Wedding Planning When Nobody Seems To Get That You’ve Done It All Before

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I know you can’t tell this by looking at me, but I already had “the-big-white-wedding,” ok?

I’m talking long guest list, dress alterations, bridesmaids, never-ending champagne, tchotchkes for guests to take home, tons of pictures… I even wore a veil.

So forgive me please if I don’t gush over dresses, diamonds and “my colors” the second time around.

If you’re like me, which in this case means that you: got-married-got-divorced-went-through-the-fear-anger-and-healing-phases-thrived-met-someone-new-oh-and-by-the-way-you’re-still-not-old-enough-to-run-for-President (take a breath) and you have found the courage to try marriage again, then — here is something that you’re going to bump up against, my smooth-skinned comrade:

Wedding Advice.

As any newly engaged girl knows, getting wedding advice even when you have zero experience in wedding planning is overwhelming. It can get kind of repetitive and maybe even start to annoy you. You’re only human, after all. And just like anything else in life, you don’t really want to be told what to do and what to expect. You want to do your own thing and see for yourself, right?

But now imagine that you actually have seen for yourself, and people just don’t realize it. It’s like the classic case of mistaken identity: a guy walks up to a girl at a bar and starts to expound on the history of the place, trying to impress, not realizing that she owns the joint. She smiles sweetly, politely lets him conclude and thanks him for the history lesson. She’s our hero for being so darn cool.

You need to be the cool girl too when it comes to receiving “interesting information about weddings,” because people simply love giving out wedding advice. Furthermore, it does not seem to matter that they know you already had a wedding. You’re still young enough that it’s hard for people to treat you like you’ve done this before.

You look like every other girl who just got several thousand dollars worth of highly pressurized carbon slapped on her fourth finger for the first time ever. For me, since I don’t fit the stereotype of a “divorced person,” I often hear things like this:

“You don’t want to be stressed out on the day,” “remember to eat,” and “not everything will go according to plan.”

To which — in my head — my response is basically — “duh, no *!$#.”

Or, more specifically… Yeah, I remember. And P.S. that’s life in general, not just weddings. Last time around I got sick the day before my wedding because I was so stressed out. And because I was sick I didn’t eat or drink much during the reception and ended up being the designated driver to get home. The Designated Driver. I swapped my white dress for jeans at midnight. Call me Cinderella. Yup, plans change and stress sucks.

But seriously, even the people in your life who know that you’ve been married before can’t resist the urge to be helpful when it comes to planning your wedding. Just try to keep in mind that they are coming from a place of good intentions.

They also don’t know all those gritty details about your first time around, so they might be assuming that since you’re so young, your first marriage was just-a-blip-or-a-mistake-when-you-were-young-and-dumb-haha. They probably don’t realize that it was actually a meaningful event to you that you basically have to pretend never happened so that you don’t hurt everyone’s feelings by reminding them that you used to be married to some other guy. It’s really hard to bring this up with the people who are now standing beside you, trying to be supportive and helpful.

So my “wedding advice” to you, dear friend, is to embrace the power of humility. Channel your inner Princess Kate, and be the humble, well mannered, courteous charmer that you know you can be.

Your response should be: “Thank you, that’s a good point.” I mean, you don’t have to actually follow any of the advice that other people dole out; you just have to be gracious about listening.

And when you need to vent about the injustices of being the anti-stereotypical — “you-don’t-look-divorced” — divorced girl, you can always talk to your friends who have known you since before you thought boys were cool.

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