Hey, girl! Today I’m sharing 10 Wedding Misconceptions I wish I knew while I was engaged. Did you just get engaged? Are you about to get engaged? Maybe you’re just building up that Pinterest board for the future Mr. Right and not quite ready to be engaged. No matter where you are in life, this blog is for you. And that is because anyone who’s heard of marriage and wedding planning has heard all the good, the bad and the ugly.
There’s more to this list than just logistical things I wish I knew while I was engaged. And while some of those things have made this list, there’s a lot more to my experience that I wish I had known a long time ago. I’m all about being real and honest about these wedding misconceptions. So you ready for some encouragement, girl? Let’s dive in!
All my life, I had these expectations about the moment I would get engaged based on movies, TV shows, Pinterest and more. Would Michael propose to me on a cliffside in some exotic land with all our friends and family there to cheer us on with a surprise helicopter ride and a Michelin star meal planned at the end of the night? Lol nope. I loved our simple and quiet proposal in a sentimental location with just our immediate families present. Michael planned it perfectly, and it meant the world to me!
This is by far one of our favorite wedding misconceptions. We originally were planning a smaller wedding to begin with. And that was for somewhere around 110 people. Even then, I was unsure if we were going to be able to afford it. So when the pandemic forced weddings and events to adapt to the new rules, a micro wedding for 10 sounded perfect to us! What I didn’t realize though, is that booking smaller venues requires more external cost like rentals, coordination, accommodations and more. And it adds up. I wouldn’t change what we’ve ended up doing for anything this year, so I would encourage others who are in a similar situation to not make any assumptions about the cost of time and money it will take to plan your own micro wedding.
When I was younger, I used to be extremely extroverted. It was so hard for me to be alone and not with people. Over time and after being in a relationship, my personality started to shift and I was no longer in need of all that attention. Now, I’m an introverted people pleaser who has a hard time saying no but hates to have all eyes on her. So the idea of walking down the aisle with countless eyeballs pointed in my direction absolutely terrifies me. Not much I can do about it though—I am the bride 😂
Now that we’re down to the final two weeks of our wedding and my photography season is over for the year, I’m so focused on our wedding details. It should come as no surprise to anyone that, as a wedding photographer, I’m obsessed with the little things. Everything matters to me because all I’m thinking about is how it will all look in a final photo gallery. It’s okay to care that each guest gets a personalized favor or that the chairs are the perfect shade of white for your ceremony. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re crazy or high maintenance for caring about the little things.
Someone recently told me that choosing a wedding dress is like choosing a partner. There are things you like and things you don’t like about it. But ultimately, you love it and you choose to love it. Fashion trends and personal taste changes over time. What matters is that you feel beautiful and you know your partner is going to think you’re beautiful when they see you in it. That’s how I feel about mine. It’s a beautiful dress, and every time I put it on, I do love it more and more. It doesn’t have the long sleeves or straight across neckline I always imagined, but it’s beautiful, and I know Michael will love it.
Michael and I have had to learn a lot about each other in these 18 months or so. The first few weeks of engagement were glorious. We hadn’t picked a wedding date yet or spent any money. Once we started committing to things, my need to be perfect and right about everything got in the way of me loving my partner well. And as an enneagram 6, I crave and fight hard for security. Not only did it feel like a lot of money was leaving our bank accounts, but COVID happened and we both lost our jobs right before the wedding. A recipe of disaster for a control freak like me. It’s okay to experience anger and frustration, especially during a pandemic. Allow yourself to feel how you feel. Reach out to your wise counsel. They’ve got your back.
Growing up, it was movies and the generation before me (I’m a millennial) that taught us the bride’s parents pay for the wedding. Yes, that is the old tradition, but this is 2020 and my parents paid for my college education (along with my two brothers) and plenty of other things. Plus, they had their own financial commitments that took precedence over giving me tens of thousands of dollars for a wedding. Michael and I have paid for 95% of our wedding, and we are extremely grateful for the extra contributions from my parents. Don’t assume your family will give you all the money—make a plan, set your budget, and work together to stick to it.
Girl, let me tell you I am the first one to admit that I really want a pretty wedding. I want it to be editorial and luxurious and worthy of people’s time. Not just our guests, but our vendors, too! As a fellow wedding vendor, I have felt immense pressure to make our little wedding pretty enough for our vendors to want to want with us. That is a complete internal insecurity that got in the way of my relationship with Michael many times. And it’s put extreme pressure on our finances, too. Oops. Please remember that while we wedding photographers do love pretty things, it’s more important to us that you and your spouse-to-be are pouring into your relationship more than you are pouring into your wedding. We encourage you to invest in premarital counseling and read books together. You can start with our fave: The 5 Love Languages.
One time, Michael was driving my brother and I somewhere and his approach to driving was very different from ours. At one point, Michael asked us to be patient and Joey (my brother) said, “The Mannino’s aren’t a patient people.” We were always told that engagement will fly by. The time between the proposal and the “I do’s” will go so fast, you’ll wonder where it went. In our experience, it’s more like a start and stop. Sometimes, it feels like the months just disappeared and then others it feels like the big day will never get here.
Too often people are fooled into thinking being engaged somehow makes everything better. Not everyone experiences this, and I’m fairly certain we’ve all been told this in some form or fashion. I’m here to tell you as a bride who is days away from her wedding, Michael’s and my relationship has not gotten easier. Our problems still exist; in fact, they are magnified. New ones are uncovered. And here’s the beautiful thing about that: that is okay. There is nothing wrong with having problems. And the people who are FOR you are for both of you as a couple. Working through these issues deepens your relationship. It brings you closer to each other. Closer than you could even imagine. It’s an intimacy that is ineffable. And that is truly a remarkable thing.
Hey girl! We are Michael and Angela, a sweetheart team of wedding photographers based in the Bay Area, California. I (Angela) am incredibly passionate about encouraging women to believe they are worthy now for all good things. It’s such a joy to get to do that through light and airy, colorful wedding photography. If you haven’t noticed, we are obsessed with Taylor Swift and Taco Bell. Plus, the Hamilton soundtrack has been on repeat for months in our house. Are you starting to plan your 2021 or 2022 wedding and searching for a wedding photographer? We’d love the chance to serve you. Contact us today!