Guest Post: Jessica @ Of Revolt

Aug 21, 2012

I'm not gonna lie, I've had a slight blog crush on Jessica (@ Of Revolt) for a while now.
She's also a fantastic writer with a huge desire for adventure (I mean, she and her fiancé just returned from a roadtrip across the entire country) 
She's kinda the coolest, and she's about to get married too!
I'm such a huge fan of her writing style, and I was thrilled when she agreed to guest post for me while I was gone!

How Not to Completely Lose Your Mind When Planning the Wedding of Your Dreams

You’ve just gotten engaged? Congratulations! You will now spend the next year of your life gorging on gourmet cupcakes whilst reading wedding blogs for up to 12 hours a day in a hideous downward spiral of matrimonial overload and confusion preparing for the wedding of your dreams! 

Perhaps that was a tad dramatic: planning a wedding CAN be fun. Really fun, even. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy tasting appetizers or choosing a fun color scheme? There are lots of truly enjoyable elements to creating the ceremony that feels authentic to you as a couple, but when I got engaged back in December 2010, I had no idea just how much work it would really be. 

I’m just a few short weeks away from being a Mrs. (September 15th baby, woot woot!), so I thought I’d share a few things that have helped keep me sane(r) in the lead-up to the big day:

1. Enlist the help of friends and family (and your fiancé!) early on. 
Hi everyone. My name is Jessica, and I am addicted to being in control. (Hi Jessica!). For the first, oh, fifteen months of our engagement I felt that every single little task was MY job or MY responsibility because it was MY wedding. Finally, after running out of Bloomingdale’s in tears because I couldn’t even pick out a new lipstick, my brain was like, Girl, I am OVER this. You need to outsource! And I was like, Oh my god Brain, you’re totally right! This isn’t MY wedding, it’s OUR wedding! 

So I started handing out tasks to anyone who offered: my mom scouted venues. One aunt negotiated discounted rates for hotels. Another aunt and uncle helped us lock down the ceremony location. My sister created a playlist of awesome dance songs. And Dan (who’d been asking all along how he could help) has been an awesome decision maker: when I couldn’t look at one more color swatch/invitation suite/cupcake (yes, there IS such a thing as cupcake excess [sad face]), he just stepped right in and said “That one.” Phew. 

2. Watch silly movies about getting hitched. 
It sounds kind of corny, but hear me out: watching Bridesmaids or My Big Fat Greek 

Wedding helped me remember that there is no such thing as the perfect wedding day: inevitably, something will go wrong. Even when I’m knee deep in crepe paper and cursing myself for my imagined crafting skills (I have Martha Stewart aspirations and a Roseanne Barr reality), turning on one of those funny flicks gave me the fresh perspective that I really needed. In addition to the two I mentioned above, I highly recommend Wedding Crashers, The Hangover, The Wedding Singer, and The Sound of Music, because Julie Andrews can fix anything.

3. Avoid taking on big projects.
I have a serious allergy to boredom. Blame it on our multitask-loving culture, but the second I feel any sort of restlessness I go, “New project!” But taking on new projects right before your wedding is sort of like getting a puppy for Christmas: sounds like a great idea, but all of a sudden there’s pee on your presents and your favorite shoes have been chewed to smithereens.

In the few months right before our wedding I’ve taken on a freelance writing contract, started training to become a yoga teacher, and co-founded a music booking agency with my fiancé in addition to a regular blogging schedule. Crazy much? All of these things have been wonderful additions to my life, but I sure could’ve used a couple beach bum days this summer – so if you can’t avoid big changes (and sometimes we really can’t, right? Life is a big, beautiful, complicated mess), definitely make time in your schedule for breaks, both by yourself and with your future spouse. Which leads me to number 4:

4. Don’t stop dating!
I cannot stress this enough: continue pursuing your mate as though you only met each other a month ago. Planning such a big event – and, let’s be real here, even daily life – can put a strain on the romance. At the beginning of this month, Dan and I realized that we hadn’t spent any quality time together in weeks! We instated a weekly coffee date as time to talk about everything BUT the wedding: we could chat about anything that was on our minds, even work woes, as long as it didn’t become a whine session. Once we gave ourselves those parameters, we naturally gravitated towards talking about the stuff that sparked our initial flirtation: places we wanted to travel, cool new music we were listening to, books we loved, UFO sightings (don’t judge). Find time for charm.

5. Wield the word “no” as you would a mighty sword.
You may be shocked by the requests people make of you and your betrothed – but you shouldn’t. Peeps is freaks, fo’ real. So don’t be afraid to whip out your NO stick when people start interfering. You want an all-vegan dinner, but your meat-loving family wants steak? NO. You want an intimate afternoon ceremony, but the parents demand a big evening bash? NO. You want an ice cream sundae table, but Great Aunt Milly insists on a traditional wedding cake? NO, NO, A HUNDRED TIMES NO. 

This can get a little messy when, for example, one or both of your families are contributing money towards paying for the event – they’ll likely have expectations for how that cash will be used. Decide early on what matters most to you and what you’re willing to compromise on. But remember that, at the end of the day, YOU’RE the couple getting married! So don’t be afraid to remind folks that, while you appreciate their input and respect their opinions, this day celebrates the love between you and your fiancé, and the wedding should be a reflection of your relationship – not anyone else’s. 

What do you guys think? Did you do anything special to stay sane in the months leading up to a wedding – whether it was yours or someone else’s? I’d love to hear!

Also, big thanks to Emily for having me as a guest writer on Dashboard Diary! ♥


The Management said...

I think we all need a nice little reminder to wield the word "no" as a mighty sword ;)

Jessica said...

I agree! All too often we take on more than we can handle or end up with something we don't want, when a simple "no" in the first place could have kept us out of the mess.

Anonymous said...

True that! Being on the same page with your fiance right from the beginning, supporting each other and making decisions together (mixed in with patience and clear communication to your family and friends) can work wonders. Or...there's always eloping... :):)

Kate said...

Awesome tips! We got married 3 months ago and I agree whole heartedly with your tips.
There is a lot of little tips I would add but the nuts and bolts of it are:
1. Its your day; make sure you are happy with the decisions (you can't please everyone and don't try to).
2. Smile and enjoy the day even when things go wrong;
3. Most importantly - when planning remember that it is about you and your partner committing to each other. If it is just him/her, you and a celebrant that will get the job done. Everything else is a nice extra.

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