Dear Newly Engaged Lovebirds,
Congratulations on getting engaged! The first question everyone asks is, “when will the wedding be?” By this point your Pinterest boards are probably bursting at the seams with wedding ideas and you’re going to have to narrow your options down. The thought of when to have your wedding is probably not that much of a consideration to you other than wondering if you should go with red roses and a plaid theme, or maybe a spring wedding would be prettier. But other than the groom, your wedding date will most likely be the most important decision you will make. (If you’re Mormon you’ve got the whole Temple issue which is super important too, obviously.)
Here are the facts:
Ultimately nobody cares what food will be served. In two years no-one will remember. Nor will anyone care what flowers you picked or what kind of band was playing. People will maybe remember that it was nice or tacky, but for the most part weddings are forgettable. I’m sorry to burst your bubble but there you are. Most people won’t even remember what the bridesmaids wore. As a matter of fact, in twenty years you will be utterly appalled at the bridesmaid dresses you chose and probably your own wedding gown too. I know you don’t believe me but ask anyone you know who got married in the 80’s or 90’s. They will all tell you it’s true.
You wedding isn’t about the two of you. It’s about two entire families. The TV shows and magazines may tell you that it’s all about the bride (and maybe the groom a tiny smidge too), but honey, it’s not true. You are going to have to give in more times than you want in order to keep the peace. Get used to it because compromise is what marriage is all about. If you refuse to accommodate anyone’s needs or wants but your own you might have a prettier wedding but everyone–including the groom and especially your mother–is going to hate you.
So let’s talk about the date. We’re gearing up for the Christmas season and there are always a jillion weddings this time of year. Sometimes it coincides with school breaks for the happy couple, but sometimes a date in December is picked for no better reason than the couple thinks that falling snow seems romantic. Here are all the reasons why a December wedding is a bad idea:
1) It’s super inconvenient. Unless everyone you know lives within two hours of you, your wedding will require travel by guests and participants. Not only is it more expensive, but the weather is pretty iffy. Nobody wants to get stranded at an airport or shell out $2000 to fly out the week of Christmas.
2) Schedules are packed at Christmas. Especially for people with children. There are work, church and school parties, not to mention recitals and concerts. If you are expecting high schoolers or college students to come, it’s not going to work if you plan the wedding during finals week. No matter how special you are, people really don’t want to cram one more thing onto their calendars in December. It’s just too much. Instead of feeling joy for you they’ll probably be worrying about their to-do lists.
3) Everyone will be freezing during pictures. Yes, a bride in the snow is so lovely. All that white; it’s so dreamy and ethereal. Unfortunately Grandma isn’t so thrilled about it. Neither are your bridesmaids who will be wearing the strapless dresses you chose. Neither is your adorable flowergirl who is screaming in every picture because it’s 27º. This may all seem dumb but pretty much the only tangible proof you’ll have that the wedding took place will be photographs (and bills). Plan accordingly.
3) People’s budgets are tight. You want a nice wedding present, right? Well, there’s a lot less money to spare at Christmas. People are usually stretched thin, money-wise. And if they’re about to max out their credit card, do you think they’d rather spend the money on their son’s Christmas or on a wedding present for their cousin’s daughter?
4) Your anniversary will suck. This is certainly the strongest argument for not getting married at Christmas. You and your fiancé might be years away from having children now but at some point you probably will. And guess what’s going to happen then? You will not be able to take a week off from Christmas festivities to go on a fantastic anniversary trip. You will have way too much going on (see point #2 above). You will be spending money on Christmas presents for those kids and it probably won’t work with the budget.
Why do you think so many people get married in June? All the best flowers are in season, families are a lot more free to travel and you’ll be able to take anniversary trips when the weather all over the world is gorgeous. At the very least you could pick the end of January. Sure, it may not be the best for you, but it’s not all about you, remember? Just whatever you do, don’t get married on Valentine’s Day (all the restaurants and hotels are booked solid and your anniversary will forever more be a pain. And flowers are out-of-the-world expensive so forget your husband ever getting you an anniversary bouquet.)
I’m not trying to burst your bubble, sweet Engaged Couple. I’m just trying to keep your wedding guests from cursing you under their breath.