“Have a strong day.” he said. And, all I could think about as I walked away is how clever it was to say, “Have a strong day,” as opposed to, “Have a great day,” or “Have a lovely morning,”. I mean, even though I was walking towards the treadmill at the gym, prior to embarking on a super difficult boot camp session, and, oh, the dude who uttered such brilliance was a trainer, I’ve been thinking about it all morning… I can’t shake it and it’s dual meaning. And, I’m 100% going to steal this double entendre, and use it every chance I get. Why? Because it resinated with me. It literally moved me. It made me run faster on the treadmill, and push myself harder during boot camp, but more than anything else, it made me get out of my head, move past the bullshit I’ve been holding onto, and DECIDE to have a fucking strong day! Literally and figuratively! And, you know what, bridey? You can have a strong day too! Allow me to elaborate…
Bridey, I know that there are days when it all feels like too much. You have a job, you have responsibilities, you want to workout or spend time with your sig other, and at the same time you need to keep up with wedding planning timelines, deadlines, and targets. Annnnnndddd…. On top of all of that, there are quite a few factors that make you feel like shit while wedding planning; shit that depletes your strength and makes you feel like crawling into bed, hiding under the covers and sleeping until it’s all over. Am I right? A lot of things can make you feel like shit, and they range in decibels as they echo over and over in your head. So, why don’t we focus on the top five (so that your head doesn’t explode)? Because as much as I hate to admit it, there are way too many wedding planning woes that can fuck with your mojo, and by discussing the top five, hopefully we will set you up to handle the other, smaller woes that can make you feel weak, and diminish our “strong day” goals. Ready? I’m just gonna spew them out, and then give you some pointers… Family dynamics, budget, weight loss, loss of a parent and bridal party drama.
1. Why don’t we start with a big one? Family dynamics. BRUTAL for some of you… And unfortunately, without knowing the specific details, I can’t give you specific advice, but I can tell you that these problems will not fix themselves. It’s important for you to deal with the issues that arise as they happen because sitting on them will not make them go away, (nor will wishing them away). For example, if your soon to be mother-in-law is super opinionated, and attempting to recreate her wedding vicariously through you and your sig other, then squash it as quickly as it begins. How? Give her a few wedding planning jobs to do (that you either aren’t fond of doing yourself, or that you don’t particularly care about) so that she feels like she’s contributing. I’m betting that’s why she’s behaving the way that she is. Because she’s feels excluded from the big picture. Don’t underestimate the power of inclusion (or exclusion). And even though she’s not communicating this well, or the way she’s expressing herself grates on the very fibers of your soul, it’s the truth.
Look, bridey, no matter what you’re up against, oftentimes, tough family dynamics usually boil down to very simple roots; roots that were tangled a long time ago and need to be addressed with kid gloves, and carefully. So, if it was your parents tumultuous divorce, drama over the guest list, or the budget, think back to where this trouble might have stemmed from… And, handle it using the basics we learned in kindergarten. Be nice to others, include others, respect others… It’s important for you to dig deep, be STRONG, and remember why you are getting married in the first place.
2. Budget. I swear it should be a four letter word. Because it sucks, it stings, and it stinks. Seriously, don’t you wish weddings were free? Fuck yeah you do! But, the truth is that they aren’t. And the other truth is that you, bridey, don’t really have a clue what things cost because you’ve never done this before (most of you anyway). Weddings are an expensive milestone. And, staying strong during money conversations is HARD especially because most of the time it feels like you’re giving up something that you really want. Right? That’s where I need you to adjust your thinking… Every time you have to let go of something you want, just think of what you’re replacing it with…
Not enough cash for a band? Don’t worry! A great DJ will rock your wedding, and you don’t have to worry about a band learning new songs or eight vendor meals. Purchase a preowned designer wedding dress instead of buying a new one. Are most of your guests local? Awesome! Then get married on a Friday or Sunday. Most venues will work with your budget on their “off” days. You see where I’m going with this, right?
3. Losing weight. Fuuuuuuuccccckkkk! Fuck it’s hard to lose weight. You gotta measure, calculate and workout. Seriously, I’m exhausted just thinking about it! Here’s the thing. I LOVE to workout. I always have… But, I also LOVE to eat, and poorly. Well, not poorly, just sugary, boozy and carby. Is that so bad?? But, what I have come to learn is that I feel better when I eat healthy. I have more energy. I don’t feel lethargic at 3 PM. My mind is sharper.
Bridey, if you “need” to lose weight (I say need in parenthesis because a lot of the time it isn’t necessarily a necessity, but more of a desire), focus less on the number and more on how you feel when you treat your body well. Focus on getting strong. Focus on how great it feels to sweat your stress out. And then balance it with what you eat. And quit beating yourself up when you do eat sugar, booze and carbs. Just get back on track, immediately. Don’t give in to a case of the “fuck-its”. Try to make this less about sweatin’ for the weddin’ and more about living a healthy lifestyle, forever. HAVE A STRONG DAY!
4. Loss of a parent. Gulp. First of all, I am deeply sorry. I feel for you, bridey. Not having one or both of your parents present on your wedding day is difficult at best. And it sucks. And you are absolutely allowed to feel like shit about missing them as you plan your wedding. But, do your best to find a way to honor them without making yourself too sad. Because on your wedding day? They are there with you, and the last thing they’d want for you on such a big day is sadness, right? So, honor their memory and celebrate their life as you enter a new phase of yours.
5. Bridal party drama. I am literally cringing as I type. This one gets me every time because of what I have seen first hand. Here’s the thing… Don’t choose your bridal party out of obligation. I can assure you that by doing so, you are absolutely setting yourself (and the others) up for drama. Who do you want next to you on your wedding day? Who will listen, like truly listen, as you vent about your wedding plans, and care? Who will tell you that your ass isn’t right in that wedding dress, and to keep searching for one that fits you better? THOSE are the peeps you want by your side! And if that means that your sister from another mister doesn’t make the cut because she’s not reliable, forgetful and sometimes selfish, so be it. Be strong. Get ahead of it. Have a conversation with her before asking the others to stand. Stop the drama before it begins.
Bridey, I know that by simply encouraging you to have a STRONG day, doesn’t mean that you will. And, I know that some days will be harder than others. But, you are in charge of how you feel. You can choose to feel strong or weak. So any time anybody says, “Have a good day,” I want you to change that sentence in your head to, “Have a STRONG day,” and then go do it! Got it??
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash