Broke-Ass Tag: Bride Brain


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“It’ll be better before you get married.”

This is something I’ve heard my whole life about all manners of injuries, from skinned knees to feeling heartbroken. I’m fairly certain it’s an Irish saying my grandmother brought over with her when she landed in Boston  Now I’m starting to wonder if that’ll really be the case. I’ve got a little under seven months until my wedding. Am I really going to have this all figured out by then?

I’ve been in a total fog lately and  my head is swimming. I constantly feel like I’m forgetting something and most of the time, I am. From what I’ve heard, pregnant women go through something similar. From what I’ve heard, it happens because of the hormones and stress their body is going through … not that I think I’m dealing with something as extreme as what women go through during pregnancy, but I do think that there’s something to the idea of bridal brain drain and it makes sense. Many modern couples are typically working and the idea of throwing the “perfect” wedding inundates you constantly.  Over the last few weeks as we’ve jumped full-force into planning it’s been hitting me more than ever.

A good example happened last week. I have a notebook where I keep all my wedding related notes — questions to ask vendors, daily to-do lists, and of course my (possible) new name scribbled over and over again. I set up a to-do list and then jumped into some other work I had for the day. When I came back to my to-do list around lunch time, I realized it was incomplete.

To Do List

 Um …

Yeah … I have no idea who I was thinking I’d meet with, or if it was even definitely wedding related. So there was that. Then the next day I realized the reason that my credit card payment hadn’t come out of my special wedding savings account just yet was because I had put the account number in completely incorrectly. Another time we got completely lost trying to find where the florist had asked us to park when we went to meet with her because I wrote down the most nonsensical notes ever. Yeah … that happened.

And on nearly a daily basis I find myself in the midst of a conversation with someone and suddenly totally unaware of what I was supposed to say next, what I was just saying, or any of what had been said recently by anyone in the general vicinity. This isn’t like me and it’s frustrating and a little bit scary. I don’t want to forget anything for the big day and I don’t want to overlook anything that might lead to trouble (or having to spend more money) down the road. Staying mentally sharp can be a challenge, especially when you’re dealing with so many moving parts like florists, caterers, DJ’s and even guests. It’s a little bit overwhelming but I’ve come up with a few different things to deal with it all:

  • Write things down!  The second I sit at my desk at work in the morning, I open to a new page of my notebook and I jot down anything that comes into my head throughout the day. I don’t always know what my notes mean but I usually can decipher what’s going on. I also keep good notes when I’m on the phone with vendors, or in vendor meetings. It might be helpful to develop a shorthand that you share with your fiance. Maybe even keep a key to it in the notebook.handy dandyMy notebook! Nothing magical here. Just something I picked up while grocery shopping but it’s definitely been a lifesaver.
  • Use your phone to its fullest extent.  You’re carrying a supercomputer around with you every day. Take notes there, even quick voice memos if it’s easier. Google things.  Screenshot decor ideas you like and go through your pictures nightly to check out things you may have liked throughout the day.ScreenshotsHere’s an example of my personal screenshots … some wedding related, others not so much but it’s kind of like a snapshot of what I thought was important throughout the day.
  • Set up a special email that both you and your fiance have access to and check it regularly. This was hands down the best thing we did in our planning process thus far. We set up a Gmail … which means we also have a Google calendar which we use to set up vendor meetings and keep track of each others schedules (and we push these items to our calendars on our phones so we’re synced up). We also have use of Google Drive, which is where our guest list and other wedding docs reside. Knowing that we have all this information in one place where we can both access it at any time takes a lot of weight off of both of our shoulders. It also simplifies the process of reaching out to vendors. It makes communication with everyone flow much more easily.
  • Take a time out. When you feel like you’re losing focus because you’re trying to focus too much, take some time for yourself. Go for a walk, watch a movie, meditate, pray, do some yoga, go out for ice cream, whatever works best for you. For me, I take an hour and I work out. It helps me to stop thinking for a bit and think better when I come back to everything. I’m able to collect my thoughts without feeling the urge to act on any of them immediately.

Above all else … keep calm and carry on. Freaking out about things and getting mad at yourself for feeling out of it will only make you stress more. It’s a vicious cycle. If you find ways to calm yourself, you’ll find that you might even come out of the fog a little bit. When you find yourself feeling lost, take a deep breath and say to yourself “It’ll all be better before I get married” and guess what? It actually will, eventually.

  • 3/5

    The second I got engaged, I got down to business. I started watching “Say Yes to the Dress,” (All 1,000 seasons. Atlanta too. Also, there’s spin-off called “Randy to the Rescue.” Research is hard.) My pin pinning on Pinterest increased by 600% and I created a secret board to share with only my bridesmaids and an even more super-secret board for my eyes only. I created an account on The Knot, I researched venues, flowers, cakes, shoes, bridesmaids’ dresses, photographers, DJ’s, etc! The list goes on. All things wedding related bring me joy and I spend hours fantasizing how amazing mine will be. It seems extreme, but it’s only natural, right? Wedding planning is so fun!

    Photo by Smileham

    Until you realize that, since it is all you think about, it is ALL you have to talk about. I went out with one of my bridesmaids and her new boyfriend the other night. She was just back in to town from an interview in Austin, Texas and her new dude was just back from 3 months on a ranch in (only coincidentally) Texas, so I was really excited to hang with them both and catch up with my girl. This was the first time I would really get to hang out with her boyfriend. She really likes him, and if he’s gonna be around for a while, I want to like him and for him to like me, too! I invited them to a new, cool, swanky joint that opened up right behind my apartment. It’s one of those foodie-type burger joints with signature cocktails. I was sure to impress both my bridesmaid and the boyfriend with my taste and awesome personality! As they arrived, we greeted each other with hugs and grabbed a spot at the bar. Pleasantries were exchanged but as soon as my bridesmaid asked, “So, what’s new?” I immediately replied with, “Well, I think I’m going to do a long-sleeved wedding gown because I think it’s so different and…” and continued with, “and I think we’re going to do signature cocktails named after our cats and…” and continued with, “and each centerpiece will have a succulent because it goes with the desert theme and…” I went on and on. I looked and noticed the boyfriend’s eyes completely glazed over after several minutes of this and I began to have an out-of-body experience. It was like I could watch myself as I droned on about vows and shoes, and I could hear how awful and boring I sounded. There was a time and a place for this and it was NOT while you’re trying to get to know someone. So, I tried to stop. I tried. ‘Change the subject, Andrea’ I thought. ‘Think of something else! Let’s see, current events?? You haven’t read the news in weeks! New music? What was the name of that band? Politics?!?! DAMMIT!’ I could not think of a single thing to talk about that was not wedding related.

    At home with Travis, I realized that I was probably doing the same exact thing. Weddings can really suck you in and take you out of real life! NOW I understand why couples have to cut the wedding talk down to once-a-week. But, with my wedding over a year out, I need to cut my own wedding thoughts down to once-a-week. Otherwise, I might be unbearable to be around! Now, I do think that those who are your good friends will be understanding of this and most will want to talk wedding with you. But I would also like to remain a good friend. Also, I used to be a really interesting person….

    So I pledge:

    * For every book or article I read about weddings, I will read a real life book or article.

    * For every show I watch about weddings, I will watch a real life show.

    * And finally, for every blog I write about weddings, I will write a real life blog. (To make this applicable to you, the reader, change “blog” to whatever it is that you create or think about that makes you feel good.)

    I can’t believe I still have over a year until this wedding and I’m already wrangling in the crazy?? I feel a Bridezilla brewing inside of me and I’m scared.

    Here’s to hoping the pledge works,

  • 6/19

    1. You can't sleep.  And when you do sleep, you dream about weird/crazy/horrible things happening at your wedding. 2. 90% of the things you say to your partner are wedding-related.  As soon as they open their eyes in the morning you're asking "Have we called the rental company to tell them how many chairs we need?" 3. You decide it's a great idea and totally…

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    Heeeyyyoooo!!! Now that you're rockin' that sparkler and all you newbie Broke-Ass Brides are starting to look ahead to your big day, I think it's important to sit you down and talk about that horrible monster that is sure to rear its ugly head at some point during your planning process ... BRIDE BRAIN. *cue suspenseful music* But Christen!, you're saying, I'm totes rational and there's no…

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