Things no-one tells you about planning a wedding

As of this weekend, I get married in just less than three months. If you’ve got visions of me spending my lunch break scouring Pinterest boards and searching for the perfect shade of pink lipstick, you’ll be disappointed. Instead, I’ve spent the last year of wedding planning being surprisingly laid-back – about some things, at least.

There are some inevitable truths when it comes to arranging your own wedding. Guest lists and table plans are always the most painful part, and whenever you choose to book in the big day, it will always come around quicker than you think. Here are a few other things I’ve learnt while planning a wedding:

You’ll want to drop a dress size, just to look like an ‘acceptable’ bride

For someone who has only recently learnt to stop obsessing over weight (because worrying doesn’t make the scales any lighter and guess what? I’m never going to look like Shakira), this is the one thing I’ve tried particularly hard to get my head around. From air-brushed bridal magazines to wedding dress shops, every woman draped in a wedding dress and tiara seems to be white, blonde and a size 10 at the very most.

This, coupled with the fact that everyone continually asks you when you’ll be losing weight for the wedding, and it’s no wonder that you’ll feel more and more insecure about the way that you look. While I’d like to shed a few pounds for the big day, I have realised it really isn’t worth stressing over. My future husband knows what I look like – it won’t be a huge shock to him when I rock up on the day and haven’t dropped several dress sizes. Feeling good enough is important, but if you feel good enough that’s really all that matters.

You’ll start obsessing over your skin, your hair, the fact your nails don’t grow

Rewind to January, when I suddenly began a regime of posh cleansers, gel manicures and weekly conditioning treatments. Needless to say, much of that fell by the wayside by the time February rolled around. I’ve managed to keep up having my brows done, taking off my make-up every night and slapping some ‘Aussie 3 Minute Miracle’ on my locks each week, which I don’t think is too high-maintenance.

I fully expect that my miracle worker of a make-up artist will cover up the inevitable last-minute outbreak of acne and split ends on the morning of the wedding. Plus, if there’s anything likely to make my want to bite my nails off, it’ll be the nerve-shredded days leading up to the ceremony.

You’ll start dividing the people you love into categories

There’s nothing like a wedding to make you overthink your relationships. From amazing friends that you haven’t spoken to for months to old work colleagues who know every detail of your life and members of your family you’ve never met, it is inevitable that you’ll begin to put people into categories. Even if you’re set on a small wedding before you start planning, prepare for that guest list to grow.

The best way to do it? Start with a small circle of ‘must-have’ guests and invite as many as you can afford. As long as you’re surrounded by the people you love (and the people that truly love the both of you), you’re guaranteed a good time.

You’ll (hopefully) begin to focus on the big things, rather than the minor details

While I’m aware that some brides-to-be get caught up on having the perfect napkins or making sure everything fits in with the colour scheme, I’m (weirdly) not one of them. I’m not sure if it is having two years to plan a wedding or the fact that my other half and I have been together a fair while before getting hitched, but I’m much more excited about the big things.

The big things, like actually getting properly married and promising myself to one person for the rest of my life. Which brings me on to the next thing…

You’ll begin to feel nervous (but that’s ok)

Unless you’re the sort of person who loves being the centre of attention, I think it is completely normal to feel nervous about your wedding day. Getting dressed up, proclaiming your love for each other in front of everyone you know and then actually being ‘married’? Sounds fun, but also a bit scary.

We’ve been together eight years, and lived together for most of that time. We’ve been through house changes, job changes, life changes and tricky times as well as amazing holidays and great experiences. He once bought me a mouse mat of the London tube map as an anniversary gift and even then, I didn’t call the whole thing off. It’s still ok to be nervous.

You’ll realise what really matters

The last two years have bought a lot of stress to our lives and let’s face it, planning a wedding isn’t completely hassle-free. We’ve become more resilient as a result, and definitely more grateful for what we’ve got. The details don’t matter, as long as the people you love are there to support you and you end the day with one another. Bring on the sparkling wine.

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