I did not expect to learn so much about self-confidence when I started this whole wedding thing. (Even though I needed SOME self-confidence to even make the proposal in the first place.) It's been over a year now since I proposed, and we're just under six months to the wedding, and things are starting to fall solidly into place.
I've grown more confident in myself because I had to take charge in my planning since no one else would. My dad is happy to write the checks for the decisions I make (to a certain extent) and my fiancée is just not interested in the details — she has a few things she cares about, but that's it.
While other people have written about how wedding planning helped them learn to say “no” to people who kept making demands, I've learned to say “yes” to myself.
So here's what I've learned about myself…
I don't need someone else to validate all my decisions
Like the tablecloths and place settings for the reception. I really don't need someone to validate my every decision every step of the way and check with my fiancée every time I tweak the design! I can do it on my own, and when I'm satisfied with it, I can send it to her to show her what I decided. (She can veto it if she hates it, but it's not looking for approval so much as letting her know what's going on.)
I can take on big projects all on my own
For example, the hotel block stuff — I'm getting it settled on my own, by my own initiative. I knew I needed to get it done before sending the save the dates, so I got it done. I asked the Tribe whether they were useful in the first place (they are) and if I should get one (I should). I found GroupTravel.org and used their service to collect quotes from a bunch of different places. (HIGHLY RECOMMEND.) I'm being smart about going with what I like (places that will communicate by email) but not being afraid to ask for what I want ($10 less per night, guaranteed shuttle service).
I did the save the dates on my own too, pretty much. I couldn't find any designs I like, so I chose to do my own, and decided which printing service I'd use. I ran the final design by my fiancée before sending it off to be printed, and done! I made it happen. Same with the wedding website. We needed one, and I decided how to host it, what layout, what info and pages were needed — everything.
I can want and choose things because *I* want them
When we figured out that we really wanted a “geeky fandom princess” theme, I didn't worry about whether other people would think it was childish or expected or anything — it's true to us, and so it's what we are going to do!
I can do this because I am an awesome person, and I am not asking for something ridiculous by wanting the purple tablecloths with gunmetal shantung table runners. I can make choices on my own behalf! By choosing things on my own, I am not being selfish, or a bridezilla, or inconsiderate, even if my anxiety and depression try to convince me otherwise. My fiancée has left the decisions up to me, and I am making them. And it's a damn good thing I am, because I know I'll be better off in the long run when I'm not afraid to declare what I want.
I can also be okay when I don't get my way
On the flip side, it's also okay for me to say “I want to go to Disney World for our honeymoon” and my fiancée to say “Sorry, but it's never been on my list of places I want to go, and I'd prefer to go somewhere else.” It doesn't have to be my way or the highway, but negotiations sure as hell work better when you communicate what you want.
Ultimately, I feel like I have grown into whatever the opposite of a bridezilla is. Someone who is confident and happy and ready to negotiate calmly to get what she wants. Someone who is better off for wedding planning instead of turning into a scary rage monster of demanding doom. If anyone has a good term for that… let me know. I'd love to start using it.