10 mildly distressing things that will happen when you're planning a wedding
Ah, weddings. In Ireland we attend approximately 27.5 of them per calendar year, spending 75 per cent of our disposable income on gifts, outfits and booze in the process.
No matter how many Big Days you attend however, until you decide to get hitched yourself, you will never know the strange flights of fancy and fear, weirdness and curiosity endured by the average couple during the organising stages.
I never quite understood this until I was one, but brides-to-be are like swans: calm and serene on the top, paddling furiously, battling an eye twitch and necking Rioja from a pint glass underwater.
Take it from someone who's done it: there's some stuff you should know:
1. First things first: After you pick the ring, go home, open your kitchen cupboard and throw all your glassware and mugs into the wheelie bin. You are about to be gifted an enormous shipment of Champagne flutes. Nobody knows why. In order to use and store them all, you will need to start drinking all liquids (wine; beer; tea, coffee, water, Alka Seltzer, Bovril) from Champagne flutes. Fancy.
2. You will learn to respect the system. When it comes to wedding suppliers, it doesn’t matter if you’re spending €1,000 or €100,000, the system is the same. The system doesn’t care about the fact you’d reeeeeeally like to get your dress earlier than first agreed. The system doesn’t care if you want to smell the peonies on a Saturday morning when the florist is working on another wedding. The system makes sure every bride gets their dress/flowers/cake/buttonholes on time according to the wedding calendar. Do not f*ck with the system.
3. Hey big spender! Who? You! That's you now. To find out what it feels like to plan a wedding, take 75 per cent of your salary out of the bank on pay day, pop it into three envelopes in varying amounts, then hand it to random strangers in the street in return for items that you've neither seen nor experienced and may not even exist outside of Pinterest yet. And if you think that's expensive, wait 'til you see your wine bill. Not the guest wine bill, your domestic wine bill. Wedding planning requires some serious fuel to get the creative juices flowing.
4. You will embark on a grand and noble diet plan (something unworkable and limiting by the late Drs. Atkins/ Pepper/ Kevorkian is ideal) eight months before The Big Day. It will be extremely effective and with six months to go, you will be the hottest you have ever been. Unfortunately you will have peaked too soon. A celebratory muffin turns into a roast potato sandwich and a cupcake binge. A Sunday night glass of wine makes skipping the gym on Monday look like an excellent idea. Suddenly, with 12 weeks to go, you are embarking on a new and more extreme diet and fitness plan. Don't worry though, this one will work twice as fast because with everything booked and your dress on the way, you'll have The Fear Of God on your side.
5. Here comes the ride: In the beginning you'll scoff at the ridiculous lengths 'some women' go to in order to look immaculate on their wedding day. Some months later you'll find yourself idly Googling a new fat-melting laser treatment while waiting to have your face chemically peeled and your teeth whitened and sipping a 'detox' tea ordered from a vaguely sinister website.
6. You will develop a curious health thing: Think sudden onset hay fever, neck pain, a persistent eye twitch, an unsightly boob rash or an acne explosion to rival a hormonal 14-year-old. This is a stress symptom, your body's way of saying: 'Get a hold of yourself bae, gluing lace doilies to mason jars is not a 3am activity.'
7. You will feel a strange compulsion to try on a princess dress. 'Just for the laugh!' you'll shriek. When you emerge from behind the chiffon curtain, the shop assistant will wince and tell you, TO YOUR FACE, that really, this dress is “designed with the younger bride in mind”. Even though you are well aware you look like a fully grown woman wearing a communion dress, you will still want to strangle her. Restraint is key: sadly, she is right. Aim to contain your rage as you punch your way out of a badly fitting corset and meringue in a child-sized dressing room.
8. You will wonder how you got yourself into this. And briefly consider getting out of it. Not the marriage bit of course (with any luck) but the wedding planning. The all consuming, list making, bank account emptying, brain draining wedding planning.
9. You will start to question your judgement. When the specified date has come and gone and none of your closest mates have returned their RSVPS, you will wonder if it is over the top to strike them permanently from the guest list of your life. When your mother/bridesmaid/colleague makes a throwaway comment about your choice of wedding venue/dress/suits/ manicure, you will take it as a heinous personal attack and lie awake at night building cruel and insensitive table plans filled with deaf old aunties and feral children to punish them. Somebody will suggest you might be feeling a little 'over sensitive' because of the stress. You will briefly wonder if this is true.
10. You will secretly hope it never ends and feel mildly anxious every time you think about a time, not far from now, when the dress has been worn and the rings have been exchanged and the bride has been kissed. This helps you disregard nine tenths of this list. And so you should - your wedding day is going to be epic and the memories will last forever...