So lost in a sea of tulle that even Martha couldn't find you?

Too often in the frenzy of planning a wedding and preparing for THE BIG DAY, the real reason for what is about to happen gets lost. Very lost. Couples lose sight of why they are doing all this planning and lose touch with each other. You can get so wrapped up in the details of the day because there are so many – the photos, the dresses, the invitations, the food, and on and on and on! It is overwhelming and exciting and frustrating and extremely time consuming and it can easily take over your life.

I know what those of you who aren’t married yet are thinking: “No way would that ever happen to me! I think I can control myself around wedding gowns and hydrangeas just fine, thankyouverymuch. I’ve never even picked up a bridal magazine, so no worries here. And anyway, my boyfriend and I will be great, I already know he will be really involved in the planning.”

Um-kay. Check back with me about 3 months before your wedding and see if you can honestly say the same thing. Now, I will say that these issues don’t happen to everyone but for most there are at least a few symptoms. Here is a handy guide for you to help recognize when trouble is on the horizon and keep it at bay:

Symptom: You forget you have a fiance while talking to vendors.
Commonly used phrases: “For MY wedding, I want…”, “MY day will be perfect”
Solutions: Repeat after me, “For OUR wedding, I want…” Try to remember that without your fiance, none of this would be happening – unless you plan on being like the woman who married a dolphin or the one who married herself while wearing a dress covered with latex nipples. (No, I am not making these up, go Google it.) Also, don’t forget that he is the one you will be spending the rest of your life with so make sure he will still like you when all this is done.

Symptom: You have temper tantrums over things that would have never even crossed your mind before that shiny thing slid onto your finger for the first time. This behavior is basically a regression to the same mental state that said that dropping to the floor to flop around like a dying carp while screaming at the top of your lungs because the shoes you wanted to wear with Big Bird on them did not, in fact, match the dress you hate that your Mother – who is evil – is trying to make you wear was an appropriate way to handle conflict.
Commonly used phrases: “But the invitations don’t match my dress exactly!”, “_______ better not happen on my wedding day or I will LOSE IT!!” (you fill in the blank with anything at all like rain, getting a cold, someone breathing too loud in the church) and “My wedding is ruined!”
Solutions: Remember why you are doing this! You are marrying the love of your life, not putting on a wedding to impress the world. And really, if someone brings an invite with them to the wedding so they can make sure that you match it, tell them to leave immediately and then step on their toes in your pretty shoes. Really hard. After all, the only things you need to get married are a license, you, him, someone who is legally ordained to marry you and maybe a witness or two. The rest is icing on the cake – which you really don’t have to have either when it all comes down to it.

Symptom: You get really mad at your fiance/mother/best friend for not being just as upset as you are when the invitations don’t match your dress perfectly.
Commonly used phrases: “Honey, I know you really DO care so just tell me which one you like better, the roses or the daisies.”, “No, Mom, I am not going to calm down!”
Solutions: Understand that your wedding is more important to you than anyone else in the world, even your fiance. Period. Trying to make them care more than they actually do will simply backfire into lots of shrugging and conversation avoidance by all parties – not a fun way to spend your engagement. Maybe, just maybe, it isn’t that he doesn’t care but he knows that whatever he says will somehow be wrong so he just wants you to be happy. Revel in those moments.

Symptom: You have major delusions of grandeur.
Commonly used phrases: “Everyone is going to be in tears when they see me for the first time!” (this one is accompanied with a somewhat evil twinkle in the bride’s eye as if to imply that unless everyone in attendance spontaneously bursts into sobs the moment she is visible, she is gonna be maaaaaddddd)
Solutions: Realize how seriously freakish would that be. Really. Crying at the vows is one thing, everyone crying at the sight of the bride says something is very, very wrong!

To sum it up, don’t lose sight of the real reason you are planning a wedding – it gets you to the marriage and the marriage lasts a lot longer than the wedding. And if things get too tough (or you exhibit any of the above symptoms), take a break from the plans. Walk away for a day or a week or even just an evening. Trust me, the plans will be there when you go back to them and you relationship will be better off in the long run.

Unless your fiance is a dolphin or you have latex nipples on your dress, then maybe just walk away for good. (I can’t wait to see the search engine hits I get from that phrase!)

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