Stress-free Bride

The Truth Hurts Tuesday ~ 10 Life Experiences More Stressful Than Planning a Wedding

Bridey, I know that planning a wedding is stressful, and oftentimes, painstakingly brutal. So, today I thought I would open your eyes to ten life experiences more stressful than planning a wedding. Well, perhaps not more stressful, but definitely just as stressful for sure! And the crazy thing? Most of you have probably experienced at least 5 things on this list. It all comes down to perspective. I mean... Although it's difficult to imagine while you're in the midst of planning your wedding, there are life changes in which the stress trumps the angst you're feeling right now as you make your wedding plans.

So, bridey, I challenge you to take yourself back to the coping mechanisms you used to get through these tough times... Because, it's time to stop the bullshit excuses, and quit feeding into the bridezilla behavior. Your 100% better than that! Let's make the word "bride" synonymous with "awesome" instead of "bridezilla". Okay? Hopefully, looking at this list of stressful life experiences will help you put your wedding planning into perspective, and help you get through the wedding craziness (family dynamics, budget, etc.) Here are my thoughts (and not in any particular order):

1. Buying a House: Which inevitably means that you have to move, and both can be pretty brutal! I remember the day my hus and I closed on our house, and as exciting as it was, it was SUPER stressful! Providing all of the bank statements, W2s, etc. felt like a colossal task. And thennnnnn.... The move! Oye vey! Packing shit up, moving shit in, unpacking the shit. Yikes! 

2. College: I did well in school, but there wasn't enough Xanax in the world to calm my nerves before finals. I remember telling myself that, "By this time next week, it will all be over." Seriously, I would have traded planning a million weddings over taking an accounting final! But, I survived, and looking back, I wish I could have told myself to chill the fuck out, and quit getting in my own way.

3. Getting Fired: Sooooooo..... Forever ago, I was a hostess at a fine dining establishment, and was scheduled to work on an evening that my future hus (didn't know that at the time) had invited me to attend his summer outing for work. My boss said that if I missed that particular evening, she would fire me. And, you know what? She did. Money was tight for a few weeks after that, but I got through it... And who knows? Perhaps that was the night I sealed my fate with my husband.

4. Death: It's not easy to cope when a loved one passes away, but life eventually goes on, and we heal. Living through it is hard, and stressful. Kinda makes stressing over which passed hors d'oeuvres to select for cocktail hour seem miniscule, right?

5. Illness: Less than a year after I got married, my husband passed SEVERAL pulmonary embolisms through his heart and into his lungs. It was horribly scary (I was terrified that he would die, and it's a miracle he didn't!), and I hope to never go through anything that intensely horrific again. I'm pretty sure I dropped about 10 pounds in one week, and struggled with PTSD thereafter. Thankfully, he's doing great, but man... Talk about perspective!

6. Public Speaking: I don't usually have a problem with this, but sometimes it sneaks up on me. And for most people, it's painful. Right? I mean, oftentimes, there's sweating involved, racing hearts and sweaty palms. Ick! Super stressful!

7. Job Interview: "Don't fuck it up. Don't fuck it up. Don't fuck it up." Yeah... That's what used to play over and over again in my head when I was interviewing. And, depending on the job at stake, interviewing takes preparation, poise and confidence. Throw in some competition for the position... Yikes! Totally exasperating! 

8. Pregnancy/Birth: Do I really have to elaborate? I have two incredible children, but man did I fight to have those little assholes. We went through IVF, and between the needles, blood draws, wands (that's my special word for an internal ultrasound or transvaginal ultrasound. Ewwwwww! Use your imagination!), and everybody and their mother seeing my vag... To say it was a stressful time in our lives would be a huge fucking understatement! I don't want to scare anybody out of getting pregnant, so I'll leave it there, but pregnancy? Birth? FUCKING STRESSFUL!

9. Parenthood: You know that joke about how babies/kids don't come with an instruction manual? Well, they don't. And there have been numerous times since my kids arrived that I totally would have sought from said manual if it existed! I LOVE being a mother, but I also like knowing what I'm doing, so sometimes it's really fucking hard.

10. Divorce: I mean... Think about all of that money you're spending on one day, bridey. Now imagine spending quadruple that amount, and not nearly getting everything you want. That's divorce!

Perspective. Perspective. Perspective. 

Image via Examined Existence

Limit of Two "Bride Freak-Outs" for This Stress-Free Bride

Happy New Year Brideys!! I'm so excited for the upcoming year! To those of you recently engaged brideys (like over the New Year and/or Christmas), CONGRATULATIONS! And to those of you more experienced brideys, enjoy this spread! But, no matter how long you've been engaged, and what stage you are in with your wedding plans, I suggest paying close attention to this wedding because I'm REALLY excited to show it off to you today. Cassandra is a fabulous example of a cool DIY bride who remained calm when things got hot. 

First of all, I love Cassandra and Josh's love story. It's really awesome when two people who've known each other for a long time finally realize that "the one" has been in front of their face the whole time! Opps! Sorry to give it away, but I'm a bit obsessed! Right? Secondly, not only is Cassandra GORGEOUS, but I cannot get over her dress... Seriously. And DAMN, this chick has some AMAZING legs! 

Finally, I have a deep respect for any bride who recognizes that wedding planning has the ability to be a bit stressful, and then limits herself to a maximum of TWO "Bride Freak-Outs". Hell yeah! She simply got it out of her system, and moved forward. TOTALLY my kind of bride! 

1. Bridey, how did you meet your spouse? (The short and sweet version please.) 

Josh and I met at our university's freshman orientation. 

2. How long were you together before you were engaged? 

We had been friends for years before we ever started dating, and once we were, the engagement came pretty quick - about 7 months. 

3. What was the length of time between the engagement and the wedding?

6 months! 

4. Where did your wedding take place? (Venue, city and state)

At the Showalter's Estate in Olympia, Washington.

5. If you had to rate your wedding planning experience on a scale of one to ten with one being shitty, and ten being awesome, how would you rate it? 

It was definitely a ten, but I had one day when I thought it was a one. (; 

6. What was your favorite part of the wedding planning process? Least fave?

I loved doing everything on my own; all of the crafts and decorations were such a great way for me to calm down and really appreciate the wedding to come. My least favorite part was two weeks before the wedding when our original venue fell through, I was a wreck and really had no idea what I was going to do but obviously everything ended up working out perfectly. (:

7. Did anything go wrong (that you were aware of) at your wedding? If so, we’d love to hear about it (and maybe even see a picture?). Allow us to learn from you, bridey!

I would definitely recommend doing pictures before the wedding! My hubby and I wanted to keep things traditional and not see each other before the aisle, which meant pictures had to be done after our "I do's", and that cut into valuable reception time. By the time we had finished taking all of our pictures, a lot of our guest had decided to leave which was kind of disappointing. But, the pictures were really important to both of us, so it was something we were okay with in the end because now we have these beautiful captured moments of us on our special day that we will love and cherish for the rest of our lives. 

(I'm DYING over this kiss!!! )

8. What was the biggest challenge you faced from the moment you were engaged to the day you walked down the aisle?

I can't help but laugh at this question now that I can look back on everything. Josh and I spent a good portion of our relationship long distance; he was in South Carolina and then Arizona while I was in Hawaii this past year. Our engagement happened while both of us were home for Christmas and the New Year, and afterwards we were both off to our opposite sides of the country. So, the biggest challenge for us was trying to plan our wedding long distance, with hopes of it being in our home state. That meant I was left trying to do most of the planning over the phone, online and with tremendous amount of help from my mom because I wasn't able to physically be in Washington to visit places or plan hands on. Luckily, I made it back to Washington about a month before the wedding, and was able to plan things out in person!

9. What advice do you wish you had before started planning your wedding?

I think the most valuable piece of advice I was given was by my mom. She reminded me everyday that this was my special day and no one else's, to plan it how I wanted it, to not get stressed out by the little things, and enjoy every moment because before I know it the day will come and go. 

10. Looking back, would you have done anything differently?

I don't think so, I'm so happy with how everything turned out. 

11. Bridey, please provide the most valuable lesson you learned while planning your wedding.

I limited myself to two "bride freak-outs", and they were both done in the comforts of my own home where no one had to deal with me but me. Being able to cry over everything at once, by myself, was better than freaking out on an innocent bystander who doesn't deserve that kind of emotion. And, it was rewarding to hear from everyone what a calm and stress-free bride I was. 


Industry Folk (AKA Vendors):

Venue: The Showalters Estate
Food: Smokin (Also operated by the Showalters)
Florist: DIY
DJ: iPod!!!
Hair and Makeup: DIY
Dress: ASOS