Wedding planning hasn't exactly been smooth sailing for Candiace Dillard, as we've seen this season of The Real Housewives of Potomac. Candiace's dream of throwing a lovely and luxe affair has caused drama with her "susband" (or "soon-to-be-husband") Chris Bassett, her mom, and her dad.
But "the most stressful part" of wedding planning has hands-down been the guest list, according to Candiace. "It's bullsh--. It's horrible. It gives me heartburn to think about because we have the Excel sheet, and there's multiple sheets. And you have to color code things and move names around. You have the A list and the B list and the C list. It's like I want the F list, like F all of this! I hate it!" Candiace told The Daily Dish earlier this season. "So that is probably the, more than my mom, the guest list is the most stressful part."
Candiace said that she and Chris originally had 408 people on their wedding guest list, but, at the time of this interview, they were hoping to whittle it down to 260 before they sent out invites for the August 11 ceremony. "It's expensive, and having to decide who is 'worthy' of a seat is very difficult. I have a lot of friends. I have pageant friends. I have choir friends. I have college friends. I have friends from home. Chris has friends from all over. He's worked all over D.C., all over Old Town ... Plus, our families are huge, both sides. Family alone was like 150 people," she shared. "So cutting those lists is really hard and really stressful because you don't want to offend people, but you also don't want to be broke."
One person who didn't make the cut during Candiace's guest list revisions was Gizelle Bryant. Candiace said she was the only Potomac Housewife she wasn't planning on inviting to her wedding when she appeared on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen in May (clip above).
Candiace later explained to The Daily Dish why she was leaving Gizelle off her wedding guest list. "My life is my life, whether I'm showcasing it for the world to see on Potomac or I'm just living in a hole under a mountain somewhere. My wedding is such a sacred and special time for me," she explained. "I know for sure, of course, Monique [Samuels] will be there. Ashley [Darby] is such a messy boot, but I love Ashley, so she will be there. And she's been very supportive of me in planning the wedding. And Karen [Huger], of course, is my girl. She mothers me in the most beautiful way. So of course I want Karen to be there. But really, outside of that, I don't know. I don't know what the future holds for the rest of these ladies. But I know one thing: I will not be paying a dime for haters to sit at the table at my wedding."
What should make things easy is the fact that Gizelle previously told The Daily Dish that she didn't even want an invitation to Candiace's big day. "I'm saying for the record I don't want to be invited. I don't want to go. I don't want nothin' to do with it," she said during a separate interview earlier this season. "I wish her well."
And that was actually just fine to Candiace. "Oh, well, that's perfect. One less plate I have to worry about," Candiace told The Daily Dish in response. "Since she now knows, it's public news that she's not invited, all is well. All is well."
But experiencing your first season of The Real Housewives has nothing on wedding planning, according to Candiace, who called it "more stressful" than surviving the RHOP social circle. "I always knew that, for me, planning a wedding would be challenging because of my blended family and [being] raised by a dad and a stepdad and a mom who were instrumental in creating this magical person you see before you now. I had to pay homage to all of them, and it's just been difficult to figure out how best to do that and not make anyone feel like they're not important," Candiace said. "I just assumed that I would've figured it out by now, but I'm still figuring it out. It's been a stressful journey. Potomac is peas and carrots compared to this. I could do it in my sleep."
Dealing with her mother Dorothy's often strong opinions has also been a challenge for Candiace on the road to becoming a wife. "Everything that I wanted, she wanted the opposite, from the style of my gown, my wedding colors, the style of my bridesmaid dresses, where I wanted to get married, the time I wanted to get married, everything," Candiace said. "She comes from a good place, and I know she's just excited, but I just need you to quell your excitement and just let me enjoy my moment. Like, you only get married once. I'm only getting married once. I've had to really stop and force myself to enjoy every moment because it's going by so fast, and you don't get that back again. So blocking out all of the things I don't want to hear has been my new mantra lately."
At least Candiace has a Karen Sabag wedding gown, as well as a truly dreamy wedding at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. to look forward to. "It is literally the dream venue. I love it. It's like me in architecture, is what I would say. The columns and the marble and the parquet floors and the five-million-foot ceilings," Candiace gushed. "It's just everything I could have ever wanted, and I honestly can't believe I'm getting married there. It's that incredible."
We can't wait to see Candiace on her big day. Until then, look back on all of the emotions of Candiace's wedding planning, below.
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