Detours on the Wedding Planning Journey

Wedding planning can appear glamorous and fun.  However, for most brides it can amount to the workload of a second job.  There are also some unexpected bumps in the road.

Photo: Creative Commons

There are hundreds of books, websites and forums to get ideas and inspiration.  Unfortunately, all that creativity can also be overwhelming. How do you choose between fushia and pink?  It can be daunting to choose between  all of the fabulous options that exist.

Once you decide on the perfect flowers and cake, you realize how much its going to cost.  Everything costs money and it can be a little depressing to realize you can't afford to do all of the great things you planned.

So you decide to cut some costs by trimming the guest list and the catering menu.  That's the moment when everyone from your mom to your hairdresser starts giving you suggestions and telling you who to hire.  "We have to invite great-aunt Edna because she was invited to your cousin's wedding."   The one person who may not express any opinion or offer advice is your groom. Some guys just don't have a true opinion about all the little details involved in wedding planning.

While you can't avoid every detour and issue that arises, being aware can help you to step back and look at it as part of the process.  Try to take a few breaths and relax.  Stress only creates wrinkles (Oh, did we forget to mention that everyone will be talking about how you look.)

It Isn't all About Me

We know that the bride and the groom are the focus of this wonderful day. Their wedding and its celebration are momentous and compelling both for the couple and their families. But we have learned that the most remembered wedding are those focus on celebrating and consider that family and friends who will join in celebrating this event. Gleaned from scores of weddings, here are some ideas you can consider when you focus on your family and guest. Remember to treat your attendants like the friends they are - not like servants. As you select items for your gift registry, include items to fit everyone's budget. Select reception food tht most guest will like and enjoy. (This is not the day to serve liver and onions no matter how much you personally like it.) As you select table centerpieces, keep them at a scale that will allow guest at each table to see the people across the table. If you plan music during the dinner, keep it soft so people can hear themselves talk. And if you have dancing, make sure that some "golden oldies" are included so parents and their friends feel comfortable dancing too.

Avoid micromanaging everything. Let vendors do what they do best. Make it a point to personally greet as many guests as possible. For everyone's sake, try to limit the break between the ceremony and reception to no more than 2 hours. If locations or arrangements make this impossible, try to arrange something for guests to do in the interim. No one wants to go home and come back again. Think about everything you can do to make your wedding reception memorable for your guests as well as yourself. Remember that this is one of the biggest parties you and your family will ever give.

Wedding Stress

Now that you are engaged, we know that stress can set in as you try to deal with the myriad of details that threaten to engulf you.

You have a number of decisions to make about ceremony and reception locations, the date, what to wear, who to ask to be your attendants, whom to invite, what flowers, music and photographers to select. There are budget questions to solve. All these choices can generate a case of "wedding jitters."

To relieve your stress or make it manageable, remember these key points.

If the stress is generated by money issues, take the time, as a couple to determine your priorities. List the things that are most important to you both. Determine the top five items from a list of 10 to 20. These five - listed in priority order, are the items on which you are least likely to compromise. Then, as you review your budget, you can "borrow" from other items on you list to keep the budget in balance.

If the stress is coming from family, be clear about the source and be firm about communicating your feelings. Talk out the issues you see with parents, friends and those involved. Be gracious but firm about expressing your views and concerns.

Don't just "stuff" the feeling so that they end up ruining a friendship.

If the stress is coming from the crush of events and the sense of being overwhelmed by everything you sense much be done, the key is to SHARE the responsibilities.

Hire a wedding planner, enlist the groom, ask your parents to take over specific jobs. Get yourself a wedding planning book and be faithful in entering plans made and following its suggestions for organizing your projects.

Get enough sleep, and take care of your health by eating well. Make good use of your gym membership and exercise away the stress.  Read more about reducing wedding stress. 

When it all seems too much, come speak with me, an experience consultant, who can help you put it all in perspective and remind you of what is truly important in this wedding.