It’s pretty well established that getting married is a stressful, albeit wonderful time of your life.
But one sure-fire way to make you feel less Zen about your upcoming nuptials is to plan a wedding in under two months. That’s what I’m doing – and no, I’m not completely crazy (at least I wasn’t before I started all this).
I’m also not pregnant, if that’s your next question.
I am, however, pretty smitten with a guy who, unlike me, was born in Canada. You see a bit of the world and suddenly you’re a common-law spouse in a foreign country. Go figure.
So here we are, getting married in a little over two weeks (eeek).
The process has at times made me feel like a People magazine celebrity, caught up in a crazy, whirlwind romance – although I suspect (and sincerely hope) that this one lasts longer than a few weeks, as is often the case with these entertainment types.
A constant slew of questions has awaited me at every twist and turn, each one more terrifying and insistent than the last.
First, “WHY ON EARTH ARE YOU DOING THIS? HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND?”
Fair enough. And no, at least I don’t think so. See above.
And then the even more horrifying, “What are your colours?”
Eh? My colours? I felt like I was sitting in the makeup chair at Sephora being sold bronzer and eyeshadow that I don’t need by an expert saleswoman who knows her way around that beauty tool belt.
“I don’t have colours. At least I don’t think I do.”
I don’t even have bridesmaids, let alone a colour palette for the “big” day. Things got even more confusing when I go to look for a dress.
“Which shade of white were you thinking of?”
Hold up – there’s more than one shade of white? This is pretty mindblowing news to me, but I attempt to answer as casually as I can so as not to alarm the shop assistant, who is now sizing me up and wondering if perhaps I’m actually getting married or am perhaps a veritable lunatic loose in a bridal shop.
“Mmm, quite white. Maybe even very white.”
I am always regarded as a leper among the bride colony whenever I mention my wedding date. When I was paying for my Off White But Not Quite Ivory dress I mentioned the two dirty words (May 28th); a fellow bride-to-be gasped and whispered, “Holy f*ck” to her friend, as if I had confessed that the “theme” for my wedding was Kitten Murdering and Tuscan-style finger foods.
Thank goodness she didn’t overhear me say that I won’t do wedding favours (whatever they are?) or have an entrance song for my reception.
But once I got past the shock of my lightning-speed nuptials, I’ve actually found it all incredibly liberating. Not torturing myself with a misery wedding diet or choosing my favourite friends to be my bridesmaids was a total bonus. And not having time to compile a “guest list” or morph into Bridezilla were other pleasant side-effects.
Having my family there for my big day means the world to me – and although I always envisaged a large-scale affair, it’s been comforting to realize just how little all the table decorations and magicians actually matter.
I mean, it’s not done yet. But I’m pretty confident we’ll get there.
And when we do, it’ll be just the two of us, a handful of our friends and family, and a whole lot of Champagne to celebrate.
I wouldn’t suggest planning your special day in such a short space of time (especially if you already have high blood pressure). But it most definitely can be done.
Here are my top tips for how to plan a wedding in under two months:
Listen to me carefully. You CANNOT do everything – and trying to squeeze it all in will only stress you out further. Decide your absolute non-negotiables and organize them early on in the process. If you want a wedding photographer, get this sorted out quickly as they book up pretty far ahead of time. Then you’ll know what you still have time for as you move closer to your date.
Make Snap Decisions
If you have a full-time job then I say this without exaggeration: often you will have just one spare day to pick your bouquet, shoes and makeup artist. Use your gut to help you make your decision. I honestly think that most of the choices I made about my wedding would have been the same if I’d had six months to ponder on them. Trust your instincts and be bold.
Choose Venues or Food You Know You Like
You’re not going to have two years to sample wedding menus at restaurants or go on guided tours of numerous event spaces. So to avoid disappointment, try to opt for places where you know you love the food or vibe. Picking tried and tested places for your meal or reception is a safe bet that everyone (and most importantly the bride and groom) are going to like.
Enlist Your Friends
Thanks to Pinterest and YouTube, we’re all crafters and bakers just waiting to be asked for help. So don’t try to shoulder the responsibilities of the day alone, because chances are your friends would love to pitch in. Ask them to come and help you pick out your dress and tell them you need firm (but constructive) advice to aid you in your decision making.
Forget the Diet
If running around like a headless bride doesn’t do the trick, then you’re going to struggle to fit in time for the gym alongside your wedding planner duties. If you’re still keen to at least tone up, limit things to the parts of you that will be on show, i.e. your arms or back. And as for under your dress, well, that’s what Spanx are for.
You’re not the only harangued bride out there – there are thousands of us all wondering what the hell on earth we’ve got ourselves into. Try to find groups online that help you navigate the murky wedding waters. People may have great catering tips for the city you’re in, or want to warn you against that dreadful DJ that played Pitbull (exclusively) on their big day. If you’re in Toronto, Bunz Wedding Group is a great place to start – they even helped a Fort McMurray bride find a dress after hers was ruined in the wildfires.