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What you don’t need to worry about on your wedding day

Josephine Walsh

Having made it to our first wedding anniversary, plus been to several weddings as a guest and member of the bridal party, here are some of the most amusing and common things you needn’t worry about in the lead-up to the big day.

Will people want to come?

You: “Venue can fit 150 people, we’ve invited 120. Some people won’t make it, so we’ll probably have about 13 guests total, because maybe people won’t want to come.”

Everyone else: “This is ridiculous.”

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Of course your friends and family will make the effort to come to your special day so that they can bask in the reflected glow of your love, enjoy a free meal and cut loose on the dance floor with a couple of vinos under their belt. Set an early RSVP date so know your numbers ahead of time, offer to help those travelling make suitable arrangements, and then calm down.

The Weather

Two weeks before our wedding, a work colleague gleefully asked if I had heard about my venue cancelling all bookings on the day, as the town had been cut off due to flooding.

Although this article reads to the contrary, I tried really, really hard not to worry about our wedding. Every detail was secondary to standing at the altar with my husband and actually getting married. This annoying comment inspired a mental image worthy of a soap opera – my husband and I kitted out in our wedding gear separated by a raging creek bed.

Firstly, when I rang the venue, it turned out that my colleague was wrong about Gundaroo being closed due to flooding. Secondly, there is nothing that you can do about unexpected rain, cold snaps, unseasonal hail, oppressive heat or a gusty day. Have an idea of what to expect and plan accordingly – tell your guests to rug up, or provide paper fans if you’re expecting a scorcher.

Oh, and thirdly – do not tell a bride-to-be that the weather’s set to be terrible, unless you’re deliberately trying to be uninvited to her farewell afternoon tea.

Not stranded by a raging flood, but nearly stumped by a cattle-grid.

Not stranded by a raging flood, but nearly stumped by a cattle-grid.

Can I contour my arms?

Typing ‘wedding diet’ into Google yields over 20 million results, with taglines like ‘Get ready to put your back, arms, shoulders and side-boob on display!’. Here is an actual conversation between two of my close friends, one who had recently tied the knot and the other who was about to:

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Here’s the lowdown: Gentle yoga will help calm your unfounded worries about your arms, and even if you never get into Eagle Pose, you’ll be toning them anyway. A good, tested fake tan works wonders. And you’ll be so dang happy on the day that you’ll look a million bucks.

Planning the next G20 would surely be easier than your seating plan

Despite planning your seating chart with laser-like precision, chances are your guests are going to move around, chat, and make the bar, dance floor and you the temporary centre of their universe. If someone unexpected turns up, the venue will make something work. It’s happened before, it’s probably not going to happen to you, but if it does, it’s not the end of the world!

Doing things you’ve paid or asked other people to do

One sure-fire way to increase wedding stress is assuming you, and only you, can manage every single detail. Of course you and your partner have expectations of how everything will look, feel and flow, and you probably want to be involved in creating or overseeing the small aspects which will make the day unique.

If you’re paying for specialist services, don’t be that demanding client who sends daily emails and questions every decision. If you’ve done your research and booked someone whose aesthetic aligns with yours, is communicative and organised, you should only need to give input when asked. Presumably, this is not their first rodeo – trust them and let them do what you’re paying them for.

In no way could I have done this myself. Florist: Peony n Pearl.

In no way could I have done this myself. Florist: Peony n Pearl.

Similarly, if you’ve asked or been lucky enough to have a friend offer to help, let them without being overbearing. Show them what you’d like, set a timeframe with wriggle room, and then let them actually help. You probably don’t need to be on-hand to see that the twine around the napkins has a bow circumference of precisely 2cm. Be ready to adjust your expectations – a real wedding is not the realisation of a dozen Pinterest boards magically implanted into real life.

Look no further

Just because you finally find your perfect dress does not mean that you won’t see others that you’ll like or want. Once you start buying outfits for yourself and the bridal party, as well as committing to a venue or honeymoon destination, stop looking. This is not a good use of your time and will only make you feel like you’ve missed out on something better or made the wrong decision. You haven’t.

The speeches

Will Mum and Dad give a blow-by-blow account of most of my major milestones from birth up until today? Will the in-laws then do exactly the same? Who is most likely to replay the college hook-up highlights and lowlights reel?

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This is simple:

  • Only ask people to give a speech if you want them to
  • They’ll probably speak for triple the time you give them. So if you think they’ll talk for 15 minutes, tell them they only have 5 – the result will be somewhere in the middle!
  • Ask speakers to talk with each other so they don’t double up
  • If you’re worried about certain topics or stories being brought up, be blunt and state that these can’t be included.

Worrying about everyone else

Whether you’re feeling guilty for not inviting people, worrying if your bridesmaids actually like their dresses, if there’s enough food, or whether playing Kayne’s ‘Black Skinhead’ is appropriate, at some point you’ll wonder whether your guests are enjoying themselves.

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Think about every wedding you’ve been lucky enough to attend. Were there elements that you would have done differently? Probably. Were there moments that moved you? Yes. Were you happy to just be invited? Most definitely.

You’ll probably have the chance to go to many other weddings, but this is the only one that’s just for the two of you.

Stop worrying about whether everyone else is having a good time (they definitely are), and just relish the fact that you just got hitched.

Here my husband and I rejoice in the muscle density of my right arm. Kidding.

Here my husband and I rejoice in the muscle density of my right arm. Kidding.

Photography: Kelly Tunney. See Jose and Marc’s wedding here

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Josephine Walsh

Jose Walsh is a digital communications specialist who also runs her own blog, mapleandmabel.com. She has a passion for museums and the arts, a deep love of travel and more shoes than sense. Having worked in museums for the past seven years, she loves finding new ways to connect people with their cultural institutions. She loves meeting new people, hunting for a decent espresso, and planning her next adventure. More about the Author

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