Stressed out with wedding planning? Aleisha McCormack of The Bridechilla Podcast is here to show you how to throw all that wed-stress into the Fuck It Bucket!
There’s something pretty freaking empowering about saying no to things that you thought you needed but you don’t.
To get married, you really only need three things: you, your partner, and someone to marry you. That’s it. All of the other stuff is fun (and sometimes unnecessary) icing on the cake and those extras are often the things that stress us out the most.
The concept of being a Bridechilla, well my interpretation, is all about simplifying the wedding planning process and removing all of the extra tasks, stress, and stuff that we’ve been told over and over again that we need when in reality, they are entirely optional. It’s about enjoying the process and focusing on what matters the most… that you’ve found your fellow weirdo and you and that weirdo are planning an awesome party together.
The concept of the fuck it bucket isn’t new (people have been putting stuff in it for years!), however in this instance I was inspired by a Reddit/Weddit thread, where couples listed all of the details and worries that they were going to ditch. My interpretation of the Bridechilla fuck it bucket is that it is a magical vessel where all of your wedding expectations, tasks, and unfinished DIY projects go.
The fuck it bucket (FIB for short) comes in handy when disposing of the things that you initially thought were important, but six months (or six minutes) in you realise aren’t worth it. It can include traditions, expectations, trends, gifts and well-intentioned DIY projects can all find a new home in the FIB. Everyone’s FIB contains different things, and that is A-OK.
Recently a wedding planner I had as a guest on the Bridechilla Podcast suggested that we should reverse the process by putting everything in the FIB to start with and by doing this only retrieving things that are really important. Start simple and add-on. Here are but a few suggestions of things that you can place in the FIB and watch burn.
EXTRA WEDDING EVENTS
The day after party/brunch/lunch can be an excellent way to share some more time with your guests, but like many wedding-related events, they can also feel like an extra production. What used to be just “Let’s meet for a brunch or a BBQ,” has turned into “Let’s plan a third wedding.” Some people create fully catered events with staff and fancy china – who has the time? (or the budget?) If you are keen to host a day-after event but lack time and money to organise it, consider asking your in-laws or extended family to host the event (which is a great job to pass on, especially if they are keen to help). If you just want to call it a day at the end of your wedding and go home or off to a honeymoon somewhere delicious, then chuck the day-after events straight into the FIB and move on with your life.
GIFTS, GIFTS AND MORE GIFTS
One of my favourite things to chuck straight in the FIB is gifts.
Gifts for the bridal, gifts for the parents, gifts for the driver that drove you to the venue. I mean, we seem a little bit obsessed with giving people gifts. Don’t get me wrong; I love gifts – I love receiving gifts, I love giving gifts. But at the moment, we are going through a gift-giving renaissance. And the renaissance needs to end because The Bridechilla community is swamped with messages from Chillas saying:
I don’t know what to give this person as a gift.
I feel stressed about having to find a gift.
I haven’t got time to think about a gift.
Do I need to give them a gift?
How much should I spend on the gift?
When should I give them the gift?
Do I need to give them a gift to say, “Would you be in my bridal party?”
Do I need to give them a gift to say, “Thanks for organising”?
No! Stop it! Stop with the gifts. It stresses me out, man. And again, it’s like the gift bag. The thought is lovely, but no one’s going to judge you, or think any less of you, if you don’t give them a special wine bottle with a personalised label that says “Will you be my bridesmaid?” And another special box of perfume to say “Thank you for being my bridesmaid.” A card, or something handwritten and delightful, is perfect and much more personalised and thoughtful, especially if you’re on a budget. Excess gifts are in the FIB now.
GUEST OR BRIDAL PARTY GIFT BAGS
While I’m on a roll with gifting, let’s talk about gift bags.
Let’s all just stop this insanity now. We don’t need gift bags. It’s not the Oscars; it’s your wedding. No one wants half the shit that people suggest you should put in wedding gift bags: a bottle of water, a muesli bar, one size fits all monogrammed flip-flops and two tabs of paracetamol. It’s just stuff they’ve got to get rid of or leave in a hotel room for the maid to clean up and she’s probably thinking, “Oh fuck, not another piece of shit wedding gift bag, give me strength, off to landfill for you, another thing clogging up this already desperately polluted planet.” Then she throws it in the FIB. Save everyone the step and forget it.
As a guest, I freaking hate the guestbook. I think, “Fuck, I’ve got to write something? I’m drunk. I haven’t got time to think of something witty, and funny, that I will be judged for forever or until they throw the guestbook out.” A lot of people seem to spend a lot of time worrying about the guestbook. What sort of book should it be? Should it have a fancy pen or will a biro suffice? Is the paper uncoated or coated, whatever the fuck that means?
I want you to do a little exercise. Ask a married friend how many times they have gone to that guestbook and looked at it since they got married. I’m not saying they’re going to sit and read the guestbook every night, that would be weird, but after a quick post-wedding scan, that book is going in a box in the garage, and one day they will take that box to the dump, and then think, “What was in that box? Oh, it’s our wedding guestbook! It’s gone now forever. Oh well.”
If you’ve got a guestbook, great. I just think that if it’s a problem, or you feel stressed about having to find a guestbook, or finding something to write with, or write in, just forget it. Chuck it in the FIB. Or just print out a bunch of cool cards or buy them off Etsy, put them on a table, and then figure out what to do with them later – which will probably entail putting them in a drawer or a box and forgetting about them forever.
Fuck them. They are ugly chair condoms that will eat up your money. No one is offended by naked chairs, and if they are, they need to think about their choices. I am more offended by shiny lycra chair covers with big bows than a naked chair. Chair covers are expensive and disgusting, and I passionately feel that they belong in the FIB.
Unless one bridesmaid is wearing steel-capped work boots without explanation while the rest of your bridal party are in stilettos, no one acknowledges bridesmaids’ feet. The day is about you and your partner, and eating cake, drinking and dancing. Whether they match or not, no one cares, and if they don’t match, no one will remember. It’s just time to let matchy shoes go and put that concept in the FIB.
Whatever you choose to take or put in your FIB remember that there are lots of details that are lovely to include in your wedding day preparations but to be honest they don’t matter. We do, sometimes, disconnect a little bit from reality when planning this stuff, and think, “I need this. My event’s not going to be good enough without it.”
Every time you come across a decision like that, think about the events you’ve attended, whether it’s a wedding or a party and consider the moments that stood out to you. What do you remember? Why was it an awesome party? What were the details that were most important to you, at that moment? I’ll bet they had nothing to do with matching glassware or robes. So, as you plan, embrace the FIB and the joy of disposing of expectations and useless crap in there!
About the Author
Aleisha McCormack is a professional big mouth. She has written, presented and produced some of Australia’s most loved telly. She also managed to plan her wedding without losing her marbles and wants to help you do that too! For bullshit free wedding planning advice, check out The Bridechilla Podcast and The Bridechilla Guides.
Use the exclusive code ROCKNROLL for 15% off a Bridechilla pack which includes her two planning guide books and a tote bag!