Budget Savvy or not, every bride has a moment (or two ….. or a hundred, in my case) where anxiety takes over. It’s looking at the budget, the timeline, the list of conquests you chose to take on and wonder “What was I thinking?!?!”. You have a wall of sticky notes to organize your “to do” list and every time you cross one thing off you have added 3-4 more because as you finish one project, you realize that in order for THAT to work or to look as you want, THIS has to happen or be added in.
Decisions are abundant. Everywhere you turn you are being asked questions from vendors and from within your own head. “Do I want to go with organza on the aisle decorations or would the tulle look better? Should I stick with the darker purple for the garland to match or would it look better adding in the pale yellow accent to decorate the gazebo? What time should our parents show up with the food the day of the wedding (they are cooking the meat) to warm it and get it ready and prepped? Should I add more burlap flowers to that sign? Can my fingers even BEAR another round of making flowers and going up against the glue gun of death?!?!”
Exposing a personal illness of my own, I suffer from anxiety, depression and PTSD. So there are days (and boy have there been) where even a simple question from my soon-to-be hubby have sent me into a massive wreck of tears … undoubtedly causing him to raise an eyebrow and wonder if this is what a Bridezilla is, or if I’ve just lost my mind altogether. Thankfully, counseling and medications have been helping me (which is something I’ve dealt with over half of my life), and my amazing fiancé is incredibly understanding. When he sees that look in my eyes and that stone cold stare on my face, he smiles, wraps his arms around me and tells me to go turn on the TV and relax for some time while he works on dinner and laundry. Seriously? How did I get this lucky?
I have him and I am incredibly lucky. For a bride who is on a budget, with a short time frame and planning everything from A-Z on her own, you NEED a good support system. My fiancé is my number one. My best friend from college lives in North Carolina and has been texting and calling and messaging to check in and be a part of the process. She’s amazing. Something that was hard for me to come to terms with was that there was no way she would be able to make our wedding with her daughter and my “honorary” niece, being over 2,000 miles away and with multiple factors and road block after road block, we just couldn’t make it happen. Devastated? Yes. Both of us. But that’s what Face-Time is for on my iPhone (no Skype since our wedding is in BFE and no wireless or any internet whatsoever out there, not even a hotspot can pick up a connection!). She will be there every step of the day on my wedding day.
Then there’s another bridesmaid who lives over 3,000 miles in California, a wonderful and amazing friend who is due with her first baby in October who has been on bed rest the majority of her pregnancy … and won’t be able to make it out. She and her fiancé are sending a video to the DJ to play at our reception for a toast to us and they, as well, will be there on our day. She’s also been in constant contact, asking if I need anything and what she can do and how things are going. She’s amazing. They both are. And I would give anything for the two of them to physically be here.
What I am thankful for are the women who are here who have been next to me every step of the way, helping out, throwing my showers, supporting me. Every one of my bridesmaids who have been there for me, for my sister who, even herself being 9 months pregnant as my 8/31/13 wedding approaches, has been incredibly active and even threw my bridal shower. And I don’t know what I would have done without my Matron of Honor, my cousin Rachel, who, in every essence, is my “other half”. We should have been sisters but I’m pretty sure our moms traded us for our younger sisters (who are also incredibly alike in an insanely unbelievable way) to save their own sanity.
What I’m getting at is this: Every bride has her story. She has her past, and she has her present state and she has this future she is planning for. I have a really REALLY hard past that requires counseling and which handed me the diagnosis of PTSD with a prior marriage. There are days that things are outright awful and I cry and shake in a ball until my medication takes me out of panic-mode and my head clears and I realize that it’s just emotions. It’s all just feelings. And even though those feelings feel as though they are grabbing me by the neck and taking the breath right out of me, I know they’re just emotions. I can get through this.
Every bride, on some level, (and probably not to the extreme of which I am going through) has some wedding anxiety they are dealing with. The point is, this is a big deal. It’s a REALLY BIG DEAL. This is a day you’ve dreamed of, a day you will make THE commitment to the man you will spend the rest of your life with. So while I could have easily gone to the courthouse, we chose to plan a small and intimate wedding so that our friends and family can be there to support us. It’s not about the wedding – it’s about the marriage. I tell myself this often.
We need you. We may not say it, we may not look you in the eye and say “HELP!” but we need you to show that you support us. Show up to at least one party/event before the wedding, call to talk and not just text, offer to help out with something, or suggest a way that you can bring something to the table to help out (“Oh, you probably need help with taking all of that stuff to the venue/your mom’s house and I have a truck – let us help you out with that!”)
And to my fellow brides: When it feels overwhelming, when you wonder what you’ve gotten yourself into and wonder if it will all get done, take a deep breath. It WILL all come together, and it WILL be okay. It’s not going to be 100% perfect, something always happens that isn’t planned, but at the end of the day, (here it is, you’ve heard it a jillion times by now), you are marrying the man you will spend the rest of your life with. Nothing is more important on this day. After all, it isn’t about the wedding. It’s about the marriage. So take good care of yourself and your mental health as well as physical health! And if you are lucky to have some friends and family who are willing and can help, don’t be afraid to do the impossible … and just ask!
And when it's over … you'll do this: