Wedding Planning is Like Having a Second Job

Dr. Pamela Gurley, D.M.
4 min readJul 14, 2023

Congratulations, you’re engaged! Well, actually, I really did get engaged (on Christmas day, 2022). And I immediately began to plan my wedding. Many may think that wedding planning is filled with a champagne toast, picking out pretty dresses, and choosing the perfect decor. But let’s be real. Wedding planning has felt more like a second job. It requires a great deal of time, energy, and decision-making. And, with all the different personalities involved, from family to friends, I feel like it is a job that can turn into a hostile work environment if you are not careful. Oh, and you will piss a lot of people off! Here is what I have learned as I am planning my wedding that makes it feel more like work than an enjoyable process.

  1. Non-Stop Decision Making
    Who would have thought there would be endless decisions to make? From deciding on a venue to choosing between different flower arrangements (or not to have them) to bridesmaids' dresses and groomsmen's suits, all of these decisions can be overwhelming. Brides and grooms are expected to make all of these decisions on top of all of the other things they have going on in their lives. And not off the decisions come to an easy agreement.

2. The Drama
Wedding planning is known to bring out the worst in people (even if they were once happy for you). And if not the worst, it definitely causes uncomfortable feelings as soon as you have to say “no” or there is no invite. Dealing with many personalities and trying to keep everyone happy is more like working in customer service than planning a celebration of love.

3. The Budget
Weddings are expensive, and the budget is usually one of the biggest stressors in the planning process. I don’t care if you have a micro-wedding, it still costs. And what is worse is you can order the same thing for your wedding that you would for a birthday party; however, as soon as you say “wedding,” the cost literally goes up 90%. It is frickin’ insane!! It is no wonder the average wedding in the US costs over $30,000, which can be a significant amount of debt for anyone.

4. Managing Expectations
Weddings, by nature, are a sentimental and emotional event — whether traditional or nontraditional. Unfortunately, the sentiment often leads to high expectations, which can be difficult to manage. Whether it’s the expectations of the future bride and groom, parents, or guests, trying to keep everyone happy can feel like a Herculean feat. And let me not even get started about the sense of entitlement of the guests! I don’t think they even consider how costly everything is or how much time goes into planning.

5. Etiquette Rules
Wedding etiquette can often be a confusing and overwhelming topic. With so many different types of weddings and traditions, it can be hard to know what is considered appropriate behavior. And now, with the rise of social media, a whole new set of etiquette rules have emerged — posting photos on Instagram during the ceremony or going “live.” That’s why I have gone the extra mile to create etiquette cards for my guests to reference. Weddings are a celebration of love and unity, and following proper etiquette is necessary to ensure the day can be a happy one for the bride and groom.

Weddings are often seen as the epitome of romance and elegance. But behind the scenes, planning a wedding can often feel more like a job than a fairytale. No matter who you are, wedding planning is a stressful and complex process. With countless details to consider, from the venue to the flowers to the guest list, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. And with so many expectations being placed on the big day, the pressure is on to create a flawless event that everyone will remember. So while you’re dreaming of a fairy tale wedding, remember that even the most glamorous events require a lot of hard work and attention to detail. I am certainly looking forward to it all being over!



Dr. Pamela Gurley, D.M.

Business & Leadership Expert. The Un@pologetic Entrepreneur. Feat’d in Forbes, on Good Morning Washington & Fox5Atl. Connect on IG, FB, & Twitter: @iamdrpgurley