Hitched 2.0: Help! I’m Getting Jaded

Three short months ago, I made a list of my bridal resolutions. First on that list: “Enjoy the rest of my planning.” Though I’d been a pretty relaxed bride up until that point, I could predict that would quickly change. With six months to go before the big day, I could feel the stress slowly starting to build and see the list of tedious tasks starting to grow. So, before it got too crazy, I made a public resolution not to let wedding planning get the best of me. Well, apparently, a public resolution wasn’t enough.

We now have three months left until our wedding, and in the past week or so, I felt myself reach a breaking point. I hate even admitting it, because from the second we got engaged, I was so adamant about enjoying our engagement and the planning process. I’ve been behind-the-scenes of enough other weddings, and heard about more than enough bridal meltdowns, to know how difficult that would be. Hell, I spent an entire summer interning for The Knot, where I learned all about the tons of teeny, tiny moving parts that make a wedding. I just thought I had the tools and the mindset to take it all in stride. I’m super type-A and insanely organized, and had almost two years to make everything perfect, so I figured it’d all be a breeze. HA.

I already caved and hired a month-of wedding coordinator to help with all of the nitty-gritty day-of details, which certainly lifted a huge weight off my shoulders and momentarily quelled my anxiety. But, the reality of everything we have to do before she even enters the picture has settled in, and I find myself harried and overwhelmed on a daily basis. I admittedly did not use my many months of engagement well, which has left me in a bit of a scramble to check off everything on the to-do list our planner passed along. Book a transportation vendor by April 1. Finalize the registry and share it with guests (who keep asking, and asking, and asking about it…). Create an outline for the ceremony. Buy wedding rings. Send invites.

When I think of how many things I haven’t done yet, my head spins. But it’s that last one on the list—send invites—that really sent me into a tizzy. I decided long ago that I would design my own Save the Dates and invites. I’m no master designer, but I took some classes in college and have dabbled in Photoshop ever since, so I was comfortable taking on the task. And I’m happy I did—I love how my Save the Dates turned out, and I’m super excited about my near-final invite designs. I just wish I had thought more about what happens after the computer work is done: Turning them into tangible invites and actually sending them out to our guests.

As I’ve toiled over what paper to use, where to get it, who can print the invites, how long it will take, and how we want to assemble them, I’ve watched that “reply by” date on the still-unprinted-and-unsent RSVP cards inch closer. And as it’s inched closer, I’ve gotten more stressed, more anxious, and more overwhelmed. And as I’ve gotten more stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed, I’ve become more indifferent and jaded. I’m no longer viewing the invite process as fun and creative. And I’m regarding more and more of the other to-do list items with dread. They’re not exciting wedding things; they’re tedious chores I can’t keep up with. Just this week, for the first time, I think I uttered the phrase, “I don’t even care anymore” in regards to a wedding-related deed.

But the thing is, I do care. I really do. I worked my ass off designing beautiful (in my humble opinion) invites for a reason. They represent an important, exciting day, so yeah, I want them to look nice in real life. And I am SO excited for my wedding, and even though I know it’s not about the flowers, or lighting, or photobooths, I also know I want those things to be pretty and fun and to represent us as a couple. I know many people scoff at the wedding industry, and at brides who get “sucked into” it. But I didn’t get sucked into it. I know the wedding industry is kind of nuts, but I consciously decided to have a somewhat traditional wedding. I decided to plan a day when most of our family and friends would be in one room together, and that room would have a special, romantic, celebratory vibe conjured in part by, yes, flowers and lighting and photobooths. I don’t regret going this route, and I know I will love it all on our wedding day. I just have to figure out how to love it now, and to remember my wedding to-do list is very different than my work to-do list, and should be treated as such. In short, I have to use my type-A-ness for good (getting shit done) rather than for evil (panicking about how much shit there is to get done).

Perhaps I’m naïve, but I still want to enjoy the final three months of our engagement, and to look back on wedding planning fondly. There’s no doubt this felt much more doable 18 months ago, when the engagement excitement was still fresh. But really, it’s no less exciting now—in fact, it’s more exciting because we’re actually, finally doing the damn thing in the very near future. Maybe this public declaration about it will be enough to remind me of that.

Hitched, our weekly column about getting married, is back! This time around, we’ll be walking down the aisle (well, in spirit) with writer Emma Sarran, who will be sharing her thoughts on long engagements, the institution of matrimony and that godforsaken wedding industrial complex every Thursday. Follow her on Twitter!