Wedding Planning Panic Alert: Downgraded To "Can Breathe Again, Cancel That Call To The Paramedics"

At any given time in America, I am willing to bet that there is a woman on a plane, with her laptop open in front of her, studying a wedding spreadsheet. There was one such woman on my plane this morning, in fact---it wasn't me, it was the girl in front of me, but what are the odds?---and a second woman, who was pacing the aisle with a fussy baby, happened to look over her shoulder. 

"Oh god," she said. "I remember that. How are you doing? Isn't it the worst? I detested wedding planning. I had spreadsheets, just like you, and all I can remember is really hating that year. I just found it really, really stressful. I tell you, pregnancy is easier than wedding planning. I promise."

[ATTENTION, LADIES WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED BOTH WEDDING PLANNING AND PREGNANCY! IS THIS TRUE? I FIND IT A LITTLE HARD TO BELIEVE, FRANKLY, CONSIDERING THERE IS NO PUKING IN WEDDING PLANNING. PLEASE TELL ME THE TRUTH.]

This weekend, however, we got so many items hammered off our wedding to-do list that I almost felt like laughing in a patronizing manner at the woman who hated wedding planning because ha! wedding planning! it's so easy and fun and delightful, you silly goose! come now, let's talk about napkin colors!, but then I remembered how I felt last week, before I got those items hammered off our wedding to-do list, and how it was basically like this: CANNOT BREATHE. AM SUFFOCATING. SHOVE YOUR STUPID NAPKIN COLORS UP YOUR----

Anyway! I guess what I'm trying to say is that we had a fairly successful weekend, wedding planning-wise. We all but decided on our caterer, we pretty much found a wedding car, we sorted out the matter of morning suits for the men---furthermore, we discovered that a top hat, gloves, and a cane could all be ours to keep for an additional $35 (though I don't really think we'll be taking advantage of that, sadly) (although perhaps Sean could keep them aside for future job interviews, how dapper would that be? Way to make a good impression!)---and I managed to use my 20% Off Memorial Day Coupon at Michael's before the 1pm deadline. (Why is there a deadline on a coupon at Michael's? I have no idea. ONLY MICHAEL HIMSELF KNOWS.)

And then there was my dress. Oh, my dress.

You may remember that when I was looking for my dress, I never really had the "this is the one!" moment: you know, with the tears and the champagne and the waving of the hands in front of the face like a Miss Universe contestant. Possibly it was because I was looking for that moment, or possibly because the moment happened so quietly---"hmm, I kind of don't want to take this dress off"---that I missed it altogether. Nevertheless, the dress I bought was the one I adored. And yet when I got back from the Bahamas on Sunday night and saw the brown UPS box sitting on the bedroom floor, I couldn't bring myself to open it.

I didn't open it on Monday either. Or on Tuesday, or on Wednesday, or on Thursday. What was I afraid of? Oh, everything, I guess: that I wouldn't like it anymore. That it wouldn't fit. That it wouldn't be right.

On Friday, I dared myself to do it. I opened the box, the dress sprung out, and there it was, totally out of place in my messy bedroom, breathtakingly beautiful and breathtakingly impractical all at once. I stepped into it, did it up, and looked at myself in the mirror. And then I did a curious thing. I started to cry, but then I changed my mind and started to laugh instead. And then I cried a little, and laughed a little more, and there I was on a Friday afternoon, standing frozen in front of my mirror in a wedding dress for a good fifteen minutes, alternately laughing and crying, my cats staring up at me like I was a lunatic, and that's when I had my moment. It's the one, I thought. This is absolutely the one.

And thank god, because I'd already paid for it by then.

1
Kavita
May 26, 2009

This made me think of Kahlil Gibran's "Laughter and Tears IX". I know, not really the same, and then I thought, why not, the lass found love didn't she.

Also, I have to change the timings of my 5 minute breaks,so I don't come in tops!;-)

2
Drew
May 26, 2009

Neither pregnancy (so far) nor wedding planning was particularly hard, but I guess it says a lot that I got married in green ("the one") and slept in a tent on my honeymoon. The waiting, however, for this tiny thing inside of me that I am dying to meet to come out (11 days) is killing me. That is by far the hardest thing ever.

3
Jacqui
May 27, 2009

Weddings are as complicated as you want to make them. Pregnancy is bit less controllable - sometimes they're uncomplicated, sometimes they're not. Based on my experience pregnancy was more complex (planning it was very easy!) and full of worry than getting married, but then we had a very simple wedding without a lot of formal carry-on. Frankly I think comparisons like that are a bit apples and oranges, like one I saw recently "what's harder, motherhood or marriage?" How on earth do you quantify that?

4
Camels & Chocolate
May 27, 2009

Um, is it a bad sign that I ALREADY have spreadsheets?!

5
jonniker
May 27, 2009

I think they're both equally hard, in different ways. Both were emotional trainwrecks for me.

6
edj
May 27, 2009

At least with babies you don't have to have spreadsheets.

7
Momcat
May 27, 2009

I think decision making is hard with wedding arrangement if you view every decision as being a matter of life or death - I didn't! The worst thing for me with my youthful self-confidence issues was being the centre of attraction for a whole day! However that said, I think I was the calmest of everyone that day. With babies (for me 5 months after the wedding - busy year!) it was a case of facing things as they occurred. After choosing a gynae and hospital its a long wait and then a strenuous day followed by a new situation on an ongoing basis. I know that year was the year that I jumped ahead in leaps and bounds in self-confidence (1987) as I became a wife and a mom in close succession. Just enjoy every moment. The wedding is just the beginning - the marriage is more important - the birth is just the beginning - the nurturing is more important. Cheers.

8
Raz
May 27, 2009

I wish I could know how it looked, but I'm glad that you feel so comfortable in it. The best kind of dresses are the ones that make you feel like it's special even without the make-up/hair/shoes etc.

9
Sheila
May 27, 2009

Laughter through tears is one of my favorite emotions, and in my experience, both wedding and pregnancy had me snuffling and smiling in just about equal measure.

I recommend putting on the dress every time the wedding planning gets suffocating. (But not for Sean. He'll have to make do with the top hat and cane.)

10
Amanda Blog and Kiss
May 27, 2009

I got married in green too, just like Drew up there!

I have no opinion about normal weddings (having had a Las Vegas one prepared 2 days beforehand- so easy! so fast! over in 7 and a half minutes!), nor about children (having not had any), but it sounds like the worst is behind you!

Hopefully now you can breathe a bit easier and maybe enjoy the rest of the time that you have as a non-married couple?

(PS it will feel the same afterwards as it does now! especially since you guys have been together and lived together for so long.)

(PPS that's a good thing!)

11
Linda
May 27, 2009

Let's think about this for a minute, throwing up for 9 months vs. planning a wedding? Nope, I don't need the minute, planning a wedding is NOT EVEN CLOSE to as hard as my two pregnancies. However, I had many friends who had wonderful pregnancies without one moment of nausea (I wish). I'm only speaking for myself.

12
whoorl
May 27, 2009

My pregnancy was definitely easier than wedding planning. Now, the birthing part? Um, no.

You're almost there, though! (Referring to the wedding, of course.)

13
Belly Girl
May 27, 2009

I think the most stressful thing about wedding planning (no matter how much you tell yourself that you are making decisions ONLY to make you and your hubbie-to-be happy) is that you KNOW that everyone is going to be judging all your very personal decisions. You wonder if people will say "yikes, I would NOT have chosen the xyz for the centerpiece" etc......But the thing about pregnancy is that it is what it is - people can't really say "Hmm, I would have gone with the blue eyed baby, myself...."

14
Lily
May 27, 2009

Pregnancy was WORLDS easier than planning a wedding, and I had two at once. : ) Babies, not weddings.

15
Caroline
May 27, 2009

Oh, DO keep the top hat and the cane and the gloves!!! Why not?!?? They might come in very handy on Halloween... you could dress up as Mr. Peanut!!!

All I'm sayin' is that I have been married for almost a decade, our kids are over 18, and right this minute? I WISH I HAD A TOP HAT, A CANE AND SOME GLOVES. I really do. For him? Nahhhh. For ME.

And your future grandchildren can eventually play dress-up with 'em and with your wedding gown. How cool would THAT be???

16
Kerri Anne
May 27, 2009

I'm just so! excited for you.

17
Alicia
May 27, 2009

Pregnancy is harder! Wedding planning was fun! Sure there were stressful moments, but it was fun because I didn't let myself get too wound up over stupid things (napkins, table seating, bridesmaid's hair). I picked a handful of things that were important to me (the right church, the right priest, the right dress and the right groom, of course) everything else was just icing on the cake. I figured as long as there was food and booze, people would be fine. Pregnancy... not a walk in the park and the pay off may result in a torn perineum. Pending any crazy honeymoon antics, a wedding usually keep your taint in tact.

18
beyond
May 27, 2009

i am guessing that pregnancy is harder. because there's a wee person (that you are responsible for!) involved. and then there's the whole giving birth thing. but what do i know? i got married in a chocolate brown dress at city hall...
glad you like your dress!

19
Chaos Control
May 27, 2009

I'm unqualified to comment on which is more difficult ... wedding planning vs. pregnancy only because I eloped. Barefoot. On a beach. In Maui ... and never looked back.

Pregnancy sucked yet was amazingly fun at the same time. I'm guessing kind of like wedding planning?

But what's been the hardest from the being-judged-by-others standpoint is the actual raising of a child. THAT, I was not prepared for at all ....

20
Sara
May 27, 2009

Ohh, the spreadsheets. Ack. Remind me not to have spreadsheets when it's time for me to have a baby, because I'm sure I'll find a way (hello? all the stuff they need, is everything on track?, growth, vacation accrual, blahblahblah...) Lord knows I had enough to keep everyone running in circles for my wedding, even trying to be "simple" about it.
I bought my dress off the rack and never really had the moment then, but I was living away from home for the year while my husband finished school, so friends would come and visit. I'd never suggest we look at the dress, kind of like you couldn't bring yourself to take it out of the box. But in the end, after they pestered me to put it on, there was squealing and wet eyes :)

Good luck keeping your sanity - just keep breathing!

21
movindowtheroad
May 27, 2009

I hated planning my wedding. I am divorced now. But with a wonderful man. We recently had a discussion that we won't have a wedding. We'll elope with my kids, down in Boston at the courthouse and then have a big jam session party with friends and family (musicians) at our local piano bar.

22
TamiA
May 27, 2009

Don't ask me, I eloped to Vegas and proceeded to have the easiest pregnancies in the history of mankind.
Btw, "awww" on that post. Can't wait til Sept. when you post photos!

23
Melissa
May 27, 2009

Yes. Pregnancy was definitely easier for me. Skip every single "you must have this for your new child" list, and you'll be fine. the only things you really need are diapers. Everything else can be improvised if necessary. :)

You are going to have the best time.

The best wedding advice I received, btw, I will pass to you: "Stop at least once on your Day and consciously say to yourself--this is for me and for [Sean], and all these people are here because they love us." It's easy to get to the end of the day otherwise and have missed it all!

Best wishes to you!! :)

24
Caroline
May 27, 2009

Sweetie. Next time you get all stressed out, please take my advice. This is advice from someone who planned her wedding in less than 5 months, by the way (with a spreadsheet). And it's going to sound blasphemous. But...

It's not that big a deal.

It's a single day. A few hours. The blink of an eye in the life you're creating together. You're going to wake up the next day and kick yourself that you freaked out so much over something that's already over and done with. I can guarantee you that no one gives a crap about what color your napkins are. People care about good food, good music, free-flowing drinks and great conversation. Everything else is ancillary, and while of course you want to make it as lovely as possible, keep your head in the game and remember - it's not that big a deal.

All you need to get married is your partner and your officiant.

25
Jennifer R
May 27, 2009

As someone who is currently pregnant, let me tell you this:
Pregnancy is way harder!
I have never been so stressed out in my life. Only because I want everything to be ok with the baby. When my husband and I were planning our wedding, we did everything in a manner that would stress us out the least. Different centerpieces for tables, yep. That way I didn't have to pick one and if I saw more I like, I could have those too. But I think both are stressful for different reasons. Enjoy your planning now!

26
Jill
May 27, 2009

I am so very happy that you found THE dress. Because really, you're going to be looking at photos of the dress for years to come.

And I thoroughly agree with Caroline. The morning I woke up on "the big day" with shaking, nervous insides, I realized it's just one day. Just one day and it's for me and my honeypie, so I better enjoy it as much as possible while it lasts. No one will remember the details. Everyone will remember the joy and fun. Make sure you get to enjoy it, too.

27

Wedding planning is much harder than pregnancy.

And I had twins.

(But don't get me started on having newborns, that is way harder than planning a wedding.)

28
mjb
May 27, 2009

My husband loves having a list to keep track of everything there is to do, and it was his job to make all of the wedding phone calls because he's better at bargaining with people. So I wouldn't say my 7 week engagement wasn't stressful, but the bulk of the stress wasn't on my end!

29
Helen Jane
May 27, 2009

Pregnancy even with morning sickness was way better than wedding planning.

And babies smell better than spreadsheets.
(Most of the time.)

30
angela
May 28, 2009

Pregnancy is WAYYY easier than wedding planning, believe me!!!

Can't wait to see wedding pics.

31
Kate
May 28, 2009

I have been married for nearly 2 years and am now 34 weeks pregnant, and I would say that wedding planning is MUCH harder and more stressful than pregnancy. At least if you don't have a million dollar planner in your corner. I always say that as much as I loved my wedding, if I woke up tomorrow and it was all a dream and I had to plan it all over again, I'd say "screw it" and elope.

Pregnancy, however, is much more fraught with worry and fear, so they're both pretty freaking hard. But both are so awesomely worth it, cliche as that may be.

32
Melanie
May 28, 2009

I'm so glad you're getting everything settled! Don't let anyone tell you otherwise -- I LOVE hearing about your wedding planning. :)

33
Operation Pink Herring
May 28, 2009

Last night, after entering the responses that came back that day into my wedding RSVP spreadsheet, I just kept the excel page open and admired it for a good ten minutes. I love spreadsheets in general, but I love this one best. There are moments when I feel frustrated and overwhelmed, but on the whole I have loved wedding planning.

Also: I refuse to believe that having a human child is easier than ANYTHING.

34
Anna
May 28, 2009

Pregnancy is not that hard. It can be quite unpleasant at times (much sympathy Linda!), but unless you have major health problems, it’s not really stressful. Having a newborn baby though... really quite taxing and a bit scary! My rather cursory wedding planning hasn’t given me much experience of it yet, but I’m imagining that it will be harder than pregnancy and easier than having a baby.

35
charise
May 28, 2009

oh, i heart spreadsheets! my file for the wedding has separate pages for the wedding and honeymoon budgeted/actual expenses, guest list with various possible total numbers, addresses, vendor contact info, and do not play/must play lists for the dj. like oph, i also just last night sat and admired my spreadsheet. i thrive on organization and details.

i have had minor little stress outs maybe a few times during the planning, but then again, a 2.5 year long engagement means i could took care of something when i wanted to and didn't feel the need to make a lot of decisions at once.

and my god, i don't think my pain threshold or tendency toward nausea will handle pregnancy very well.

36
jen
May 28, 2009

I think whether a wedding is more difficult than pregnancy depends on whether you have good pregnancy or bad pregnancy. I know people who LOVE being pregnant so they would probably say being pregnant is easier. Then you have people like me who seriously don't want a second child only because of the pregnancy part. And I never threw up. Still hated being pregnant. I would plan two weddings at the same time over being pregnant again. Blech.

37
Kristabella
May 29, 2009

I have experienced neither (way to rub it in my face Holly, that I am CHILDLESS and a SPINSTER with cats!) but I'm going to guess that as hard as wedding planning is, the end result is better than pregnancy. And the end of the wedding planning you get a WEDDING! With DRINKS! And a honeymoon! And people lavishing you with attention!

At the end of pregnancy you have to push a watermelon out your hoo-hah! And yes, you get a beautiful baby, but that baby cries and shits its pants.