What I Wish I Could Tell My Friend About Her Wedding

Your wedding and your marriage are not the same thing

Emily Kingsley
Human Parts
Published in
5 min readDec 11, 2019

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Photo: Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

OOne of my best friends is getting married next summer, which means she spends every weekend planning her dream wedding. She’s 38, and both she and her partner are getting married for the first time. They are a great fit, and both are over the moon for each other, so I couldn’t be happier.

But there are a few things I wish I could tell her about wedding planning.

First of all, a wedding and a marriage are two very different things. I’ve been to beautiful weddings where the marriage didn’t last a year, and one of my good friends secretly eloped and has been happily married for more than a decade.

Building a good marriage isn’t about favors or caterers or a signature cocktail. If you are marrying the right person, everything could go wrong at your wedding, and it will just be something you laugh about on your anniversary each year as your hair turns grayer and your wrinkles sink in deeper.

With this in mind, you can stress a little bit less about planning the perfect wedding. If you like designing centerpieces and you can afford it, do it. If you don’t, skip them. If you like chair covers, have them. If you don’t, skip them. Nothing has to be perfect — you should just do what you want to do.

As long as your people have something to eat and a place to go to the bathroom, your wedding will be fine.

Speaking of your people, let’s talk about your guest list. I know it started at 300 and lucky you for having so many friends. But let’s be honest: If your friend that you spent a summer with in New Zealand more than a decade ago is going to travel to visit you, do you really want it to be on your wedding day? Why not invite her to come for a visit when you can spend time together and do fun things?

I know you want to feel the love and warmth of all the people who care about you on your special day, but changing into New Balance sneakers at the reception so you can move quickly enough to thank every person in the room for coming is stressful and will just be a blur that you paid a lot for and can hardly remember.

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Emily Kingsley
Human Parts

Always polishing the flip side of the coin. Live updates from the middle class. e.kingsleywhalen@gmail.com. She/her.