I have been married for less than 2 months. You can say I am still a bride and totally unprepared to give marriage advice but I have to tell you I feel like I know some stuff. But don’t worry, I will save the unqualified advice giving until at least the 90-day mark. But, I do have some thoughts on the process of getting married.
From engagement to post “I do” swag surfing, these were my biggest surprises.
The Guest List No’s.
No, is a word I am very comfortable with so this was by no means a stressor for me but that does not mean I was any less surprised. I could not invite all the people I knew and liked but those people were not the problem.
It was my parent’s friends. You have to know something about growing up Nwachukwu. Our house was the jump-off spot. People would just show up on holidays uninvited (but welcome) and there always seemed to be food, drinks, and music. Most of the crowd were people who had loosely held friendships with my parents. I had not heard about or from these people since I was a teenager but these were the people willing to confront my parents about not getting invited.
I was really shocked. Getting married is such a personal event. The crowd should be made up of well-wishers and supporters. This was not a gala for the who’s who of the Nwachukwu house parties from the 99 and the 2000. From what I have heard, they are still mad and I am still not pressed.
Not Giving People Responsibility is an Insult.
When I started planning the wedding, my thinking was “let’s involve as little (non-paid) people as possible so that I am not stressing people out with things I know they cannot do or don’t have the resources to do“. Y’all, the shade I received for not including folks was bountiful. I was thinking I was allowing people to just be guests and chill and they were thinking I was excluding them from the action out of malice. To get out of the doghouse, I just gave everyone a little role to play even if I had to pair them with a person I trusted to make sure it happened.
Overcommunicating does not mean anyone listened.
Listen. Y’all don’t know me that well, yet. But I would like to let you know I am a Type A creative and marketer. I had excel sheets, checklists, communication plans, a newsletter, website and a calendar of events mapped out and ready. Yes, I had a great time planning this wedding.
I sent people so many updates from as many touch points as I could and I still got text messages asking me “where are we supposed to rehearse again?”. If you are getting married anytime soon, just prepare yourself.
I was expecting gifts and registered for plenty but you don’t know how much until it all arrives at your doorstep. The package room at our community was totally filled with just stuff for us at one point and I got some side-eye from the front office. It was amazing and fun but trying to find a place for it all to live was not fun or amazing. I have since shoved things in all the nooks and crannies around the house. And, now I am complaining about needing more space. #FirstWorldProblems
Your Community Steps up to the Plate Big Time.
The hubster and I were both incredibly moved by the way our friends and family pitched in to help. We are both “do it ourselves” people. The things that people volunteered to take on were far above and beyond anything I was ready to saddle a person with for free. The decor, baking favors (thanks mom), helping with the dinners, showers, travel and so much more. My village was fire tested this year and I am so incredibly grateful.
Having a Great Team is Imperative to Enjoying the Moment.
Now let’s talk about the paid folks. I took on hiring vendors like it was serious business. It was really about hiring other Type A creatives and 99% of them were perfect and a joy to work with. I will not tell you who “needed improvement” but I will tell you who rocked it..my wedding coordinator. She was a person I knew and respected (major key). Her temperament was perfect to deal with both our families and she was thinking 10 steps ahead all day. I was absolutely and completely stress-free. She was worth every damn penny!
Choosing to be Disconnected on the Big Day Helped me Just Enjoy it.
In addition to having great friends, family, and staff. I made a conscious decision to turn my overthinking ass brain off. On the big day, I left the smartwatch behind, turned off the phone, played some R&B and let the people I trust work. It was completely intentional and because of that I was able to relax and just stay in the moment.
I Finally Learned Why People Want the Big Wedding.
I get it. It all came to me during the most diverse and disorganized swag surf ever. Looking back at videos, I was not sure we were all hearing the same song. #InterracialWeddingProblems . Anyway, Yes…. the reason people have weddings is all the love concentrated in one space. There is no other time in your life where people will get on planes, trains, and automobiles to celebrate you. Looking out over that crowd of folks that love us from every corner of the country and world I was overwhelmed with love and community. We had guests travel from Nigeria, Mexico, Cali, NYC, Texas, Bama, Connecticut, Boston, New Mexico and more. These people love us for real and we are both incredibly grateful.
The few things I would do differently if I had the chance.
Hindsight being 20/20 there are typically things one would do over had they had the chance. First, I thought running down people who haven’t RSVP’d would help me and it did not. All the people that I had to check in with to RSVP or decline did not come even when they told me a week before that they were coming.I should have counted them out and let the chips fall. I was trying to avoid paying for empty seats and I did anyway. I am low key still pissed and hoping I can be adult enough to not be petty but so far… still mad and more than willing to be petty. Second, I wish I had stayed out on the dance floor a lot longer and dropped it low a few more times. That’s all, really. It was that perfect.
All in all. I have zero regrets about having a wedding and I had so much fun. I knew before the engagement that I had my life partner but having such an incredible wedding with all the people we love was more than I could ask for. I would totally do it all again. Nothing else I could have done with the money would have been worth it to me. I do not feel like it was a waste or any of the stuff I hear people say. I would do it again 50 times.
To all the wives and brides out there, tell me what surprised you in the comments below.
XO, somebodies whole ass wife 🙂