AOW A-Z of Getting Married – S is for Sanity (keeping it)

The AOW A-Z of Getting Married is a resource for brides (and grooms) to be.  It’s a welcome piece of sanity in an industry-saturated world where people are bombarded with what weddings they should have, what they should act like, and how a bride should feel.  Created by the team behind Any Other Woman, this A-Z is the first collaboration of its kind, bringing together posts from readers across the AOW community filled with advice, wisdom and experience from sane, smart, real women, many of whom have been there.  From wedding planning to family trials to breaking taboos, no topic is out of bounds.  We are honoured and excited to run each and every post, and we learn from each and every one of our readers.

To help the A-Z become an even better resource, please leave your tips, advice and comments below.

S is for Sanity (keeping it) by Katielase

I blithely offered to write this A-Z piece four days before my own wedding, in a fit of over-excited bounciness, at a time when I would have perhaps done better to offer an insanity piece. Now I’m actually sitting down to write it, I’m feeling that it’s a whole lot of responsibility to try and infuse some sanity into the wedding whirlwind. Especially since the entire of this wonderful A-Z so far has been brilliantly sane, witty and wise. Who the hell am I to tell all you incredible women about staying sane?

Well, I do have a reputation for being a little bit of a worrier. Okay, a lot of a worrier. In fact my designated theme song (by my father and husband, those witty chaps) is I’m So Worried, by Monty Python. When we got engaged, a lot of people were braced for me to bring a mega-load of crazy to the proceedings. They took out shares in clipboards and valium. They dug underground bunkers and held drills. Someone bulk-ordered All The Tissues Ever. And then… none of it was needed (alright, maybe SOME of the tissues were needed. And perhaps one clipboard.)

So, what I shall do here is write you a list (yay, lists!), of not entirely unrelated thoughts and advice, offering you the best chance at sanity I can think of, from my experiences:

1)     When you start planning your wedding, sit down with your future husband or wife and make a list. Decide what sort of a day you want, how much money you want to spend, and what you want to spend it on. Make item 1 on the list be Get Married. Hang onto this list when everything is getting a bit… loopy. Whatever happens, you will achieve item 1, and that will be beyond amazing. Promise.

2)     During the planning, please remember this important message: whatever you want is okay. Whatever you want is normal. Want to spend the next 9 months sewing individual favours for that personal DIY touch? Totally normal. Have no idea what a favour even is and don’t have any interest in finding out? Totally normal. Want a wedding day reminiscent of Disney Princesses, complete with bejewelled swans? Normal. Want to get hitched in your jeans and have a drink down the pub with your friends? Still. Totally. Normal. However you feel about marriage and your wedding day is bound to be totally normal, remember this when you start to feel like you should want something different, or feel differently. You shouldn’t. You’re normal. Have a biscuit.

3)     By all means read wedding blogs and magazines, but remember that most of them go out of their way to choose the most visually attractive, interesting or unique weddings around, they’re trying to showcase wedding trends and make you aware of what CAN be done, not necessarily what you SHOULD do. Your wedding will be unique because it will be yours. It will reflect you as a couple because you will be the ones making the vows. Comparing yourself and your plans to blog brides is unlikely to make you feel good.

4)     Choose who you surround yourself with, both during moments of planning stress and on the day, carefully. My bridesmaids and my family, and my hair and make-up artists were brilliant, they made me laugh when I needed the release (with dreams about Harry Styles in a fish factory sewage pipe and some serious confusion about how to switch off UNPLUGGED hair curlers), they did absolutely everything that needed doing, almost before I had time to worry about asking them, they wore Tina Turner wigs around the house to make me smile, and really just stopped me getting lost in the big fat overwhelming hugeness of the day. All in all they made my morning a giddy joyful experience, when I was expecting it to be fraught with nerves.



5)     Don’t be afraid to show emotion. It is perfectly normal and sane to care about your wedding day, to want it to be perfect, to look forward to the joy but to worry about the logistics too. You are organising a huge event here, there’s a lot to think about, it is inevitable that there will be moments of stress and frustration. There is no reason you can’t show these emotions; caring about your day does not make you a bridezilla (or a groomzilla) and anyone who thinks it does can, basically, sod off. Once again, HOWEVER you feel is normal, absolutely definitely so.

6)     Have someone on the day who is prepared to come with you for some downtime. For me, this was my husband and my Mum. My husband came for a walk with me while everyone ate their dinner (nobly abandoning half his hog roast roll to do so, an indication of Actual True Love). My Mum came with me to the toilet and stroked my hair back while I had a panic attack and vomited sparkling wine.

7)     Finally, the best advice I received on my wedding day, to try and avoid it ALL passing in a blur of cake and sparkles: every now and then during the day, try and step back and take it all in, try and capture the feelings of the moment like a photograph, look at the faces of the people who have come to celebrate your happiness and love, look around you at the joy, and hold onto those moments. Look at your new spouse and remember how you feel at this moment, at the beginning of the rest of your lives together.

All images by Andrew Dobell Photography (Ed: I am IN LOVE with the top picture – that grin!)

Categories: A-Z of Getting Married
14 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Posted January 2, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    *hits print*

    • Zan
      Posted January 2, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      Yup…me too!

  2. Posted January 2, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Most excellent advice x

  3. Amy
    Posted January 2, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    You’re normal. Have a biscuit. :-D

  4. Fran
    Posted January 2, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Getting married Friday… will refer to your post tomorrow night. And have a biscuit :)

    • Carly
      Posted January 2, 2013 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

      Good luck!!


  5. Becca
    Posted January 2, 2013 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Oh Crap. Sorry Anna. It completely slipped my mind **hits self hard over the head**.

    I love this though. Also printing out and sticking it somewhere IN MY FACE

  6. Posted January 2, 2013 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Have immediately forwarded this to my Maid Of Honour who is to be married next month! And is just as neurotic as me. Brilliant advice Katie, I could not have put it better myself.

    Isn’t it amazing that I can look at all those gorgeous pictures and then be floored that you experienced even an instant of worry throughout the whole process? You make it look effortless.


    • Katielase
      Posted January 3, 2013 at 12:59 am | Permalink

      I was completely stunned on seeing the photos by how my inner turmoil really didn’t come across. There are no photos in which you can tell I’ve been crying, or indeed vomiting sparkling wine. I shall be forever grateful to my make-up artist, and to Andrew for this fact!

      Thank you all for all the lovely comments. Please all now have a biscuit.

      K x

  7. Yanthé
    Posted January 2, 2013 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    “You’re normal. Have a biscuit.”

    I heart Katielase.

  8. Mahj
    Posted January 2, 2013 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    These photos make me happy clappy! Brilliant advice clever Katielase!


  9. Kandra
    Posted January 3, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Excellent advise! especially the last point. And as for “you’re normal, have a biscuit” think I will print that out and pin to my office wall, good advise to live by!

  10. Lucie
    Posted January 4, 2013 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Brilliant advice! Just what I needed to read today as I’m getting married tomorrow (tomorrow!! Eek!). You look stunning – and super calm – in your pictures :-)

    Lucie x

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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