My life in the past month has consisted mainly of three activities: trying (and failing) to learn Mandarin, watching marathons of Breaking Bad on Netflix, and lots and lots of wedding planning.
Truthfully, I never would have expected that I would be planning a wedding at the age of 22. Most people are probably in the camp of either thinking: “Cute! Young love!” or “Do they have any idea what they’re getting into?” I like to hang somewhere in between being blissfully unaware of the gravity of our decision and in awe that I’m engaged at all. Yes, I know that we’re young. But as Harry says in the epic love scene at the end of When Harry Met Sally, “when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” (Granted, that movie is about two friends taking ten years and failed marriages to decide they should be together. But out of the context, the quote is sweet.)
As a person who loves to relate her world to movies and books, I think there is a reason that so many movies use wedding planning as a source of comedy. While my wedding planning situation is relatively easy in comparison to some films, I thought I’d share a few observations:
1) Everyone has different expectations of what a wedding should be like.
Example: Bridesmaids (2011)
I like this clip because it emphasizes the hilarious suggestions you get when you start planning a wedding (or a bridal shower, in this case). Many people (mostly women) have visions of how weddings and the events leading up to it should go. It’s fun to discuss, but you also have to stay clearheaded about the situation. This is a day for you and your future husband to make a commitment to each other, not please everyone else.
2) This is an emotionally and financially traumatic time for your parents. Take it easy on them.
Example:Father of the Bride (1950 or 1991)
I love this film and the funny depiction of how wedding planning can feel so crazy and out of hand. While I am still looking for a copy to re-watch, I think this movie gives brides a lot of perspective on what their parents (particularly their dads) are going through. It’s not just about writing the checks, it’s about letting go of the perception of their daughter as a young girl.
3) You’re bringing two families together. Expect craziness.
Example: My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)
While I’m not Greek, I am expecting some hilarious cultural differences between the American and the British guests at our wedding. We all have certain stereotypes about people from each country, so it will be fun to see how each side interacts. I’ll have to give a cheat sheet to my American friends about the language differences. Ex. Being ‘pissed’ means being drunk in England.
I’ve only been engaged for a month now and I still have a year and a half to plan, but I can already say that wedding planning seeps into your thoughts and induces you to spend hours on Pinterest. The September 2012 issue of Brides magazine quoted that brides-to-be spend on average 30 hours a week on planning. This is a wild statistic, but I can easily see how it might happen.
All in all, I can say that I don’t want to become anything like this: