Wedding Planning ChecklistWhat’s the most extreme thing you’d do to have a perfect wedding? You may search high and low for just the right attire, fly your entourage to the dreamiest destination, or obsess a little over the food, but you likely wouldn’t ask your attendants to dye their hair. That’s what one bride on Reddit asked of her redhaired cousin. When she voiced her ire at her cousin’s refusal, other Redditors took her to task.

While this scenario is very unusual, it does underscore an important point. When trying to plan “the perfect wedding,” some couples go over budget or meticulously focus on every possible detail. You probably won’t commit a faux pas like the Reddit bride, but how do you deal with the pressure for perfection? Understanding the root of the “perfect wedding” myth can help you combat its pressure and achieve more realistic goals for your special day.

The Pursuit of Perfection

“It’s supposed to be the perfect day. Everyone says so,” states journalist Caroline Kitchener in a Washington Post piece. Women in relationships with men feel most of the pressure to design a flawless wedding and often shoulder a lot of the planning work. Kitchener cites sociologist Julia Carter, who points the finger at the wedding industry for promoting such an unattainable ideal. Carter also mentions a common myth that a perfect wedding ensures a good marriage, which adds even more pressure.

Not only that, many kinds of problems can impact your wedding: no-show vendors, awful food, a misbehaving DJ, accidents, illness, or interpersonal drama. The stress and anxiety alone could sour your experience, but you may feel worse if you take any blame on yourself. How? By believing that you didn’t plan for these problems and thus failed in making your wedding perfect.

A Troubling Double Standard

Kitchener mentions a common double standard experienced by brides-to-be. There’s the pressure to pour effort into designing every detail, but outwardly stressing over those details can earn you the “bridezilla” label. Unsurprisingly, people respond to this pressure in many different ways. A Practical Wedding’s Maddie Eisenhart admits to lowering her expectations when planning her nuptials, believing that she’d achieve a rewarding experience by not putting effort into details but focusing on people instead. Eisenhart mentions that family interpersonal conflicts before the big day left her feeling upset and disappointed.

Bustle’s Olivia Muenter discusses how social media and other people’s opinions can impact wedding planning. The pressure to impress friends and family or design an Instagram-worthy event can lead to a performative approach, and nearlyweds may feel as if they’re under a microscope. As Muenter quips in her piece, “The wedding itself is supposed to be the moment that ushers us into the future.”

Adopting a Balanced Approach

Writing for Brides, Léa Rose Emery illustrates how stressing over details and mistakes could prevent you from enjoying your wedding. “It’s hard to enjoy something that you’re not really experiencing,” Emery adds, and hyper-focusing on perfection robs you of the ability to experience the moment. On the other hand, it’s also unwise to fool yourself into thinking that you don’t care about those details. This is where balance is key. It is important to do your due diligence while planning, but you must also set reasonable standards and goals for your event. Emery emphasizes the need to accept that your wedding won’t be perfect. A few things may go wrong, but many other things will go right.

Remembering What’s Important

Letting go of perfectionist goals isn’t just useful when planning your wedding. Emery adds that it’s also a wise approach for the rest of your marriage, helping you put things into perspective. After all, if you can handle a minor mix-up with a wedding detail, you can confidently handle bigger problems down the road.

Category: Wedding Planning

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