Planning a wedding can be the most joyous of occasions and the most stressful. Having planned nearly 1,000 weddings I’ve seen what it can do to a couple and a family. Everyone breathe! It’s not that difficult, you’ve already made a decision as a couple to marry each other, and the hard part is over!
To my bridal couples…this is the most important day in your lives; it’s also the biggest milestone for your parents as well. From the moment you were born, they happily looked forward to your growth years including graduating high school, college, getting your first job and now the biggest milestone, getting married. Indulge them just a little, this is big for them. While yes, it is your wedding and they want you to have everything you want and have it be the happiest day of your life, make them feel important as well, even just a little. Economics aside, whether they are paying, you’re paying, his parents paying; everyone deserves the respect for their positions and their opinions. Accept those opinions because you know they are coming from a place of love and take what you need to and leave the rest. Be focused. Work out your vision for your wedding as couple together, don’t talk to too many people about it until you are clear about what you really want. Stay strong!
To my parents….this is the most important day of your lives too! Your children have made the most mature decision of their lives to marry each other, respect the fact that they have done so, they’re grown up now! Guess what, times have changed. Traditions have changed. Your children are not going to have the same type of wedding celebration you did. Your daughter may not want to wear your wedding dress…honestly, don’t be hurt, no hurt is intended by your child at all. Your vision for this beautiful day may not and often is not the same as your child. Be a guide, be a voice of reason when asked. Be supportive; give your opinion when asked honestly, because that is what your child really wants to hear, not later in the process when feelings might be hurt.
Ok, some of the ground rules are set now let’s have fun! Yes, fun! You don’t really need a year time frame to plan a wedding; I’ve planned them in 30 days! But hopefully, you’ve given yourselves more time. Be realistic, have a clear budget of what you can spend, this will avoid a lot of conflicts in the months ahead. There are plenty of websites to help you, specifically www.theknot.com one of the most popular for wedding planning. If you can afford a wedding planner, this might save you a lot of headaches too, especially if you work full time and have busier than busy lives. There are some very good planners out there, ask your reception site venue to recommend their choices for you.
Choose your wedding ceremony location, research your wedding reception venue and book these first! Then move on to your vendors, the florist, the entertainment and the photographer, they need to be available for the date you are choosing. Once those things have been done you can relax for a while. Talk to those people that are close to you and you value their opinions about their own wedding experiences; this would be other parents, friends and family. Hear the “horror” stories and make mental notes. These will come in handy later on but shouldn’t scare you! If you’ve done your research you should be working with competent professionals to execute a flawless wedding.
Are we having fun yet? Remember the fun factor! You know your own stressors, avoid them like the plague, if these include certain people, and avoid them too. Parents, make one on one time with the couple, take them out to dinner a few times during this process and don’t talk about the wedding unless they want to talk about it. Couples, take your parents out individually, daughter and father time, mother and daughter time, son and mother time and son and father time….it’s important to connect with each other so you don’t become “lost” in the process and do something fun, shopping, lunch, golf, whatever you might have in common that would be a deemed a fun activity for you.
To the bride and groom, the best man and the maid of honor, need to be your “rocks”, your confidants, the people you can talk to about everyone else and the closest person other than each other that can see you through this process. Have fun with them too! Make time for them individually to thank them for assisting you with this time in your life, it’s important.
The next phase the detailing phase of your event IS the fun part! More advice to come on that topic, stay tuned.
If you’ve just gotten engaged, call me, I’ll help you through this process to plan the wedding of your dreams, I’ve done it already for nearly 1,000 brides!