x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

After the wedding

The best part about the wedding is the end of the planning

Whenever I learn that someone is soon to be married, my first instinct is to grimace. Of course, I'm very happy for them, but my initial reaction to all the wedding planning to come is impending dread.

Wedding planning, for those girls who did not have every detail mapped out since they were six - and let me assure you, there are more of us than you can imagine - is a bit of a nightmare.

It is so much of a nightmare, in fact, that it can take away a big chunk of love and understanding between a couple - a couple who should be drowning in that in the months leading up to their "Big Day".

So when I hear that so-and-so-proposed, or what's-her-name said yes, I pick up the phone only partly to say "congratulations". The real reason is to say, "Hang in there. Don't let the wedding planning get to you."

It's actually amazing that most couples make it to the wedding in one piece. Even if the nuptials are not that big of an affair, the stress is still at dangerously high levels.

Mostly, I think, it is because of everyone else's unwarranted input. Have you not sent out the invitations already? You don't have your wedding song yet? What do you mean you're not providing favours? Oh, you found your wedding dress, great, but make sure you have a fitting right before the wedding, because you are planning to lose some weight, right?

My colleague's wedding is five weeks away, and her words ring undeniably true when she leans back in her chair, sighs, and exclaims that all she is really looking forward to are the days after the wedding, when it's all over. It's such a relief to know I'm not the only one who thought that way.

For a woman working full-time, wedding planning is a doubly evil affair, even if you are the type to procrastinate and not start any of the serious planning until three weeks before the actual date, as Mr T and I did.

I am still amazed that I was able to produce any pieces of writing in the days leading up to my wedding, as I tried to find a balance between the mundane details of everyday life and the unprecedented experience of planning what may have been the biggest party I will ever experience. Working an eight-hour day was no longer second nature; the temptation to spend all day on websites, researching wedding details, was too strong to ignore. When I see my colleague browse the internet for ideas on flower bouquets while on a business call, I feel vindicated. I understand.

Why do you think I'm holding on to Mr T so tightly? Because I abhor wedding planning, of course. There is just no way I'm going through that twice.