Oh man, I don’t want you to think this is one big bitch about all the things that went wrong on my wedding day because, honestly, it’s not.
If you were a guest, I really wouldn’t scan through this post hoping to find a thinly veiled version of yourself and me moaning about you. Because it’s not a post about rubbish wedding guests either, I’ve already written that one 😉
It’s also not a digging for compliments exercise, where I bemoan my lack of perfect body and terrible hair etc and you diligently compliment me. It’s not that.
It IS a chance to get some things off my chest. Because here’s the truth.
I hated planning my wedding
The year before I got married was one of the worst of my life. My depression and anxiety started to overwhelm me and I was isolated, living on a tiny Thai island. I was super excited getting engaged, despite the fact I knew my husband-to-be and I had very different ideas about what constituted a ‘dream wedding’ (I wanted to be barefoot on the beach with a handful of people, he wanted approximately 1000….we compromised with 100!)
I want to write more about why I hated planning my wedding, with some practical tips for brides-to-be like me who haven’t been planning their dream weddings since the age of three and find the task of choosing flowers to be hellish.
But for now, here are a few things I regret about my wedding day.
I tried so hard not to be a Bridezilla, I went the other way. I became obsessed with trying to please everyone else and pretending to be a ‘chilled out, cool bride’ that I practically wrote myself out of the wedding.
I demanded no hen do, to the point where my poor bridesmaids were forced into creating something that would be fun for the hens without scaring me off. No mean feat.
The result was that people didn’t make such a big deal of the do because I’d demanded that they didn’t……and when I look back I feel really sad I have no pictures of it, and that people ‘popped in’ en route to another event. This was entirely my fault – you get what you put out in the world and what I put out there was this: ‘don’t have fun, and don’t treat this as a hen do.’ On reflection, this was super disrespectful and confusing for my bridesmaids!
I don’t have a good relationship with my sister, and at the time of the wedding she was in a see-through dress and for reasons I won’t go into…..I avoided having any pictures with her, or my mum (who I resented for allowing her to be so unruly — as if that’s my mum’s fault!) I wish I’d ignored all of this and had pictures with my mum and aunties.
We decided early on we didn’t want fussy speeches, where things went on far too long and guests looked longingly at their (increasingly cold) food while Great Uncle Bob prattled on. And I’m so happy we did that as it meant we could get on with the day and enjoy it with the nerves of speeches behind us. But I felt so uncomfortable being in my own wedding I begged Oli not to say anything mushy or overly emotional about me. I also didn’t allow my mum to do a speech in lieu of my beloved dad saying anything, and I demanded (I really did demand this) that nobody raise a glass to: “those who couldn’t be here today” aka my dead dad.
But I felt so uncomfortable being in my own wedding I begged Oli not to say anything mushy or overly emotional about me (thankfully he ignored me!) I also didn’t allow my mum to do a speech in lieu of my dad, and I demanded (I really did demand this) that nobody raise a glass to: “those who couldn’t be here today” aka my dead dad.
Isn’t that terrible?! I was so frightened I’d cry, or that people would stare at me pityingly I cut down anything that could potentially cause it. That meant, NO personal vows, no staring lovingly at Oli while we said them and no mention of my dad.
Looking back, I can’t say I would do anything differently if I were to do it all again but it definitely shows a huge personality flaw that I am so self-conscious.
Okay, this header is misleading. Nobody bullied me in an aggressive, negative way as such. But I did allow my better judgement and gut feeling to be overridden in favour of what someone else wanted.
I wanted to walk down the aisle after my bridesmaids, I wanted to wear red lipstick, I didn’t want to wear shoes……I wanted a flower crown or veil. And I really wanted to have a big morning of pampering and getting ready, I wanted beauty treatments and prosecco….but I couldn’t afford it, and I was embarrassed to ask for help. I prioritised paying for a videographer, a musician and listening to other people’s opinions above what I actually wanted.
The list of things I wanted but was gently told might not be a good idea is endless really, because when you plan a wedding — everyone will give you their opinion and you are so vulnerable you’ll allow it to seep in. It’s really hard not to allow yourself to be taken away with the whole palaver of it all, but it’s true what everyone says — it is your day.
I actually regret having regrets at all. Which, I think, means they’re cancelled out and I have none, right? Bravo! In all seriousness, it’s beyond silly to worry about a day which will not define your life. I look back at my wedding fondly, of course, but it wasn’t the best day of my life. Having my daughter was! I even look back at my first date with Oli as more of a defining moment in my life than my wedding.
But if I could offer a bride to be any advice, I would say this:
Don’t stress, it’ll all be over soon.
Take time away from the madness to enjoy five minutes alone with your husband.
Wear more make up than you think you need, and demand five minutes to touch up before you have any photos.
Wear whatever you want. Whether that’s a pink dress, or blue lips or leopard print shoes. I wish I had!
It’s just another day, and to strive to achieve perfection is just another way to beat ourselves up.
Have you got any wedding regrets? Or are you planning a wedding hoping not to make my mistakes?
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Also published on Medium.