The Ugly Truth about Having A Wedding
Ever since I was a little girl I always pictured having the fairy tale wedding. I'm talking, David Tutera and Kleinfeld Bride Wedding. When I was in the 4th grade I ended up writing David Tutera a letter asking him if he would plan my wedding when I grew up. His team responded and said to contact them when I get engaged! My 25-year-old self did..he’s a tough man to get a hold of, Ha!
Throughout my years, I loved watching all thing weddings. I lived on the TLC channel, so much so that I went into the wedding planning industry. Let me say, it is by far 100% easier planning someone else's wedding than planning your own.
Most articles that you read around weddings will always talk about the bright side. Because at the end of the day it's about marrying your best friend and the love of your life, right? While all that is very much true, fine, and dandy, this is also a day that you paid a good chunk of money for. These memories are the stories that you will be telling your grandchildren. Weddings and getting married in general are a major milestone. Most people don’t want to look back at milestones to reminisce on how much of a nightmare it was.
The highlight, hands down, of my wedding day was walking down the aisle.
Unfortunately, most events that occurred leading up to that moment are not any I want to remember.
As a little girl its instilled in you that weddings are all about the bride. Everyone is always happy and the bride gets exactly what she wants. And I'm not saying that this isn't the case for most brides. Celebrating a marriage should be a joyous occasion.
But no one talks about what happens when it doesn't work out that way.
Weddings and Funerals bring out the worst in people, so they say. Having the experience of planning my wedding I couldn't agree more with this statement.
For those of you who were involved in my wedding process, #TriggerWarning.
So where do I began…
The Bridal Party
Prerequisites of the Bride: 0-2 bridesmaids
Prerequisites of the Groom: 10 groomsmen
I’ve always had a small, tight circle of friends and the friends that I do have, most of them don't run in the same circle. So for me to pick 10 friends who I thought would mesh well together was difficult and frankly, I didn’t want to. Being a bridesmaid is such an honor but I never pictured myself having a big bridal party. I wanted all my closest friends and family there but I never was the one to put emphasis on the bridal party. I know this might sound weird for you to read but I didn’t want anyone's feelings to get hurt about why I did or didn’t pick them. I didn’t want the drama of people not getting along or meshing well. And I didn’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable. As a Bride at the end of the day, my friends should be supporting me regardless. I would have preferred to have 20 deep at my bachelorette then 10 deep at my wedding. This had always been my thought process.
When we were kids my best friend and I would joke around by saying, “do you want to be in my wedding or a guest at my wedding." At a young age I never thought that I'd have a lot of people there. My family unit is so small and so is my friend group. But her response was always “I don’t care! As long as I’m there, you’ll be the only guest at mine!” This was our ongoing joke. But even as kids we never emphasized the wedding party as most brides do. I guess that's me being a nontraditional bride.
Even selecting only 2 bridesmaids was difficult for me. I pictured my oldest friend, who was my maid of honor, but I also would have picked one of my cousins. And the only reason why I didn't was because of the family drama revolving around who was in or invited to the wedding. It's absurd that my wedding party was based upon whose feelings I wouldn’t hurt.
Wes and I went back and forth on this topic for WEEKS before compromising on 4 bridesmaids and 4 groomsmen. The ladies that I picked for my wedding party were women who have known me in different areas of my life. I was proud to have them by my side for our relationships and to know that this was not to be swayed by any Politics. But of course, people still got offended.
Prerequisites for venue: A Saturday in September. Get married in 2018. Ballroom.
Wes and I got engaged September 10th, 2017 by the 25th, we already had a down deposit on our venue. When I say, I had my entire wedding planned out...
I. HAD. MY. ENTIRE. WEDDING. PLANNED. OUT. And many variations.
Hello! my name is Jasmine
and I’m Type-A.
To give you some insight on what this article will be about. Let's start by saying that I had to change our wedding date 4 times over 2 days.
Our venue only had one September date left in 2018 which was Sunday, September 2nd. So that was a solid no.
First Date Pick: December 31, 2018 - NYE Wedding - venue double booked the date so we had to move our wedding.
Second Date Pick: April 21, 2018 - this was too soon for the family.
Third Date Pick: October 27, 2018 - My mom’s job wouldn’t give her the time off of work, so we had to change that date too.
Now the only dates left at my venue were November 17th and 24th. Or December 15th and 29th.
We got married on Saturday, December 15th, 2018.
Now for some of you, this may not seem like a big deal. For us, the fact that we signed a contract, put down a $2,000 non-refundable deposit on a highly requested venue. And then had to change our date over and over because something kept happening. That was chaos and unheard of. Over 2 days, we only had 4 options left in 2018. If we decide against any of those remaining dates, we would have lost our deposit. Or had to push the wedding back again to sometime in 2019.
Prerequisites for the dress: ballroom or A-line, lots of beading, embellishments, and sparkle.
Prerequisites for dress shopping attendance: bridal party, mom, aunt, grandmother, and mother in law.
The Dress was something that I was the most nervous about picking. I wanted to feel like a woman in my wedding dress, I didn’t want to feel like “daddy’s princess” on my wedding day. I legit wanted to feel like a Queen walking down the aisle to her King. #adulting
So how did Dress Shopping turn out.
Because of family politics my aunt, grandmother, and mother in law were not in attendance. And then something about having an evil eye on your wedding dress? It's bad luck to have multiple people know what your wedding dress is going to look like...even your bridal party. Superstition and endless amounts of pressure were also involved. Thus no one from my bridal party was in attendance either.
I went to two bridal stores and I purchased a wedding dress from both stores.
The first store was Chryssie's Bridal. I ended up going there randomly with my mom one night and started crying at almost every dress I tried on. The consultant took my tears as some type of “this is it” moment. She was also putting me in dresses that only my mom wanted to see. I think I tried on only 3 dresses that I picked. And while I'm still in tears my mom is getting our her credit card out, and I'm hesitant. I stated that I needed to think about it. The consultants' response was, 'your emotional, you don't know what you want right now, this is a beautiful dress' and then proceeded to take down the card information. The consultant was right, I was emotional and I didn't know what I wanted but I knew that wasn't it. So why proceed with the transaction? When I'm telling you not to. I think one of the biggest things for me throughout the whole process was that I felt unheard. It wasn't a case of just speaking up, because I did that, multiple times. When I did, I was silenced. Or there was an argument.
As soon as I left to store and went home, I called my mom and said that was not that dress, I do not want it. I sent an email to the store the same night telling them to hold off on purchasing the dress. No response. I called a few times after that, again no response. When someone finally answered the phone I found out that they did not process any payment yet. There was hope! I had some time, so I thought. I was told the store owner would contact me. He never did. They charged my mom's card $1,000. Called again, and at this point, it was a wild goose chase. They processed the payment even after we told them not to and proceeded to tell us all sales are final. After months of disputing with this store, I finally received store credit.
The very next day after purchasing the dress from Chryssie's. I went to another store called, Giggi’s Bridal. I’ve followed this store for a while and they had all the sparkles a girl could imagine. The moment I tried on my dress, I was like this is the dress. I’m getting it. This is the one. This was the moment that my 9-year-old self was waiting for. I was tickled pink. This dress had everything I wanted. My mom hated it.
Imagine standing in your dream wedding dress and your mom has a look of disgust on her face.
I even customized it to make it a little less revealing and she still wasn't sold. Eventually, she said, if you like it that's all that matters. But I don't think those are the words that a bride wants to hear. And guys, my mom purchased my wedding dress. And paid for like 80% of my wedding. So I'm not shitting on her. I'm just saying I thought I was going to have that moment where we were all crying and hugging and in reality, it was...eh, next! She was more excited about the dress from Chryssie's.
Family & The Guest List
I wanted to have a grand wedding, in the sense of lots of food, entertainment, flowers, and the ceremony. As for people, I wanted an intimate wedding, 50-80 people max. My guest list had 40 people on it. My husband's guest list had like 70+ people.
Dealing with family members during this time was a pain in the a**.
I had family members come out of the woodwork DEMANDING an invitation. I’m talking about family members who would have to do a double-take if they saw me. I’m talking about family members who I haven’t seen since I was 7-years-old that live no more than 30 minutes away. I'm talking family members who did not come to any birthday or graduation. These are the people that don't even leave Happy Birthday on Facebook.
I started to receive RSVP’s showing names of people who were not invited, on the official RSVP card. And not even including the guest who the invitation was originally addressed to.
Imagine sending a wedding invitation to Uncle Sam. Then when you receive Uncle Sam’s invitation back, and his name isn’t on it, but Aunt Sally, Uncle Joe, plus their 3 kids RSVP’ed. I didn’t even know I had an Uncle Joe and Aunt Sally.
We also had a kid-free wedding - so that also caused an uproar.
Then you have In-Laws that start to get offended over things that have nothing to do with them. Or they start to question their involvement. Or better yet, lying and fabricating truths. I probably had the only wedding in history that had the least amount of family members in attendance. And frankly, I didn’t care. We invited friends first, then our closet family second. We didn't do it this way to be malicious. We did it this way because we had a small wedding! Ultimately, I only wanted to invite people who I KNEW would come.
What I thought was interesting was how offended people got. Because I didn’t think they cared in the first place. They didn’t show any interest in my life up until this point so why start now? at a grand event, where I’m paying for you to eat. The first time a whole side of my family would have met Wes would have been at my wedding, no thanks. Same goes for Wes' side. He received a lot of backlash for not inviting certain people. Even when he invited them and they RSVP’ed “Yes,” they were no shows. We had about 30 no shows. We invited around 110 people and less than 80 people were at the wedding. Probably closer to 50.
Fun Fact about me: I'm a debutante. Which means I know a little more about etiquette then the average person. So if I couldn't receive a courtesy phone call saying you weren't going to show up, then I should probably send you a courtesy bill. 😉
Another reason why I wanted to have a small wedding, to begin with, was because of pre-marital class. We learned to only invite those who are supportive of your marriage. This is a given, but I didn't care to turn my wedding into a show. I didn't care to invite everyone just because I could. If you were not supportive of our relationship at one point or another, you weren't invited. If you didn't care to be involved up until this point, you weren't invited. If you didn't care for my spouse as much as you cared for me, you weren't invited. This may seem harsh but its the truth.
This is why people elope!
Even one guest stated they didn’t know Wes had a girlfriend, none the less getting married. By 2018, Wes and I would have been together for 6 years. If you weren't involved within those 6 years, you shouldn't been receiving an invite in the first place. Sorry, not sorry. We went to the same college and graduated together the same year. We purchased a house, got engaged, had a house warming party, are all over social media, and you didn’t know?
There was also a moment where I had multiple run-ins with a spouse of a relative leading up to the wedding. They never said Hello to me in each encounter. Yet, on the same day, they would be liking my post on Facebook. At this point, I was being ignored. Come time for us to send our invitations, we were informed that we forgot to add this person to the invite. No we didn’t. We invited family members only, not girlfriends, boyfriends, or baby-whatever. If you can’t say hello to me when I’m standing right in front of you, do you honestly think you should be attending my wedding?
Let me put this in perspective
During this planning period, I need to take a moment to highlight some important factors. I don’t think even my wedding party or some family members knew about this.
First off, I’m a very emotional person if you couldn’t figure that out by now. And I handle stress very poorly when it comes to personal stuff. My first instinct is always to shut down and shut off. Even when I voice my opinion, I tend to cry, yell, or shut down.
During this time I went to the hospital 17 times. This doesn’t even include Urgent Care Visits (I’m not exaggerating, I checked my medical records). 2 of those 17 times required me to have invasive surgeries. The other 15 times were due to severe chest pain in finding out that I had an abnormal heartbeat. I also had severe abdominal pain. Extreme shortness of breath that turned into 2 cases of pneumonia. I then got a random skin infection 2 months before my wedding. When I ended up seeing my PCP most of these things ended up being triggered by Stress. Not become of some pre-diagnosed condition. I also had an extremely bad chemical peel on my face, unintentionally. Because you know, my dermatologist decided to bless me with an early wedding gift.
The level of stress that I was under was insane, I made myself sick. And I couldn’t do anything about it. During this time, I think to the outside world I looked standoffish. But for good reason. What was interesting is that no one asked if I was OK. No one. So when they found out I was sick one weekend, the responses I received, was like “oh well, I didn’t know. You didn’t say anything. You were ignoring me.” While the world around me was getting so offended, no one seemed to care about how offended I was getting.
The week of October 30th, 2018, my levels were so high that I called off the wedding. For a week. I didn’t want to share it with anyone because I needed to think about what I wanted and if this was worth it. I was thinking of ways to pay my bridesmaids back for the dresses they purchased. I was thinking of how I'm supposed to pay my mom back for all the money that she spent thus far. Wes told my mom what was going on. She was the only one that knew. And even to her it was a surprise.
Later that week, Wes and I met with our mentors from premarital counseling. They helped us walk through the process of our other options. There are always options.
I needed to give up planning my wedding. The stress of dealing with everyone and their opinions were killing me.
At this point, my entire wedding was already planned. I decided to hire a Month of Coordinator. The actual first sentence of that email I wrote her was,
“I have planned my entire wedding. I have now hit the point where I am 46 days away from marrying my best friend and it feels that my world is caving in.”
While I’ve planned many weddings, no amount of drama has ever compared to mine. Even when I ended up redirecting all communications about the wedding to the coordinator (because that's why I hired her) people were still coming to me and ignoring her. When I would respond with "please contact the coordinator" of course, I'm a bitch now.
I hired my coordinator to heal and to try to enjoy the last 46 days left of my wedding journey. Even after hiring the coordinator, the negative responses that I received were devastating. Because at that point, I was taking the advice from our mentors and coordinator and that was it. I couldn't think for myself in those moments anymore. My mental state was shot, I hated the experience, and at this point, it was about getting me to the finish line.
At one point I was even envious of Wes because I felt like he was enjoying the process so much more than I was. He wasn't taking the hits. And while he's the Groom..I'm the Bride. I should be experiencing Bridal Bliss and the fact that it wasn't my reality was heart-breaking.
The Wedding Day
Please enjoy the plethora of comments that I received regarding our wedding.
"It's going to be cold"
"what if there's a blizzard"
"what if we can’t leave because the snow is too bad"
"what is the Plan B scheduled date?"
"what if mother nature decides to throw up on Massachusetts?"
"Who has a December wedding in New England!"
"aw-ew, a winter wedding"
"But, I'm going to be cold"
"Do you want it to look like Christmas or something? how cliche"
"That's...cute...I wouldn't do it though."
Getting married in any winter month in Massachusetts is like playing Russian Roulette. December in Massachusetts can range anywhere from 20-50 degrees. With or without snow. The amount of negativity revolving around our wedding date was beyond ridiculous. And this was also coming from people WHO WERE INVITED TO THE WEDDING. We even had people RSVP "No" in November because, "they didn’t want to take that chance". Cool.
Truth is, it rained almost the week and it rained the morning of the wedding. We had a 6 pm wedding and had first look photos around 1 pm. It was 55 degrees on December 15th, 2018. It was warm!
THANK YOU JESUS!
The night before the wedding, my maid of honor was helping me set up my dress since it was sitting in the bag for so long. For some reason and thank god she did, she decided to go through each layer of my dress to fluff it out. While she was going layer by layer, she found a multitude of sewing needles throughout my dress. That the tailor never took out!
Let's think for a moment how much of a disaster that would have been if she never did that. Thanks Trisha.
Once she showed me, I started laughing like the Joker. I was hyperventilating and she didn't know what was happening with me. I didn't either. I was laughing and crying so hard that I ended up on the floor. In my mind, I’m like this whole process is almost over. The day before my wedding I was running around doing errands when I should have been resting. Then the night before there are still needles in my dress! Like when I thought I was so close to the finish line and then that happened I’m like, how! I was in complete shock.
There was even drama in the limo on my way to the Venue.
As soon as I stepped foot on to my Venue all my problems went away. I was only focused on getting married and taking in that very moment. I was an emotional wreck for sure. But at that moment I was finally happy. I didn’t care what happened at the Venue as long as I got married.
An ambulance was called at the beginning of dinner and two tables ended up leaving to console the person that was ill. Our venue was super accommodating and even offered to give them their meals to go. Our pastors ended up keeping us away from the ordeal and I didn't even realize what was happening. On the bright side, the person ended up being OK.
It gets better though. One of the guests at the table who voluntarily left made a comment saying how I owe them dinner. This wasn’t a joke, she was serious. She still says this at every. family. function.
Instead of worrying about what was happening with the person who left in an ambulance. Or being like 'oh no so sorry but I'm going to head out with them and make sure they are OK, enjoy your wedding!' Your talking about what I owe you?
This was a series of unfortunate events. And what I believe was a spiritual attack. But despite all the barriers I still made the best decision. My relationship with my husband is stronger than ever before.
Surprisingly, there was still so much that I left out in this post. If you would be interested in Part 2 please let me know in the comments section below!
"what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events may in fact be the first steps of a journey." - Lemony Snicket