One thing you may or may not know about me from my writing is that I do my very best to have a positive attitude in all parts of my life. It’s something I adopted at a time in my life when I was particularly miserable in a former job and it surprisingly has been making my life happier ever since. This is far from an easy task, especially when it feels like life is always throwing wrenches in your plans (such as the full four years that I was engaged before getting married right up until the big day itself) but in many ways, it’s what has helped me keep my head above water, even in the worst moments of my life. Sometimes I find myself indulging in negativity and I need to remind myself that that gets me nowhere. Other times I need an external reminder and I’m blessed enough to have an awesome husband and family that are able to bring me up when I fall into that.
When I first found out I was going to be writing as a Real Bride for the Broke-Ass Bride, I did what I do for everything in my life … I Googled resources for how to be the best I could at it. Specifically I think I Googled “how to blog about your wedding in a way that would be helpful to other brides.” One of the first results I found said that it was important to stay positive, and not use it as a space to air grievances about loved ones. Given my predisposition I had already adopted years earlier, this was not difficult for me to do. Some might think by not going negative with some of the stories of where I was at in my wedding planning at a given time might be giving off a false pretense that things are better than they really are or that somehow, I’m being less “real” in what I have to say, but I’d argue that’s not really the case. For one thing, being negative about the process as I was going through it isn’t helpful to anyone. ALL brides face challenges when they are planning their wedding, whether they have all the money in the world or are trying to plan on a shoestring. Constantly focusing on the things holding me back wasn’t going to help anybody. Talking about what I could do and had done to be proactive about solutions on the other hand is helpful because it shares an idea with someone else and maybe even gives them the inspiration to keep trying to find solutions for that work best for them despite any adversity they might find themselves facing.
Not getting negative about friends, family members, vendors and others related to your wedding is just a good practice to keep in all aspects of your online life. I see people do this a lot in Facebook wedding groups and it’s a big reason I’ve stepped away from those sites, and also why I’m writing this in the first place. I know it can feel great to get your frustrations out in writing and hey, it’s even better when other people commiserate with you because they’re going through the same thing, but that relief might be short-lived while what’s written on the Internet lives forever, even if it’s deleted. What happens when the person you’re talking about discovers what you’ve said? Even if you’d say the same thing to their face, who wants to be talked about on the Internet when they don’t have the opportunity to defend themselves? You might be shocked at how quickly something you say gets back to your Great Aunt Sally, despite the fact that she doesn’t even know how to turn on a computer. As for complaining about vendors, you also have to be careful as your comments could be taken as defamation, even if you’re just trying to warn other brides.
Could we have relaxed and had fun like this if we had the weight of worrying about negativity on us? Photo By SK Photography
Positivity helped me get through wedding planning (along with writing about my wedding planning) but not just straight up blind positivity. I am not Pollyanna by any means. Sometimes circumstances do suck. Sometimes people fall short of your expectations, or hurt your feelings or do any number of things that would make you upset at them. Sometimes you might feel like you’re not getting what you paid for from a vendor. It is very likely that over the course of your wedding planning you might find yourself faced with these frustrations, whether they are based in reality or wedding fever-induced paranoia. Instead of focusing on how wrong things are going, seek out answers to make things better. Focus on the things you have going right. Sit down and list out what you’ve got under control if you have to. When you find yourself in conflict with people, instead of rushing to the Internet to complain, step away from the situation for a moment. Ask yourself what role you play in the conflict. Did you communicate your expectations clearly with this person? Is there a chance there is a miscommunication? Are there things going on in the person’s life that might be making them act differently? Try to see things from the other person’s point of view. In the case of vendors, go back over your contracts to see if you might be misunderstanding something. Give yourself some breathing room and maybe even write a letter that you never send. Talk to them when you have cooled off and talk in a way that isn’t accusatory, but reconciliatory instead. Talk in person, or over the phone so you can hear their tone and don’t lose any of the social cues we miss when we talk via text or emails.
It’s very easy to fall into negativity when you’re planning your wedding, especially with how insurmountable it can seem at times. I got married about six months ago. When I look back on it, this time last year, part of me still didn’t believe we were really going to pull it off between money, time and yes, even personalities, but here we are today. We made it work. We found the silver lining in every cloud that came our way and we managed to keep just about everyone in our life happy. Falling in love and getting married are a few of the most positive choices you can make these days in the cynical world we live in. Continue the trend of positivity throughout your wedding planning too and it’ll make the celebration of your love even better.