This is your guide to staying sane and – shock horror – actually having fun while planning your wedding and choosing your dress.
Why does getting married have to happen to a nice person like me?” she asked me. After I finished laughing, I commenced serious contemplation of how wedding planning can be quite so brutal and not that fun for everyone. I, like a lot of wedding industry people, am bang up for all things to do with weddings, but for some it literally ruins their previously happy lives with stress and other people’s expectations and budget blow outs and decision fatigue and whether you have to invite your mother’s second cousin by marriage and adoption.
Having married twice (you may call me Elizabeth Taylor; though I am quite into husband #2, so there is a chance I won’t make it to eight) and worked in the wedding industry for a few years now, I’ve seen and heard it all. May my musings below assist brides everywhere to have a bangin’ fun time during the fiancé phase and skip some of the life sapping and definitely avoidable nonsense.
How exactly does one remain sane while being engaged?
Include a hefty line item in your budget for psychiatrists, psychologists, massages and heroin. If that is not a possibility then I suggest you and the fiancé set yourselves some priorities. What is important to you both for this pretty monumental time in your lives? What sort of engagement do you want to have and what sort of wedding suits you?
That way, when you start to get into the wedding worm hole, wondering if you should release doves or butterflies, you can donk yourself on the noggin and remember that your priority is a relaxed indoor urban wedding, and thus the pigeons, oops I mean doves, will get all disoriented and poop on your guests. And getting pooped on does not make for relaxed guests.
Is it even possible to avoid being stressed while planning a wedding?
Some stress is part of life. It’s OK and normal and won’t kill ya. The key is to keep it to the good level of stress – you know, the smallish amount of stress the pushes you along and energises you, rather than the type that has you shouting “NO YOU CALM DOWN!” at your fiancé and Kirsty at the BT call centre.
Ask for help. Don’t do it alone. It’s a pretty big project so make sure you split tasks with your beloved and perhaps ask your bridesmaids and friends to help with things, and mums. Mums love helping. And Dads, don’t forget dads.
Keep things simple – there are literally thousands of things you can include in a wedding and within each of those things, there are a gazillion choices. The internet has a lot to answer for in this regard. So even though you can scroll for days and see hundreds of options, you don’t need to see every single veil that exists in the northern hemisphere to choose the right one for you.
Why are all the wedding dresses so gross? Where are they hiding the good ones?
The internet is full of garbage. There are great dresses out there, but they are under a mound of internet garbage as big as the Pacific Ocean rubbish vortex, which for those who don’t follow rubbish related news, is the size of Texas.
Instead, go and check out some of the excellent wedding blogs such as Rock n Roll Bride (duh!), Green Wedding Shoes, Hello May, Bespoke Bride, Way Out Wedding, Mr & Mrs Unique and Together Journal. Within those blogs, there are real brides wearing real dresses in real weddings, so it’s a great way to see dresses on real humans instead of model humans (who, like model aeroplanes, are only meant for show). Check out the designers and retailers of the dresses you dig and you will avoid the sifting through the internet rubbish pile for 1000 years.
Note: NEVER Google Image search for wedding dresses. Unless you have drunk lots of wine and want to do the laughing. It is the worst type of garbage and it will not help you on your quest. Help me, I’m drowning in a sea of sweetheart necklines and marble staircases and Chinese rip-off dresses that definitely won’t meet your expectations even if you did only spend £67 incl. shipping.
Trying to choose the dress of a lifetime that will make me feel like a goddess and look like a queen is ruining my life. How the hell do I choose?
Start by trying to look like yourself. You are lovely and you don’t need to emulate anyone, let alone some stuffy royal or a flipping mythical creature. The way people talk about wedding dresses is bloody ridiculous. On one hand:
“It’s the dress of a lifetime”
“It’s the most amazing you will ever look”
“It has to be perfect both now and forever, because you don’t want it to date” (insert sniggering about the 80s)
“You need to look hot and pretty, but not too sexy. No one likes a booby bride” (my uncle actually called me a booby bride after my first wedding, true story).
And on the other hand:
“Wedding dresses are a rip off!”
“Who would pay that for a dress for ONE DAY?”
“I had mine made for 35p”
“I would never pay that for a dress”
“You should get something you can wear again”
To say it is a pressurised, fraught situation is a goddamn understatement. To recap, you just need to look the best you ever have and ever will in the most perfect dress that is both so ‘now’ but will stand the test of time, can be worn to your wedding and to Sainsburys, and cost you the right amount of money to impress both the #fashpack and frugal types. Sure, no problem.
My advice? It is just a dress. Don’t let it take over your life. You are more than how you look at your wedding. As previously mentioned, I am a twice marry-er and I wouldn’t choose either of my wedding dresses again, should I have to move onto husband number three. That’s not to say that I didn’t look and feel bangin’ at the time, but your tastes change so it’s best to accept that and get on with your life.
You will find an outfit to wear and you CAN have fun while doing so. Keep your perspective intact and you’ll come out the other side and do heaps of other important shit with your life because you’re ace and your life is just getting started.
About the Author
Co-founder and creative director of Melbourne vintage furniture hire and event styling legends, Good Day Club, Kate Forsyth is an expert at stacking unstackable vintage chairs and designing the raddest, most non-traditional and fun weddings known to wo/man. Outside of running her business, she is also learning to drum. She can now play En Vogue’s Don’t Let Go and Phil Collins’ In the Air Tonight, which is of course, pretty much the greatest thing that’s ever happened to her.
This article originally appeared in Rock n Roll Bride magazine, issue 23. The current issue is on sale now and can be nabbed from our shop or picked up in WhSmiths, Sainsburys and selected newsagents.