So I recently announced our engagement and couldn’t be happier! I am in the midst of planning the wedding of my dreams with the man of my dreams and pretty much feeling like the luckiest girl in the world. But I can’t help but notice a few annoying patterns of behavior that have come up since we really got into the planning process. I know I’m not the only bride to be that has dealt with her fair share of drama, judgement and guilt, so read on for 5 of the most annoying things that I’ve encountered in the planning process and how to handle them!
People Suddenly Get Nicer When You are Introduced as Fiancee
Obviously, people are happy and congratulatory when they find out you just got engaged. That is totally normal and welcome! However, I did notice that people were generally just nicer to me when he introduced me as his fiancée vs his girlfriend. I kind of thought it was in my head the first few weeks, but I happened to find several articles and YouTube videos from other women, particularly black women, discussing this phenomenon. It’s almost as if your relationship has suddenly been legitimized by a piece of jewelry. This is just one of those things you have to grin and bear. No one means any harm and you can’t call anyone out for being nice and happy without looking crazy.
The Sudden Increase in Pregnancy Related Questions
Once there’s a ring on it, interest turns very quickly from your wedding to your future reproductive plans! Again, most people mean well and are generally very excited for you, but I find questions or comments about when I’m having a baby inappropriate and offensive. I generally try to be aware of how difficult having a child can be for many couples, so I avoid bringing it up, but most people don’t think that way. You never know if the couple wants kids, is struggling with infertility, has suffered miscarriages or anything of the sort, and putting someone on the spot in that way can be very difficult and emotional for them. And on another note, if you happen to be in an interracial relationship, get ready for all the commentary on how cute your future baby will be. It’s annoying, gross, rooted in anti-blackness but unfortunately way too common. Depending on who is asking and how invasive or persistent they are, I will either ignore the commentary/questions or flat out tell them to stay out of my uterus. Putting it in clinical terms is pretty effective at getting people to shut up and change the subject.
The Reaction to Name-Changing or Not
People started asking me what my new name was going to be pretty much as soon as our engagement became public. I still haven’t decided if I’m going to change it, hyphenate, or just stay plain old Kelly and I am not rushing to decide. However, even in 2019 people still think that’s a very strange decision to make. I have been told I have to take his name or at least hyphenate, and had others actually question my commitment because I am attached to my own identity. Plus, back to my above point about nosy people in my uterus, there is plenty of concern about how confusing it will be for my future kids. This decision is a personal one that no one can make but you, so you need to do what you think is best and feel most comfortable with. The rest can fall into place!
The Judgement Over Your Wedding Plans
People will think they have a right to weigh in on anything when it comes to your wedding. From where it is, to what date, to how much you are spending to who is invited, get ready for the floodgates to open! My fiancé and I are doing an international destination wedding and the reactions are pretty extreme. People are either super excited about the travel or disappointed we didn’t do something locally. Guest list decisions can also be tough! Weddings can be outlandishly expensive and the single biggest cost driver behind them is the guest list. The more people that attend, the more your costs increase at every level, from food to rentals to staff. If you can’t afford or don’t want a huge affair, you will have to be ruthless about headcount and deal with the backlash. And trust me, there will be very loud and clear backlash! Try to take it in stride and stay positive, and remember – the thing that matters most is your marriage not the wedding plans!
The Bridal Party Politics
This has been another sticky issue for me, and I know I’m not alone. We’ve had so many debates about whether or not to even have a bridal party, how big they should be, and if they have to be even. We decided to keep it pretty tiny for several reasons, and that has definitely caused some tension. Every bride I’ve ever met has gone through the same thing, so I know I’m in good company. It’s just one of those things where you can’t make everyone happy. Plus it’s also tradition that you include a close female relative of the groom, or vice versa, to represent families coming together. The factors I considered were my current relationships with each person, how I thought the group dynamics would play out, and what might be going on in my friends lives at the time (financial challenges, starting a family, planning a wedding of their own etc). While it is an honor to be in someone’s wedding, it is also an obligation that includes time, money, and vacation days. I tried to consider factors that would have made it harder for some to effectively participate in the wedding and also who had things going on in their lives that I did not want to distract from. Unfortunately, several people had already made assumptions that they would be bridesmaids and were flying with the bridal party plans before I had even made up my mind. Others didn’t like my thought process behind how I put my bridal party together or thought I should have extended invitations anyway, to be nice. Doing things for the sake of being nice will always add up to be a losing game, so stick to your guns and do what is best for you and your fiancé. It will be hard because you know that you may end up disappointing some of your close friends, but this is not a situation where you can make everyone happy.
There will be many more annoyances you encounter on the wedding planning journey so keep your head up and remember the thing that matters the most - marrying the love of your life! Nothing tops that so remember the end game when people start to work your last damn nerve!