Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I'm Poor, but I Wanna get Married - Guilt

The topic for this entry is one I have REALLY been struggling with.  It is also one that I have discovered no solution to, yet. 

Guilt.  No one ever told me that in planning your wedding you will get a bad case of it.  I guess maybe this doesn't happen for all brides, but I would think it would happen somewhat often for brides like me.  What do I mean, like me?  I mean girls who have, indeed, been dreaming of this day for as long as they knew wedding existed, and who happen to be broke. 

Most of the time I find the no money thing a fun challenge, not a problem.  But then you run into a bump in the road.  For each bride it will be different, but for me, it is the gown. 

Trust me, I know, I know; It is incredibly superficial and selfish.

Here was my downfall: I went wedding dress shopping and I did something that I should not have done.  I had no idea what kind of thing would look good on me, so I decided that I would try on, just so I could find out.  Which was fine until I decided to ignore price tags.  No, strike that, I didn't ignore them, I just didn't look at them.  I chose dresses without looking at the tags.  I wasn't looking to buy a dress that day anyways.  I just wanted to try on some to see what would look good on me.  And, on one hand, it was successful because I did find out a lot about what would look good on me.  The problem is: I found dresses that did look good on me.  REALLY good.  I kinda fell in love with some.  Thus began the guilt.  #1: for dragging my family all the way to the nearest David's Bridal to watch me try on dresses.  It was an all day trip for, in the end, almost nothing.  #2: for the wonderful girl who helped me.  She was so wonderful. Really sweet.  A lot of these girls work on commission, so my idea of just going to try on was really just a waste of her time.  For that, I feel really bad.  All I can think now is: was it really worth that trip to discover that Ivory looks best on me, I can wear strapless dresses, and my favorite neckline is Sweetheart?

Fast forward.  My fiance and I were talking dresses over and we finally came to a decision on the budget based on ... just our feelings that paying any more for a dress would be wasteful.  $200.  Well for those of you who know anything about dresses, that is on the extreme cheap side.  Not saying that it can not be done.  But, all the dresses I tried on are now out of the question.  Which kinda made the whole trip almost worthless.  And I feel bad about that.  And I feel bad about getting excited over the dresses I liked in the first place.  REALLY bad.  I got caught up in the moment of looking and feeling good.  And for a little bit there I was not thinking about how much I love my fiance, but how good I could look for him.  I figured on having my dress made by a friend I have, but she's got a toddler and a newborn at home, so it's not like she has a lot of time, and I can't compensate her well for her time in making the dress.  And I feel bad about that which means:

Guilt sets in.  And it stays for a long time.

And not just about dresses.  About everything.  I get these amazing ideas for decorations and such, and I get excited about them.  But then I think about how much it would cost.  Then I feel guilty.  It has even gotten to the point that it doesn't matter how cheap it is, I still feel bad about thinking about those things. 

My fiance's Dad came to talk to us a while ago and he mentioned how little it cost him and his wife to get married.  Granted, that was back 27 years ago, and their wedding was under special circumstances, so it was quick and simple; but it made me feel like we were being too extravagant.  I should say that he didn't say that is what we were doing, he just was shocked that a dress could cost about $500.  Considering that his entire wedding was under that much.  He didn't say anything to make me feel bad, I just read in between the lines.  And now I can't get that out of my head.

So, I feel guilty about this whole thing.  Every time I start to think about making plans for this wedding I get a shot of guilt.  Do we really need to invite all these people?  Do we really need to get married in a church?  Why should I care about what I look like on that day?  Do you really need a photographer?  Why should you waste any money on decorations?  Yeah, you want to have fun, but isn't having a wedding dance a little much?

What is worse is that I feel guilty about the flip side too.  Is it fair to your guests that you are not having dinner, let alone a cocktail reception?  How can you ask them to travel that distance if you're not even entertaining them in style?  If you're not giving out favors, it is really fair that they give you gifts? 


I used to love planning my wedding, but now I just feel guilty all the time.  Part of me says: just elope.  But that is the one thing I WILL NOT do.  I don't want that at all, and I will give up everything I have to in order to ensure that I have at least our families there on that day.  And I feel guilty about that.

It's like this endless sucking vortex of guilt and bad feelings.  I can't seem to get myself out of it, and I don't know what to do.  And all because I went and tried on some dresses.

My poor fiance has tried to help, but I can see him getting a little frustrated with the whole thing too.  I just want to feel good about my wedding again.  I love weddings, and I love planning them, but I just can't handle the guilt.

Sorry folks, just had to rant about that.  I'm not asking for sympathy, or anything like that, but if you have any ideas on how to beat the Guilt, please feel free to let me know!

1 comment:

  1. Teej, I don't know a whole lot about wedding planning, but I do know that you tend feel guilty about a lot of things when you don't need to be so hard on yourself! It looked from your pictures that you had a lot of fun trying on the dresses, and I think it is better that you did that than regret not having that experience years from now.
    I'm gonna tie this back to theatre cause that's what I know, and what you know. It is best to explore your options and then reel them in, like what designers want in a land of unlimited budget is different from what ends up on stage. But it can still be magical! I've been taught that it is best not to say 'no' to a designer, but instead say 'yes, but...'. Then you can take the essence of what you want, and try to make it fit on a budget. But you DO need to dream to start out with, so don't feel guilty about it!
    And people should not come to your wedding if they are expecting gifts, it is not about them, it is about the two of you! I went out of my way to go to a wedding during sherlock at PBP, over near Duluth, and it was a lot of fun! The reception was in a hockey arena (with no ice), the bride and groom were just out of college, so they had a couple of kegs of beer and root beer for free and for any other drinks, guests paid for themselves. The food was comfort food themed, buffet style, I think family friends made it, but like mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, delicious. And there were no party favors, yet people still gave them gifts! (I made that tshirt quilt for them). I went because I wanted to celebrate with them, and did not even once think about not receiving a party favor until reading your post! Also, they did the dollar dance thing where you pay to dance with the bride or groom, so you could always make money back that way! :)
    All in all, I don't think there is a right or wrong way to have a wedding, that is the beauty of it, the wedding will be unique because you are a person, and none of us are identical!
    Hopefully this makes sense, I may have rambled a little. Stop feeling guilty! (Especially about things you can't change!) I know you will use your Teej magic and figure it out! And if you need some encouragement, send me a text or email, or give me a call!