Chelsey Crisp is the star of ABC's hit series Fresh Off the Boat and recently married Deadpool producer Rhett Reese. As a new bride, Crisp gets real about getting married and the myths she wants every modern bride-to-be should know.
As a recently married woman, I can tell you two things: Marriage is awesome, and wedding planning sucks. I know, I know, I’m supposed to say it’s the most magical time of your life, but I want to be honest. I found it really stressful. Maybe that’s because I balanced it with a full-time job or maybe I just worried too much—I don’t know. What I do know is it’s 100% worth it because our wedding was the single best day of my life.
If you’re newly engaged (congrats!) and overwhelmed with planning (been there), my hope is that this list helps you to navigate your way toward what’s right for you. So here are the top 10 wedding myths that were completely untrue for me.
Myth #1: You must honor tradition
We chucked any custom that didn’t serve us, such as seeing each other before the ceremony. This really calmed my now husband’s nerves so he could relax and enjoy the day. We also didn’t do a garter toss (because ew), and we had my male best friend, Richard, on my side as a “bridesman” and my hubby’s cousin Alison on his side as a “groomslady.” The list goes on and on. The day was perfect—perfectly ours.
Myth #2: Your inner Bridezilla will emerge
This is totally up to you, my friend. I’m not going to lie—planning a party for everyone you love is one of the more challenging things you’ll ever do. There will be moments of chaos and disappointment, but how you handle that is in your hands. My go-to way to keep myself happy and sane was the podcast Bridechilla.com. Aussie host Aleisha McCormack kept me laughing all the way through my to-do lists.
Myth #3: Weddings are all about the couple
The focus of our planning wasn’t on us; it was on our guests. We wanted our friends and family to experience an inclusive, loving weekend full of belly laughs. What everyone read, saw, listened to, smelled, and ate was carefully curated with that end goal in mind. Let me tell you there is nothing like sitting with your new spouse in a room full of people you love. It’s the single best way to start your life together.
Myth #4: The seating arrangement is the hardest part
I was told countless times that the seating arrangement would be a nightmare, so I cleared an entire evening, opened a bottle of wine, cut out all the names, turned on soothing music, and asked my then fiancé to be patient with this very rough task ahead. Thirty minutes later, I had a completed seating chart, a very confused fiancé, and a full night left to enjoy my wine.
Myth #5: You won't have time to eat
You actually will have time to eat because many wise women will put food in your face all day. The issue for me was that I was too amped to eat! I had so much adrenaline running through my body that my stomach wasn’t up for the delicious meals we’d planned. My advice is to keep a snack bar on hand for when hunger does strike, because rich food may not work for you on the big day.
Myth #6: Your parents will take over
I got a lot of advice, suggestions, and nudges, but I knew everyone was coming from a loving place. My guy and I would check in with each other and make sure we picked what felt right to us. The guiding question we would ask ourselves was Does this enhance the experience for the vast majority of our guests? If it was a yes, we did it. If not, we were happy to give it a pass. We found that everyone was pretty respectful of our desire to do it our way. Or at least they lied to us, which I greatly appreciate.
Myth #7: People won't go to a destination wedding
Tell that to the 225 guests who showed up to ours. We’d been told attendance would drop since it was in Arizona, so we were pretty shocked when RSVPs rolled in from London, Nova Scotia, New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, Denver, San Francisco, and so on. Bottom line: People love you (and free booze), and they’ll make an effort to get to your big day.
Myth #8: Wedding planners are too expensive
I can only vouch for the one we used, but hands down, hiring a planner was a great decision for us. Sterling Weddings and Events in Phoenix, Arizona, was the saving grace in this whole crazy experience of wedding planning. Owner Care Schmidt put in way more hours than I could have imagined, and she saved us money in the long run. It was a win-win for us.
Myth #9: Your partner won't help
Yes, I logged a lot of wedding hours while his Rocket League game improved. No, he did not build a Pinterest page (or know where mine was). That said, my man definitely helped. We found a great rhythm where I could delegate things he would enjoy (or not flat-out hate), and he would check in to make sure I wasn’t taking on too much alone. I heard a great piece of advice early on that we applied: Planning a wedding is where you practice being married. We took that to heart and made sure this whole thing was done with teamwork. In fact, he’s going to add to this article for myth #10.
Myth #10: You're going to wish you'd eloped
“Rhett here. Once fiancé, now husband, I’m weighing in on what’s probably the greatest myth circulating among grooms-to-be. Yes, there will be many moments during the six months prior to your wedding when you’ll doubt the entire process and wish you’d simply booked that Southwest flight to Vegas. My advice is to hang in there because if you’re anything like us, your ceremony won’t be even partway over before you realize how wonderful a traditional wedding is. You just can’t replicate the feeling of gathering everyone you’ve ever loved to celebrate your commitment. It was the best weekend of our lives. The journey can be hard. The destination will be ever so worth it.”
And that’s it! Hope these tips help you to curate a big day that’s right for you. Have a great time planning and an even better time practicing being married.