Photo: Merari Photography
Meet our newest guest blogger, Alicia Menendez, a television host and 10-plus years BRIDES subscriber. Alicia is taking us through the ups and downs of planning her wedding to her boyfriend of five years. If you love what you read, be sure to check out Alicia's show, Alicia Menendez Tonight, every weeknight on Fusion; and follow her on Twitter @aliciamenendez and on Instagram @aliciamenendezxo.
The summer after my freshman year of college I had an internship in which I learned A, that I'd never have a career in finance and B, that I loved weddings. You see, all of my cubicle neighbors were getting married, and they spent the summer retelling their "How We Met" stories and debating the merits of various teeth whiteners.
I was hooked, which is surprising given that I don't like parties or putting myself together. Instead, I fell for the idea that even if you're a mess your entire life, you can redeem yourself with one day of sheer perfection. I signed up for wedding websites that have welcomed Alicia & BLANK back to the site every day for the last 12 years. I became a devotee of Say Yes to the Dress long before it was a thing. I subscribed to BRIDES. So when I got engaged in September of 2013, I was ready. My fiancé Carlos and I have been together for five years. I work in television. He works in politics. We're accustomed to high-intensity situations. Plus, I spoke the language of weddings. This would be easy. Or so I thought.
Wedding porn focuses on centerpieces and dresses. Wedding planning is a lot of minutia: timelines, budgets, lists. Plus, it's a lot of compromise. In my wedding-day dreams, I was an unchallenged bridictator. In my wedding reality, there were other needs and wants that deserved to be acknowledged and addressed — dates that didn't work, people that had to be invited.
Don't get me wrong. There have been many highlights. I loved watching my brother teach Carlos how to tie a bowtie. I really enjoyed the cake tasting. And I will always remember the look on Carlos's face when our DJ asked if we wanted our guests to be shot with a Nitrous gun (I don't know — apparently it's a thing). But after spending 12 years hyping myself up on the idea that I would avoid the family drama that seems to plague every bride ever, walk down the aisle transformed into a supermodel, and pay for my wedding in Monopoly money, I realized loving weddings and loving planning your own wedding aren't necessarily the same thing.
Stay tuned to find out how Alicia figured out how to happily navigate the wedding-planning process.