I married my husband almost exactly one year ago, and I barely mentioned it on my blog or on Instagram after the wedding day. I know a lot of bloggers who get married do a recap right after the wedding, but I clearly missed that boat. Our anniversary was this past Sunday, which means that our wedding has been on my mind lately. I’ll go into a little detail about our wedding day, but considering it’s been a whole year, ain’t nobody interested in reading that anymore. This post is moreso about my thoughts on expectations surrounding weddings in general, now that I am married. Who knows, maybe this blog post might help future brides out there. I apologize for the click-baity title, but I swear it’s not actually click-bait! Also, it was super hard finding shots from our wedding photos that didn’t show people’s faces; weddings, after all, are about people!
We had a most wonderful wedding, and there were so many things I loved about it. Having all of the people we loved in one room was, of course, the best part. We were blessed with perfect weather. My makeup artist made me look the best I have EVER looked; so polished and yet still like myself. While I chose all of the decor and did all of the DIY, our day-of coordinator and put it all together so that everything looked even more beautiful than I ever could have imagined – I actually gasped when I saw our reception area! Our photographer, videographer, DJ, and photobooth exceeded our expectations by a long shot, and we absolutely loved working with them. The feedback we got from our guests was incredible – some people said it was the most fun wedding they had ever been to (although I’m sure that’s one of their duties as a wedding guest to say that). Even the employees at our venue said it was one of the best weddings they’ve ever hosted there (they probably get paid to say that, too 😝). One of our friends who attended STILL talks about how organized the wedding was (little do they know…) In general, it seemed like everyone had a lot of fun, which was important to us. Our wedding day couldn’t have been what it was without the love and support of our families, wedding party, guests, and all of the vendors.
Although we are so grateful to have had such a joyful day, I feel like our wedding wasn’t that idea of the *magical, perfect* day that society tries to sell us. Every friend who has ever gotten married has told me that things would go wrong on the wedding day, and just to roll with the punches. Because of that, I was expecting things to go wrong, but I think I didn’t expect so many little things to be wrong. None of it was “ruin-the-day” bad, but I feel like it all added up to make me feel like I wish things had gone better. Here were a few things (in no particular order):
- My hair: Even though my hair had looked perfect during the trial, on the actual day, it started falling out of the updo within an hour of putting it up. My wonderful bridesmaids helped me put it back up, but seeing as they are not professional hairstylists, it just kept falling out. I had planned on wearing my veil for only part of the day, but I never even attempted to take it out, otherwise my hair probably would have just fallen out of the updo entirely. I was so lucky that I had the girls to help me, but dealing with my hair all day was extremely annoying.
- My dress: I went to a seamstress who came highly recommended, so I felt confident she would do an amazing job. At the time of the alterations, I had asked her if my dress needed to be hemmed, and she said no. Well, cue me walking down the aisle and stepping on my own dress because it was too long. I looked like a bumbling klutz! Also, in the rush and stress of the day, my mom accidentally taught my maid of honour and MC how to hang my train onto the bustle incorrectly, so the train kept falling out of the bustle all day.
- The flowers: I had made a request for my bouquet that was important to my mother: I asked for pink peonies, and specifically asked for no white flowers. Well, I ended up getting massive WHITE peonies *facepalm* I understand that flower supply is difficult to predict, but I feel that as a florist, if your client specifically requests for no white flowers and you realize that you can only get white peonies, you should call the client asking if they would prefer to replace them with a flower in another colour. Also, I’m a petite gal and my bouquet was way too big – not only was it heavy, but it overwhelmed my frame. The flowers that were used for the boutonnieres wilted by noon. The florals were beautiful, but I walked around all day feeling like I had disappointed my mom – not a great feeling on your wedding day.
- The time: Coming from a Chinese background, my mom wanted a tea ceremony before the wedding, which meant we were on a time crunch. The thing I was the most stressed out about was being on time for the tea ceremony, because if we ran late, it would be a domino effect for the rest of the day. Due to some miscommunication, the groomsmen ended up being 20 minutes late to the tea ceremony. I blame no one, I was just annoyed that it happened. To no surprise, we were pretty much late for everything else that day up until the wedding ceremony. Being on such a tight schedule was a major stressor of the day.
There were a small handful of other things that I won’t bother talking about, otherwise this blog post will just be me complaining. As I mentioned before, none of them were major issues in the grand scheme of things; we had no family drama, nothing big went wrong (like the photographer getting sick) – we were extremely fortunate to have had a wedding that went smoothly.
I’m that type of girl that has dreamt about my wedding since I was six – I used to beg my mom to let me try on her wedding dress (which coincidentally I did not try on until I got engaged, when she decided to throw it out – we were both cry-laughing because the 80’s puffed sleeves looked so hideous). As I got older, I started fantasizing about what type of dress I would wear, and what type of venue I would want to get married in. I had a Pinterest board called Dream Wedding before I even met my husband. I’ve just always loved the idea of weddings, and I still do. However, the closer we got to the wedding, the more I realized that part of me was having the wedding to fulfill those six-year-old dreams of mine – my adult self no longer needed a huge, elaborate party to “celebrate our love”, especially considering my husband and I are pretty reserved individuals who are not very romantic. Not only that, but I think part of me was afraid I would regret it if I didn’t have a big, traditional wedding where I got to wear a white dress and walk down the aisle with my parents.
Another realization came to me after the wedding. I feel like weddings are more for the guests than they are for bride and groom. Which is totally fine – the day is meant to be celebrated with loved ones. I think I just had an expectation of us being completely in love and on cloud nine that we were getting married, but the reality was that we were rushing from place to place, and constantly being preoccupied with guests, the photographer, the videographer, and so on and so forth. We received advice from friends to just take 15 minutes out of our day to be together and soak it all in, but we never even had a spare 15 minutes to do that. We barely got to speak to each other all day! It was far from being the best day of my life.
For weeks after the wedding, I carried a lot of guilt over the fact that I didn’t think our wedding was the best day of my life. As a bride, I was supposed to be so euphorically happy that I wouldn’t notice small details like the fact that my flowers were the wrong colour. Were my expectations too high? Was I being unrealistic? I felt awful that I carried all of these negative emotions every time I thought about the wedding. I feel like part of my downfall was due to the expectations ingrained in us from movies, social media, and the wedding industry. Pinterest sets the bar up so high that anything less than perfect falls short. Ultimately, I realized that it wasn’t the things that went wrong during the wedding that upset me. It was the expectation that I should feel something I didn’t that make me feel like a horrible person. Putting on an expensive white dress doesn’t automatically mean that the day has to be the pinnacle of your life.
It took me some time to feel comfortable admitting it, and realizing that the wedding shouldn’t be the best day of my life. How boring would it be if my husband and I started off our marriage at the climax, only for the rest of our life together to be a slow decline? I loved our wedding, and June 17th now holds a very special place in my memory. I no longer feel guilty that I don’t see it as the best day of my life. I much prefer our quiet weekends at home, or sunny days out exploring the city with him (cue the gagging).
If you’re married, what did you think of your wedding day? If you aren’t married (or even if you are), what do you think about the idea of weddings and the hype that surrounds them?