1. 1. THIS SHIT IS EXHAUSTING…this is why the second time around, I just fucking eloped. Not a decision I regret, having already had the wedding experience.

    2. The gift thing is strange…especially the way some people still send them early the old-fashioned way and some don’t and then you’re receiving gifts for months straight. And the priciest ones come from the strangest people! My ex-boss sent me the second most expensive gift I received ($200 worth of bed sheets and pillowcases), and he didn’t even come to the wedding. It was weird to me, but he was also one of the few people I knew at the time who had any money to speak of. For some people, money for a gift really isn’t a big deal. That totally blew my mind.

    3. Yes, most weddings have DJs. I highly recommend that you have both a DJ and alcohol at yours. If you have no alcohol and an iPod playlist you created yourself on shuffle through the speaker system, you will have no one dancing or having fun and it will be lame and not worth the money for the party.

    4. I agree that weddings are for the bride, as a general rule. At least in straight weddings, with more traditionally-raised people. Girls are told from birth that a wedding is the most important day of their lives. They start choosing their wedding colors in grade school, and that is not an exaggeration. But…it really is your wedding too. Don’t be afraid to speak up if something is important to you.

    5. All of this stress will melt away the second you see her face that day, and you realize that you’re marrying someone you really love. You probably won’t be able to wipe the grin off your face for a solid 8 hours. I couldn’t. 🙂

    • The gift thing is really throwing me to. A lot of stuff had already been bought off of our registry after my fiancee’s bridal shower, so we had to add more stuff (apparently people get pissed if you don’t have enough stuff for them to buy? What the actual fuck?). We added some tables and bookshelves we thought looked nice but never expected anyone to buy. Within 24 hours of adding them to the registry, someone had already bought us the bookshelf. Stunned the hell out of me.

      We have both a DJ and alcohol. While most of the people on my side of the family won’t drink, those that do drink will appreciate it. I’ll have one drink the entire night and be fine.

      I’m sure the stress will go away once the wedding begins. I have far more than I can add to this list, however I’m saving for a part 2…or 3.

  2. It’s interesting how different experiences can be. I don’t know many people who have received gifts early from their guests. We only received one, and the only reason they gave it to us early was because it was a pot/pan set and we didn’t have anything at our apartment yet. Anyone else who sent early gifts sent them to my parents or Scott’s parents to hang on to until the wedding or a shower.

    We skipped the DJ route, and opted to use my macbook and a pro sound system instead. Mind you, it was a pretty small wedding, and there was no alcohol, but it actually worked out quite great.

    The cost of the wedding and wedding related items was a big thing for me. I can’t begin to tell you the number of times I asked Scott if we could just elope, but both our families would NOT have taken that well. We got engaged right before I went to Guatemala, and when I got back, I just couldn’t do it. We revamped our budget and ended up knocking about $8000 off the budget (it was pretty small to begin with). I could not justify spending exuberant amounts of money on a single day, especially having just seen how much that kind of money could help families in Guatemala. It actually severely depressed me.

    For us, the wedding was not about me at all. It could be because I was one of those weird girls who NEVER dreamed about my wedding. I had no idea what kind of wedding dress I would want, cake, any of that. I tried to keep Scott involved in everything as much as possible. I think the only time I trumped his decision was with the wedding colours, and that was only because the shade of blue he originally wanted clashed with the other two colours we had picked.

    Our wedding was pretty much stress free, mainly because I never let it become something ‘big’. Our largest stress was with the guest list – not with the people who said no, but rather the people who we couldn’t invite that basically accused me of being selfish, entitled, and a horrible person for not inviting them, even after we explained that finances were tight and because of that we were forced to limit our guest list. We had 102 guests, an 63 of them were Scott’s relatives. That didn’t leave much space for my family, bridal party, and a few friends.

    Best of wishes on the rest of the planning – and remember, the more important part isn’t the day, it’s the marriage that comes afterwards. It’s just another day… with a giant party, and the greatest commitment of your life 😉 Enjoy it as much as you can.

    • Even if the thought of eloping has crossed my mind multiple times (it hasn’t. I have no idea what you’re talking about), I never even would have considered suggesting it. My family wouldn’t take it well (based on previous elopements), her family wouldn’t take it well, and the fiancee herself would not take it well.

      • I think the one thing that really made me stop considering it was when someone pointed out that the wedding isn’t really for the bride, it’s more for the guests. It’s the chance the family and your friends have to celebrate in something special with you.

        Still doesn’t take the stress away, but it did give some perspective. That said, it did not drive me to make decisions on my wedding based on what the guests would want.

  3. I would love someone to buy the $2 citrus peeler I put on the registry. We’ve had quite a few of the really expensive gifts already show up, but my grapefruits and oranges remain unloved.

  4. I’m not particularly sure what the average wedding cost is in Ohio. I’d have to think it’s somewhere between $15k and $20k, but I don’t know if that’s the case. My car cost $16k. If a one day party costs more than a car, that seems like an inefficient use of funds to me.

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