I've been told my entire life — by movies, books, and trashy reality shows — that your wedding is just a magical event. It's the pinnacle of your existence. It's the cherry on top of your completely average and mundane life. It's twenty-four hours where all eyes are on you, and you are the princess of your own fairy tale.
Well, I'm calling it. I'm calling bull on the entire situation.
I've been engaged a few months now, and I'm ready for my magical moments to start happening. There is no “that was easy!” button on your nightstand when you're covered in glitter and sweat. There isn't even an emergency lever at your convenience when you realize you can't pronounce “hors d'oeuvres” at a venue meeting.
There is blood. There is sweat. There are so many tears, you should invest in a lifejacket for your sea of hormones. Getting engaged is pretty much like every other adult situation in your life: no one knows what they are doing and most people are faking that they do.
So that future generations don't succumb to the same delusional state that I blissfully fell into, I've compiled a list of things that nobody tells you about getting engaged.
1. You are going to get a lot of advice from absolutely everyone
- “You want to get married in May? Well, my second cousin's friend got married in May, and they got a divorce within six months. I really wouldn't risk it.”
- “Yeah, I just started my own freelance [insert WEDDING INDUSTRY BUSINESS here].”
- “You're thinking about hyphenating your name? Looks like somebody's pretentious…”
- “Have I mentioned my son is a photographer? He can do some really cool editing in Microsoft Paint.”
Take all of this advice with a grain of salt. These people have good intentions. Be kind to them. But you don't have to take their well-intentioned advice.
2. People are going to make loads of assumptions
I can't tell you how many times people have told me how excited they are to go to my wedding. Most of the time, those people will likely be invited. But some of the time, it's people who you've met maybe three times tops at a company Christmas party, and you're asking yourself “Why am I still friends with them on Facebook?”
3. Your fiancé(e) is the exact same person they always were
My biggest fear was that once I got engaged, I became an adult and could no longer participate in non-adult conversations. I had a mental image of my husband and I, sitting around the dinner table discussing taxes and gluten. I'm very glad to say that you're allowed to have the same conversations with your fiancé(e) as you did with your boyfriend/girlfriend, such as “What if we're in the Matrix?” or “Do you think the dog understands what we're saying?” or “Isn't it weird to think that at any given time, thousands of people in the world are pooping?”
4. If you thought you were on budget, think again
Remember when you bought stuff? Like, for fun? Those are days of the past. You'll start out optimistically, saying, “We have a good budget! Plus, we can just DIY a ton of stuff.” This enthusiastic phase will quickly end, and you will become hard and cynical, saying things like “are Styrofoam plates tacky?” You will tumble further down the hill of pessimism, and you will be left desperately saying, “Well, which are your least favorite cousins?”
All of this wedding pressure can make you lose sight of what is truly at the middle of it all. The most important thing, and the only thing, to remember in all of this is that a wedding is just one day of your life. A mere twenty-four hours, gone in an instant. Being married lasts a whole lot longer than that.