According to a survey published in the Daily Mail, women are spending an awful lot of time planning their weddings…before they even have a groom lined up. Out of 600 single women polled, 60 percent admit that they already have their wedding planned — sometimes down to the details of the dress, the vows, the bridesmaids and the exact wedding date. In addition, the survey found that instead of worrying about first kisses, most girls are 100 steps ahead, thinking about various elements of her big day by the age of 13. Even more disturbing: 34 percent of pre-emptive wedding planners say they spending HOURS each day on Pinterest et al looking for inspiration for floral arrangements, the perfect updo, and a venue appropriate for group dances to “Jump On It.”
Look, although I’ve personally never thought about my wedding at all (except for the fact that I’d prefer to have cupcakes over a proper wedding cake) that doesn’t mean I would begrudge a woman the excitement of having a wedding if she wants one. It just seems like an obscene waste of time to plan the details of the thing before you’re in love. It’s an important day, yes, but the more important part is the marriage that follows. And I hear from my hitched friends that the institution while very rewarding, can be difficult. I say, enjoy your single life while you’re single. Throw away your bridal magazines and enjoy all the things you have to look forward to in life that don’t involve fighting with your parents about the cost of a pay-per-head buffet. Here are a few ideas…
1. Your financial future. Reality check: this dream wedding you’re planning will have to be funded somehow. So will the rest of your life. Doing that requires some planning. If you don’t already have an IRA, 401K and zero credit card debt, you can get busy making that dream a reality.
2. Where you’re going on vacation this year. Don’t wait for your honeymoon to do some traveling. Go solo or with some friends. Vacations are expensive and can be time-consuming and exhaustive to plan, but well worth the effort when you’re sitting on a beach sipping a Pina Colada or in a cafe in Paris munching on a croissant.
3. Your next career move. Do you know what’s just as exciting as walking down the aisle? Landing your first dream job or getting a big promotion. You get back what you put into your career, so those three hours on Pinterest might be better spent mapping your next career move or planning for continued education.
4. What you’ll do if you don’t meet a husband next year, or in five years. There are issues of fertility to think about if you plan on becoming a parent and fortunately, these are decisions women can be proactive about whether or not they have a partner in their life.
5. Where you’re going to dine this weekend. Instead of pouring over bridal gowns and browsing online dating sites for potential mates, you can read Zagat reviews and make some tough decisions about Japanese or Italian for your girls’ dinner on Friday night.
6. What books you wants to read and movies you want to see. Nourish the mind and the soul at least as much as you nourish your Pinterest board of floral arrangements.
7. Your big fitness goal. Looking smashing in your wedding dress shouldn’t be your only motivation to get in tip top shape, A triathlon, regular yoga practice, or any other kind of fitness goal that takes planning, training, and dedication will serve your health, self-esteem and leave you looking smashing every day.
8. Becoming a discerning dater. Before the wedding comes the first date. And dating can be deceptively brutal. Making sure you’re in the right headspace and heartspace can be a full time job that (and sometimes requires a therapist). Thinking about choosing potential suitors that are right for you is far more important than thinking about potential “first dance” songs.
9. Your first tattoo.Talk about a lifetime commitment! Saying “I do” to a tattoo, planning the exact placement and style as well as finding the perfect artist, is about as big of life commitment as you can make.
10. Your big move. That city you’ve always dreamed of relocating to or that condo you’ve always fantasized about buying, why wait until you’re married to make it happen?
11. Your dream creative project. Whether it’s writing a YA novel, learning to paint with oils, or taking up the banjo, creative dreams often take careful planning and tons of hard work to come to fruition. Honest to god, the first time you fulfill a creative dream will feel like the biggest day of your life. You’ll probably even want to wear a gown and hire a photographer.