Escape from the Wedding Planning Slump

by Aleisha

By Bridechilla Michelle

After I got engaged, I told myself I was going to take the planning slow, have a super long engagement (since Ryan and I are only 23 and what’s the rush, right?) and not go crazy… Which I did... for about two weeks. Then I suddenly and without warning fell into a wedding planning black hole and started doing EVERYTHING.

I started using wedding wire to look at venues, pinning with a vigour I could not have previously imagined, becoming obsessed with vineyards, binging Bridechilla at work… and within about three days, I realized that this was going to cost way more than I thought a “reasonable” price would be. So I slowed down… a little. I still locked down my bridesmaids, wrote ALL THE LISTS, made budgets, pinned and pinned, researched and researched, and was feeling pretty good about it.
Two months after getting engaged, we toured my number one venue, which was perfect and had a discount for holiday weekends, so we booked it. Now we had our date and venue, but needed all the other stuff – which again, is way more stuff than I previously thought about.
My wedding philosophy quickly became something like, “If you’re going to spend a lot of money, get your money’s worth. But preferably don’t spend a lot of money.”
We’re not on a shoestring budget, but I refuse to go into debt over this or spend too much of our parents’ and our money on one day.After the awesomeness of the venue, I was all revved up with wedding glee. Our guest list was reasonable and had almost no obligation guests, we were going to be able to bring our own alcohol, and I had a day of coordinator option within the venue. I was a master at this planning thing, and I and continued researching and contacting other vendors. Then came the trouble.Photographers quickly made me depressed. All the ones with beautiful pictures either didn’t list a price (which is ANNOYING) or listed a price of $5,000 or more. Now, I am a designer and artist, and I get it. But as a person contemplating spending actual money, I just… got the sadness. I started looking into other options like using student photographers who charge way less, but my heart wasn’t in it.Then my fiancé and I adopted a one-year-old dog, and I was happily distracted from all things wedding (except thinking how cute Diego would look in a matching bow tie to Ryan’s). When I finally resurfaced from blissful new doggie world and started trying to get back into wedding stuff, I just really… didn’t want to.

The caterers I contacted kept taking ages to return my inquiries and were usually lacking what I consider basic email politeness. When I finally got quotes, those quotes made me sad, too. There was always something off about each caterer, so I gave up on that for a while.Since realizing how much wedding dresses cost, I have avoided actually looking into them. The ones that look omg-gorgeous-pinning-it-right-now cost way more than I want to spend on anything ever. I became tired of the repeated cycle of:
1) see pretty dress,
2) picture self in dress,
3) locate price of dress,
4) cry inside,
5) stop looking at dresses for a while.

So now I tell myself that once I lose 5 pounds (I KNOW, THAT’S NOT VERY CHILLA OF ME, BUT I GET ONE CRAZY THING, OKAY!?) I’ll go to actual stores and start trying things on in person. The concept that I heard on the podcast about buying a white-ish high end bridesmaid dress instead of a 5x more expensive “wedding gown” is probably going to work out for me, so thank you to whoever gave that tip. I sort of want to start doing invitation stuff, but the whole concept of invitations has come to annoy me and my bridechilla brain.
We’re ten months out, so invites aren’t urgent yet, but it’s a holiday weekend so guests should book hotels sooner than normal.If I can just rant for a minute, why does society expect me to message my friends and family via contact information I actually have on them (phone, email, and facebook), get them to tell me their address so I can send them a piece of paper, then spend money printing that piece of paper and mailing it, and then print another one months later because somehow the first one wasn’t enough of an invitation, then force all my friends to go to the post office and mail me that paper back, and then hope the post office didn’t lose any papers and count up all the people. Why can’t I just send people a nice digital invite and digital means of RSVPing in that initial digital message that I send them!? Why is the wedding industry such a paper snob!? So, yeah, I’m not motivated to do that either.
My backlog of side projects for the near future keeps creeping up on me and saying, “remember that tattoo idea you had? And that novel concept? And Diego is going to need a winter coat next month, you’d better sew one right now. Don’t forget about that painting idea you had! And you should visit your grandma. Oh, look, NETFLIX!”

So I sort of find myself in this slump where I really don’t want to go through any planning stuff. I wish a magic fairy who works for free would just fall out of the sky and say, “here’s a friendly and affordable caterer, and I called that DJ you like and he’s cool too, and don’t worry about centerpieces because I totally have a plan, and here’s ten thousand more dollars on a special wedding-only card! Now you can just talk excitedly with your bridesmaids and look forward to the party.

Ryan’s been helpful and has some opinions, but he only really cares about 20% of the wedding planning. Neither of our moms has the urge to give more input into the wedding than, “yeah, what you said sounds good, and let’s get a lot of wine,” so I don’t have anyone prodding me to keep moving on these decisions. Even my glorious lists in my nice designated wedding notebook aren’t really exciting me anymore.So… what do I do? I’m actually asking. I can’t be the first bride who just got tired of the whole thing.Here’s my shortlist of possible solutions that I will try to get things moving again:
1. Write this post. Hopefully determined thought specifically about weddings will get me in the grove again. But I’m almost done writing and I don’t feel any magic sparks… so this may not have worked.
2. Diet and run with my little dog to lose those five pounds so my arms look like the arms I had last year, then visit a dress store (though not one that keeps using words like “boutique” and “chandeliers” because if I see too many huge price tags I’m just going to lose it). Hopefully my estrogen and girl brain will kick in and the prettiness will super charge me.
3. Suck it up and lock down one vendor. My likely photography prospect is a student photographer relative who is going to send me some pictures from the wedding she’s shooting this month, so if all looks well, I’ll make up a contract with her and that piece of the puzzle will be solved. Maybe checking another box off my lists will be satisfying enough to keep me going again.
4. Make the wedding website. This should be something my designer soul enjoys, so I’m hoping that the desire to have more information to put into the website will make me actually gather and secure that information.
5. Test out sangria/cocktail recipes (because fun!) for use as our signature drink… mainly just because we love sangria cocktails and I can sort of use the wedding as an excuse to feel fancy and creative by mixing lots of them in my tiny kitchen.… That’s all I’ve got.
Please, if you have been in a slump and escaped it or if you’re just a genius who has ideas on getting past the slump, tell me what they are! I’m stuck and a little sad. Weddings are hard.I hope this post delivers me with other bridechillas’ ideas to get un-stuck, and maybe makes other slumped brides feel better about their own non-wedding-motivation, because this is a lot of shit and I just want to take naps with my dog.

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