I got engaged in November of 2014. Now this is an exciting moment for any woman. You had dreams of this day since you were a little girl and now it’s finally happening. It has been easy up until this point, all the emotions washing over you. Now the planning begins. As you reopen your little girl dreams and aspirations to plan and create your perfect day, you realize that most things will be very different. When you are young, planning your make believe wedding is fun, its easy, just like a fairy tale. You don’t need to worry about the budget or how each important family member wants things done. Now its here, and reality sets in. There is so much more going on than you imagined, so much more to consider. Most women get to this point going into their planning stages with overwhelming stress and excitement, the mix of these emotions wrinkling your skin faster than the sun. We all go through it, so why do we feel so alone in this process? I want to assure all women, help you, guide you, and show you my journey. This is the happiest moment of our lives, where we can finally bring to life our childhood princess.

When you set your budget you try and be reasonable, try being a key word. The wedding business is a gold mine for those offering their services. We soon realize as we sift through vendors and venues that prices run high and we soon reach the top end of our carefully placed budget. I’ve been to many weddings for both friends and family, each wedding is different each with their own unique touch. I have seen weddings carried out with large amounts of cash and some with not so much. As a bride to be you cant help but comb over past experiences to see what made each one stand out. The stress of money within a relationship starts now, welcome to your new life. This isn’t quite like how you planned things, in your childhood fairy tale money wasn’t a problem, and you sure as hell didn’t have to worry about anyone’s feelings. Here you are bride to be, stuck in the middle of a tug-o-war between family, money, and opinions. Now don’t take this the wrong way, as a woman, this whole experience is a hurricane of emotions, most of them being fantastic. However not all of these emotions are good and some create a new form of stress I like to call Wedding Horrors.

I am a practical woman but I am extremely stubborn. Once I have a set out on a path of how I want things done, it is extremely difficult for me to halt and pursue a different direction. Well, this certainly doesn’t bare well in my favor when you are trying to plan a wedding that will somehow please every party involved. Now I did try, I tried to incorporate everyone’s wishes into my happy day, but somewhere along the way you realize that your wedding day should be more for you and your partner than for them. I had to stop myself amidst the ongoing chaos to try to pursue a path that that was going to anger a few and hopefully just maybe bring me peace of mind.

The first thing that we usually do is to decide on a ceremony location. For some this is easy, depending on the family background and dynamic, it can also be the hardest choice to make. I come from a Pentecostal family and had grown up within the church. Of course this comes with its own set of hopes and dreams from my parents who had always wanted to see me getting hitched in a Pentecostal Church. On the other side of the spectrum my partner’s family is from a small country overseas bringing with them many years of family tradition. Picking a ceremony location was just the beginning of the iceberg we had both hit. My wonderful man was trying to make his family happy whilst I assured my family that we would also take their desires into consideration. This mixture of ideologies left us both exhausted and stressed very early on in our planning phase. Before our families came to the understanding that we had indeed not betrayed them by choosing neither a pentecostal or culture specific church, we had to endure the torture inflicted by both parties as they tried to sway our decision. Finally it was settled, it was not going to change and I let out a breath of relief. I thought that was the end, now we could plan the rest in peace, I was naive. The ceremony venue is just the beginning. As a couple, we must go through the list and choose the reception venue, catering, photographer, transportation, decor, and of course the guest list.

I want to go through all of it, piece by piece, because they are all equally as important. No woman/man is alone in this confusing process of mixed emotions. Live vicariously through my journey, learn for your own, or let me hold your hand through the same experiences knowing we can all come through and have the happiest day of our lives.