When you first get engaged, people start telling you that this is "the happiest, most special and exciting" time of your life. They tell you they envy your wedding planning or say, "You must be having so much fun!" Sometimes, all of the above is true. Sometimes, you can't believe how lucky you are that you're about to marry the love of your life and planning the ultimate party to celebrate with the people you both love ...
But other times, you find yourself thinking the purported joy associated with wedding planning must be a total joke. Because as much as friends who are recent former brides, sisters-in-law-to-be, and even your mother might warn you about what to expect around corner, there are certain wedding planning nightmares no one can prepare you for. Here, 14 horror stories real brides (including yours truly) were completely blindsided by ...
- Your groom may be a total grouch through the planning process. It's easy to read into this and start to freak out that it means more than meets the eye. That it means he's "just not into" her -- not just the wedding. This is not necessarily true. It could very well only mean he's just being a guy who couldn't care less about place cards and boutonnieres.
- Lots of vendors and items end up costing about 1/3 more than you budgeted for. Our rabbi joked that no matter what you're adding, it's "Poof! A thousand dollars!" And while that may be an exaggeration and generalization in some cases, it is unfortunately the case for many things from invitations to having a menu with enough food to satisfy a hungry, thirsty Saturday night crowd. The good news: This can work in reverse, too, as in you end up with some freebies, discounts, or savings you didn't expect (and I don't just mean when the third cousins and "family friends" your parents haven't seen in 20 years respond with regrets).
- People who have never spoken up or demanded anything before come out of the woodwork with an opinion, attitude, problem with something completely minute, etc. It's one thing if it's your father requesting his favorite food be served at cocktail hour. It's another if it's someone outside your immediate family complaining about a big component (date, time, place, etc.) You've gotta learn how to put on your blinders and shut that stress-inducing nonsense out.
- The maid of honor (or another member of the bridal party) does a 180 from enthusiastic and "so honored!" to total diva or Debbie Downer. Just like #3, wedding planning has a way of making the horns come out of the most unexpected people!
- Several brides report booking a videographer through a popular wedding website, paying a deposit and then finding out the vendor they booked was a scam. Ugh! Goes to show it never hurts to try to meet the vendor you're hiring in person (or even via Skype, as my fiancé and I did with our out-of-town videographers) or at least get a recommendation from a reputable source you know personally (like your cousin or wedding planner) before cutting a check.
- Parents end up forgetting or making a game-time decision about what they'll pay for. Good reason to get all imperative financial info in writing from the get-go.
- Perhaps because anything involving money is always a sticky situation or because they don't know each other very well, in-laws often end up clashing over the rehearsal dinner and/or wedding and/or brunch plans, then throw their kids in the middle or under the bus.
- Whodathunk So and So would want expect to be in on dress shopping, cake tastings, fittings, meetings with the DJ/band, etc.? The lesson here isn't to include them in everything just to avoid conflict. No one needs so many cooks in the kitchen! But spreading the love a bit to include everyone in a little something can soften the (completely out of the blue!) blow.
- MOBZILLA! The extreme, on-steroids version of #3, in which the Mother of the Bride suddenly knows everything there is to know about every single wedding detail and will be hyper-critical of any direction other than the one she's advocating.
- MOGZILLA! Defined as the morphing of your fiancé's mom into an overprotective, overly sentimental, overbearing mommy who suddenly needs to "guard" her little boy adult son against the woman who she believes is "stealing" him from her. Paging Dr. Freud …
- Let's not forget that the fathers (FOG and FOB) may have their not-so-shining moments, as well.
- Shoe shopping! Who knew it could be so hard to find a pair of heels that aren't sky-high stilettos or to find a pair of archetypal "wedding" shoes in an actual brick and mortar store? They're frustratingly fewer and further between these days, so prepare to whip out your credit card for a rousing round of online shopping trial and error.
- No matter how many deals you're able to scout out or set up for your guests, hotel rates (yep, even if they're discounted for a room block …) and unpredictable airfare will probably annoy or dissuade some guests. Oh well!
- You may end up having consultations with uncooperative, unhelpful, acerbic vendors who all but laugh at your budget or requests and you come away from the meeting feeling like you were on a really bad date. (You'd think they would be excited and happy about the prospect of working with any client, but that's not unfortunately not always the case.) To be fair, like when it comes to falling in love in the first place, sometimes it's just not a good match!
What's a wedding planning nightmare you never saw coming?