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One Year a Fiancee: What I learned (and didn’t)

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Calling all new brides to be who got engaged over the festive period – congratulations! I hope you’ve drunk all the champagne you wanted and then some. I hope you’ve stayed awake until 2am on a work night looking at wedding dresses on your phone and then tried in vain to fall asleep for another hour because you are just so ridiculously over the top excited! If you have been recently engaged and are not doing these things, by all means, have a second go at it – practice makes perfect!

Technically, having gotten engaged in late 2014, I’m now into my third year as a Fiancee. It’s been one hell of a journey fraught with excitement, stress, anxiety, indecision and then excitement again. It has flown by. Seriously, I still have trouble believing 2015 even happened. As September seems to rush towards us at an increasingly alarming pace, I think there are some things I’ve become wiser about and I have a sneaking suspicion, a lot I’m about to learn. So, for those ladies that have just boarded the bridal train, let me impart my own brand of helpful* hints and advice:

Beware the Wedding Fayre

I never noticed the existence of wedding fayres until I got engaged. They are everywhere – especially at this time of year. Basically what happens is that a wedding walks into a hotel and then explodes all over a function room. The place is a mess with transport, video, photography and music options. There are stands for literally every aspect of the wedding day you can think about and some you can’t even. “Maybe I do need a wind machine?” you’ll ask yourself. No, you really don’t. Also, keep your hands in your pockets – I came home from one with enough cards to wallpaper the living room.

Resist the Sale

Let me be clear as clear can be: sales are great! I love sales and have many the favourite outfit/dress I’ve got at a fraction of the original price. It feels glorious! My word of warning here is – do not be tempted to let your first interaction with a wedding dress be at the utter chaos of a sale. Have a nice quiet organised appointment. Find out what you like and then by all means, once you’ve earned your stripes dare to venture to a bridal sale. Don’t believe me? Watch that Friends episode in which Monica tries to buy her dress. Whistle aside, beating a stranger over a dress is minus craic – not that I’d know.

 budget pig

 Get Mean

After you get engaged, two things are going to have to be decided pretty quickly – budget and very soon after that guest numbers. These two factors will shape what kind of wedding you’re having. One thing that will happen pretty soon after that? People will begin assuming they’re invited. Comments will be made on Facebook such as “Oh I can’t wait to go to your wedding it’s going to be fab!” Now we all know that that person you worked with in that shop that one summer ten years ago is not getting invited. Neither is that person who used to work with your Mammy or that neighbour you had when you were six who has since moved to Outer Mongolia. Practice telling them so. You came up with that figure for a reason and by God I command you to stick to it – all the while smiling serenely obviously.

you're not invited

Get a Life!

In short, don’t let your wedding take over your life. It is so so easy to become obsessed by your own impending nuptials – especially at the outset when it’s all so exciting and new and you don’t know where to start and dates are running out and all you want to talk about is your WEDDING BUT ALL YOUR FIANCE WANTS TO TALK ABOUT IS FOOTBALL – and breathe. It really doesn’t have to be this stressful. Yes, it’s all important and it does have to be done but so are the dishes and you don’t get stressed about them now do you – of course not. Give yourself (and your fiancé) a night off. Talk about your honeymoon. Talk about ‘Making a Murderer’.  Oh and same goes for your friends – if you’re wondering how to work your wedding into a conversation about your friend’s sick cat, chances are you need to step away from the wedding magazines.

my wedding our

*I have fallen foul of each and every one of these pieces of advice. I believe the expression is “easier said than done”. Ah well, just keep smiling serenely and wedding on!