After the euphoria of getting engaged starts to taper off, it's time for Planning Mode: You're going to have a blast! You probably already have a good idea of which tasks you're looking forward to the most — trying on as many dreamy gowns as you can get your hands on, nailing down the perfect venue or diving into the DIY details — and which are going to be less desirable (cue the guest list groans).
You may have even served as a bridesmaid/confidant in close friends or family members' weddings, vowing to learn from their triumphs and pitfalls to become the most laidback/decisive/considerate/fun bride ever.
But no matter how mentally prepared you are to get married, you may still run into a few "surprises":
1. You'll have to make approximately 1,000 decisions, even if you're not throwing a "fancy" wedding:
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2. The season will dictate everything from which flowers you can use to where you'll honeymoon:
Related: Wedding Ideas for Every Season ►
3. Acquaintances/strangers view your engagement ring as an open invitation to share their unsolicited wedding advice:
Related: How to Deal with Wedding Trolls ►
4. Some people will go above and beyond to share in your joy...
5. ...While others will give you the cold shoulder. In both cases, it's never who you'd expect!
6. You'll talk about your big day much more than you realize, potentially annoying family and friends:
7. You'll realize that no one will ever be as excited about your wedding as you are...and that's not a bad thing!
8. Your groom may have strong opinions about wedding elements you never dreamed possible:
9. Conversely, he may not give a hoot about things you thought he would:
10. Everything with your future spouse takes on a new sense of gravity — this is the last person you'll ever kiss and when you argue, it's as a couple who will get married:
11. Unexpected expenses will pop up, Google Excel doc be damned:
12. On the bright side, some of your vendors are willing to negotiate and throw in add-ons:
13. You can't do it all by yourself — you'll be a master delegator by the time you're married:
14. You will shed tears of joy when you least expect it (P.S. It's also totally normal if you don't). You may also have an occasional cry fest triggered by stress. Just have some Kleenex on hand, m'kay?
15. You will also have at least one bridezilla-like episode, but unlike on TV, there's probably a good reason for it...
(Reason: Everyone thinks they're entitled to a plus one, even if they've been dating for five minutes.)
(Reason: Your plans will change even up to the night before/morning of thanks to circumstances you can't control.)
16. You may start to ascribe meaning to even the smallest details, like what your first dance song says about you as a couple...
17. But no one will notice half the things you spent your time on. Repeat after us: Good food, dancing, booze > wedding programs, chair backs and table numbers, no matter how much we brides may love the latter.
Related: Top 10 Wedding Guest Complaints ►
18. Wedding sticker shock subsides towards the end, when your desire to get married trumps anything else:
19. You start to worry about irrational things you have no control over — Exhibit A:
20. There is no such thing as a "perfect" wedding — all that matters at the end of the day is that you're married:
Tell us: What else would you add to our list?