Why I waited to start planning my wedding and why it's ok for you to wait too
Sometimes weddings aren’t always rosy or full of champagne and rainbows. And that’s ok! My new blog ‘The Anxious Bride’ is all about lifting the glamorous facade that is draped, very neatly, over everything to do with planning a wedding, and let you see what's behind it.
I want this blog to be a hub of real experiences, simplifying tips and anxiety reducing techniques to help brides plan a day that they will remember, for the right reasons.
First of all, it only seems right that I share with you the reason I’ve created this blog, my own story, so here goes!
Wow, I’m engaged.
Oh God, that means I now need to plan a wedding, doesn’t it?
Hi I’m Amy, the owner here at One48 Paper, and that right there was my reality. I got engaged a week after leaving my 9-5, and 2 weeks before I embarked on my journey of being 100% self-employed. No freelance contracts in sight.
I’d made the decision to end my freelance contract due to my anxiety spiralling out of control. So the thought of starting a business and planning a wedding at the same time filled me with instant dread, tipping that anxiety bucket straight over.
The first six months of being engaged were the worst; it got to the point where I didn’t want to think about anything wedding, let alone talk about it. The trouble is, that’s really hard when the first question out of everybody’s mouth is, ‘so have you set a date yet?’, quickly followed by, ‘how about a venue?’
I tried to suppress my growing anxiety about it all, which wasn’t easy when I was already dealing with it on a daily basis, so adding a new business and a wedding into the mix just made me pop. And come the summer I was in full meltdown mode. I remember sobbing my heart out just talking to my Mum about it. I didn’t feel scared about being married and I wasn’t generally nervous about affording the cost of the wedding per se, as our parents have taken that weight off our shoulders. It just so happens that several aspects of planning the wedding and the actual wedding day played heavily on major anxieties I already had.
I’d grown to hate being centre of attention, I often felt claustrophobic in rooms with no windows or fresh air, and had an overwhelming fear of being in situations that I couldn’t excuse myself from, such as meeting with suppliers and of course the ceremony and speeches that would take place on the day.
I spoke tirelessly to my counsellor for months about these anxieties, discussing endless options that were possibilities. At one point I was convinced that I wanted it to be just me and my fiancé, or just immediate family. But those decisions weighed heavily on my mind through fear of judgement from family and friends that wouldn’t be invited. I went round and round in circles with these thoughts for weeks if not months, making myself increasingly more unwell in the process.
And then before I knew it Christmas and New Year was upon us, and it’d been a whole year since we’d got engaged. Thankfully by this stage the pressure of people asking questions had died down and I started to feel like I could breathe again.
Come the middle of January I finally felt ready to start looking properly, as I’d come to realise that I really did want to get married, and the longer I put it off the longer it would be constantly on my mind.
I won’t lie and say my anxiety had disappeared altogether, as I still had days I wished I would wake up and it’d all be over with, but I did start to feel more excited about it all.
My number one priority was to set a date and find a venue, I knew I didn’t want it to be too far in advance but I also didn’t want to feel rushed or overwhelmed with planning something last minute. We settled on a meaningful date in spring 2019, and knew that we now had something to work towards.
I was determined to be organised, and get things booked or ordered in advance, but I also didn’t want to overload myself by trying to get everything sorted at once. I made a list and started with the important things that were main priorities to us.
As I started making my way further into it I realised that the year I’d taken before I started officially planning was actually a godsend, because I knew what I wanted. I’d given myself time, time to create a vision for my day without the pressure of making on the spot decisions.
I’d spent much of the previous year not talking about specifics but just generally getting a feel for what we wanted for our day, not what others were suggesting or recommending, not what anyone tried pushing onto us.
Now being 6 months into the planning and only 7 months off our day, I can say that I’m actually enjoying the process. I’m excited by the world of weddings, and I’m not overwhelmed by it, well no where near as much as I was 12 months ago.
So what advice can I give to you?
Firstly, breathe. Take a moment, and figure out if you’re ready to start planning. If you’re not, then that’s ok. I learnt that waiting doesn’t mean you don’t want to get married, it just means you need a little time to get in the right head space. Trust me, it’s worth waiting until you’re ready.
Secondly, I would say to set some boundaries. You’ll quickly find everybody wants to offer some piece of advice or throw their own two penneth in. So let them know what you’re happy and not happy for them to be involved in. For instance, the guest list, we decided to keep it to close family and friends, which is around 60 people. So invite as many people as you feel comfortable with. It took a lot for me to feel comfortable with that number never mind thinking about walking down the aisle to an arena full of people.
And lastly, stay ahead of the game. If getting super organised will help you keep your anxiety to a minimum then do it. Hey, I’ve already got everyone’s RSVPs and meal choices back, because the thought of chasing people up with weeks to spare just isn’t what I need!
So please, remember in all of this craziness, because it can get that way, that this is your day and it should be exactly what you and your fiancé(e) want.