Caroline Moss is an author and host of the podcast "Gee Thanks, Just Bought It," which helps people find the products they need to make life easier, better and more productive. Now with this column, "Asking for a Friend," she's helping people with the advice they need to make life easier, better and more productive. To submit a question, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am planning for a big wedding post-COVID (think late 2022 or even early 2023). My hope is to have a big dance party with lots of friends and family. I don’t want it to feel like a wedding; I want it to feel like a more fun version of a wedding. I just can’t figure out how I want it to look.
Since it’s so far off (and kind of unimaginable right now), I spend a lot of time looking at Pinterest or wedding websites, like Green Wedding Shoes, for inspiration. So I have a lot of ideas for decor and music and food, and maybe it’s too many ideas. What kind of advice would you give about a wedding day beyond the material? I have heard the whole “take it all in” line before ... something different than that.
Bride 2022 (or 2023)
When I got engaged, I was overwhelmed with a lot of unsolicited advice.
"Spend a lot of money on the flowers because it will make your photos look amazing," someone would say. "Don’t spend money on flowers — no one cares and they die," someone else would whisper. "Don’t have your wedding in June; everyone does that." "Don’t have a winter wedding, what if it snows?" "Don’t have an open bar because I once went to a wedding where everyone got so drunk people were throwing up on the bride." (OK, so I’m exaggerating that last one, but trust me, not by much).
What you will learn soon after posting the Instagram photo of your big news is that everyone has a nightmare story, a cautionary tale, something that worked for them and their wedding that you must do, etc. It will be overwhelming, it will give you a headache and it will make you want to elope and never return.
The best piece of advice I can give you? Don’t ask for anyone’s advice. If I could go back in time, I'd tell you 20 minutes before you emailed me to stop emailing me. If people give you advice without asking, spend some time in front of the mirror perfecting your, “Oh great idea!” face and smile and nod. Let it go in one ear and out the other. (Also, 2023 is not so far off. I know it feels like it is but it really isn’t, and you’ll see what I mean as it gets closer!).
But you insist, I will tell you this one suggestion that worked for me: Stay together with your partner throughout the entire evening. A friend of mine told me to do so and I thought, well, who else would I be with? The answer is ... everyone. You know everyone and people will want to talk to you, pull you in every direction, grab you for a minute to give a kiss and a hug, want to introduce you to their significant other you haven’t met yet but whom you graciously invited to be your friend’s plus one at your wedding. And ultimately, your new spouse will have to do the same thing with their second cousins, their grandparents, their college roommate, etc. You will be separated. And depending on how big your wedding is, it may be hard to find each other again. I loved my wedding and I had a great time. I also remember thinking more than once: Where did Dan go? Where is he? And he remembers the same. My friend was right: Stick together and make a plan to do so. The night goes by so quickly, it’ll be a blur. Make sure you’re with each other throughout and you won’t regret it.
Everything else? You do you. I’m serious!
Have a question for Caroline? Email us at email@example.com.