When people don’t think you’re excited enough about your wedding

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Not everyone feels like jumping up and down about being engaged. Thanks to Marika for adding this to our Flickr pool!

I have been contending with a lot of negative feedback from my future in-laws regarding my nontraditional wedding decisions and so I am feeling a little humorless when it comes to discussing event details with casual acquaintances. I do not feel squealy and elated when I talk about my wedding, and this seems to disappoint (and sometimes even upset) other people.

How can I address others' unsolicited wedding enthusiasm without seeming negative or rude?

Why, I just cannot imagine why you wouldn't be jumping up and down in delight about organizing an event that's incredibly high pressure, involves family resistance, costs a small fortune, and takes up months and months of your project management time.

What, you mean you haven't spent your entire life up until this point dreaming of the day when you would put on a big white dress and stand next to a vulva sculpture? What's wrong with you, Molly? WHY AREN'T YOU EXCITED FOR YOUR SPECIAL DAAAAAY!?

I touch on this topic a bit in my book when I interviewed a couple brides who expressed frustration that family members seemed to forget about all their other accomplishments in life and fixate completely on the wedding once they got engaged.

Forget about “How's the PhD coming?” — all you'll hear is “How are the flowers coming?” and if you're not excited about your gardenias, people get disoriented. You mean … you're not excited about your flowers? You mean … you have other things going on in your life?? My god.

Your issue is a little different, but I'd still give some of the same advice — try diverting some of the bride attention onto other aspects of your life, i.e. “Oh, the wedding's coming along fine [note the complete lack of details here!], but I'm actually more excited about my new job right now!”

Other responses to the question, “So, are you excited for the wedding?”:

  • Shift focus from the wedding and the actual marriage: “Sure, I'm excited about the wedding, but really, I'm most looking forward to actually being married sharing the commitment with my partner.”
  • Kill 'em with whithering sarcasm: “Excited!? Of course! Wedding planning is going GREAT. I love how EASY it is. It's great how everyone LOVES MY NONTRADITIONAL IDEAS.”
  • The honest route combined with topic shift: “I'm happy to be getting married, but facing a lot of challenges because some of my ideas for the wedding don't match with family expectations. It's an exciting time, but I'm sort of burnt out on talking about it. How are YOU doing?”

Part of what you're doing here is re-educating people who assume that all women have been dreaming of their wedding since birth and once engaged are in the happiest time in their lives.

Think of each conversation as a form of gracious outreach, demonstrating to the world that for some women, getting engaged is just a logistical issue — and sometimes one fraught with family drama and more pains-in-the-ass than squealy excitement.

Comments on When people don’t think you’re excited enough about your wedding

  1. LOL. Well at least I dont’ feel so alone now.

    I am excited about my handfasting, but to be honest, I get sick of talking about it. I mean it’s just one day.

    The honest route has worked well for me but if that doesn’t work ask them to volunteer to take on some of the work in producing this event. Words like, “Yeah I’m excited but this is a lot of work. I could really use some help. Do you think you might be available to help me make the 120 labels for the favors?”
    That is guaranteed to bring that subject to a halt, or gain you a valuable slave..err volunteer!

  2. Thank you for your advice. It takes a little more patience, but I will try to approach each conversation as a grounds for educating people. But I am definitely constructing a vulva sculpture for the wedding!

    Thanks also for this site–it has helped me keep my sanity.

  3. I’ve taken to replying “No” with a dead on stare. Just let it hang in there air. It makes squealers really uncomfortable.

  4. Great advice! One of my co-workers asked me how I was feeling about the wedding and I said “a little stressed out, to tell you the truth” and she actually told me I was SUPPOSED to say that I was excited… SUPPOSED TO SAY?????

  5. That’s hilarious. Everyone at work thinks that I’m either a fembot or dreading marriage because I’m not talking about the wedding non-stop or brandishing a wedding binder like a Jinzu knife in the breakroom! Isn’t saying yes proof enough that you love the guy and are excited? Duh! Thanks for the suggestions.

  6. I’m naturally a very gregarious person who at times has been known to squeel, scream, get a cutest-little-bunny-in the pet-store-can-I-have-him?! overload, but sometimes I’m tired too.

    Sometimes, I’ve talked about the wedding, and explained all excitedly about every little detail, and I’m just done. And yet when I say in a normal, happy tone that yes, I’m excited, and it’s all rainbows and clover, and all that schmootz, I still get a half-joking, but really actually bitchy underneath. “Well, you don’t sound that excited…It’s your wedding! You should be excited!”

    And to them I say: What’s your name again? Because we obvoiously don’t know each other. I hate feeling forced to be “on” to please the people who want some kind of wedding orgasm from me everytime they mention it.

    Yes, I’m excited but come on, even some speed happy ecstacy popping pink bunny can’t be EXCITED!!!!! 24/7. So how am I supposed to be?

  7. It is three weeks until my "big day" and I swear I wish I had found this site earlier in my planning. I am normally easily excitable, giggly and smiley. But the planning process of this event has made me turn around to people and tell them to elope. I wish I did it when I had the chance. I am planning a wedding 5 hours from where I currently live and the bridal party is a logistical nightmare, every grand idea I have had for my day to be my own has been shot down in flames by either my mother or my sheer bad luck in getting what I need. I've gotten to the point where I just don't care anymore. I'm not even trying to make this day different, save for the karaoke at the reception and the take home mini lolly jars. I honestly think the reason I wanted to have a proper wedding was mostly for my Grandmother, who sadly passed away in February. So when people ask me if I am excited, I just reply I am stressed and it is hard to be excited when there is so much work to be done. Most women are sympathetic, but some think I am a bit weird.

  8. I’m so glad I’m not the only non-squealing bride-to-be out there. It drives me crazy how everyone wants to talk wedding with me ALL the time. I’m not a squealy person (unless there are puppies or kittens around)and I really think anyone who knows me should have accepted that fact by now. But no. Instead of “how are you?” or “ready to start graduate school?”, I get “how’s the wedding planning?”, etc. HELLO, I have other things on my mind. I think my boss was more excited when I walked into work with my engagement ring than I was when I got it. It’s all pretty ridiculous. It’s really starting to make me regret having already put the deposit down on my ceremony and reception.

    • no no no! u plan your wedding girl and do not bother with them!!! The people who are really in your corner know what’s up and what’s NOT!!!

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