• Thu, Aug 4 2011

Say Yes To The Mess: It’s Time To Make Decisions. Any Decisions.

When I told my sisters they could pick out their own bridesmaid dresses, I thought I was being helpful. But apparently that made me an asshole. It’s really hard to tell what side of the equation you fall on with this whole wedding planning business.

Many of the decisions that go into wedding planning are nearly inconsequential. But they are often expensive. And need to be made. Sometimes last week.

In regards to the bridesmaid dreses, I wanted my sisters to wear grey dresses. Or pink ones! They are my only two bridesmaids. They just needed to find dresses that looked nice on them when they stood near each other.

But this was easier said than done. We went to a bridesmaid shop. I found a dress I thought looked great on both of them. They didn’t like it. And when they couldn’t find anything at JCrew, I told them to just find dresses they liked that could would work together.

This apparently made things much more difficult. They went to multiple stores and tried to estimate what they thought I would like.

After they visited about a dozen stores and were ready to give up/yell at me, I had to admit that my attempt at delegation had failed. We all went to another bridesmaid shop. I picked two dresses and told them which ones to buy.

I felt bad making that executive decision when we started, but at the end, it was better for everyone for me to just decide so we could all move on.

And strangely, that’s how most of these decisions leading up to my wedding are getting made. The wedding day is just about two months away, and there are still a disturbing amount of decisions left to be made.

But I don’t really have opinions on a lot of this stuff. Our signature drink? The color of my dress sash? What shade of white our invitations come in?

It is disturbing how quickly you can go from caring 0% about something to spending two hours in a paper store obsessing over envelope size and stock. Because suddenly I’ve gone from having no opinion on most of this stuff to spending a good deal of money on all of it. And once I start spending money on things, I really want them to be nice.

But I don’t have a major idea in my head of the correct way to do most of these things.  I just know things need to get done. So decisions get made.

If I didn’t have a lot of control over my life, or if I had always dreamed of how my wedding would be, all these decisions might be awesome.

But I work at a startup, where we make rushed decisions all day long. At work I know how things should be done, which makes that a lot easier. Considering I’m learning most wedding traditions as I go, I’m just hoping we don’t regret many of the random things we’re choosing.

(Like maybe the fact that we bought wedding bands at a sample sale this week? It seems weird to purchase our most expensive pieces of jewelry during a flash sale. But they’re really nice? Hopefully we don’t regret that one!)

But with eight weeks left before the wedding, we’re just deciding on things to get them done. Did I mention I might be moving in two weeks?

Almost nothing about a wedding is mandatory (save for the marrying a fiance part). But there are so many traditions and themes and theories that people have about the “proper” way to do things that it is disturbingly easy to fall into a rabbit hole of etiquette rules and regulations. (For example. Check out this comment section on last week’s post about bar policies.)

Who wants to be on the wrong side of an etiquette decision? Nobody.

The thing that I keep trying to remember is that literally no one cares how you come down on any variety of decisions that lead up to a wedding. No one will notice the linen finish on my invitations or the amount of research I did to find an Etsy seller who was cheaper than my local paper store.

Of course, it’s really hard to remember that when you’re presented with four different shades of white paper and someone tells you to only use first names on your inner envelopes (Inner envelopes! I still don’t know what those are for?!).

And yes, I realize the irony in writing all this as someone who spent two hours in a paper store last week. Onward!

Meghan Keane is getting married in October. This column is helping her cope.

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  • Pat

    My bridesmaids came from different countries so it was impossible for me to get the same dress for everyone. So I asked them to wear black, and I made matching silk scarves for all of them. The scarf was actually a good idea since one of my bridesmaids showed up wearing the black dress, yes, but revealing way too much!

  • Megan

    Don’t worry about the wedding bands!

    It’s always something you can change up later. My husband loves his band. Mine? Not so much. Jeweler didn’t exactly do it correctly. So we’re going to have it melted down and made into a different style ring. In the meantime, I’m wearing an old sterling silver ring from high school, just to have a band on my finger.

    If you don’t like them, change them. Take them to a jeweler, see what he can do. So they won’t match the ones in the wedding pictures–who cares? It’s the least thing you should worry about. :)

    (also, so is pretty much everything else. you spend money on it, you want it to look nice–but when you feel yourself going over that bridal edge, remember how much you *actually* care about embossing or table runners or centerpieces–not that much, in the big picture. it’s gonna be okay. make sure one of your sisters has a flask hidden somewhere for you. :)

    • Meghan Keane

      Ha. Good to know about the bands. Thanks!

  • Jen

    It sounds like you’re writing my story. I got married last year and I also did not care about a lot of the small details – all I wanted was great food, a top shelf bar and an amazing band, since those are the things people would remember (and still compliment me on). I had two bridesmaids and told them the color and store I wanted them to choose from; the rest was up to them. Both looked gorgeous, and they both appreciated having some direction (color) and some autonomy (style) in their choice. The one thing I do sort of regret – both girls showed up with horrible manicures. One had peach and the other bright green – against blue dresses, they were not pretty. But honestly, nobody noticed (except my mom, of course) and nobody cared – the guests weren’t there to see the bridesmaids’ manicures, they were there to eat, drink and be merry. Worry about the big picture, and let your mom/MIL/bridesmaids deal with the rest.

  • Steph

    I’m getting married in 4 weeks, so I know your pain. Any more, my decisions deal with how I want the ceremony programs to look, what music I want to have at during the ceremony, and then random little things that are obnoxious. I am at the point where I don’t care anymore. I just want it all to be done.

  • Dee

    After having one of those crying-pathetically-on-his-shoulder breakdowns about wedding expenses and bridesmaid dresses, my fiance and I decided to push off the wedding that we were planning for next year to the year after in order to save more money for it and steal more planning time. We will instead get married on the beach near the Cape Hatteras lighthouse on the date we originally selected next summer :) No wedding stress (well… delaying it, anyway), and just the two of us.