A couple of weeks ago, Jessica shared BuzzFeed's comical post about the 39 Stages of Being a Bride. It was hilarious! I laughed so hard for the things I'd felt and the things I just knew were on the horizon. To be honest, I'd been a little all over the place, but was a firm Stage 6 Bride–“a slight unease sets in.”
I'd already been bombarded with a ton of questions, received a ton of unsolicited advice, and started to feel the pressure of planning a budget wedding on a timeline many have pointed out is “short” (lol).
According to BuzzFeed's list, I'd merely just begun. In the weeks that have passed since I read the article, I've reached many more stages in the cycle of being a bride and I'm certain to repeat some of the stages several times over until we make a firm decisions about the big things.
Venue and catering will have the biggest impact on our budget, and as a result, they've been the hardest choices to make. In our search, there has always been something–too many restrictions, logistical problems, or hidden fees. Along with that, I've sought quotes from a number of different caterers, and it's surprising the number of businesses who don't follow-up or follow-through. Although, I am glad to know these things upfront.
After thinking we'd found THE venue about 5 times, I decided to temporarily put the venue search on hold to try other things like dresses for a pick-me-up. At least that way, I could figure out what I like and what might work for the type of venues we've been considering. I visited two stores and was surprised by what I encountered–the primary agents in both stores were rude. In one store, I witnessed the manager accost her sales associate for the dress she'd pulled for me while I was wearing it. And in the other store, I was told I needed to be more “realistic” about my budget for a dress. Thankfully, I know better. The dress shopping experience wasn't what I was hoping for in terms of a lift, but I did accomplish my goal of figuring out what I want in a dress.
I got back into vendor shopping and gathering catering quotes for the venue we both seemed to like. It was quite the dance as the venue had a number of restrictions on vendors and caterers. I charged on, hopeful that we'd found the one (for the last time). I hadn't been happy with most of the vendors on the approved list, but I loved the venue and just wanted everything to work. Well, all of those hoops were beginning to add up financially and I was beginning to feel the budget bride blues. I cut the budget of everything else because–did I mention?–I really loved the venue. I had finally almost reconciled the budget to fit our goal of $15k, and then it happened…Sherrod said the words, “It's not gonna work, Babe,” and then I lost it a little.
In a flash, I'd moved to stage 23. Literally, I said, “Forget it. Either we cut the list or we pay a little more…we have to make this work. There isn't anything else.”
Sherrod did the responsible thing. He didn't argue with me; he left me to my thoughts. While there, I realized that my words were so eerily similar to BuzzFeed's spoof that I could only laugh about it. I let go of all the frustrations that built up while walking down a dead end road and went back to my previous searches for a venue hoping to find something I'd overlooked, and guess what…?!
I found it!!! We're in the contracting phase and I don't want to jinx anything by saying too much too soon. It does mean a date change, but we're both really happy with the change. A full write-up on the venue is coming.
I'm sure this won't be the last time I feel blue about something relating to wedding planning, but it's all about remembering my purpose. In this process, I've learned to listen to my gut…and Sherrod :). If it doesn't feel right for one, it's probably not right for either of us. I was feeling blue a short while ago, but this is how I feel now: