There are certain things you can't know until you go through a particular experience. For example, until you run a marathon, you have no idea that nipple chafing is terrifyingly real. So it goes with planning and throwing a wedding. For all the well-wishers begging you to "enjoy every moment" of your engagement, nobody tells you what's really in store. Well, one of our own just got married and he's here to let you in on all the dirty little secrets he didn't discover until he said, "I do."
Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Bride
This didn't take me until my wedding day to realize, but vendors' prices always seemed to be hiding some hidden fee. This will reveal itself on your wedding night and cause you undue stress if you don't ask the important questions up front. They mean it when they say they want to make your day special, but special has its price.
Preparation Is Everything
I knew there would be tons of planning, but I didn't realize the direct correlation between the amount of preparation you put in and the amount of enjoyment you get out. I cursed my wife's Type A personality at times but in the end I'm glad she forced us to be so on top of every single detail in the months, weeks, and even days leading up to our wedding, because by the time the big moment came there was nothing to stress about.
Nobody Notices But You (AKA Let It Go)
The flipside of being super-prepared is you assume everyone will notice all those little details you painstakingly designed, they will point out all the little mistakes to you, and they will have a terrible time and question your very friendship as a result. In reality, only you could possibly notice, and even you probably won't because your wedding day is an absolute whirlwind. If you're just starting the process, my advice is to just let it all go right now.
That Day Isn't Stressful (At Least It Doesn't Have to Be)
Two hours before our guests were due to arrive, the florist approached my wife and me separately with "a bit of an issue." Our wedding canopy wasn't standing on its own due to an unforeseen breeze. Without hesitating or consulting each other, we both said it was no big deal and my groomsmen could hold it up. The florist seemed shocked by our nonchalance and the maid of honor even tried to get my wife to crack before admitting, "You're too calm, this isn't even fun." All I can say is, we planned in detail, we were ready to go with the flow, and frankly we were so ready to finally get married that we didn't let things bother us. I'd heard horror stories of bridezillas gone bad and wedding day disasters, and people kept asking me if I was nervous, but we were easy breezy — just like the weather.
It Really Is All About You
Okay, I knew this before I got married, but I'm not sure I realized the overwhelming amounts of true love and joy my wife and I would feel throughout that entire day. I'm thankful we were able to enjoy it and it truly warmed our hearts that everyone we love was able to be with us and had such a fun time too. This last point should just serve as a reminder to take as many opportunities as you can that day to look around, be together in the moment, and remember what it's all about. Because you'll never have another day like it, and you probably won't realize what that means until you experience it.
Even if they don't seem super involved in the wedding-planning process, grooms are going through the same life-changing experience as their brides-to-be. Enter: The Plunge. The site helps the engaged guy navigate his wedding from a man's point of view.