While many of us ladies look forward to our wedding day with great excitement and anticipation, there are also lots of very challenging aspects that brides-to-be are commonly faced with. Knowing how to deal with the worst things about planning a wedding with grace requires a lot of patience and tact, which can be especially difficult when we are often planning our nuptials with little to no help from others.
The 11 Worst Things About Planning a Wedding
With many of us coordinating our nuptials with our bridal party scattered across the country and not enough room in our budget for a full-service planner, the overwhelming stress of orchestrating a party for 100+ people can understandably become too much to handle sometimes. As a bride-to-be myself, I have already started preparing myself for what nightmares may be looming around the corner and how I can best handle each situation without tearing anyone’s head off or collapsing into a puddle of tears. I’ve created this exhaustive list of the worst parts of wedding planning, in hopes that it will help you prepare for the inevitably trying times ahead. While I hope you don’t encounter all of these unpleasant experiences, it’s best to be aware of what you may experience and understand it’s not unusual to come across some family drama, budget issues, or DIY disasters during the months leading up to your big day (we all experience at least some of this at one point or another!)
One of the first things couples need to decide on is a maximum price point, and this is easily the most stressful part of the planning process. While some couples are blessed to have significant help from their families, many are now taking full responsibility of their bills. After itemizing each necessary expense and adding all of the categories up, many of us can experience serious sticker shock. It can be super stressful to realize you’ll have to make some difficult choices and prioritize what aspects you really want to splurge on, and cut back on other areas. Once you’ve come to terms with the reality of what you can afford though, and commit to sticking within your budget, you’ll actually realize there are lots of ways to still have a beautiful, meaningful celebration at any price point.
2. Choosing your theme
At the beginning of the planning process, the bride’s head is abuzz with the endless possibilities for venues, color palettes, and catering options. Just deciding on your theme and sticking to it can be a serious stress inducer. While some ladies have a very specific idea in their head of how they envision their big day, others can become overwhelmed with the countless choices available to them. When my fiancée and I first started thinking about our options, we couldn’t even decide on a city, let alone a theme, to stick with. Giving ourselves a few months to just take in all of the possibilities and weed out some of our more outlandish ideas really helped us to organically settle on a theme that expresses our personalities, lifestyle, and interests. Just enjoying our engagement for awhile and bouncing ideas off of each other actually made this decision fun and easy.
3. The guest list
Unless your budget and space quotas are unlimited, you and your beau are going to have to make some difficult decisions about who receives an invitation to your big day. Do you only want immediate family and close friends to attend? Does your dream venue have a strict maximum capacity? Are the catering costs per head exorbitant? Chances are, you’ll have to cut some people from your original invite list, which can be a sensitive topic if those around you have expectations about who should be invited. Talking candidly to your family and in-laws about your limitations with budget and space will help them understand why you’ve decided not to invite all of their business associates or distant cousins you haven’t seen in 20 years. Make sure you and your fiancé have the final say when it comes to who is invited, and be prepared to stick together as a team when you receive pushback from anyone unhappy with your decision.
4. Tracking down contact info
After you’ve finalized your invite list, it’s time to send out save-the-dates! Gathering contact information for hordes of people can prove to be extremely difficult, especially when you have to reach out to loved ones via multiple avenues (text, email, Facebook, phone calls). Chances are you’ll have to contact certain people multiple times and through more than one outlet just to get through to them, and this is one area where you’ll probably have to rely on your mother-in-law, fiancé, and parents to receive information from those you don’t know personally. Once all of your guests’ details have finally been collected, compiling it in one database will be time consuming, and the chances are pretty good that some of the information will be wrong. Give yourself plenty of time for this one tedious step, and be prepared for a few mailing addresses to change before you even send out the formal invitations.
5. Choosing your attendants
For those of us with lots of sisters, cousins, and close friends, selecting people to stand next to us at the altar can be an emotional and tricky decision. Maybe certain people in your circle have made assumptions that they’ll be in your bridal party, and feelings are sure to be hurt when they discover they didn’t make the cut. Of course you won’t want to offend your friend from kindergarten, but perhaps you grew apart over the years. A good rule of thumb for selecting a solid set of bridesmaids is to only include people who you envision will be in your life 10 or 15 years from now. If you feel obligated but not overjoyed to have someone serve as your attendant, then it’s your prerogative to pass.
Tandem Tree Photography
6. Managing expectations
If your families are very traditional or religious and are expecting a church ceremony, but you and your fiancé are thinking of something a bit more non-traditional, somebody’s feelings might get hurt that you aren’t honoring their own personal wishes. This is where you and your beau need to align as a team to ensure your voices are heard. Honoring the wishes of those who are contributing financially can get a bit tricky, since some parents may feel they are entitled to plan the wedding if they are footing the bill. If your vision varies greatly from someone who is helping to pay for your big day (and they really aren’t letting up or willing to let you have your way), you have a couple of choices. Either you can work to come to a compromise with their wishes, or you can kindly decline their financial contribution and take on the bulk of bills on your own. The second option is definitely easier said than done, but having the freedom to create your celebration on your own terms can be priceless to some.
7. Setting boundaries
When your parents, siblings, and friends were first notified of your engagement, odds are good that the wheels started turning in their heads with grand ideas of how they envision your big day. While it’s awesome that so many people care to be involved in helping to plan your event, it’s likely that some will take it over the line a bit and feel they can assert their opinion when it’s not necessarily welcome. One of the best ways to include those who want to have a hand in your big day is to delegate specific responsibilities with clear-cut instructions for them. This will help your somewhat bossy loved ones feel included without giving them the freedom to assert their own opinions of how they think your celebration should be coordinated.
8. DIY disasters
While we all love to show our creative side and save some cash in the process, try to take precautions to avoid a massive “Pinterest Fail”. I really can’t think of anything worse than a bride who’s built up unrealistic expectations thanks to what she’s seen on blogs and wedding magazines, featuring homemade projects created by creative directors and professional set designers. Give yourself a few practice rounds on DIY endeavors and start any projects a few months before your nuptials, so if the whole thing falls apart, you’ll still have time for a contingency plan.
9. Legal decisions
Dealing with tough legal paperwork is hands-down, without a doubt, the worst part of wedding planning. Can you think of anything less romantic than sitting down and constructing a legally binding pre-nuptial agreement with the person you are about to commit your life to, “just in case”? Listen, I totally get why there is a need for pre-nups for some, but honestly… the whole thing just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Think about it, here are two people, madly in love with each other and about to commit their lives to each other… but why not arrange a meeting with some lawyers who will advise us on how to divide our assets should things go downhill later on? Sounds like fun! It’s almost hilarious that something this ominous and depressing is a part of planning for nuptials… but not really hilarious at all.
10. Unreliable vendors
I really, really hope that none of you have to face a flaky vendor, but it unfortunately happens. Researching your professionals ahead of time is crucial, since not all photographers, florists, and caterers are created equally. While we all love to save a buck, there may be a reason why your D.J. is charging you a quarter of what the competition goes for. Ensuring you have signed agreements with your vendors is an important detail that should never be skipped, especially if your agreed terms are not met on the day of. If your vendor does not fully deliver what is promised, having some type of written agreement can help you receive reimbursements. I highly recommend reading online reviews of your prospective vendors to help avoid hiring someone who is flaky, rude, or unprofessional.
11. Seating chart drama
If you’ve opted for a formal dinner reception, get ready for some fun, heated conversations with your fiancé and family over seating arrangements! Trying to juggle the personalities and relationships of an entire bridal party is truly like one big, messy puzzle where there are always a couple of jigsaw pieces not quite fitting together. On top of trying to find the perfect seat for each guest, chances are you won’t be able to embark on this tedious task until the very. last. minute. Since you’ll need all of your RSVP cards back (and there are always people who wait until the last minute to respond), you’ll likely be shuffling around place cards until the week before your party. Oh, but don’t worry, after all of that time and energy spent on carefully seating people in specific places, some guests will probably just end up re-shuffling your arrangement and moving tables, or just not showing up at all!
Rochelle Louise Photography
Even with all of the obstacles and dramatic moments many of us brides encounter, the whole experience of wedding planning is still a memorable and fulfilling one. And if at any point during the process you start to lose sight of the purpose of all of this madness, just remember that this entire celebration is about committing your life to your partner and starting the rest of your lives together. No matter what kind of family drama or crafting disasters you may encounter along the way, these crazy experiences just add to the entire experience of planning your wedding! Do you have any wedding planning dilemmas that are driving you crazy? Let us know in the comments! You may also like...