I’m going to try my hand at writing about weddings and planning and all that good nonsense that I love. I always say that I’m going to do it and just never have…so I guess that now is as good a time as any to start.
I’ve been working weddings for about 6 years now and have picked up a couple of bits of really good information since then and figured I should share the wealth.
Weddings are hard enough to plan on your own…why bother with all the research when you can have someone else (me) do it for you? After having worked my own wedding, I have found that it can be the most enjoyable and most stressful time of your life (thus far) all at the same time. I have countless examples of this just from my own experiences….hundreds, if I add up all the weddings that I’ve worked or consulted on since I started doing this.
So here are some of the most important things that I’ve learned:
1. This is YOUR wedding. Not your mother’s, not your mother-in-laws, not anyone else’s but yours. That means, what you say, goes. The only time I’d really deviate from this thought process is when some/any/all parents are involved financially with the wedding. Then they get to have some say, but really very little. My parents, who paid for my reception, are vegetarian (well, my mom is…my dad is by-proxy) so when I showed her the menu which was 100% carnivorous, she was none too happy. But let’s be fair…with as much money as she was willing to plunk down for a party, it’s only natural that she would want to be able to eat something. Which leads me to my next point.
2. Be ready to compromise. I’ve found that it’s relatively easy to appease all parties involved. It’s not like I hate all things vegetarian…we swapped out about half of my non-vegetarian choices for 100% vegetarian and it worked out great…I honestly don’t know why I hadn’t considered these things previously! Compromise comes in various forms so while mine was found in food, yours might be in your first dance song or the flowers or even the colors…work together. Avoid fights and tears wherever possible.
3. Fit the party to the building. Retrospectively, this is something that I should have taken into greater consideration. We wanted to get married in the mountains, in a church and fortunately were able to do that, but we had to use a church quite different than the one we intitally wanted (a gorgeous historic church that only sat about 100 people). Our guest list was about 250 people long and in hind sight, that was probably too many. We could have pared that down substantially and fit it into the historic church. Think carefully about who you’re inviting to your wedding and consider where YOU want to be married…does the building fit your guest list?
4. Think carefully about your guest list. Ah….lovely segue! If you’re having a difficult time paring down your guest list and it’s absolutely necessary that you do so, consider inviting only those people who are either very close family and friends whom you BOTH know. Your dad’s boss’ kid? How well do you really know him?
5. Finally, let yourself be surprised! Know that not everything will go as planned. Something will go wrong or at the very least, not the way you envisioned it. That’s okay! But with that, you will have spent so much time planning and organizing and purchasing and booking that you’ll know exactly what’s going to happen and when. If you’re like me and like the occasional surprise, find something about your wedding that you want to be surprised with. For me, that was the flowers. I told my incredible florist what flowers I wanted and in what colors and beyond that, I told her “Surprise me.” I’d seen enough of her portfolio to know that anything she’d come up with would be amazing and when I saw all the bouquets on the day of the wedding, I could not have possibly been more pleased. Additionally, I charged my then-fiance with taking complete financial and creative control of any one thing he wanted…he chose the guestbook and it wound up being perfectly “us”. So let go of some of the madness and let yourself be surprised.
Until next time, potential brides, happy planning!