let's start small with the gratitudes, and then go big.

  • Did your mother-in-law pay for them? How kind of her! (Many couples pay for weddings out of their own pockets, and isn't it nice that you have someone helping pay for yours!)
  • Are you having flowers at all? How lucky for you! (Plenty of folks skip flowers completely because they're just out of budget. Isn't it nice that you get to have flowers?)
  • Do you have an aisle to walk down? Fucking sweet! (Ooh, you have your venue booked? You're doing great!)
  • You can actually GET married? AWESOME! (Let's talk about the hundreds of thousands of couples who can't legally get married at all — aren't you lucky that you're able to?)

Obviously, the specifics will be different for every particular situation, but the idea here is to get your appreciation juices flowing. Sure, you might not be getting that bouquet you'd envisioned, but generally almost every bride has a small swarm of awesome things just waiting to be noticed and appreciated.

Savor compromise

With Offbeat Brides especially, there can be this "vision machismo" that sneaks into wedding planning, where it's YOUR VISION and YOUR VISION ALONE. There's a lot of pride around non-traditional visions, and it can be easy to start crowing about how I STUCK TO MY GUNS! and I ACHIEVED MY MOST SPECIALIST SNOWFLAKE WEDDING EVAR. As a special snowflake myself, I totally get it — but unless you're eloping, weddings are community events. And community means compromise.

Instead of being disappointed that it's not the ALL ME, ALL THE TIME show, find ways to revel in joy of finding compromises. Dad wants to walk you down the aisle, but that doesn't fit with your aerialist circus theme? What if your dad was lowered to the altar with you in an aerial hoop? Your groom wants to wear a tuxedo from his college team's colors (orange and purple!) but you were thinking more of a understated, rustic palette? Start exploring shades of rust and eggplant!

Shift your goal from getting your way all the way to finding the perfect, sweet, creative compromise. Bask in the sweet glory of finding the agreements. Anyone can create the perfect Pin board of dreamy visions for their fantasy wedding — but it takes true creativity to work with the people around you to create a reality where your community feels comfortable.

Reality check

If you've read even only a few of our real wedding profiles, you've heard brides say things like, "I wish I hadn't stressed so much." Now, if it was really as easy as that, Offbeat Bride wouldn't exist. I know that it's easier said than done. It's like going back and telling your 13-year-old self that someday the world won't feel like it's collapsing because that cute boy saw your period stain in homeroom. Even if you suspect it might feel true someday, it's hard to find reassurance in the thick of the moment. Worse, it can feel fucking condescending to have someone cluck at you to "just calm down."

So I won't say it. Instead, I'll let other people say it. Seriously, go read.

How have YOU recovered from wedding planning compromises and disappointments? We want to hear your success stories!