Photo: Shaina Sheaff Photography
Hindsight’s 20/20, right? Oh, it’s great to look back with all of your knowledge accumulated through experience, but when you’re in the thick of things, it can be hard to see the forest for the trees.
This truism applies to planning a wedding about as nearly as anything I’ve ever experienced. You get inundated with advice: some well-meaning, some completely self-serving, but it can all get jumbled up into a big, confusing mess. So with that, I’d like to offer you a little more advice … on the advice I just wish I hadn’t stressed about.
Anything from any website that offers any article written from the perspective of a jilted wedding guest
A lot of the bigger online publications are going to drive their visits with clickbait. What’s an almost guaranteed promise of a click? Drama. From guests angry their children weren’t invited to bridesmaids totally not down with traveling, there are a lot of pissed off posts. But they reflect singular opinions. And if you DO read into them, there are probably deeper problems than the one being railed on. Keep in mind that people who love you are going to be happy for you. It may not mean they can be there, but if they choose to be angry, they might just be an unhappy person. You’re better off serving yourselves as a couple when it comes to wedding choices.
Almost anything from the comment section of the above mentioned articles.
“Well I wasn’t mad about it until NOW!” was the prevailing hidden message in so many things I poured over with panic in my heart. Reading complete strangers’ thoughts on a subject I hadn’t even broached in the planning process caused me more grief than any conversation with, you know, an actual person who loves me and was invited to our wedding. Certain things will always be a little controversial and the ULTIMATE RAGE that comes out in comments is generally stoked by a collection of like-minded people and the occasional voice saying they’re unreasonable. Then it’s the Internet, so it’s time to fight. Skipping the comments section is one of those pieces of life advice I ignore way too often, but I would implore you to try. It’s for your own sanity.
Trying to make everyone happy with music selections.
I love music, and I love a lot of different kinds of music so putting together a cohesive playlist was hard enough. Asking other music lovers for their advice turned into a rundown of the latest Pitchfork playlist of experimental folk electronica that just seemed way too complicated for a wedding. In the end, I just went with songs I already owned that met a few criteria: “Is it about cheating?” “Is it a breakup song?” “Does it include the word ‘fuck’?” No? Then it works.
Trying to make everyone happy with the bar
Photo by Shaina Sheaff Photography
Not being too far removed from the poor college kid life, I remember frequently saying that $1 Miller High Life was awesome; $2 Miller High Life wasn’t too bad and $3 Miller High Life was practically undrinkable. Free anything was free booze and if someone tossed me a Keystone with no expectation of compensation, I just said thanks and popped the top. Most people still respect the rule that you don’t complain about what’s free, but if you’re looking for advice on what to serve, keep your polling numbers low. Like, one or two people, low. If you’re pre-purchasing anything for an open bar, the more choices you include, the more difficult it is to estimate the amount of each you need to purchase. We ultimately served four beers which served us well, proving all of my concern for making the perfect choice was a colossal waste of brain space.
The word “tacky”
We’ve discussed this word before. It’s a shitty, shame-y word and you know what’s tacky? Calling someone’s personal preferences tacky. The end. Food isn’t tacky. Bright colors aren’t tacky. You are not tacky. This goes back to the bit on social media comments, too. Everyone’s got an opinion and I hear they’ve all got assholes, too. If anyone wants to insult you or your choices about how to celebrate your love, fuck ‘em. Well, maybe that was a little tacky, but, pfft.
So go forth in love and joy about your seriously awesome love story and try to take a deep breath. Pleasing everyone is hard, so just make your love the focus and the rest will all work out.