I’m currently suffering from W.O.T.B., more commonly known as Wedding on the Brain.  It’s almost as if all the thinking and fantasizing about my wedding that I did as a girl was sitting quietly in a cage, awaiting the moment when it could be let loose to ran rampant and lord control over the rest of my brain.

Craig proposed to me on a Sunday, and the very next day I started looking at wedding websites, and venues for our ceremony and reception.  I didn’t even allow myself to revel in the joy of being engaged.  In less than a week’s time, I was overwhelmed by the choices available to me.  All the sites dedicated to “helping” me decide what I wanted to do.  All the books and advice telling me how to select the venue/cake/dress/etc, or how to figure my budget, or (the funniest one) how not to go crazy while planning my special day.

Now, I’ve been an administrative assistant for over 20 years.  I know how to plan for meetings, order catering and whatnot.  I’ve even planned meetings that were in a different city or even state from where I was calling.  I know how to organize, plan and deal with people to help make sure everything runs smoothly.  All of that has thankfully prepared me for the juggernaut that is wedding planning . . . a little, anyway.  But I still find myself thinking about even miniscule aspects of the wedding, and trying to get everything settled months in advance, so that hopefully I’ll be able to relax and think about marrying the man of my dreams.

There’s just so much more involved than calling up an event coordinator at a hotel and choosing the food and AV set up.  There’s the dress, the flowers, the photographer, whether or not we want a DJ or videographer.  SO many options are available to the modern bride, which allows me to create a day that’s special to us, but also creates a frenzy and panic in me that isn’t normally there.

I think the biggest shocker to me is the cost of things.  In the U.S. alone, more than 40 billion dollars a year are spent on weddings.  In Chicago, where we’re getting married, the average cost of a wedding is $21,000 to $35,000.  That’s a lot of moolah to spend on what is essentially a party.  It’s a very important party, since most women have been dreaming about our big day ever since we heard our first fairy tale, but there’s a lot more involved in the planning of it too.  It’s not just chips, dip and beer for the gang.  Craig and I set our budget to be at the bottom of the average cost of a wedding.  Which means I’ve had to do even more research to find vendors who would provide us high-quality service, while not breaking us financially.

It was pretty easy for us to choose our colors, but then comes trying to figure out what aspect of the wedding should be in what color.  We’ve got white, black, grey and a fairly specific shade of blue in our color scheme, and I don’t want to overwhelm our guests with that color, but not enough of it will make the event come across as very bland, which we also don’t want.  We’re not going to have a DJ, so there’s also the task of choosing music that speaks to us and the wedding, as well as getting a sound system in place.

I’m beginning to understand why some women come across as Bridezilla.  Granted, I’m sure there are some who take it to the extreme and would be a “zilla” regardless of what the situation was, but it seems there’s this uncontrollable force that takes over the rest of your brain when you start planning your special day.  I liken it to what I’ve heard happens when women get pregnant.

I once prided myself on being able to juggle seven different things in my head, but all the choices, planning, and making sure we stay within our budget has left very little space for anything else.  It’s quite disconcerting to feel like I don’t have control over my mental faculties anymore.

I’m sure the day will come off beautifully anyway.  Even though we couldn’t afford a Wedding Planner, we are hiring a Day of Coordinator.  I’ll pass everything off to her a few weeks in advance, and she can worry about making it come together.  Because there is NO WAY I want to think about anything else that day other than the wonderful man who will be waiting at the alter for me.


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Craig
    Sep 16, 2011 @ 09:43:53

    As a man, and not having had those dreams of magical weddings since childhood, I am somewhat immune to W.O.T.B. What I need to be cautious of, though, is taking the planning too cavalierly for too long, and then being overwhelmed at the end. Or worse yet, seem like I’m not being helpful, or enthusiastic.
    Believe me… I’m very excited and anxious to be married to the love of MY life. I just have to pace myself, to keep me strong enough mentally to make sure my beautiful fiance can fully recover from ‘Wedding on the Brain” once the blessed day is over.


  2. Kaye George
    Sep 16, 2011 @ 15:57:09

    Congratulations! Best wishes for a long and happy union, however the wedding turns out.


  3. Dolly Chamberlin
    Sep 16, 2011 @ 17:43:40

    And I know it will be a most memorable day. You waited a long time for this to be right. It has to be just right! LOVES :} Mom


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