People Will Wear Jeans and 15 Other Wedding Planning Stresses You Can’t Control
We get it; you put a lot of effort into planning your dream wedding. You DIY’d a bunch of small details, spent an extraordinary amount of time seeking out a stunning wedding cake and may have even rented a bit of crazy entertainment. But no matter how much you try, you can’t control every aspect of your wedding. And it can amount to a lot of stress. Sometimes it can be hard to let go and see the forest for the trees, but if you know that, yes, people will wear jeans to your formal reception and that not every detail will be done flawlessly, it can help to manage that stress. So what are those things you can’t control? Well, we’re glad you asked…
You have to plan way far in advance
Congratulations! You’re engaged! What should you do next? Everything, basically. And right away. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, the best wedding venues, caterers, cake shops, florists and DJs in your area are well known. And if you want the best of the best, you have to book way, way in advance. It’s not unheard of for venues and photographers to be booked up for a whole year. That’s not to say some amazing vendors aren’t available on a short notice, but if you’re a particularly picky bride or groom, you’re going to want to get to work ASAP.
You won’t be able to afford everything you want
Unless you’re working with a Kardashian-level party budget, you’re going to have to learn how to budget your wedding. You may dream of a custom wedding dress, towering bouquets of peonies and a meal catered by the best restaurant in your state, but that’s a tall order. Prioritize where you spend your dollars based on what’s important to you, your fiancé and your loved ones. When this writer was planning her wedding, her venue coordinator told her most people walk away from a wedding remembering the food, the music and the dress. We found that to mostly be true — a wedding is a party, after all! — so consider putting your money into those things.
Others will have opinions…
Very few couples plan their weddings in a vacuum. You’ll likely enlist the help of your parents, your future in-laws, your wedding party and other close friends and family members. And those people will have their own thoughts about your big day. While they should defer final picks to you and your betrothed, that won’t always be the case, especially if they’re helping to pay for the big day. Dealing with others and compromising is stressful. Just prepare yourself for feedback on your clothing choices, the bridesmaid dresses, wedding cake flavors and even small details like the color of cloth napkins during the reception.
…And sometimes they’re better
You may think that a blue tablecloth is the key to having a stunning wedding reception, but the people around you may insist that white would really be a cleaner look, especially considering how dark the carpets in your venue are. It can be hard to see the forest for the trees when you’re planning your wedding, and that’s stressful for everyone involved. Be receptive to feedback; you’ll be surprised by how much others’ input can make your day even better.
RSVPs will roll in late
The most polite people know that you technically only have 24 hours to RSVP to a wedding invite, but that’s a pretty old-fashioned rule of etiquette, and most people won’t follow it. You can say to send a pre-stamped envelope with a check yes or check no and a mark for chicken or fish by June 1, but people are still going to miss that deadline. And you will have to hunt them down. To save some of this stress, give your guests a little wiggle room (if your caterer needs the numbers by June 1, mark your RSVPs for May 24). You also will have to call some people. Just accept it and remember your wedding is an exciting occasion, but it isn’t everyone’s No. 1 priority.
People won’t show up…
About 10 to 20 percent of wedding guests will decline your invitation, but there will be an even smaller percentage of invited guests who confirm their attendance and still just… don’t show up. Last-minute emergencies definitely can happen. Maybe the babysitter couldn’t show up or the car broke down en route. It’s stressful because of course you want your loved ones at your big day and at such a late point in the wedding process, you’ve already paid for their meal and drinks. But there’s no point sweating it.
…And extra folks will come
For every guest who doesn’t come, expect a wedding crasher. Maybe your family friend’s daughter’s new boyfriend decided that he was worthy of an invite and the family RSVPs for six when you gave them five seats. Or maybe someone will sneak in for the open bar from an adjoining ballroom at your event center. Sneaking in to weddings or not understanding the concept of a cost per plate is just one of those behaviors people don’t know are rude.
The flowers you want may not be in season…
You may dream of a bouquet of peonies, but unless you’re getting married during a very small time frame, those flowers simply won’t be available. Or they will be prohibitively expensive. If this décor is the most important thing to you, plan your wedding for the appropriate season. Otherwise, you may have to compromise. Luckily, some stunning, classic wedding flowers such as roses, hydrangea, calla lilies, daisies and baby’s breath are always in season.
...Or may not show up in full bloom
Try as hard as they might, florists can’t always control flowers. When this writer got married, her bouquet of roses was a little less than full. It was disappointing, but nature is nature. The photos of the bouquet still turned out wonderfully. It’s just one of those things that reminds you that you can plan and plan and plan your wedding day, but sometimes the universe has other plans. It may snow 18 inches on your wedding day, your makeup may get smudged before you even walk down the aisle or you could break a heel. You just have to learn to roll with the punches.
Something won’t fit someone
Your groomsmen can give their exact measurements to a suitmaker, your bridesmaids could get their dresses resized and you could have bought a custom gown, tailored perfectly to your every inch. But things happen. Maybe that measuring tape was off or your maid-of-honor is bloated or your fiancé lost a little too much weight due to nerves. Something will inevitably be a little off, be it a dress strap, belt or shoe. Just remember to bring along some handy items like a sewing kit and Band-Aids and you’ll be just fine.
There will be a gaffe at the ceremony
Someone will pass gas. Or someone will mispronounce your new last name. Or maybe a groomsman trips while walking down the aisle, or a baby starts crying right as you say “I do” or you drop your wedding rings. You can practice and practice your wedding ceremony, but life happens! Something silly will happen. And that’s OK. It may seem stressful in the moment, but in just a few short days, it’ll be a funny anecdote.
People will wear jeans
Unless you label your wedding as a black tie affair, someone from some distant relation will show up wearing jeans. Or a T-shirt. Or dirty boots. This person doesn’t mean any harm, they may just not know the definition of “formal attire.”
Someone will wear white
Wedding guests can also just be a little oblivious. It may seem obvious to you that a woman who isn’t the bride shouldn’t wear white to a wedding, but some ladies don’t know that rule (or feel it is antiquated). They may wear a white summer dress or a similarly distracting gown to your ceremony and reception. It’s infuriating, but there’s nothing to be done. If you learn just one thing about the stresses that accompany planning your wedding, it should be that you can’t control other people.
The DJ will play a song you hate
You can put Journey on your do-not-play list, but someone at your reception will still request “Don’t Stop Believin’,” and the DJ will forget your hatred for ‘80s arena rock. Or maybe right as the party gets going, someone decides it’s time to get down to “Cotton-Eyed Joe,” even though you’ve hated line dances for as long as you can remember. Unless you DJ your own wedding or rule over the playlist with an iron fist, one song you’re not a huge fan of will roll into the mix. Just dance along and laugh it off or use the restroom during this point. Other people just might be enjoying themselves.
People will get way too drunk
You could have foregone a fully stocked bar for just beer and wine in order to curb the lushes in your social group, but people will find a way to get sloshed while sipping on Bud Light and cabernet. Heck, even if you have a dry wedding, something called a flask exists. As we’ve mentioned before, a wedding is a party, and people want to indulge. As much as you may try, someone will happen to overindulge. Just don’t let it throw your evening off.
You will get gifts you didn’t register for
You may already have a panini press or a toaster, but not everyone you know is aware of that fact, and they’ll just so happen to buy you one anyway. Even if you make your Amazon registry well known to all of your guests, someone will still just head over to Target or Macy’s and buy whatever they feel like for your big day. Be grateful for any gift, especially if it’s one of the most popular wedding registry items.
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