I’ve never been big on getting married.
I come from a long line of unhappy marriages, infidelity and divorce. I never wanted to get married until I met my husband. I hadn’t thought about the wedding or the dress or anything really about my own wedding. When I got engaged I literally had to start from scratch trying to figure out what I even wanted. I remember my mother saying something about having no idea what I wanted for my wedding cause it just wasn’t something I’d talked about too often.
I had this idea that marriages, like relationships are destined to be shitty. It’s not true, I’ve since learnt that, but when you think a certain way, it’s hard to see things any other way.
Things change – Never say never
Flash back to 2012 and there I was walking down the aisle in perfectly traditional type white dress surrounded by all the people who I love. Okay so there was nothing traditional about my wedding, for a start I wore converse and a couple of the groomsmen looked like an ad for a tattoo shop. My wedding was amazing.
I kept telling my husband-to-be that if at the end of the day we’re married then the wedding was perfect regardless of what went wrong. I suppose I was trying to talk myself into ignoring how much could go wrong. The good news is that at the end of the day, we were married -YAY.
However there is no denying that a hell of a lot of shit went down.
Things do go wrong – My experiences
For a start, I had to demote a friend from bridesmaid to guest which wasn’t an easy task or conversation to have. I had a family member who said they wouldn’t be attending and then I heard through the grapevine that actually they were. Turns out it was some sort of attempt to surprise me on my wedding day. Because what EVERY bride wants is a “surprise” that involves extra unplanned expenses and a table sitting that hadn’t been planned. A solution offered for this by another family member was to “just pull up a plastic chair to the end of the table.” Oh I laugh about it now but boy was I mad. Last minute guests are NOT a happy surprise. If you’re invited to a wedding, either RSVP yes or be certain that you will not be a happy surprise on the day.
I had a bridesmaid whose dress was left behind – yikes – a very drunken boyfriend unpacked it from the weekend away bag. She was NOT impressed understandably. Another bridesmaid turned up in my room on the morning of my wedding sobbing her eyes out over a fight she’d had with her boyfriend. During the night, a groomsman had run off to a concert and only arrived back in the early hours of the morning and another had choked the best man. Oh yeah we were off to a GREAT start.
Things that matter – Focus on what is important
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from the experience, it’s that the people who love you, will take care of you. My sister-in-law spent her morning filling up my champagne glass trying to help me calm my nerves. Looking back, if it wasn’t for her, I’m not sure how I would have let go of all the drama.
By the time we walked down the aisle, my bridesmaids looked beautiful and surprisingly, the groomsmen managed to have themselves where they needed to be and look pretty damn handsome while doing it. Whew. I walked down that aisle and I married the man of my dreams and honestly, NOTHING ELSE mattered.
Things to consider – If you’re invited to a wedding as a guest
- RSVP by the deadline and understand that if you miss the deadline, you should rather just apologise and not go. Don’t just turn up on the day. Places have been set and numbers confirmed and even ONE extra person can throw everything into a tailspin. Besides the unplanned cost, your meal, plate, knife, fork, glasses, place mat, name tag, thank you gift and chair all have to be ordered in advance. You can’t just pull up an extra chair.
- Don’t be late, don’t arrive after the bride and DON’T be that person holding the camera in front of the professional photographer. We know you want to get “the perfect shot” but please do it from your seat and not standing right in front of the wedding couple.
- Don’t be that annoying person chirping up every second during the wedding speeches. We know you think you’re super witty and awesome but rather save the jokes for later.
Things to consider – If you’re a part of the wedding party
- Commit fully. Don’t say yes if you can’t afford to. In the past the couple paid for everything but that doesn’t always happen anymore so if there are going to be costs involved that you simply can’t afford then say no. There is nothing worse than a bridesmaid who doesn’t have what she needs or a groomsman who suddenly can’t afford the suit. Know that there are costs outside of just the clothing. As a bridesmaid or groomsman, you will be expected to spend your money on the bachelor or bachelorette party and kitchen tea.
- Be where you say you’re going to be and do what you say you’ll do.
- Do not leave everyone else to do everything and then sit back and claim recognition for it. That makes everyone resentful and really takes away from the happy celebration it’s supposed to be.
- Don’t cause the couple unnecessary stress
- Just be really considerate
Don’t bring your drama to the bride or groom EVER. If you’re in, you’re in so don’t take the commitment lightly.
Things to consider – If you’re the wedding couple
Think very carefully about the people you ask to stand beside you on your big day.
- Don’t think you can rely on anyone who proves to be unreliable.
- If you can’t count on them in daily life then don’t put them in charge of your wedding arrangements.
- If someone is usually a drama queen then you can most likely expect that on the day.
- Be considerate about the costs involved in being a part of your wedding. Not everyone you want to include will be able to afford it. Either be gracious about them not being able to participate or try to budget to assist them with their costs.
- Be strict on who you invite to your wedding. Don’t feel the pressure to include people who won’t appreciate the effort that goes into the planning around a wedding.
- Try and take the negative that happens in your stride. It’s normal that things will go wrong at some point. Let it go.
- It’s your wedding. Just do things the way you want to do them even if no one understands or agrees.
- Try and remember what really matters. Focus on the outcome – getting married and your future together as a married couple.
Just remember – No matter your role
Weddings are a stressful time for everyone involved and things are going to go wrong. You’ve basically just got to remember to not be an asshole if you’re involved in one in any way, shape or form. Don’t be that person that all the other people dread being around and don’t make the couple regret asking you to attend. If you’re a guest, treat it like a serious honour that you were invited. Don’t take it lightly and DON’T just not pitch up on the day because you couldn’t be arsed to. Your seat meant someone else couldn’t be there and probably cost a pretty penny too. Be considerate and treat people how you would want to be treated on your special day.
Everyone deserves to have the fairy tale wedding, whether or not they dreamed about it all their lives.