With my dearest friends’ recent engagement, it made me think of all the crazy-fun times of planning my own wedding — how fun it was looking through the internet and magazines for ideas, planning every little fine detail, and how much of a pain in the ass it
sometimes was. Seriously. No bride who has planned her own wedding, no matter how big or small, can tell me that planning was a breeze.
I write this post for my bestie. While she just, JUST got engaged and the whole planning won’t start for a while, I’m sure she’ll appreciate a little advice. (Or maybe not, you never know!)
- As cliché as it sounds, it is YOUR day. Yes, it’s said over and over, time after time, but it’s true. That means, don’t let anyone try to convince you otherwise. You’re going to want to please everyone, but there’s a certain point where you need to draw the line, for sake of your sanity. There’s a reason why you haven’t talked to that girl who had the locker beside you in Grade 8 for over a decade, and just because she starts talking to you and hinting at an invite, doesn’t mean you need to invite her. Yes, that’s probably taking it a little extreme, but you know what I mean. As much as I wanted to invite everyone under the sun, I had to draw the line somewhere, even if it meant telling family, “No, I’m not inviting that person, and that’s final.” It sucks, it’s hard, but it’s necessary. This, by far, is probably the most difficult part of planning.
- Be nice to your bridesmaids. Unless they’re already married (heh, heh) they will pay you back if you put them in fuschia, frilly dresses that hang awkwardly. That being said, I’ll go back to point numero uno and reiterate that it’s YOUR day. So, let them have a LITTLE bit of say in their dresses. Talk about price points, lengths, styles, etc., as a group and come to a consensus.
- Accept help if/when it’s needed. Have 100 invites you need addressed, stamped, and sealed? Ask for help! (The envelope glue will make your tongue eventually go numb anyway.) Sometimes I really wish I asked for more help, but it’s hard to loosen the reins a little bit if you’re a control freak.
- Decide on what to save and splurge on. Sometimes, it’s a matter of deciding which elements are most important to you. Do you love music and dancing? Then spend a little extra and get an amazing DJ. Not a huge fan of cake? Get a small cake (or even a fake one!) for the ceremonial cutting/photo opp and treat your guests to cupcakes. Would you rather have someone else take care of the venue bookings, flower orderings and general organization? Hire a planner! Unless you just plan on doing the city hall thing, weddings are generally not cheap (in 2011 the average Canadian wedding cost just over $23,000 – Eeep!), but if you budget accordingly you won’t feel such a large financial weight.
- Really think about the date and location of your wedding. Want it on a long weekend or at a tropical destination? There’s a chance not everyone will be able to make it. Want it in April and outdoors? Have a back up plan for rain or cooler weather. But once you solidify your date, don’t let anyone try to change it, and try not to be hurt if that person you REALLY wanted to attend can’t make it. Unless she gave your her left kidney in the past, it shouldn’t matter that your second cousin is attending her husband’s uncle’s kid’s bat mitzvah and that she wants to you move the date ahead a week. Again, it’s YOUR day!
- Think of the man you’re going to marry. It’s his day too, so be sure to include him in planning. Ask him what colours he likes and use them in your scheme; not every guy is going to want to wear a fuschia tie or have a bright purple orchid as a boutonniere. Let him sneak a little bit of the music he likes into the wedding playlist. Ask, ask, ask, because as much as they’ll say, “Whatever you want,” a guy does have some idea of how he pictures his wedding day as well.
- Finally, wedding planning will truly test the love between you and your husband-to-be. There will be squabbles over the invite list, music, tuxes, food, etc. This will be the biggest moment in your lives together, and there will be moments where you may feel you’re at your breaking point. Remember to breathe, and try to come to a compromise if there’s a disagrement. I’d be lying if I said that there was no fighting when I planned my own wedding.
I’m sure I have a bunch more tidbits of advice, but I’ll save them for when the time is right or when they’re needed. It’s hard not to feel the pressure of planning, and it’s OK to step back, take a breath, and tell people to flock off (in the nicest way possible, of course). And be prepared for plenty of unsolicited advice. We’ll consider this post of mine the beginning of a barrage of unsolicited advice. You’re welcome ;)
So congratulations again, my friend – and happy wedding planning!!
For those who have wed – Any pearls of wisdom for my bestest bestie?