What do I mean, exactly, when I saw expectations vs. reality? For the sake of this post, I will define expectations as any dream, hope or predetermined idea of how something is supposed to be. And reality is, well- reality. The hard smack in the face bringing you back down to size.
It is something I have struggled with a lot during the course of Mr. Yankee and I's engagement and so I feel the need to share with the future brides out there just some of the harsh realities I had to come to terms with. There are the easy ones of course- budget (and everything budget related like the cost of... everything!), fiance participation and the right dress, but here are a few that are particularly dicey:
First- while it is a momentous day to be celebrated and cherished, your wedding is a party. Plain and simple. It's a very expensive party, yes. It's a party that people will fly across the country for, but when it all comes down to it- it is a 4-10 hour event filled with people, food, drink and music. So don't get caught up in what you are giving up for your day. This was actually one of the easiest things for me to embrace. While it would be nice to have custom napkins, a chocolate fountain, sparklers for our send off and unlimited time with our vendors, it is just a party and one day does not a marraige make.
Second- yes, you may have been planning this your whole life (or for 20 months like me), but not everyone is going to want to talk about vendor meetings, do-it-yourself projects and the different shades of color for your tablescapes- shoot, a lot of people won't know what you mean when you say tablescapes. And while it may be incredibly frustrating, remember that just because someone doesn't want to talk about the wedding or give you advice it doesn't mean they care any less about the wedding. This was something that took a lot of getting used to for me. And I am still dealing with it. Because since I have not been dreaming of my wedding since I was a child, I have felt this enormous amount of pressure (self-inflicted, of course) to have the perfect venue, with the perfect menu and perfect color schemes. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. And because it had to be perfect, I needed to talk to people who cared about the "girly" side of wedding planning. And I had to ask them something about the wedding everytime we talked. It got to the point where people saw me and looked like this:
And third- weddings aren't all candy hearts and puppy dog tails. Inevitably, someone will have their feelings hurt. But the one thing a wedding is about? You and your spouse to be. So while yes, it sucks when someone's feelings are hurt or they are upset over a decision you make, remember it is exactly that- your decision for your wedding. Normally I am a type of person who will say exactly what she is thinking, but stick a ring on my finger and call me engaged and I am a new person. I feel bad for telling people no; or guilty for not liking what someone has suggested or picked out for me.
I had a lot of expectations going into this whole engagement thing and I think that these reality checks have both brought me back down to earth and taught me valuable lessons on what is fair to expect of people. What expectations did you have when you first got engaged? Any harsh reality checks?