People marvel at weddings, but it’s the preparation and hard work that makes it happen in the first place! For this week’s episode, the Polka Dot Wedding team chats about the mental load of wedding planning. The pressure to plan typically falls on the bride, but Ms Polka (Dot), Ms Rose (Mary), and Ms Peacock (Julia) give tips on how to share the work load as a couple.

In this chat we discuss:

  • How we each approached planning our own weddings
  • The pros and cons of DIY weddings
  • Planning your wedding together as a couple
  • Wedding mission statements
  • Protecting your emotional bandwidth
  • The post-wedding comedown
  • How to have fun while wedding planning

Weddings are a celebration of a couple’s love story, so it’s only right that both partners are involved in the planning process.

Before you begin, draft a wedding mission statement together. Write down and decide the most important aspects of your wedding. The mission statement will serve as your guide, allowing you to prioritise what’s essential and to compromise on what’s not. It also ensures that both of your wishes are reflected on your big day.

If you’d like, you can create a joint email address so that both partners are always in the loop about wedding planning. Attending meetings together is also a good strategy. Always be open and honest about how you’re feeling and the responsibilities that each of you can take on. It’s important to spend time together outside of wedding planning and to make time for self-care.

When things get too overwhelming, don’t be afraid to seek help. Delegate tasks to friends and family members who are willing to step up. Lean on your vendors because they can help lighten your mental load. Hire a wedding planner or give yourself more time, if that’s what you need.

Find Dorothy & the Polka Dot Wedding team:

On Instagram: @polkadotwedding

On the website:

This podcast was produced by Polka Dot Wedding

The Polka Dot Wedding team is honoured to conduct our work on the land of the BoonWurrung, WoiWorung, Eora and Kuring-gai people. We honour the traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders custodians of the land and pay our respects to Elders past & present.

Episode Transcript

Dorothy: If you are looking for a wedding podcast, that’s not just fun, but goes a little deep, then you have found it. We’re the Feel Good Wedding Podcast by Polka Dot Wedding and my name is Dorothy, and I am also known as Miss Polka Dot. I am the founder and editor of Polka Dot Wedding and I have been writing about weddings for 16 years. The feel good wedding podcast dives a little deeper than the stories. Of course we tell the stories, we tell plenty of them, but we’re also talking about vendor advice. We’re also talking about business advice and we’re also diving a little deeper beyond those stories. We’re diving into the mistakes and the “I wish I did” and the problems and the qualms that these couples have, and that vendors have too. We’ve got so much in store we’re jumping into season two and we can’t wait to have you along for the ride. Keep on listening and we’d love to hear from you so make sure you stick around.

The Polka Dot Wedding team is honoured to conduct our work on the land of the BoonWurrung, WoiWurrung, Eora, and Kuring-gai people. We honour the traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander custodians of the land and we pay our respects to elders past and present.

Welcome back to another episode of The Feel Good Wedding podcast.

We have a really special episode today because we are going behind the scenes again with you. We are talking with two of our amazing patent people. We have Mary – Ms Rose, our specialty blog editor, of course. We also have our new special guest, Julia, who is our submissions manager. Today we’re talking about something that we don’t really feel has been talked about recently or enough. There’s been so many conversations about the mental load and the bandwidth of housework and running a household, and we realised that this is something that comes into play in weddings. We thought, why not talk about this in our next behind-the-scenes episode. I’m really thrilled to have the patterned people with us today as we dive in and our thoughts about bandwidth and planning weddings, and who carries that mental load. Let’s dive on in and I’ll give a warm welcome to the lovely Mary, Ms Rose and the lovely Julia, Ms Peacock. Hello and welcome. Thank you so much for joining me again.

Mary: Hello, good morning, really excited to get into this topic today, because I think that, like you were saying, there is so much you see all over social media and there are so many articles and all this sort of thing about the mental load of life as a general thing and who carries that. I think when we were brainstorming doing this behind the scenes chat, we were saying, “Hang on, no one really talks about the bandwidth of wedding planning and who carries that mental load.” Ms Polka, what do you think is the definition of the mental bandwidth of wedding planning and what do we want to focus on with that? What do you think it is?

Dorothy: I’ve always said that someone carries the mental bandwidth and it doesn’t matter if you are planning the wedding yourself or if you have a wedding planner, or you don’t have a wedding planner because there is someone that is silently carrying that load of, “Okay is this vendor showing up? Has this vendor been paid? Have I booked that vendor?” But then right through to the day of, “Okay, have the candles been lit? Is this happening? Is that happening?” I remember I had a wedding that I was a part of years ago and they had no wedding planner. I was, of course, me who was adoring weddings and wanting to help and do all that stuff, I was the one that ran around and was like, “Oh, it’s windy, the vases are falling down, I’ve got to sit them up. Oh, the candles aren’t lit.” I remember at my sister-in-law’s wedding, the candles weren’t lit so my husband and I ran around and lit all the candles. There’s that little mental stuff that is the silent stuff as it is at home when we’re doing like washing and ironing and vacuuming that goes into a wedding that is unspoken and I think it’s something, again, we don’t talk about in weddings at all.

Mary: I agree. I totally agree. I think that for us especially, I know we’re not wedding planners, but we have seen a few weddings. Surprise. Surprise. We’re all married, the three of us have had a wedding, I think it would be safe to say that we’ve read about how couples feel about having planned their day. It’s actually one of the questions on our questionnaire. What was your favourite thing about wedding planning and any advice for other couples? Because I think imparting advice on how to plan or things to focus on is it’s really helpful for people who are just diving into this whole world of wedding planning and I think when people get engaged, they know that they have to then go and plan a wedding, whatever that looks like for them. I think, a big theme that runs through when we ask couples this question is, I didn’t realise how hard it was going to be and how big it was going to be. I love it when I see couples talk about having delegated to family members or friends, that feels so lovely, but it’s almost like that you don’t quite know about this mental load until it happens.

Dorothy: Look, I delegated a lot for our wedding and I will talk about that soon, but I lost my mind when I had to buy a marker for our guest book because I was like, “I’m so done.” I’ve done so much for this wedding and we’ve delegated everything. There was so much that I was conscious of, but I was like, I can’t do one more thing. I’m not done. I’m so done.”

Mary: I’m tapping out. I’m tapping out. Actually I want to talk about, all of our experiences, even just a touch on, Julia, our beautiful Ms Peacock, what, tell us about the planning of your wedding with your lovely wife. I am like, what, like in terms of the actual planning. what was that process like?

Julia: I proposed to Em, it would have been, I’ll give you a bit of backstory because then it will explain why we did what we did. I proposed to Em on New Year’s Eve and then we knew that we wanted to get married at my mum’s property and my dad had previously passed away, and she was going to sell the property really soon. So we felt immense pressure to have a wedding quite soon. We decided on a date and we didn’t take into consideration other life commitments that we’d have during that time that we’d need to plan the wedding. I offloaded I’m going to say 85% of the wedding planning to my beautiful sister who came through with the goods because we were going through IVF at the time, I had just got a new job and I was traveling four hours every day to work and then we had just started renovating a house. So to say that we didn’t have the bandwidth to really keep up with the wedding planning was an understatement. This topic resonates with me because I was so lucky, we were so lucky that we had my sister who loves planning weddings and parties and can really do it in her sleep. Mary, you touched on a comment before, I think after a wedding has happened, it’s easy for couples to look back on the planning experience with a positive lens, you romanticise it because it’s all come together. The day’s happened, it was beautiful. But when you are planning it, it’s really stressful. There are so many elements to think about, and look, Mary and I actually used to work at a bridal store.

Mary: We did.

Julia: You can really feel the stress that is cast upon the bride’s shoulders. So yeah.

Dorothy: That was something that I was going to ask you, Julia, because Mary and I both in heterosexual relationships and a lot of the bandwidth is often placed on the bride because, as we have talked about as a team, so much of the marketing is directed towards the bride and not the groom, etc. Did you find there was anything particular with you and your wife about the way that you were approached by vendors or the way you dealt with vendors? I know your sister did most of it. There was no sort of bride, groom, oh the bride is the one in control and all that sort of stuff that we hate so much.

Julia: Yeah, sure. I think, to be honest, I don’t know that my lovely wife, Emily, she really hates being the centre of attention. She finds she’s incredibly shy and so she wasn’t really fussed on anything. I guess she trusted my opinion and my process to contacting vendors and I’d run things past her, but I guess in that sense, she wasn’t too fussed about what vendor I would choose, but I do have to say, I would seek out the vendors. I know I said my sister did most of the planning, but I would send her photographers and I would contact photographers that I liked the style of. I was incredibly intimidated to contact vendors and I would worry about saying it’s my wife and my wedding because, still to this day there is judgment cast upon same sex couples and that was a huge stress for me.

Mary: Not as much representation, when you don’t see a representation or an image of what your relationship looks like, you go on Instagram or on websites and look, there are so many today now, but still, like you’re saying, if there’s not that much representation, you’re not going to jump in and go, they’re going to tell my story and my day beautifully. You want to see that reflection of like, “Oh, hang on.” Like that, a photographer will know how my wife and I would like to possibly stand together in photos or have our portraits done, or anything like that. You want to make sure that you’re looking for vendors and photographers and who, and all that sort of, those sort of people who are going to get you a bit as well. Yes.

Dorothy: A whole extra layer of bandwidth.

Mary: Yes. Yeah, exactly. It is.

Julia: It really is. I remember looking at photographers’ Instagram feeds and just hoping that I would see a same sex couple, and then I would know that they would be open to receiving an email from us. This is in 2018. This is not that long ago. You’re absolutely right. It does add a whole extra layer of bandwidth on it, on an already stressful time in your life.

Mary: Something that I love just in terms of mental bandwidth and like going, how much mental capacity am I going to give this part of the wedding? I think, correct me if I’m wrong, Julia, but I think you were saying that with Emily’s outfit for the day, she, again, she wasn’t too fussed, but she picked X amount of outfits and then just put them on and you were like, “Yep, that one.” She was like, “Great. Off we go. This is the one I’m going to wear.” I love that story because I just think, “Good for you. You know that you want it to look nice, but you also weren’t so caught up in it.” I love that she just went, “All right. That’s my decision.” I just find that….

Julia: The decision that I made for her. We could look at it as though she offloaded, and she did find it incredibly stressful to even stand up in front of all of the people who we love. So for her to be able to offload choosing what she wore on the day, it does sound terribly controlling, but she needed me to do that. I remember spending hours ordering things online and having them come and we try them on and we just found one that clicked and she just felt good in it.

Mary: That’s not a point, isn’t it? That’s it. It could have liked that, I’ve got this, I’ve got 60% capacity to be able to give to this planning process and look, I’ve got 40% or I’ve got 20% today. Okay, I’ll cover the 80%. That sort of give and take, but that doesn’t happen so often. I was saying before, where because so much of it is marketed to brides, it feels like there’s not that good shift of percentage of bandwidth because a lot of it is one person doing so much of it. Ms Polka, what was your experience like? Didn’t Mr. Polka do? What was his percentage?

Dorothy: I knew that the marketing of the wedding industry was tailored towards brides. In fact, down to the point that we went to a wedding expo and we did an experiment where I did not talk and he did all the talking and some of the vendors were very confused and looked at me and were like, “Who is this? Why is he talking? Why are you silent?” But I was so adamant that he had to be involved because our relationship works like that. I’m not like, I will research and then I would go to him with what I had figured out like, these are the photographers I would really love to use, pick one. I forced him, dragged him, I didn’t really drag him, he was quite happy. I made him be involved because I was like, “I don’t want this to be my day, I want it to be our day.” I want it to be a joint effort because that’s the way our relationship works. We also hired a wedding planner because I’m a big advocate for wedding planners, and I knew that if we didn’t, that the mental bandwidth would fall on someone. I had been that person in other weddings where there was no one taking photos of the bride getting ready. I did it. At the last minute, like literally 10 seconds, I was like, “Oh my God, you need photos.” All that little tiny detail, I knew that if I didn’t carry that, that my mum would or a guest would or something. I was like, “Nah, I want you to all enjoy it.” On the two levels, I forced my husband to be involved or encouraged him. I was like, “Nah, I’m just making this on my own.” I also had a wedding planner because I was like, “No, stuff is, I’m not. “Even to the fact the week before the wedding when I was trying to wrap up Polka stuff to take some time off, I said to all our vendors, “I’m not communicating with you, he is.” He took over all the communication and did all the decisions and I think it was great. That’s the way we work and it was really important for me that it was not all on me. I think when one person carries the bandwidth, it almost becomes a bit like it’s their day because they have to carry all the wishes. I was like, “Nah, not doing it.” What about you, Ms Rose? We did DIY, but you had a much more like beautiful DIY country wedding.

Mary: It was definitely more DIY. We definitely had lovely vendors. Our caterers came in who were wonderful and we had hire company who came in and set up our marquee and all that and all the tables and all that sort of thing, but we did a fair bit of DIY for it in terms of we did all the flowers and we fed our guests a lot. The caterers came in and did lunchtime, a lunch sort of style thing, but we then did like an afternoon thing. Then the caterers were back again to do an evening thing. We did DIY a fair bit of it because it was at my parent’s house. We thought with that, we could do our own thing, which was really lovely and freeing. That also means that you have to do a lot of the work. You do have to do a lot of the work. I really want to say that I enjoyed wedding planning. I didn’t, hugely because it was really stressful and this comes down to bandwidth because my husband Lewis and I, we did most of it ourselves. We had support in terms of people that we could bounce ideas off of, but we didn’t have a wedding party. We had flower girls, which were divine, our nieces, but we did all of the wedding planning ourselves. We put together Spotify playlists, we sourced everything. On the day and the lead up during the week, we had a lot of help in terms of family and friends came to help set up and help to pick things up and collect things. I sourced a lot of our table centrepieces from vintage shops and that sort of thing. I had people who came and helped with those and transport them and so we had friends and family who I’d say the week of, and then the next day, the day after the wedding were so helpful and gave so much of their time to help set up. But in terms of the actual planning, Lewis and I did that all really ourselves. That was a really stressful time because, I will say in my older age, I’m not so much like this anymore, but when we were planning our wedding, we were a bit younger and we were people pleasers. I’m not saying, don’t try and give your guests a good day, make it all about you. It is all about you. Then for a lot of people that includes making sure their guests have a beautiful fun party and a lovely time, which is what we wanted to do, but I think we took on so much of like, “Will this date work for someone? Oh, but is this going to put that particular one person out? If we don’t have this for this weather plan backup, is that going to put my family out at their house?”

Dorothy: Sometimes you have to go through that in order to realise what you don’t want. You almost can’t think about that beforehand sometimes because it’s like, “I’ve never planned a wedding before. I don’t know what I want and what I want it to feel like.”

Mary: You can’t think about that beforehand until you’re actually thrown into it and doing it. I think we thought about people too much. I think we definitely could have just calmed our farms and said, “Hang on, wait a minute. What’s going to work best for us?” We didn’t want to put anyone out and we still, I don’t think anyone should, there should always be a thought of what’s going to be more comfortable for your guests, or is this particular guest going to be able to be there and comfortable and happy in terms of inclusivity and all of that sort of thing.

Julia: You do that because you love your guests and it’s really hard to not do that. I agree with you. You do need to put yourself first, but it’s so easy to slip into that.

Mary: It is, but we also, Julia, like I hear you talking about having your lovely sister do so much of the organising and planning, I think that is a dream and I wish we had done more of that. In our minds at that point, we were like it’s our choice to get married. We have to do it all. We’re going to do it all. Now I go, I think we have lovely friends and family who would be very happy to help us.

Dorothy: I would plan your wedding just so you know, I would plan your wedding.

Mary: Oh my God. I’ve asked you, what do you think this is? What do you think about this? Yeah.

Julia: We all have that one friend or family member who on the day or leading up to the day, they message you and say, “I’m here.” Whatever you need is you need. We on our wedding day, we were having it outdoors and it was forecast rain. We thought because it was my mom’s house, there was no nearby venue that we could just run to. We thought, “We don’t have umbrellas for our 200 guests. What do we do?” We messaged a few people and they’re like, “Yep, what do you need? And they delivered 50 umbrellas to us.” They are goodies. Whoever’s listening, make sure you do that to the next wedding you’re going to.

Mary: Ask if they need umbrellas.

Dorothy: Oh my God. Reasons I didn’t get married outside.

Mary: It’s a good point. It’s beautiful, but it’s a very, mine reigned up like the whole week right before the day. It absolutely bucketed and the day was quite, the day was overcast, but lovely. Thank goodness for that. We didn’t really outsource. Ms. Polka, you did outsource, not all of it, but you…

Dorothy: We did a lot of the planning ourselves and we did a lot of the decor details. We did a lot of DIY because I love my crafty things. Which segues us into the bandwidth of DIY because I think it’s really tricky when you’ve got a small wedding budget because you’re like, “I need to DIY so much more in order to get what I want for my wedding.” On the other hand, the DIY is this extra layer of bandwidth. We found during the wedding planning, it was this whole juggle of what is worth us doing ourselves versus paying someone to do because then they can just take it off us.

Mary: I think that comes down to what are the things that we’re happy to do ourselves. What are the things we actually really love to do, which we’re happy to do ourselves, and what’s something that we’re just know, either A, we’re going to really not enjoy it so it’s worth outsourcing it or it’s going to take a very long time to do it and I don’t have that time or the capacity for it, and I’m going to outsource that.

Dorothy: Being sensible with what that capacity actually is like, yes, you could make your own wedding cake, but do you have the capacity two days before your wedding to make your own wedding cake?

Mary: It’s not just the sort of, “Oh, I’m going to be in the kitchen and whipping something up.” You’re like, wait, what else are you going to be doing in that lead up, or maybe you love to bake and you go, do you know what? I’m going to say, all the other things can be delegated or outsourced, but I know that I’m going to get such joy from making this cake and I know I’m going to be out of action right those few days before the wedding, but I’m going to make sure that this is ready to go, this is ready to go, and I’ve delegated the rest of it because I really want to do this. It’s going to bring me joy and that’s what I did the morning of our wedding was that I really wanted to do the flowers. I really wanted to get all the flowers from a flower farm nearby and I wanted it to be put in these vintage vases and I wanted it to be haphazard, and very thrown together. That was one of my most favourite parts of the day was I had maybe one of my aunts and then two other friends of mine who were there and myself and we were there throwing flowers into vases and we had music on and we were in an undercover sort of pergola area of my parents and it smelled incredible. I still to this day, and this is 13 years later, I’ve can so remember how vividly happy I was in that moment. It’s something, it’s one of those things where you go, “All right, I’m going to get joy from this particular thing. So I am going to spend the time doing it.” But I think if a lot of people go, “Oh, I’m going to have a DIY wedding.” And they just go, “Oh, I can do that. I’ll throw it together.” But it’s sometimes not that simple.

Julia: think you also need to, to a certain degree account for things going wrong. I was just thinking about making the cake like the day before or two days before, if something happens and the cake doesn’t turn out, then that’s just adding such an extra layer of stress. And like Mary, if you didn’t have your lovely aunt and your friends to help you, that would have been quite a mammoth task for you.

Mary: Absolutely. I think there’s pros and cons to DIY, obviously. I think if you DIY, there is a chance to make it cheaper sometimes, depending on how you DIY. I think that it can actually bring you together with people. My example before about doing it with my aunt and my friends. That was really lovely. I got that joy from it. There’s that pro for it. You can do it up and you can get excited and do a lot of a bunch of DIY in the lead up to your wedding. Like Ms. Polka was saying, if you’re crafty, like she’s crafty, if you feel crafty, this might be one of the things you really dream about. The other, the cons with DIY is that it isn’t always cheaper depending on the materials you get and how much you have to do. Your time, the time that it takes to do the DIY, depending on what it is, could be a lot and that your time versus money may not add up there. Maybe you’re trying your hand at something you’ve never done before and it, like you’re saying about, Julie, about having to think about things going wrong. If you haven’t accounted for something going wrong, that could be quite a stressful situation where you’re like, “Oh my God, I thought that was going to work and it didn’t.” I think if going in with a DIY wedding, that it’s going to take time and effort and you are happy, (and money).

Dorothy: Let’s be honest in that DIY, even if you’re making your own cake, it doesn’t cost nothing. You’ve got to buy, if you’re making your own cake, all the ingredients that you might not get at cost price. Then you’ve got the, all the money of the fondant and all the other stuff you’ve got to obviously buy out of pocket at retail rates.

Julia: That’s it. I think my wedding is probably the perfect example of a fairly good DIY wedding that, that was not as cheap as you think. And look, we didn’t do our wedding DIY to save money. I think location had a big part of it. We were a bit rural in Northern New South Wales so we didn’t have access to lots of vendors. I have to say it, we blew budget tenfold and I do think Mary, you were touching about before when you have your wedding, I guess on a property or at your parent’s place, there are things you need to think about that you don’t need to think about when you have them at a wedding venue.

Mary: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Like toilets.

Julia: Mary, where does everyone park? Where does everyone stay?

Mary: Yep. What if it rains?

Julia: What if it rains? Exactly. We were lucky that we hired the three big teepee tents that we could quickly move inside. Thank goodness we did because it hailed when we were saying our vows. We had in excess of 200 people there and I don’t know what we would have done had everyone been sopping wet on a little Island. Definitely, I think if you’re planning a wedding, DIY is not always cheaper.

Mary: It’s definitely not. Also I’m going to go back on our, who carries the mental load. You might be particularly DIY-esk, but what if your partner isn’t? What if your partner’s like, “Nah.” What if you’re like, “Oh, we’re going to make it? Let’s do out invites. Let’s do it. Let’s do it.” Which some people are going to do it and it’s going to be amazing and others, what if you’re excited about it, but your partner’s like, “Oh, okay.” And you have to carry that then – you have to do that. Sometimes it’s about managing the, what your partner wants and what you want in terms of that DIY. If they are going to come with you on that whole journey of DIY, or if you’re happy to say, “Do you know what? I’m really excited to do it. I know it’s not your thing, but I’ve realised that, and I’m going to take this.” Then so be it, but it’s just putting the thought behind it first, I think, and going, “Hang on, are you going to be able to do this essentially by yourself or essentially with a little less help than you would ideally hope?” And again, though, I will say for DIY, speaking from experience of not having done it as much as I should have. Delegate. There are people who want to help you. they are people who are so excited for you as well. It’s having conversations and saying, “I really want to do a DIY. I really would love to go and find these vintage pieces to style.” It’s finding your friend who’s keen to go shopping with you and to do it with you.

Julia: Spreading the joy for your wedding too.

Mary: Having the conversations to see who’s keen to help. Also not assuming you’ll get help either as well, because not everyone’s super keen. There are people, I’m sure.

Julia: There are people. Like I was saying to Emily, my lovely wife, we were so lucky that my sister, she really did live and breathe our wedding. We were so lucky because we just didn’t have any bandwidth to do it. Not everyone is that lucky and I think my advice would be to put your wedding off or just delay it for a little bit (until you can).

Dorothy: Or hire someone. Wedding planners are amazing for a reason. I would think of them like your housekeeper for your house because they can take all your mental load and they can take, like for us, I really wanted it to be personal, so I did a lot ourselves, but handing that over, especially on the day for the setup was just, it was so worth it.

Mary: That would have been so dreamy. If I got married again and if I was doing the whole beautiful big shebang, I would absolutely hire someone. I cannot tell you how much less stressful that would be. It would just, Oh my goodness.

Julia: To just turn up on the day. Imagine! I think working in this job has made me realise definitely what I would do differently. I’ve said to Em, “Oh, if I ever get married again, not that I ever would, but this is what we would have.”

Mary: And you know what? I think a lot of it as well. Yes, there’s the mental bandwidth of actually figure out your time versus your money versus your effort- there’s all of that, but emotional bandwidth plays a huge role in the whole planning process as well. there’s the emotional bandwidth of you and your partner, of you and your friends, of you and your family. It’s finances. It’s a huge part of it as well. And I think that’s something a lot of people go into wedding planning, feeling like we’re going to connect to my partner and I’m going to connect and it’s going to be so fun. You know what, if it is, that’s incredible, that’s the dream, but I think a lot of couples find that it is quite a stressful process. I feel like that can put a lot of strain on you as an individual and on you as a couple as well. I don’t know how you both found the emotional bandwidth of planning your weddings, or if you’ve read through, obviously we get real wedding submissions all the time, which is so beautiful and we’re so lucky to read these beautiful stories, but a lot of the time as well, we have people saying it was really stressful. I had to take time for myself. My partner and I had to make sure that we connected still. It was a lot more than I expected. We also hear stories of family, family and friend drama that comes into play. I don’t know. I think especially even having weddings trying to do the DIY and having weddings at a family home, that can also throw in a few other stresses and areas that might put a bit of pressure, some pressure points and that sort of thing.

Dorothy: I think the emotional side of mental bandwidth at weddings is really big because we are having these conversations that you might not have had before as a couple. You’re having them around really difficult things like money, like, are our parents contributing? How do we have a conversation with our parents about contributing? What kind of say do they get in the wedding with guests and all that kind of stuff if they do contribute? How do we navigate all these tricky conversations with each other? Like, “Oh, you really want to invite that friend who I hate?” Or, “You really want to do that. That doesn’t align with what I like.” There’s so much emotion to deal with, and everyone else’s emotion. It’s not just your emotion as a couple, it’s everyone else’s emotion, and even to the point where one of you might be holding all of that discussion about guest lists and family, etc, and the other one might be like, “My family’s fine, it doesn’t affect me.” So one of you might be carrying all of that as well. We didn’t have a lot of stress, like we did in some guests, but we were so united on it that we didn’t have a lot of societal expectations because I was so like, “No, stuff it, I want to do it my way.” I was so aware of it, I think going into it because of Polka Dot Wedding, that I was heightened to everything that could go wrong. It’s such a hothouse of emotion. It’s not just about ticking a box. This wedding represents us. It’s so important. It becomes so important to you as a couple. I don’t know how you navigate that.

Julia: Yeah, I don’t know how you do it either, but I was just thinking about even the tiniest little details. I had a friend who got married a couple of months ago and she was at her emotional bandwidth and it came to the day before her wedding and she went to get her nails done and, this isn’t to sound superficial because it’s not, but it was the wrong colour and it just sent her over the edge. The last straw. Those little things. You want to feel beautiful on your day. You want to look how you look in your head. She ended up finding strength from her maid of honour who just sorted it out, said, “I’m taking this off your plate.” So I think you really do when you hit that level where you can’t do it anymore, you’ve got to outsource.

Mary: I think, I’m part of, on my Facebook, I’m on, Queensland brides, Victorian brides, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney Brides, all these different pages because I love weddings and I like to see people who’ve gotten married and this is how I find weddings. I will say, these are platforms for couples to vent or ask questions or get excited about their days. The amount of conversations in there where these lovely couples are needing to have a vent or needing to bounce ideas back and forth with other couples getting married, of families who have absolutely come in and are taking over or are refusing for certain things to go a certain way or have the high maintenance of, I will say especially family members, but there are friends as well and it just, I read these and it just blows my mind.

Julia: It’s heartbreaking.

Mary: It’s heartbreaking. These people are so, some people will come in saying, “I think I’m just at the point of calling this off because I’m so tired and I can’t do it anymore.” I think one of the biggest takeaways from reading all of these, which everyone’s like, “What does Ms. Rose do in her spare time?” One of the biggest things that I get from it is that a lot of these people. Usually it’s one person and I will say in terms of gender norms, it’s usually the bride who is coming in saying, “I don’t feel supported by my partner.” We’re having family dramas. It’s either, I’m not feeling supported by my partner or it’s my family and my partner’s totally backing me up. But how do I deal with this? It’s such another layer that you don’t need in an already stressful time. There’s no clear cut tool, I think, for how to go about this, but I think you need to try with your partner to just be in your own bubble. Yes, back to what we’re saying about delegating and outsourcing, but in terms of making the actual decisions on the day, that’s so on the day, but in the lead up and on the day, it comes down to what you and your loved one, who the person you are marrying that you’re going to be married to for a long time, it’s your day and you get to choose these things and it’s trying to turn the noise off from a lot of people who will come in with ideas and the unsolicited advice or ideas that come at you when you either get married or have children

Julia: I agree. You need to put that little bubble around you.

Mary: Give yourself times to go, all right, we’ve had enough of planning for this week. Let’s take ourselves out for Froyo. Let’s take ourselves out for a wine. Let’s go and go for a hike. Really trying hard to bring joy back to the whole process and remember that it’s the both of you. It’s not just one of you running the show or one of you choosing something or one of you feeling like it’s you against the family.

Dorothy: We talk a lot about wedding mission statements as well – about sitting there with your partner right at the beginning of planning your wedding and going, “what is important to us? What do we want our day to feel like?” Even coming to the point of going, “Okay, what are three things that are like non negotiable?” Okay, we want amazing food, music’s really important. I want my dress or whatever it is, so that when this noise starts and when everyone starts to go, “Oh, you should do this and you should do that.” You two have something that you can come back to knowing that this is what we both sat down and wanted our wedding to feel and be, and everything else we can just say, “Nah, mum really wants this.” I don’t really care. I’m going to say to her like, “Okay, go for it. I don’t care.” Because that’s not one of the things that’s so important to me.

Julia: I love that. That’s great. It’s a constant reminder of what is important because you can get caught up in all the little nitty gritty stuff and you do have to step aside and say, “Actually, do I care about this or can I just let it go?” But if you’ve got that list going into it of what really matters, then you can just focus on that and you can keep, that’s a way of keeping protection of your little bubble.

Mary: I think that’s also a really great way of making sure that both members of the couple are equally reflected in the day. It’s not just one person in their bubble. Making all the decisions and planning the whole thing by themselves and hence, it looks like their day. If you’re the type of person who is so happy to do that and is like, “Do you know what? My partner has no interest and I’m actually okay with that because I know how I want this to look and they really don’t care.” We’ve had the conversation. Again, it’s about communication. If one of you is happy to take on that whole entire load, then you know what? Do you, do your couple, do your relationship then run wild with that. But I think what can happen in those circumstances is that one side of the couple is very clearly shown where the other one is along for the ride. I think if you can keep coming back to your bubble and having these conversations about what do you want, what’s important to you, making sure it looks like your day and letting some things go – being, and being able to compromise and say, “I really didn’t want a Spider Man cake, but you know what, you love Spider Man and I don’t care about cakes that much.”

Julia: Yeah, you think to yourself, “can I let this go?” And at the end of the day, yeah, it doesn’t matter.

Mary: This whole planning process and your wedding are just part of your whole, not just, but they’re part of your whole relationship of your whole marriage. I think a huge tip would be, you would, as well as you can trying to track along how you want your relationship to look, not just about the day. Like you want to be kind to each other. You want to give each other space and time and the opportunity to speak about stuff and to be able to say, “I felt nervous about telling you that I don’t want to wear a tie or that I’m not going to have a veil.” Do you know what I mean? It’s creating space for both of you to be able to have these conversations so that after the whole thing’s done, you’re not going to have a post wedding come down of, “I totally felt just railroaded that whole time.” Or “I felt like you were totally disengaged that whole time.” I think it’s a check in it’s constantly checking in and giving that self care, not just for yourself, but for your relationship.

Julia: Absolutely. I think it’s okay for you to say to your partner, I need you to do this for me.” Or even though, the cake may not be for them, but just saying, “Look, I’m almost at my bandwidth, can you just take this off my plate? I’ll take it back later, but for right now, I just need you to take this so I can….”

Dorothy: Or even just take it because it’s your wedding day as well. If you’re not, if you really don’t want to carry all the band with, then your partner can. It’s the same as household. You’re sitting there and you’re washing up and your partner walks along and does something and whatever it is, and you think, “Couldn’t you just have cleaned that up?” It’s the same with wedding planning. I want to do, I can’t do this on my own. Can you do this? And how can you take it off my plate?

Mary: Exactly. It doesn’t need to be a fight. It just needs to be, if you’re in the process of this planning and you’re going, “Oh gee, I think I’m carrying a lot of this.” It’s saying, “Hey. Let’s make a really lovely dinner and sit down together and have a chat about this.” Because there might be a reason why your partner’s being a feeling a bit disengaged with it. Maybe there’s a lot on at work. Maybe they’re exhausted. Maybe they’re sick. There could be reasons why they’re not connecting. Maybe they’re saying, “I actually thought you wanted to do this and that you wouldn’t like my ideas.” There’s possibly a reason behind it. It’s not that not always that they’re lazy, maybe they just don’t feel as passionate about all the tiny little details, but it’s giving yourself those moments to work that out and working it out lovingly and gently.

Dorothy: You can mitigate this as well. You can make sure you’re both present at appointments. You can have a joint email address where all the vendor correspondence goes. So one person is not in charge of bills or maybe you have one person in charge of bills, so then they’re being paid, but you’re both seeing the correspondence. You can make sure that when you’re making decisions, there’s a list of vendors, etc., instead of one person making the decisions, and then you go through the shortlist. There are things you can do to make sure it’s not all on me because I’m the only one corresponding with everyone or I’m the only one meeting with people. Make sure if you want people – each other involved, you have to make those appointments and emails, etc., together.

Mary: That’s the thing. That’s such a good point because do you know what happens if one of you, you guys will know this. Do you know what happens is that if one of you is getting all this correspondence if one of you is making the appointments, if one of you knows what you’ve been talking about, you then have to double explain that information. You have to have that conversation with your vendor or whoever it is. You then have to turn to your partner and tell them the exact same conversation, the exact same information and the dates. You’re double handling this job.

Julia: Absolutely. Let’s not forget that amidst all of this wedding planning, life is going on and you’re probably both working full time and all the other life commitments that you have, that’s still all going on amidst this.

Mary: That’s it. I think that comes down to as well, in terms of the length of engagement you have, some people just want to get the planning done, bashed out, and want to get married. I also quite love that because they just go, quick game’s a good game. let’s get this planned and it is going to be what it’s going to be, and we’ll get it done quickly. Other people go, “Do you know what? I want a good long time to be able to plan this and know that I’ve got the time to do this with the capacity that I have in life now that we both have in life now.” It’s sitting down and going, this is our date, this is what’s important to us and actually doing a little bit of planning of who’s got, do you have a lot on at work? What’s happening in our lives at that point? Are we both going to be responsible for X, Y, Z? Are we both going to be able to commit to this together so that we get it done in time and one of us isn’t picking up the slack? But it’s also then going to, you know what, like Julia just said, life is still happening around this. We also need to include in life is self care and mental care for ourselves, not just in the wedding planning side of it, but just in the everyday of it, of actually saying, “I need to still be able to go to the gym. I still need to be able to have my cup of tea and book at night. I still need to go and have time with my friends.” It’s not letting it absolutely take over your whole life because that in itself is stressful. Planning something is, it can be very stressful.

Dorothy: For us, that was dance lessons where we’d go, I don’t even know why we did dance lessons, to be honest, because we had a hilarious. We did our first dance was to a Barry White song ’cause we love Barry White. We just wanted something nice to do for ourselves and it ended up being the best thing because it was like once every couple of weeks we would go and do this dance lesson and it was like not wedding chat and then we would go and have dinner afterwards at a local little restaurant. It was my favourite time of wedding planning because it was like, we weren’t talking about the wedding, we weren’t dealing with the wedding, but we would like doing something fun together and I think that’s really important during wedding planning is doing something fun together that is not like, “Okay, where’s the wedding budget?” And then, “Okay, have we booked this vendor?” And all this stuff of remembering, “Okay, this is why we actually like each other.” Exactly. In amongst all the stress.

Mary: Oh yeah. This is really handy that I like you. I’m about to marry you. Like it’s.

Dorothy: I do still like you. Just checking.

Mary: Oh good. Oh good. We’re good. We’re going, this is going ahead. Brilliant. Yes. Let’s go dance. That’s such a good point because it can be wedding related. You both did dance lessons, it can be wedding related or maybe it’s something like “Oh, I can’t be do wedding stuff right now. Let’s hike, let’s go to a movie.” Let’s you know.

Dorothy: What do we love to do together? What can we do this weekend instead of just wedding planning?

Mary: That can roll into wedding planning as well. I’m worried that I’m making it sound all very like hard work. While it is hard work, I think there are so many moments for really enjoying it. You can go and look at flowers together. You can go pick food together. You can go pick cakes, but you know what, actually I love the idea of, let’s say that you’re really into cocktails and you’re like, “Okay, we want to make a signature cocktail for our wedding.” Putting aside a Friday night or a succession of Friday nights where you go, “We’re going to together, we’re going to put music on, we’re going to make dinner, and we’re going to try out a new cocktail to see if that’s the one we want to, serve our guests.” And actually have a bit of an at home date night.

Julia: I love that.

Mary: It’s like creating these really lovely moments that you can get really excited about the day as well because while it’s very stressful to plan, weddings are so fun. They’re fun and music and joy, and love. It’s remembering that. That’s what it is and injecting that back into the planning process with your partner, for sure, where you can. I know that’s look, it’s easy to say after the fact.

Dorothy: One of my other favourite moments was, because again, I’m not doing this on my own, I was so stuck. We sat down with gin and tonics and wrote our wedding ceremony. You can make really nice moments out of. A wedding ceremony doesn’t necessarily feel like a fun thing to do, like writing it, but you can make these moments really special because it’s like Christmas. Christmas is not just about the 25th of December. It’s about all that fun stuff. You go out with your friends and you wrap up the presents and you do the menu planning, and all that stuff. While I was stressed during wedding planning, when I had to be away from work or whatever, and I was like, “Oh, I have to go to this appointment.” I’d be like, “but it’s about the process. It’s not just about this one day, it’s about the process.” When we talked earlier about having friends help you with DIY and having those sort of moments where you have a cup of tea and you’re all folding things and crafting things and having that moment where we had a gin and tonic, we wrote our wedding ceremony and making those moments really special and appreciating them for life. Here we are sitting down writing our wedding ceremony and here we are with our friends doing this stuff, and really making them a bit magic with a glass of bubbles or something a bit special so that you do have that sort of magic in the moment. It’s not just so much of a chore.

Mary: Exactly. I think that creates space for each of you to feel A) really comfortable, B) really connected and safe to say, “Hey, just on the topic of the wedding, I’m not really keen on this know, X, Y, Z. Can we compromise? I’m feeling like we’re really connecting now. I feel like I’m safe to have a bit of a chat about this.” I think in that loving space, a lot of people are really happy and safe to be really honest with each other. That again, comes back to reflection of both couples being reflected, it’s just creating these beautiful, safe moments for each other. To remember that, why you’re doing it, and who you’re doing it with. Absolutely. I think there’s the whole planning, the lead up, something that I feel doesn’t get chatted about as much is the post wedding comedown.

Dorothy: Oh my god, I had such a comedown.

Mary: Oh, okay, Ms Polka, what is the post wedding comedown?

Dorothy: For me, it was literally getting up the next morning and saying to my mum, “I ruined the dance floor because we had a food truck downstairs at the end of the dance floor, and I went down and I felt like everyone followed me, so I felt like the dance floor ended early.” Then for the next couple of weeks it was just like this absolute fog and haze. Now I’m like Em, I’m a complete introvert. We managed to have a dinner the night before our wedding, which was, if you’re an introvert, really great idea because you’re not exposing your deep vulnerabilities in your wedding vows for the first time in front of all. It’s not the first time you’ve seen your guests. You’ve seen them the night before so you’ve broken that barrier, but the emotional hangover, the vulnerability hangover, the hangover of now I don’t have to do all this stuff, the excitement hangover that was just like, I was so flat and exhausted and just completely crashed. I know this is not abnormal. I know so many people have this, I see it constantly. It’s not even that, it’s not about being sad that you’re being married. No. It’s just about all that emotion and tasks and stress and energy has just gone through you and on the other side and you’re okay, I’ve been building up to this day for a year. Or however long – the marriage is now, we’ve done it. Oh God. Now, what is my new normal? I’m on the other side of all this vulnerability. Oh my God.

Mary: Some people love the wedding planning. They love the wedding planning and they’ve loved the wedding and it’s done, and it’s done, it’s done.

Dorothy: And there’s nothing. What do I do now? What do I do now? What do I do with all my free time?

Mary: Where do I channel this now? On that I had a blast, but oh gee, I wish this was slightly different. Oh, I’m upset that didn’t happen. I still, to this day, and this is again, 13, whatever, please say 13’s right, and Lewis listens to this and goes, yo, it’s 14 now. That 13 years on, I still go, the fairy lights did not look how I wanted them to look. That’s my still now. I go, Oh, like I get a bit of a like, “No.”

Dorothy: I’m still mad that I didn’t drink champagne on the morning of my wedding. I’m like, “Come on, why didn’t I?” You do those things that you sit and you roll over in your break. I understand.

Mary: We all do. I really don’t think there is a single couple out there who has gone,  every single thing was exactly how I wanted it. Look, if they do, I’m so jealous.

Dorothy: Julia, do you have any regrets?

Julia: I’m hesitant to say this, but I would have had a smaller wedding. I think because we had it at mum’s house and we just went all out with getting the three big teepees, we didn’t really have a number that we could cap it. So Mary, correct me if I’m wrong because you were there, but we had in excess of 200 people. I would just have a slightly smaller wedding.

Mary: Possibly, do you know what, A) it was beautiful and B) it didn’t because there was so you had capacity for that amount of people it didn’t seem like a lot of people, but I know what you mean in terms of it meant you probably weren’t able to get around to everyone.

Julia: That’s it. We felt like we just, you said hi to everyone and then an hour later, you’re actually saying goodbye to everyone. Even though we had a really early ceremony to drag the day out because we wanted to relish in it, but it just felt like we couldn’t see everyone.

Dorothy: I was the same though. We had a 2 o’clock ceremony and I think our wedding went till midnight. I felt out of body the entire day. I think that’s because I was such an introvert and it was just, it was like so much intensity of guests and people you were looking forward to seeing and emotion and you’re so vulnerable in your vows, and all that stuff. You’re just like, “What is going on? What’s happening around me?” I’m so out of body the whole time. I was not present. And I don’t think taking five minutes away to be present would have helped because it was just such a surreal thing.

Mary: You’d probably have taken, and I know that’s something that’s what a lot of people say in terms of vendors will say to the couple, and I do really love that they do this. I’ve seen it written a few times where a couple has said, oh, my photographer or my celebrant or whoever, or my wedding planner said, go and take some time together. While I love that, and I think that everybody should do that, I did not. I wish I had. I still know what you mean Dot about. It’s still so surreal. You’re like, “Hey.”

Dorothy: I honestly think I would have been like that, like, “Hey, it’s our wedding day.” Looked at each other with these giddy faces, but not really being present in that moment. What the heck is happening?

Mary: We’ve been enjoying very fine weather. Like it’s snowing.

Dorothy: I would’ve quite like that because it felt like I was watching myself from out of my body. It was my wedding day, but oh my gosh, I couldn’t actually correlate that.

Julia: It’s a lot of pressure and it’s a lot of, it’s a lot of intensity on you. You and your partner and it’s a lot.

Mary: Yeah, it is, and look, some people love that, some people thrive under that and go, “Yes, bring it. It’s my day.” And good for them.

Dorothy: Especially the extroverts in our world.

Mary: They do. Good for them. I’m so glad that they’re having this awesome day. That’s amazing. Yes. But there are so many people who just go, “Oh, I can’t fathom it.” Like it’s, I’m going to be so scared of this, and again, that comes back to the conversations of, “What are you going to want for the day and what am I going to want for the day, and can we meet in the middle so we both feel comfortable and safe?” In terms of expectation versus reality, thinking about it now and thinking about the planning process, did your wedding days look how you expected them to or do you think that you went away going, “That is that, that felt so different to what I thought it would be.” Does that make sense? I’m sorry.

Julia: I think our wedding looked pretty much how we wanted it to. We wanted a bit of a festival vibe it in the cane fields with a pizza oven and fairy lights. Yeah, I think so. I think so.

Dorothy: I think mine did because I was so adamant and stubborn about the fact it was not just going to be my day and I was not going to buy into this bride being the centre of the day stuff that I hated so much. It was really about the things that we loved together and the things we wanted to show off together, and the things like we both did DIY, we both had so much input into every part of the day because I refuse to have it any other way. So I think I appreciated that I didn’t realise how out of body I would feel and I didn’t realise how non present I would feel, and I don’t know if anything could have prepared me for that. The rest of it, sure, but the emotional side of it, I’m not sure anything could have prepared me for.

Julia: I totally agree with that. I think Mary, your question was, did it look different? I took it as, did it look different? In our relationship, I am an extrovert and Emily is an introvert and so of course you imagine the assumed roles you will have on the day. I was completely overwhelmed and on the verge of running away almost the whole day because I was so overwhelmed. Emily really had to carry me through that day and you would almost think it would be the other way around. The shy person is the one struggling with all of that…..

Dorothy: I think that was it, the overwhelm. I feel like we’ve spent so much time on our vows and ceremony and I didn’t really put into account how much saying that in front of our guests, (we didn’t have a huge guest list, we only had about 60 guests,) would make me feel vulnerable. You really are on show on your wedding day and if you are an introvert, you are going, “Oh gosh, this is a lot of myself to put out there.” I didn’t plan, I didn’t account for that.

Mary: I think when I was planning, I was like, just get the ceremony done and then we have a party. That’s what we’re going to do. Just get the set. We got married at midday and we were like, “All right.” When we didn’t have as many people at our ceremony as we had at our reception, we had X amount of people at the ceremony and then everyone else was invited to the reception and, which I know usually goes the other way around, but it was all my parent’s house and our own rules. I was like, “Okay, just, yep.” To Lewis and I were both like, “Let’s just get the ceremony done. And then we can have our photos done for an hour and then let’s party.” I didn’t, this is a nice thing, I didn’t account for how much I would actually enjoy our ceremony. I look at photos now and I look euphoric. I didn’t expect to feel as, that sounds terrible, I didn’t expect to feel that happy about getting married. No, I just thought why this is perfunctionary. I need to get this part done so that I can then go on and just enjoy the rest of the day, but I loved walking down the makeshift aisle and seeing all my loved ones. I got an absolute buzz from that, Lewis at the end of the aisle. I was like, “Ah, there he is. Okay, good.” Our flower girls were funny and cute, and then I was standing up there with one of my nieces on me for a lot of it as well. Just these things where I didn’t account for these really beautiful little parts of the ceremony that would really fill my cup and would make me really happy at the time. I just felt really loved. I felt so, not just by Lewis, but by our family and friends, which I really was. I can’t explain how beautiful that was. I didn’t expect it. That was a really happy surprise in terms of feeling. I feel like Lewis and I didn’t, you might listen to this and be like, “This is incorrect, Mary.” But I felt like we didn’t throughout the rest of the day, apart from our lovely photos, we didn’t take that five minutes to have with each other, which I wish we did because I think we were so busy. Like I said, we were people pleasers and we would just really into jumping around seeing everyone and making sure everyone got some of our time. While it was really fun, I wish we’d spent more time together, like more time intentionally together in terms of expectation versus reality. I really wish those fairy lights had been better. That’s for sure.

Mary: There should have been more. I had this whole fairytale twilight thing in my head to look and they were very sparse.

Dorothy: Always overbuy fairy lights, friends. Always overbuy.

Mary: If there’s one thing you take from this discussion, it is buy heaps of fairy lights.

Dorothy: What kind of advice do we have for couples? Apart from fairy light buying, when it comes to bandwidth because there are so many amazing resources now, like with the fair play method and everything for house and home life – but with weddings. We’ve touched on this, have conversations because this is your foundation of your relationship. It really is. It’s when things get tough, it’s going to be like this. You’re going to have to figure this stuff out together.

Mary: You’re going to have to figure it out together. That’s what it comes down to. You have to communicate. You have to really gently make space for each other to be honest and fall apart or have an amazing time. Have the discussion.

Dorothy: Recognising the capacities you have available as well, and figuring out then what you can do to ease that if you can’t cope with it.

Mary: Exactly. I think in terms of the mental bandwidth of it, it’s also physical. If you are absolutely drained from weeks of planning, I think it’s really important to recognise for yourself, and hopefully your partner will as well, to say, “Hey, stop for a bit, take the weekend, let’s go away or let’s have a weekend in at home and let’s get movies and popcorn.” It’s saying to yourself, “I have to stop for a bit. I need to just put this on ice for a little bit.” Or recognising it in your partner and saying, “You need to put this on ice. We need to come back to each other and connect.”

Dorothy: Even saying, I don’t want to be responsible for all of this.” Which is what I was so adamant about. I don’t want to be responsible for all of our wedding. We do a lot of stuff where I do the research and he does the hard work, the physical stuff. With our wedding, it worked the same way. I would come up with a short list and we would sit down together and go through it. You need to choose the way that you make decisions if you don’t want to do it all yourself so that you can make it together. That the load is shared. How can you share the load between you? Is it the fact that one of you researches and one of you chooses? Is it that you delegate different tasks? What is it going to work for you and the way that you both work?

Mary: You’re working towards your strengths. How do you work better? How does your partner work better? you’re right. What does that mean? What does that look like in terms of planning so that it is as equal as possible so that your mental bandwidth doesn’t absolutely drain? It’s then recognising when you are at that point and giving yourself the self care and your relationship the self care that it needs.

Dorothy: 100%.

Mary: Absolutely. It does. I think we’ve covered, we’ve chatted a lot, which we tend to do.

Dorothy: I thought we’d chat longer on this subject to be honest.

Mary: I thought we would too. I think we’ve really thoroughly covered a bunch of ideas. We’ve delved into our experiences, experiences that we’ve read about. Like you’re saying, we’ve chatted about what we feel is mental bandwidth, what that looks like for you as a couple, you as an individual, what it looks like for your families, what that could mean. Hopefully this chat will just even help one couple find a smoother way to the aisle.

Julia: Absolutely. Mary, you said at the beginning, join those Facebook groups and ask for advice because if you’re going through it, I guarantee 300 brides have gone through it and they will be able to offer advice. Just getting support.

Mary: Reach out and also lean on your wedding vendors. This is something that we’re really passionate about and that I know a lot of the vendors, who have written for us, talk about finding really good matches between who you are and what you want for your wedding day and what your relationship is and the vendor to do the job for you on the day.

Dorothy: We didn’t even touch on that. If you hire good vendors, they take the mental bandwidth for you.

Mary: They really do and they get to know you. This is the thing about wedding vendors, guys. This is the thing about wedding vendors are lovely, they are happy, they’re fun, they’re in an industry, they are talented. They are in an industry that is so beautiful and happy and fun that they want to connect with you. They want to be friends with you. They want to vibe with you because when that happens, it’s a creative industry. When that happens, everyone gets the outcome that they want. I’ve read it quite a few real weddings where the couple will say, “Oh, our photographer has just become like our bestie.” Oh, my celebrant was awesome and they kept checking in, throughout the whole process and said, “Hey, let’s sit down and chat together.” They are an untapped resource in terms of  throwing ideas back and forth.

Dorothy: This is what you’re paying for. There is sometimes a difference between paying a bit more for a vendor who has seen it all before and who can carry that mental bandwidth because, hey, they know how to do a timeline or they have worked at that venue before, or they have organised this kind of wedding so they know that after this, this happens and that you need to think about this and this, instead of you who has never planned a wedding before having to go, “Oh my gosh. I didn’t know that.”

Julia: They can also offer you protection on the day. If you’re a couple who you don’t love standing there for hours posing for photos, tell your photographer and they will have other ideas for you.

Mary: That’s it. They’ll make you feel much more safe and much more comfortable and create this time on the day for you that you really enjoy as opposed to feeling really scared of. That’s why planners are amazing. They’ll run everything along beautifully so you just don’t have to think about it and have to run, check your watch constantly. Are you wearing a watch? I didn’t go with my outfit. What’s the time?

Dorothy: We have to be here now.

Mary: Wonderful vendors. Beautiful. I just think, this is such an important topic that, like we said at the beginning, hasn’t been touched on as much as what I think we would like. Hopefully there’s been a bit in this that couples can take away and put into practice for when they’re planning their weddings.

Dorothy: Thank you so much, Team Polka.

Julia: Ah, thank you.

Mary: A pleasure. Always a pleasure.

Dorothy: Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of the Feel Good Wedding Podcast. As always, you can find a full written transcript and all the links to today’s show notes over on We would love to know your thoughts about today’s subject, wedding bandwidth, so hop on over to Instagram or drop us an email and send us a message. We’ll be back very soon with another episode for you.