Avoidance Master

You guys? I’m not doing very good with the whole “be in the joy” thing.

I’m totally sucking at it actually. As evidenced by the couple of crying outbursts I had over the weekend. I’m just so pent up. And when I try to get in touch with the feeling I kind of freak out and start thinking about things on my to do list. That’s my M.O. – when avoiding feelings, do. Which is probably why we have a venue for our wedding (awaiting confirmation from location) and subsequently a date, have sent out four inquiries to potential photographers, have set up a bare bones web page, decided on colors, created a budget, and a master to do list. Oh and tentatively booked a band.

Avoidance. I’m a master at it. But damn if I don’t get shit done!

I finally broke down Sunday to Mr. Darcy. I feel like a drill sergeant a lot of the time. “We’ve got to book this!” “We’ve got to send inquiries to caterers now!” “Which template do you like best?” It’s too much. I can see it in his eyes. He’s panicking and backing off. I would too if I had to deal with me. I saw the look and just cried out, “I’M NOT HAVING ANY FUN!” Because, WTF, this should have some elements of fun. We’re getting married! That’s joyous! BUT I CAN’T FEEL THE JOY BECAUSE I AM TOO BUSY FREAKING THE FUCK OUT ABOUT EVERYTHING.

Deep breath.

I appreciate that everyone is excited for us. I think it is so sweet that people have suggestions and offer to help. I know it is up to me to temper all the well-meaning advice with our own vision. I know people will likely get their feelings hurt despite my best efforts not to do that. I realize that I will probably end up calling Jenny Two Times many times over the next 9 months, crying. I just hope that some of those times will be because I am overjoyed with good feeling, because I’m finally able to fully feel the enormity of this- that a wonderful man has asked me to spend the rest of our lives together.

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37 thoughts on “Avoidance Master

  1. I WAS EXACTLY LIKE THIS. I was SERIOUSLY depressed for, like, the first two-three months of our engagement. It was just so! intense! This was supposed to be the happiest I’d ever been! I was supposed to be elated at all times! WHY WASN’T I FEELING THAT WAY???

    I think it’s pretty normal, and yes, it sucks. But it will pass. I don’t know how quickly your date is coming up, but if you can, maybe try to back off the wedding planning a bit, and give yourself some time to really adjust to this new reality. It’s a huge change, and even though you knew it was coming, it still rocks you.

    Hang in there, love. You’re doing just fine. You’re exactly where you should be. All will be well. And we love you.

  2. What’s the web site? Also, you Know this is All Perfectly Normal! You reallly should make use of your Mom &Sisters & Delegate, Delegate,Delegate!

  3. Wedding planning was just about the least fun thing I’ve ever done. I think it pretty much sucks for everyone. Don’t make it worse for yourself by thinking you’re wrong for thinking it sucks and that you “should” be having fun. Just remember it’s ONE DAY, and that day will be wonderful no matter what you do beforehand.

  4. Hmm. On the upside at the rate you’re going, you’ll have all the planning knocked out so you can chill out later. In the meantime, maybe factor in some rewards for you and Mr. Darcy when you knock things off your list. Get something done then do something fun, rinse and repeat. Just a thought… Hang in there, Sizz!

  5. There is a reason why so many of us in the “been there, done that” group would elope in a heartbeat if we had to do it all over again. My #1 advice to newly engaged couples always is to take a few months to just enjoy being engaged before you start wedding planning. You’ll never be in that giddy engaged time of your life again, so take time to bask in it.

    Don’t be afraid to ask people to help. Find things that you don’t care about micromanaging (i.e. what the favors are, what shape the plates are at the reception, the centerpiece/table decor at the reception) and assign them to your friends/family that ask to help. They will LOVE being useful, and you’ll love having one thing off of your to-do list. It’s a win all around :)

  6. After you get married, then (well meaning) people will begin asking when you’re going to have kids. After (and if you decide to) you get pregnant, you’ll be hammered for names you’ve decided on. Then you’ll be told horror birth stories. After/if you have one kid, you’ll be asked when you’re having another. OMGOMGOMG!!! It’s never ending. It is almost always well intentioned, no matter how overwhelming it gets.

  7. I found the first month of engagement a nightmare. We weren’t smart enough to get my finger sized, so I had no ring, J was moving to Canada and starting a new job, and my mother was in Rwanda, so I needed to get things booked so she wouldn’t take over. But then, I had some peace. The big stuff was done, I had learned how to gracefully tell well-meaning friends that they weren’t invited to my 50 person affair, and thank you, but I don’t need your old centerpieces from 10 years ago when they got married. I don’t think non-crazy people do enjoy wedding planning…unless they have unlimited $$ and pay someone else to do it for them.

  8. Okay, yeah, that’s TOO MUCH PLANNING. I think you need to build in some days when you are not allowed to “do” stuff on your list and just “be” instead, even if that surfaces some scary emotions. Hugs to you!

  9. Ugh, wedding planning. The only part of that I found fun was the cake tasting.

    Fortunately I didn’t have anyone try to get over-involved in the planning. Maybe it was somewhat harsh, but early on I told my husband-to-be, “If they’re not paying for it, they’re not planning it.” That prevented a lot of “suggestions.”

    I hope things settle down over there and you start to enjoy yourself more. I assure you that when the big day finally comes you will forget all the months of stress and you will have fun. Keep breathing.

  10. Having not planned my own wedding, but having assisted in and helped with many others can I just say one, possibly controversial, thing? A lot of it is not fun and a pain in the ass. I know you want to enjoy it, though, and I know you want to have some fun so would it help to try to let go of some of those ideas that the enormity of the life decision should translate directly to the planning of the event? Stressful experiences don’t make your wedding or marriage anything less than beautiful and special. Maybe try to let them happen independent of each other?

    One of my favorite quotes is by a runner: “Running is a lot like life. Only 10 percent of it is exciting. 90 percent of it is slog and drudge.” – Dave Bedford. And, okay, hopefully planning your wedding has a lot less slog and drudge than 90%, but you get permission to not be thrilled about all of it.

  11. always here, friend.
    and i think this is normal, as much as we want everything to go smoothly…shit happens, people get hurt feelings, changes have to be made.
    i’ve said it already a few times… but i will say it again, in public forum:
    it is your wedding, for you and mr darcy. the day is for you the celebrate. YOU. and the excitement of joining lives. sharing love and memories.
    we should all be honored to watch the joy unfold. and be a part of it by watching the video or folding cards or making lists or just reading your posts. honored: no matter the “part” we get.
    i am. x10.

  12. Remember, there’s not some competition going on for planning a wedding. You can’t beat out someone else. No cash rewards, no one gets your job if you fail. You don’t have to figure it all in 30 days or less. No one will die if you don’t get the exact band you want. But, you will annoy the crap out of Darcy if you don’t settle down and relax. Plus, everyone is right, you need to enjoy this time of your life! It will all get done. No worries. Set up a schedule to do wedding stuff and stick to it.

  13. i recently had this massive revelation that for the first time in my 31 years of life, i finally feel like i might actually be ready to get married. i had about 2 entire seconds of feeling good about myself for making this leap in self-awareness… then immediately had a panic attack because if someone asks me to marry him, i would then have to PLAN A WEDDING. and i am nowhere NEAR ready for THAT, are you KIDDING ME.

    (in other words: i can’t imagine anyone has a swishy happy calm time planning their wedding, and hey, if you get all this crap out of the way now, imagine how much you’ll be able to enjoy the rest of your engagement! or.. something.)

  14. I’m sorry you’re so stressed, but it’s totally understandable. Heck, I’m a wedding photographer, and I love weddings, but there is NO WAY I’d have one again! You have my utmost sympathy!

  15. When I planned mine, I suddenly found myself feeling really upset about everyone else’s expectations of what the day “should be” and how things should go. I think you should just take it slow, enjoy it and remember that it’s not just a wedding, it’s a marriage…prep for that stuff, too. Easier said than done.

    If all else fails, drink some wine! It’s all gonna be great.

  16. Being engaged is a new feeling. You’ll settle down in time. If you don’t? Poor Mr. Darcy. When you’re stressing out you’re not able to enjoy the wedding planning or the wedding. I’d be more worried about house hunting than I would be about a wedding. You’re an organizer; its in your blood. The wedding will be fine. The only thing anyone pays attention at a wedding is the brides dress — and I’m thinking you’ll be a beautiful bride.

  17. I was just like this too, compounded by the fact that we went from enaged to “I Do” in 90 days. it will all be okay. I promise. Good luck. From one recently-married-stressed-out-event-planner-to-another, let me know if I can do anything ot help.

  18. After you left the other night I was thinking about how awesome you are.

    Planning a wedding is stressful and there is lots of pressure. I was so excited to just be a normal married couple when we were planning. I look back with great happiness on my wedding day. Hopefully you will only be doing this once so even with the stress know that someday it will be a distant memory and you will look back with fondest as you grow old with Mr. Darcy.

  19. People told me to enjoy my engagement because it was supposedly an awesome time and it goes by too quickly. You know what? I didn’t enjoy it that much, and I hated wedding planning to boot. People also told me that the first year of marriage was the worst, and our first year has been the most fantastic part of our relationship. I don’t miss our engagement period one bit.

    In other words, don’t worry about how you think you should feel or be during this time. Just go with the flow. The moment you place too much expectation on yourself or your engagement — good or bad — is the moment you start to freak out.

  20. Suggestion: calendar yourself times to do everything and do not deviate from them. At all. Include things like, “spend day walking around Seattle with Mr. Darcy, drinking too much and eating poorly” :-) That way you’re planning AND having fun.

  21. P’s brother and soon-to-be-sister-in-law are getting married this summer. This was AFTER they had temporarily called off the wedding due to the strain it was putting on their relationship.
    On one hand, I’ve been told that planning a wedding together is a great showcase for your coping skills with each others’ quirks and family dynamics. On the other hand, I feel like such a joyful event should not be so terribly stressful! (says the girl who had multiple freakouts this weekend simply over not having enough time to do all the things I wanted to do around the house)
    I think I get the point of the bridal shower and bachelorette party now–sistah needs to blow off some steam!
    But in the meantime, yes, MAKE TIME TO PAMPER YOURSELF. *ahem* And break things into small tasks and then delegate. And also take breaks now and then to just *be* with Mr. Darcy.

  22. Ah. Yes. Totally. What you are feeling is normal. At least, I think so and it seems that many other commenters here have had the same experience.

    People had tons of suggestions on what we should do for OUR wedding, I just ignored most of them and asked for advice and input from trusted sources.

    What made it easier for me was deciding with my husband what were the most important things about the day for us and what we wanted to experience/remember most about the day. For us it was music, food, and dancing with the people we loved. Other things became less important (flowers, favors, decorative details, giant cake) Those things still happened, but they were less stressful.

  23. Big hugs, friend. There are a lot of big changes, and planning a wedding is HUGE. (If I could go back in time, I’d elope. Hang in there. Love you.

  24. Cry and yell as much as you want and let it out. I haven’t met one person yet (including myself) who had so much fun planning a wedding. It’s stressful and it’s really not fun at all. BUT when you get the big things done like securing a place and date, it starts to feel a bit better.
    Also everything that Abby said. I felt the exact same way.
    I swears it will ALL be fine in the end! Just let it all out though. Don’t keep emotions/thoughts/feelings hidden away.

  25. Ok, so you’re trying this whole enjoy the moment thing and there’s just too much going on to succeed. How about a temporary about face … don’t force yourself to be in the moment over this next month. Let’s face it, your work event is a huge stresser for you, even when you don’t have weddings and new houses on the mind. So, why don’t you let this wild river take you down the way a bit, until you’ve passed the bend of this fundraiser and reach calmer waters. You can halt the househunt as planned, but don’t force yourself to have fun if you’re not feeling it. Hunker down, reach this goal and I bet you’ll feel better without even trying!

  26. I wish I had some grand words of wisdom for you, but apparently my avoidance manifested itself in the form of a small wedding with close family and friends, and dinner afterwards at one of our favorite restaurants. We had a party with our larger group of friends the weekend prior. And then took the money we saved by going that route and had an awesome honeymoon.
    I know you’ll do fine, and sometimes it doesn’t have to be all sunshine and roses. It’s work, and sometimes work is hard – it’s ok. I think once you get through booking the big stuff, you’ll have a lull where you get to relax a bit and do the fun stuff.

  27. We had a barbecue in the park, a $1,000 budget, email invites, and a flip-flop dress code and I STILL cried a bunch and fought with C.C. and activated all my issues and thought WHY CAN’T THIS BE FUN? So I have no advice for you whatsoever. :-)

  28. I am probably in the minority in saying, I’m glad I had a wedding and reception. It was stressful and hectic and I wanted to pummel Rich to death but in the end, it was the best damn party I’ve ever thrown and I had the best time. You should go and look at my picture from Facebook from my wedding today.

    I’ll do your calligraphy for free if you want but then again, your handwritting is all kinds of wonderful.

    Love you and want only happiness for you.:)

  29. I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL. I’m chuckling at the comments that say “DELEGATE!” because people told me that when I got married (and also after H was born) and that’s so very hard to do. If I delegate, I’ll just end up micro-managing that person. So, it’s just easier to do shit myself.

    I will say, once you get the initial planning done, it’s smooth sailing for a while. You can enjoy the fun parts – cake tasting, menu deciding, registering for gifts, etc. before you get super stressed out again.

  30. I’ll promise you this: when all is said and done and the day has turned out perfect, it won’t matter whether you freaked out or not. You’ll remember the good points and you’ll go on to more happiness.

    I remember thinking it must be what childbirth is like – excruciating but when it’s all done you forget the pain eventually.

    Hang in there, bridey. ;)

  31. I herein promise to trade suggestions or advice for hugs and joyful reminders of how amazing you are (and how amazing Mr. Darcy is) and how much you deserve this. Because: YES. Hang in there, babe. The joy will keep finding you.

  32. OH yes, how well I remember this … In the moment, I berated myself for being stressed, for being sort of manic about stuff, telling myself ‘it’s just one day’ blah blah. And it is. BUT it’s also sort of a big deal. And looking back from a year later, I still wish I hadn’t tied myself up in knots so much but I also know absolutely that I couldn’t help it. And maybe that’s the best thing to remember: yes, there’s a lot of joy, but there’s also a lot of other things going on that will make you a bit fraught. And that’s OK. The day itself will be magic, the getting-there may be a little rocky at times, but soon enough you’ll be on the other side and can breath easily again. And maybe that can be comfort enough. (ps – don’t get mad at yourself for being stressed or not ‘having fun’ all the time — it’s normal to feel this way!! And, it truly will not last forever. xx)

  33. I am geting to this late, so I hope you are feeling better now and can do some relaxing this weekend!

    Damn! You DO get shit done!

    I was so annoyed with all the stupid suggestions for our wedding. They all seemed so selfish, when I wanted the day to be all about ME dammit!

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