My "no wedding talk" vacation, and why you need one too

August 18 2010 | Guest post by channamasala
Channamasala took this on their No Wedding Talk vacation.
Channamasala took this on their No Wedding Talk vacation.

Ah, what a few 3,500 meter mountains will do to put everything in perspective. Taiwan is a tiny island, and we are two single expats on it, out of several hundred thousand Westerners, and quite a few more expats from other Asian countries. And yet, as insignificant as I am on this teeming, overpopulated rock, the wedding was taking on ridiculous proportions, overwhelming my life and becoming the center of everything I thought was important. To the point where I wondered what it was like to be someone who didn't really care about The Wedding, or Any Wedding. I am not really the "OMG it's the most specialest day of my liiiife!" kinda girl, so when I realized that I was becoming that girl without actually believing the hype, well, that was doubly worrying.

I was feeling frazzled before we left. I also felt like every single conversation I had with B. was about the wedding — guest this or guest that, food this or food that, schedule this, thing that, dingbat this, thank you card that, googaw this, lanterns that — we hadn't talked normally in weeks. There was no visible strain on our relationship, but I had noticed. I do think that the fact that we've gone through this period without one fight or disagreement or even annoyance is a sign of how strong our relationship is. (Okay, a few moments of annoyance but we've been planning this for a year, so that would have happened anyway.)

Who would have thought that planning a party, even one where you celebrate a momentous milestone, would suck so much out of you? I do emphasize the "party" aspect because the actual life-changing milestone isn't really that hard to plan once you know you want to do it. The party afterwards is what can really grind you down.

So we grabbed our friends, rented a car, and drove up to the highest mountains in Taiwan that are accessible — nothing like cool, crisp evenings, even in a subtropical country in August, mindbending mountain vistas, good local food, fresh peaches, apples and vegetables and a few mix CDs to stop, defrag and reboot with only three weeks to go.

We got cabins on a farm homestay with an amazing view, chatted with locals, took a night walk up the ridge nearby where we could see a billion stars (something I don't get to see in Taipei), and getting back to find the gates to the farm locked so we had to climb over the fence.

It reminded me how really unimportant it all is. That, yes, it's a lot of money but it's still just a party. The part where we get married is more than that, but as I said, that's easy to plan. It may be a lot of money to us, but in the grand scheme of things (by things I mean not just six billion people but also oceans, mountains and stars) it's really a lob of spit in a lake. It's nothing.

And it was so good to just forget it all for a while, hang with our friends and talk about interesting things, having the sorts of conversations that made us all friends to begin with, and spending Non Wedding Time with my fiance again. It was literally like a ball of stress that I hadn't even known was lodged between my shoulder blades just vaporized.

I loved my No Wedding Talk Weekend. It was just what I needed. If you can, you should take one too.

  1. Yup. We did something similar the weekend before the wedding – Mr. Ninja's BM (and his wife and kidlet), Mr. Ninja's best friend from uni and we two all drove out to Drumheller to go museum and hoo doo crazy! It was the best thing: no wedding talk, no wedding organizing, and no people asking us anything remotely wedding-related. We got to run around, look at fossils, climb the badlands and have a blast. We had deliberately arranged it on our part, just to take a break – it was more Mr. Ninja's idea to start with, but I'm very, very glad that he had it. Coming home, I felt like I could deal with the little, teeny things that had been driving me nuts beforehand. You never realize how stressed you've gotten until, all of a sudden, you're not. 🙂

  2. We did this a few times before the wedding. I can't say we had absolutely zero wedding talk (I have no verbal filter lol, so if something pops into my head I just say it, and one of the no-wedding weekends was at comic-con… thus lotsa geeky inspiration!) but not concentrating on the wedding during that planning process was such a relief sometimes. Like you said, it re-focused us on what was important.

  3. My goal (not always reached) was to have "no wedding Fridays". On such Fridays, I wouldn't look at wedding magazines, vendors, or websites. If asked a question, I would answer it politely but briefly. I wasn't supposed to bring up a to-do list with my fiance though this is the task I most often failed. Friday is when we normally get together with our friends though and having them around as a distraction made it easier. I know that I also took about a 2 week break from all wedding planning about 2 months before the wedding. It saved my sanity.

    • This is a brilliant idea. I am officially making Friday a Wedding Free Zone from now until my October wedding. I need it. I find that this wedding planning is not really planning but obsessing. And it is causing me anxiety about not feeling good enough, not being able to "please" people rather than being productive and feeling excited about getting married.

      Time for a break.

  4. I'm not at the point yet where wedding planning has taken over or is stressing me out but I'll definately remember this for when it does!

    Strangely at the moment wedding planning (or wasting time on OBB/OBT reading about other peoples weddings and justifying it by pretending I'm planning my own) is my de-stress thing because the other thing I spend a lot of time doing is job searching, and there are few things more stressful and depressing than an unsuccessful job search.

    But I'm keeping my fingers crossed that job searching will turn into job having before wedding planning kicks into high gear.

  5. Funny – I just had a "no wedding 4 day weekend" this last week! It felt soooo nice. I'm probably going to plan more of these. I flat out HATE wedding planning…which probably makes me odd, but I find it agonizing, stressful, and overpriced. Nothing about it is fun…I take that back, the one thing that was fun was putting together a website. Maybe the fun will hit me as the date gets closer…8 months to go (ugh). I'd rather plan a marriage than a wedding anyway!

  6. We just got back from our 2 night no wedding talk mini holiday! We spent it in Lake Weya (QLD, Aus) in an isolated cottage on the lake where we spent the days canoeing and eating (with quite a bit of drinking too).
    I thought I would never switch off from the wedding (under 7 weeks now)but I did not stress about anything the whole weekend.

  7. Yeah… I need this! too stressed over the dumb little things I swore I would not get stressed out about! 17 days left and I need a break! Oh but wait I have another wedding to go to Sat night and I am making programs Sunday. I do not see a mini no wedding vacay in site! sad face

  8. My fiance and I are getting married in September of next year. From June to August, I plan on being on the epic bike adventure of my life across Europe with a friend while my fiance tours with a band he works with… We are both pretty low-key and forsee our wedding as being such, but ya never know… hopefully our respective adventures will keep us (ok, ok, me!) from getting completely overwhelmed by wedding details.

  9. for me, like danikat, wedding planning IS my "stress free vacation"………when i'm doing wedding stuff, it means i'm doing something fun that ISN'T obsessing over my dissertation! which otherwise always looms….

    • Hi Channamasala,

      We've had a couple of no-wedding weekends by accident, and they were lovely! Our wedding is four days after yours on the 8th September and we'll be taking wasabi peanuts in the picnic box…

      Have a wonderful day, and a very happy life together. 🙂

  10. right there with you afp. the thought of the dissertation is enough to stress me out completely. the wedding talk is my relief, too.

  11. I totally did something similar last year a couple weeks before our wedding and I swear it was the BEST thing I could have done for myself! My favorite part was that I had NO access to email and practically no cell reception at the farm I stayed on (there was one spot where you had to stand on a hay bale on one foot, wiggle your butt and stick your tongue out to make a 2 minute call). One of my bridesmaids was with me, but there was NO wedding talk, instead we ran around the farm like a couple of little kids. I came back totally relaxed and ready to charge down the aisle! 😀

  12. My "No Wedding Talk" Weekend is a little convention called DragonCon. Although it's in the same town where we live and where the wedding is taking place, we've booked a hotel and have vowed not to speak of anything September 3rd-6th other than Science panels, celebrity sightings, Costumes, and parties the whole time. It will be absolutely lovely.

  13. I haven't read this yet since I'm at work right now and was just browsing for a minute, but I love Channa and her advice on the OBT <3

    We've been wedding talk free for a week now and all I've brought up recently was our first dance song. Oh and then when I yelled at him for wanting an iPad when we have other things that we need to do right now. I think I made my point when I said "I'd like to live in a HOUSE one day and not an apartment full of junk that doesn't get used."

  14. The weekend before our May wedding, we packed up our camp gear and high-energy mutt for a mountain adventure, complete with 6-12 inches of snow at the campground (unplanned for, but that much better!)

    The only wedding-related thing we did all weekend was hike back to the spot where we got engaged a few months earlier to "show" our dog where it all happened 🙂 Otherwise we played board games, cooked, walked and enjoyed our stress/wedding-free time, even if everyone thought we were nuts for camping instead of freaking out about last minute tasks. Could not have been more perfect!

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