I've been a pretty pessimistic person my entire life, or, as I like to say, “a realist.” I'm also unlikely to “squee” about things wedding related (or anything, for that matter), so when I got engaged it was pretty much business as usual.
Somewhere down the line, though, I realized how much energy it took to be negative about the whole thing — to be the dissenting voice in a crowd of YAYOMGZ was flat out exhausting. Yet I couldn't fake the enthusiasm surrounding the circus of wedding planning, so what do I do?
After spending the first year of the engagement alternating between tears and frustration and silent fuming, I realized we still have another year to go. A WHOLE YEAR. So, after venting one day and crying my eyes out, I took an Offbeat Bride member‘s advice to heart: banish negativity. This starts and ends with me — my actions will influence the actions of those around me.
Here's how I started…
1. Let go of grudges
I initially wanted to elope. My three sisters all had traditional weddings, and in the year we got engaged, I was the Maid of Honor for two weddings, and attended a third. I was wedding-ed out. My future husband wanted a hometown wedding where all of our friends and family could attend. I compromised, or so I thought — but I realized that the second anything became frustrating to plan, I fell back on “…Well, I don't want this stupid wedding anyway!”
Not only was that unfair to to my future husband, it was unfair to everyone who was so excited. So I kicked that sentence out of my vocabulary and I've accepted that even though it's not an elopement, it will be a fun party for all to enjoy.
2. Learn the magic phrase
Some people are very well-intentioned when they offer advice or vendor suggestions. Others think they know best because they just got married and went through it all. Others still don't trust my judgment (because I'm “offbeat!”) and basically gave me lists of who to pick and who not to pick.
So I learned the magic phrase: “We're all set!” (Always said with a smile.)
When someone asks about floral arrangements, or DJs, or chicken piccata… “we're all set,” or “we're working on it with our [insert vendor here]” works wonders.
3. Step away when it gets too stressful
We decided on a long engagement for many reasons, but one of the big ones was because I have a tendency to get easily overwhelmed. My first experience shopping for a dress was overwhelming to the point of tears, so I stepped back for almost two months.
I let everything sink in, I took my mind off of it, and when I went back, it was better.
4. Shut down the negativity of others
I told my bridal party and close friends about my decision to stop being negative. It was met with skepticism from some, because I've been pretty much a downer about it all for a year. But as long as I know I'm serious about it, and stick to it, others will follow suit.
If not, shut that stuff down. Remind them, and yourself, that this is a happy time. It should be fun, not stressful.
5. Have fun with planning
My future husband said that he wanted to wear a morning coat and top hat, and I laughed and laughed, imagining my family's reaction. But then it clicked — so what? It would be a unique touch, something memorable and something that would surely have me giggling down the aisle instead of OMGOMG PEOPLEARELOOKINGATME.
We've stumbled on cool decorating ideas and figured out ways to incorporate our personal touches into the wedding, and those are the parts I'm most excited about (I'm SO STOKED to see our personalized hockey jerseys, which will replace the guestbook). If I can focus on those fun details, the details I don't really care about (like flowers) will seem inconsequential.
6. Remind myself of what really matters
And it's pretty damn cool that after almost 12 years of being with me, this guy still wants to marry me. At the end of the day, he's going to be the one that has my back and that I live out my life with. Reminding myself of that will always put me in a better mood.
How are you all banishing negativity? I'd love to add more to the list.