I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while, but never knew where to start. It’s a personal topic, something I don’t often include on my home interiors blog.
This might be the hardest blog post I’ve ever written, but I decided it was the right time to get my words on paper (online) and share my story with others. Maybe I can help someone else.
So here it is: planning my wedding was the worst thing ever.
That sounds a bit over dramatic I know, but I really didn’t enjoy it.
I’m supposed to be all excited. I’m a bride-to-be. I’m marrying the person I love most in this world (besides my parents). I get to wear a pretty white dress and a veil. But the whole way along, the whole time, my mental health deteriorated. I put so much pressure on myself to make it the best day ever. I lost track of what I actually wanted, and focused too much on making other people happy. I think I ultimately wanted other people to enjoy the day more than myself.
This has been a problem most of my life. I am most definitely a people pleaser. I put myself last, which is where I’ve been going wrong. I put more focus on making others happy than I do on myself.
My wedding was always about what the guests would enjoy. Will they prefer chicken or lamb? No one will like the goat’s cheese tart so, despite it being my favourite starter, I chose the terrine, which on the day I didn’t particularly enjoy. I should have gone with the bloody goat’s cheese. It’s my wedding, and I should have had what I wanted.
I spent too much time worrying about what the vegans would want to eat. I spent hours deliberating over which dairy-free chocolates to buy. I bought 3 different types to try before settling on one.
I had to have my dress altered 4 times in one month. and it was an hour’s drive each way, so I spent 8 hours in a car just travelling backwards and forwards to get my dress to fit. It was worth it, because my dress was perfect on the day, but it was adding more and more stress on top of my shoulders.
I started crying in the middle of the printing shop when I was trying to print my menus. I can’t even remember why now! It was the smallest thing, but I couldn’t even make a decision. My mum had to calm me down and make the decision for me. I think it was because the woman in the shop wasn’t understanding how many children’s vs. adult menus I needed. Either way, it was such a small, silly, insignificant detail, but it sent me completely over the edge.
All of this had such an impact on me. I was stressed. I had low iron. I lost weight. I fainted whilst on a ‘relaxing’ break with Jay. And this is the point when my hair started falling out.
I knew my hair had gotten thin. But at the time, I didn’t realise that I’d actually lost a substantial amount of it. I was always hoovering under the bed, because there was so much hair on the floor. It would come out in handfuls in the shower. Whenever I mentioned it to anyone, I’d get lots of advice like, ‘Mine falls out loads in the shower’, ‘My hair is always everywhere too’. But this was just different. But I still didn’t think too much of it.
I didn’t actually find the bald patch until after the wedding and after our mini-moon in Berlin, and I was so glad about this. This was the biggest effect wedding planning had on me. I couldn’t believe I’d actually lost so much hair because of stress.
My hairdresser had noticed it in March, a month before the wedding. She didn’t say anything, thinking I already knew it was there, and that I might be embarrassed to talk about it.
But I didn’t know about it. I didn’t even find it until May, 6 weeks after she had first seen it, and 2 weeks after the wedding. It would have been horrendous if I’d known it was there on the day. I would have been self conscious, awkward in photos, and constantly checking it was hidden. Luckily, it was just above my ear, in a place where it couldn’t be seen. I actually think the hair loss began when I passed out back in February. This means I must have had it around 3 months.
But just three weeks after the wedding, it started to grow back. This is the effect wedding planning had on me. Almost immediately after the wedding, I had new hair sprouting through. Currently, I don’t think I’d even be able to find where it was. I’ve also found hair growth in places I didn’t know I’d lost it:
Hair loss is a common problem, but this didn’t make me feel any better about the fact that I had it. It’s something no woman thinks she’ll ever experience. It’s not the biggest problem a person can have by any means, but to me, it really was. Not because I’m self-centred, or care about my looks, but because it was a visual representation of the stress I’d been feeling for the final 6 months up to the wedding.
I’m not saying that I hated every aspect of planning. There were moments I enjoyed, like going for my dress fittings, going on the food tasting, booking our amazing venue.
I suppose I’m sharing this so that other brides don’t put as much pressure on themselves as I did. I also hope I can help other brides understand that you don’t have to enjoy wedding planning. There’s such a big stereotype surrounding the ‘blushing bride’. You’re supposed to be happy. But what if you don’t feel happy about the prospect of your wedding, but stressed or even depressed? Don’t forget, you can always talk to a counselor at “ThriveTalk” who can help you to get through whatever it is you’re feeling.
I want to share that this is normal. You don’t have to love every second of your planning. But, PLEASE don’t let it get to you like I did. Keep hold of the idea that you’re doing it to marry the person you love. Grab onto that thought and don’t ever let it go.
Header photo credit: Kate Mayo Photography