The Hardest Wedding Decisions So Far

Well, we’re officially kind of stalled on wedding planning. Picking the venue was pretty fun. Trying on wedding dresses, well I freaking loved that. But the rest of the stuff? Eh, I’m having trouble finding the motivation. We haven’t picked a DJ, a decision I really shouldn’t be involved in because I admittedly have terrible taste in music. The bridesmaids dresses? You’ll hear more on that below but let’s just say, I’m undecided. And the centerpieces? I can’t bring myself to really care that much.

Carnations for Wedding

I have decided that I love carnations. I don’t know why people hate on carnations so much. They’re cheap and look at how perfect and pink these are! All the carnations for me.

I just want good food and good company. And to be married to N, of course. I actually asked N recently if we could just move up the wedding and do something casual. January feels far away. He reminded me that we can’t get our deposits back. Basically, I’m impatient and not that good at taking care of all the small details.

So here’s what we’re having a hard time with. They’re so hard that we basically haven’t decided them yet. Like I said, we’ve stalled a bit.

1. Finding non-cheesy wedding readings

If you are going the non-traditional route for the ceremony (like we are), you can opt to not do readings at all. Since we can’t find anything non-cheesy, this may be the route we take. But for now, we’re still on the hunt for readings from non-religious text that we find meaningful and that won’t make our guests vomit.

If you have any recommendations, I would love some guidance. Everything sounds nauseatingly cheesy.

2. Picking out the perfect music

We want music that means a lot to us. We want it to be semi-unrecognizable and to secretly share our nerdy side with each other. Let’s just say I spend a lot of time playing the soundtrack from Harry Potter, Doctor Who, and various beloved movies while N slowly convinces me that the Zelda theme song is super subtle (NOT). We want our music to be our own inside joke.

Sometimes we just sit on the couch and play songs back and forth for each other. This part is fun, but not a single decision has been made.

3. Choosing wedding colors

I’m struggling with this. Really struggling. What happens when pink is your favorite, your absolute favorite? “Pink is my signature color.” He’s not into it but I can’t come up with any alternative I like better. Navy and Grey? Meh. I think I’ll just slowly convince him that we should go with “my two shades of blush and bashful.” As a result, I haven’t even begun to choose bridesmaids dresses.

I’m the worst.

Ladies who have planned a wedding, did you ever just hit a point where you realized planning wasn’t super fun for you? 

  • For music, my sister and then a friend of ours both had their fun music snuck in there. Example: they found a really pretty piano arrangement for a song I think from Final Fantasy and my sister walked down the aisle to it. My friend exited her ceremony to “Hakkuna Mattata.” So there’s totally ways you can put in your fun geeky music. If I ever get married, you know the Harry Potter soundtrack will somehow find it’s way in. As for readings, my friend had non-religious readings too but I can’t remember what they were! I’ll have to ask or find a program or something.

  • We went for a non-religious wedding too and finding vows and readings to use was really tough!
    We wrote our own personal vows and then as for the readings for our ceremony, we wrote that too with a combination of anecdotes related to love/marriage. We stuck a realist approach rather than airy, rhyming, silly stuff too.

    Unfortunately I don’t have the bookmarks anymore, but I did have to source several different websites. I ended up taking quite a lot of inspiration from vows I found for a Buddhist wedding. Their vows are really beautiful!

  • For our wedding, we asked each of our moms to write a letter to our spouse (as in, my mom wrote a letter to my husband and his mom wrote a letter to me) telling us what we needed to know about marrying their child, welcoming us to the family, basically whatever they wanted to say. It’s my favorite memory of our ceremony because they were so heartfelt but were also funny in a “look what you’re getting yourself into” kind of way!

  • I’m currently in the process and realized almost immediately it wasn’t fun for me and I wasn’t the type of girl who had fun obsessing over every detail. It’s really hard to explain that to other people who just assume that your entire life becomes centered on wedding planning once you get engaged.

  • Ahh the wedding readings. This was hard for us too, but we found These Are The Hands (It’s a poem) and it was read by our grandmothers. It was a special moment for them and it’s something I will always remember from our ceremony. I don’t know if that is too cheesy to you, but it was perfect for us. As for a non-traditional ceremony, we wrote our entire ceremony together since my brother in law married us. We also wrote our own vows. If you want the link to our full ceremony, let me know.

  • My sister did the ‘Blessing of the Hands’ for one of their wedding readings. It was so sweet and didn’t feel cheesy at all. She was one of the most laid back brides and her meetings with vendors would be like “hey, here is my budget… just do whatever is in season” or “as long as people are dancing, I don’t care what music you play”. The wedding was beautiful (and fun) and all of the vendors really enjoyed working for her because she wasn’t the typical bossy decisive bride they get all of the time.

  • Once we made the big decisions, the small stuff was such a chore! I think that’s pretty normal. Just remember to stay with what will make both of you happy. It’s not about anyone else. So if you want to have a nerdy song, who cares if it’s subtle or not? (Unless you really want subtle).

    For the readings, we had a hard time finding something not horribly cheesy. We did the blessing of the hands and then ended with this quote to lighten the mood, “I love being married. It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.” Rita Rudner

  • Ah colors is the hardest for me, too. I don’t want them to clash with, like, the rug of the venue. Which is crazy because not EVERYTHING will match!

  • JC

    We went to a wedding recently and I asked the bride to give me the lists of songs that she sent to her dj, she had awesome music and it was just a couple emails. I forwarded that to my dj and the job was done. We haven’t had the wedding yet, so I’ll let you know if it works out. For the colors, the ones that I picked changed a bunch, It’s still a semblance of the original colors, but I think people put to much pressure on it all. Check out for colors, she has so many ideas it might help you to see the color collages. Good Luck!

  • i found the readings the hardest bit to choose. so many just made me cringe but I love Bob Marley who has enough cool to make me not die inside 🙂

  • So I get the color thing. I didnt want my wedding to be a vomit of lipstick pink, or blue or red, etc etc. (though blue is TOTALLY my color and orange is TOTALLY my husbands color) What did I do? I picked a neutral dress color that I thought would be flattering on the girls, a dark grey(they all wanted long dresses so thats what they got) and then I had two completely seperate bouquet styles, one for the bridemaids, blue wildflowers, and one for me, ivory, soft pink peonies, and some soft orange colors. So me and my husband got the best of both words.

    I’ll be honest with you, wedding planning was NOT the most fun thing I’ve ever done. I’m an engineer, and I don’t think I’m very creative, but we picked good food, had (what we thought) was good music, skipped the traditional things that made us squirmy(garter toss, hello!) and picked up some fun things,(an everyone first dance!). The best advice I got was from my one surviving grandparent, my grandmother told me, no matter what you do, you’re going to piss someone off, so screw them(LOL!)

    Here’s my photographers blog about my wedding to show you how you don’t have to pick a signature color 😉
    (also she’s based in rural eastern shore MD and travels if you’re looking for the coolest photographer ever!!)

  • Yup! I was just like you. After the dress, food and venue, I didn’t care. Luckily my sister who was my MOH, is totally into that and spearheaded it all. I’m sure she needed a honeymoon more than we did!

  • My sister and I quote Steel Magnolias all the time! When I started planning my Dad asked if Blush & Bashful were my signature colors! ha 🙂 love it!

    Any tips for readings? We are having a non-traditional wedding too. I was trying to think of ways to involve a few people, and thought of readings. But I have no idea what we could do that wasn’t religious and not too cheesy.

  • Mary A

    Try the Vitamin String Quartet for music. We had their music playing in the background while our guests filtered into their seats before the wedding. It was awesome to get compliments from the guests like “did I just hear Blink 182?” or “Counting Crows!” It is familiar music but they have covered so many bands, that I’m sure you can find a collection of songs that are “you.” I actually walked down the aisle to “Clocks” by Coldplay.

  • Oh, Girl! This post just made my day because I’m so in the same boat as you. I’m getting married in September and I’m so excited but I’ve hit that spot, too. At the end of the day all I want is to be married to my fiance and live our lives together. We’ve got our location (on the beach) and a place for the reception (a beach home). I know my colors; Tiffany Blue and Peony Pink and that just sounded like a baby shower but it’s two of my favorite colors. I want things as low key as possible. That’s about all we’ve got so far though. It’s not that I don’t care it’s just that the small details suddenly don’t seem like the most important things to me.

  • Hello!
    Who doesn’t love carnations!?!
    For our reading I just found a template that I liked and then changed it around a little bit (a lotta bit). It wasn’t super sappy or traditional or cheesey, it was perfect-o! I pretty much re-wrote the whole thing after having a general idea of what was usually said. :]
    If he’s not in to pink, let him chose the other color. Pink and (insert any manly color here) will look nice! Brown, hunter green, dark blue, etc.
    For the music you can just give a general genre and then let guests do requests. :]

    Good luck with it all!

  • We had an excerpt from Pablo Neruda’s “Love Sonnet XVII”. He is one of my favorite poets and I, too, didn’t want anything cheesy. The excerpt read was:

    “I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
    I love you directly without problems or pride:
    I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,
    except in this form in which I am not nor are you,
    so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,
    so close that your eyes close with my dreams.”

  • I’ve loved following along as you share bits and pieces of your wedding planning journey but I can’t imagine planning my own. Weddings have so many teeny tiny details and while it’s exciting I can’t imagine not hitting the planning bloc you’ve described. It’s like how much can I really care about the center pieces?!

  • My husband let me have pink for my wedding. I say go with your favorite color (unless he totally objects) because it’s so fun and exciting to make your wedding come to life in your favorite color.

  • Megan

    One of my top wedding “regrets” was my bridesmaids’ dresses. No one was comfortable, it looked nothing like anything the girls would wear, and NO ONE would think about wearing them again. Just because my color was light blue did not mean we needed light blue dresses! After my wedding, I attended a wedding where all the girls got to pick any dress they wanted in solid black. It was SO CLASSY and every girl looked like she was rocking her comfort zone. The flowers and accessories incorporated the wedding colors so they didn’t just blend in with all the other black dresses. I think you could do the same thing with Navy Blue. They don’t all have to be an identical shade. Then accent everything with Blush. Bam.

  • Katherine

    One of my favorite books in the world is “Jane Eyre” and I’ve always wanted to use this quote as a reading when I get married…

    “I have for the first time found what I can truly love–I have found you. You are my sympathy–my better self–my good angel–I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my centre and spring of life, wrap my existence about you–and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.”

    I just think it’s so beautiful!

  • I don’t get all the fuss about weddings, centerpieces I can’t remember what we had it was a bloody long time ago and thankfully I think my mum took care of those things, we hired out bridesmaid dresses and I wore my aunts wedding dress

  • we really struggled with what to do for the reading/ceremony too since we aren’t religiously affiliated. we ended up giving some of our made up wording to our friend who was marrying us, focusing on the fact we are two strong individuals that are choosing to spend life together.

    i think since you love amazing things (like harry potter) or your other interests, finding a passage about love from dumbledore or something else that speaks to you would be amazing! it will all come together as it’s supposed to so try not to let it drive you nutso.

    “let us step out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.”

  • Lindsay

    I hear you on this. ALL of this. I didn’t want the typical wedding readings at ours so I furiously google nontraditional readings and we ended up with these two:

    “There is a desire within each of us, in the deep center of ourselves that we call our heart. We were born with it, it is never completely satisfied, and it never dies. We are often unaware of it, but it is always awake. It is the human desire for love. Every person in this earth yearns to love, to be loved, to know love. Our true identity, our reason for being, is to be found in this desire…
    …love is the ‘why’ of life: why we are functioning at all, what we want to be efficient for… I am convinced [love] is the fundamental energy of the human spirit, the fuel on which we run, the wellspring of our vitality. And grace, which is the flowing, creative activity of love itself, is what makes all goodness possible.
    Love should come first; it should be the beginning of and the reason for everything.”
    — Gerald May

    Poets often describe love as an emotion that we can’t control, one that overwhelms logic and common sense. That’s what it’s like for me. I didn’t plan on falling in love with you, and I doubt that you planned on falling in love with me. But once we met, it was clear that neither of us could control what was happening to us. We fell in love, despite our differences, and once we did, something rare and beautiful was created. For me, love like that has happened only once, and that’s why every minute we spent together has been seared in my memory. I’ll never forget a single moment of it.
    — The Notebook
    Not as cheesy as some wedding readings, and we both love The Notebook so I thought it was fitting. And it wasn’t that typical “The Notebook” quote.

    As for colors… I had issues nailing down a color scheme too. If you love pink, I say start there. Maybe do pink flowers and put your bridesmaids in something neutral? We had a winter wedding too and I did blush and ivory flowers, my bridesmaids dresses and all of our paper products were navy blue, and then I did silver/glittery accents on the tables. Pick a color that you KNOW you want to use, and start thinking of different ways you can use it. It will eventually all fall into place and then you’ll wonder how you ever had no idea what to do, I promise.

    Do exactly what you guys want for music. If that means the theme song to something silly, go for it. A song that you both love has more meaning to it than choosing something just because of the lyrics. You don’t want to look back and wish you chose what you actually wanted instead go going a more mainstream route (or whatever it may be.)

    Good luck with everything, you guys will figure it out!

  • ugh, seriously, after picking the big things (food, venue, dress, DJ, coordinator, and photographer), I stopped caring. Which is horrible because my wedding is in 2 months! I haven’t thought about the flowers at all, which is a big BIG no no. Oops.
    As one less than incredibly enthusiast bride to another, here is what I did for some of the things.
    Colors: We honestly don’t care about the color scheme. We like purple, green, and yellow and who cares if those colors don’t go well together.
    Bridesmaids: I asked the girls to pick any dress they wanted in purple. Turns out there are 2 girls wearing each shade of purple, so it is working out fabulously.

  • We had a reading from the children’s book “I like You” it was sweet but still funny and not cheesy. I looked at several different children’s book readings as well, and also loved the one from The Velveteen Rabbit. And wedding planning was NOT fun at all, you’re not alone. In fact, most of my girlfriends said the same thing.

  • Your focus is totally on the right stuff! None of it really matters. The readings are probably the most important things on this list just because it’s to celebrate your marriage. I say pick something meaningful to you guys. Something from Harry Potter would be awesome! We did a pretty traditional wedding, so we used a bible reading and “The Art of Marriage.” The poem is probably too cheesy for you, but we loved it because it is so true for us! I also like this e.e.cummings poem: And this quote from Ira Glass:
    Totally go with pink carnations for your center pieces. Put some tea lights around them and bam! I just did some tulips I a tall base and some hydrangeas in a medium vase and some stock (all white by the way) in a small vase. I loved it! Also it was easy! Don’t forget about babies breath either, they are actually very pretty and cheap!
    As far as color schemes go, I definitely didn’t want to do that so I just went with white! I used a taupe color bridesmaid dresses and green from the flowers as my accent colors, plus my red lipstick and it was classic and easy! Definitely use blush if you like it and pair it with a neutral like white, ivory, black, navy, or gray. And put your girls in a neutral color. Better yet, pick a color and let them pick their own dresses.

    Good luck and congrats!

  • My cousin had her childhood best friend read “The Owl and the Pussycat” which went down a storm! Children’s stories are actually a really fab thing to look at! Some Dr Seuss might work as well.

    As for colours, I’ve always said that if I get married I’d have a multicoloured theme going on. Just pick colours you like! Your favourite colour, N’s favourite colour and a couple of in-between to join the two together. Who cares if they’re not “traditional” colours and who cares if everything doesn’t match? 🙂 xx

  • I’m planning my wedding at the moment and I’m hating it. Mainly because there’s so much I actually can’t plan. I know I’m getting married in July, probably, but my fiance is coming over on a visa and there’s so much that has to be arranged before that. This whole process is teaching me that, actually, if it wasn’t legally necessary for visas etc, I probably wouldn’t bother getting married at all. It’s a lot of hassle to not actually really change a whole lot.

    As for readings, they don’t even have to be romantic – I went to somebody’s wedding where they had a reading from a children’s book. It was something about a dinosaur who was looking for his friend, I think. And I had another friend whose readings were songs. When read aloud they just sound like poems. (I sort of want to have the macarena or something, but read really seriously, just to see what people do…)

  • Emily

    Falling in Love is like Owning a Dog by Taylor Mali (Include Archie!)
    The Lovely Dinosaurs
    I Will Be Here – Curtis Chapman
    Sonnet 116 – Shakespeare

    Hopefully these help. I let my bridesmaids pick their dresses as long as they were knee length or longer and solid back. Maybe you could do something similar? Do you even really have to have centerpieces? What about your favorite books/movies and a candle or some lovely carnations? Keep it simple and true to you and you can’t go wrong! Good Luck. 🙂

  • I’m pretty sure one of Sean’s cousins snuck an HP reading into their wedding which sounds right up your alley.

  • I was so not into the planning, I just wanted it to be over!! We picked out ‘big things’ first (venue, photographer, dress) and then kind winged it. For the music, here’s an idea. On your response cards, have your guests include a song they want to hear. Ours said “I promise to dance if you play this song:_____” Almost everyone wrote a song down and we had an instant playlist!!

  • I found my readings from this site, some of them were not too cheesy 😉

  • I totally refused to pick a single wedding color (it drove my mother and my MIL crazy – they couldn’t understand the concept of just *not* picking one color). Instead, I went with a palette of soft neutrals. I had several bridesmaids in cream dresses, one in a pale, shimmery green, another in a striped cream/peach/yellow, and the fifth in a floral gray. I thought it looked pretty smashing, but I’m probably biased, lol. (here’s pictures, if you’re curious:

    Best of luck!!

  • We didn’t do readings, but invited people to approach the MC and say something if they wanted to. F’s at the time 7 yo nice roasted him in the cutest way possible, the girl who introduced us got over her fear and said a few things, and my brother did an awesome welcome, let’s get this show on the road and introduction of the judge.

    As for colors. I went to party city and picked all the colors I liked. I got the balloons, plates etc all in those colors and then decorated with Gerber daises in jars with movie theater boxes of candy to indicate what table they should sit at.. One of my bffs that was helping that day said it reminded her of the movie UP – bright, happy, fun and so very us.

    I didn’t have bridesmaids but one wedding I went to all the girls were in crazy flower patterns (summer) and two I’ve been in the bride was just like go to the store and find a dress in this color that you like. One was a pretty cornflower blue and the other one we went to Macys and got NineWest(?) dresses. I still wear that one more than 10 years later!

  • I read this at my brother’s non-religious non-traditional wedding last year, and they absolutely loved it. It’s from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin… “Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body. No, don’t blush, I am telling you some truths. That is just being “in love”, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.”

  • Liz

    I’m in the midst of planning one right now and I am not enjoying it at all! Kind of wishing we had eloped, but my fiance’s family never would have went for that.

    We’re staying pretty traditional, but as far as money and time spent, I’m over it! I’ve found that my original idea of hating weddings rings true for my own… HAH!

  • I just got married last month. We went super small and casual. Our colors went from grey and navy to a light purple because we both liked it and he could see himself wearing the tie. So we did grey and light purple. We tried to let the Universe steer us in the right direction and we weren’t disappointed. Although you should probably not go to the grocery the day before to get flowers (oops).
    We used this website for potential vows, but we did it at the courthouse where the vows are set (they were wonderful and we’re glad it worked out that way). Just make sure you proofread five times if you make changes.
    Enjoy! Remember it’s for you not anyone else so if you don’t want a set color don’t have one! It will all work out in the end.

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