It’s not long now. You’ve got the venue sorted, the dress is ready,
(and beautiful – if they don’t at least well up when they see it, you’ll kill them!) and suits have been measured. The cake’s ordered, the flowers are in the bag and the menu is set.
And yet, you still have a to-do list as long as your arm, which seems to get longer every time you look at it. Well meaning family are offering advice that all contradicts each other and sometimes what they themselves said only days before. On top of all this, your betrothed seems to be suffering from some combination of option paralysis and Stockholm syndrome as every time you ask for their opinion, they seem unable to make a decision for fear of upsetting you, which can be … kind of upsetting!
You’re so tired that instead of a race to the finish, some days it feels more like the light at the end of the tunnel is a train, bearing down on you.
Congratulations, you’re planning a wedding! All of this is perfectly normal, and thankfully, temporary.
To ensure you can relax and have fun on the big day, (I’m a firm believer that weddings should be fun,) here are some tips:
Tip 1 – Delegate.
There are entire industries devoted to helping you, from florists to photographers to bakeries. This is your first (and hopefully, last!) time planning a wedding, whereas they do this stuff all the time, for a living, so will have tons of experience and advice that could really help.
A wedding planner can be worth their weight in gold. You will still have to make final decisions, but they will do all the leg work, organisation, and coordinating with other vendors.
You should not do this alone. Let people help you achieve your vision.
When dealing with wedding planners or other vendors, instead of saying “I’d like …” (which is perfectly reasonable,) use the phrase “How can we …”. This fosters collaboration by showing that you value their experience and input. Using “we” instead of “I” means you’re in this together.
Look at this:
“I’d like the flowers to be seasonal, and in warm tones. No lillies as my aunt is allergic and I hate tulips.”
And now this:
“How can we organise the bouquets so that my aunt’s allergies aren’t affected – she’s allergic to lillies – and the colours match the warm palette of the overall theme?”
If you were on the receiving end of those two statements, which person would you want to go the extra mile for?
Tip 2 – Have a plan and write it down.
Research shows that if you write something down, you are more likely to stick to it. This can also help with planning a wedding. Having a clear plan of what you want to achieve will allow you to break the mountainous task of planning a wedding into small, achievable goals. You can use it to refer to and measure your progress and also to easily show vendors what it is you’re expecting of them (Remember tip 1? Imagine how much easier it will be to go to a vendor with a plan and ask “How can we do (their part,) so that it’s like (how you want it,).
It’s never too early to start writing down ideas for your plan. This should be a living document – things will change, so rather than set things in stone right at the beginning, start with more general ideas and feelings and refine later, once you’ve got some input from vendors. This gives you enormous flexibility and minimises disappointment too – if you have a particular idea in your head, (like say, a fifteen tier cake with flying buttress supports,) only to be told by vendors that it’s not viable or practical, you’re going to be disappointed. Instead, approach your wedding plan like an artist – start with broad brush strokes and then go on to refine the details.
Tip 3 – Pare down to the essentials and expand from there.
Decide what’s really important to you both. Is it having your entire family there, or is it more important to you to make space for friends? Is it having a beautiful, expensive dress, or would you marry them in jeans and a t-shirt if you had to? Is the catering critical or would you prefer a buffet-style meal?
Make some time to sit down and discuss what’s really important to you both. Turn the TV and background distractions off as much as possible and be honest with each other. (If you can’t be honest now, you may be in for a bumpy ride down the line …) If your partner doesn’t have the same priorities you do, that’s ok, you just need to whittle things down to a list of essentials and luxuries. Maybe he doesn’t think a six-tier cake is essential and would be ok with a packet of biscuits on each table! So then put cake in the “Luxuries” column, but maybe he thinks more of the budget should be spent on your dress and shoes, so put those in the “Essentials” column.
Eventually you should have a list of things you both think are absolutely essential for your wedding – work out what they are going to cost you and whatever you have left over goes towards the Luxuries column, which you could go through and rank – one heart for “it would be nice if money were no object” up through the scale to five hearts for “This almost made the essentials list”. That way you can tailor your budget towards the things you feel are most necessary and include times to get them organised in your plan! Easy.
Budgeting can be one of the most stressful parts of the process. When you’re planning a wedding it can be very daunting to realise how many things you have to spend money on and just when you think you’ve got it sorted, someone asks you about napkin rings or portable toilets for the marquee reception or a million other things that you hadn’t thought of.
As an extra bonus, here’s a couple of extra tips from people who got in touch with me with their tips:
Forget what everyone else thinks – it’s your wedding, so do it how you want. For us, that meant no real flowers, no wedding car, no 3-piece suits for the groomsmen and no ‘traditional’ wedding dress!
Adapt, be flexible and keep smiling!
As long as you remember it’s your very special day and that’s you’re sharing it with loved ones … everything else is a bonus!
Got any good tips of your own? Leave a comment to help others out!
Filled Under : Wedding Tips