6 things brides don't admit about planning a wedding

1. You get to daydream. You get to think about all those princess/fairy/ballroom/castle (insert your own) daydreams that you had as a child.  Whether it was being surrounded by fairies and unicorns in a woodland grove or a stunning castle or an old Hollywood movie set.  Everyone has that one crazy daydream that if money were no object you would love to make happen (even if it did include time travel).

2. You get disappointed.  It doesn't get talked about as much, but the process of planning a wedding sometimes creates disappointments.  It is easy to have a vision, but the sticker price to make that happen can be expensive.  And most of those stunning images on Pinterest that we all drool over, they don’t mention the price tag.

3. You get overwhelmed.  Every day hundreds of new images are uploaded, posted or pinned.  It can be easy to get lost in all the beautiful photos.  You may have started looking at wildflowers and then start thinking you like tulips.  Remember that those are other people's weddings; you want yours to be yours.  So stop and think about what you want for your wedding.  Then find a few images to represent what you want that you can show your wedding vendors.

4. You get overwhelmed (again). A wedding can be an emotionally stressful time from planning through the honeymoon.  Everyone shares their opinions and advice that you graciously accept with a smile (lucky you).  You get to navigate the mine field of family relationships.

5. You get to make decisions.  A lot of decisions - 1, 276 (give or take).  Every detail at your wedding requires a decision to obtain it and then some more to refine the design of it.  You may get to the point where you say, "I don't care, whatever you think is best".  You actually do care; you just can't mentally make one more decision.

6. You just want it to be over.  Every couple reaches that point where they just want to be done.  You want to be standing in your reception drinking and dancing with no more decisions to be made, no more stress, no more things to do.  You just want to enjoy all your hard work.

8 tips to dealing with family drama during wedding planning

George Burns once said: "Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city."  That is especially true for weddings.  Here are a few tips to help you cope:

  • Communicate Well – make sure every knows when and where they are supposed to be.   You don’t want dozens of people calling you to find out the schedule.
  • Agree to a Truce – Avoid conflict by talking to family members who are known to argue.  Ask them to be civil for one day.
  • Keep them apart – Make sure to keep people at separate tables if you know that they hate each other….or maybe even separate hotels if you want to keep the craziness away from you.
  • Have an escape word – If you know that you will be overrun with relatives talk to your fiancé and bridemaids beforehand and create an escape phrase.  When you use it, they will know to help you escape.
  • Be immune – People may say things about you, but don’t take it personally.   Stay immune to what is being said and you will stay calmer and happier.
  • Let it go - Recognize that not everything is within your control and that’s OK.
  • Be realistic – Sometimes the biggest letdown isn’t your family but reality.  Your expectations and dreams can be really hard to live up to.
  • Focus on the good stuff – If you focus on what everyone else thinks or wants, you miss the good stuff – each other.  

7 things no one tell you about wedding planning

1. You have to learn a new language.  Before planning a wedding you may never have heard of DOC or Chivari or what was the MOB or MOG.  Here is a quick list of common terms:

  • DIY - Do it yourself
  • MOH - Maid of Honor
  • MOG - Mother of the Groom
  • MOB - Mother of the Bride
  • STD - Save the Date
  •  BM, GM - Bridesmaid, Groomsmen
  • DOC - Day of Coordinator
  • Prelude - music played before the ceremony
  • Chivari - A style of chair
  • Uplight - Lighting that is placed on the floor and has a beam of light up toward the ceiling
  • Pin-spot - A small beam of light used to highlight one area such as the cake table
  • Gobo - Lighting that uses a stencil to project a design or monogram onto the floor or wall
Here are two dictionaries to help you learn about the the new terms you hear.

2. Wedding are never perfect.  No matter what you see on blogs or the little voices keep whispering in your head, weddings never occur without a small hiccup.  It is usually very small things such as forgetting to bring the champagne flutes or a flower breaking on a boutonniere.  However, those things are never mentioned in blogs and truthfully are quickly forgotten about after the wedding.  Don't put more stress on yourself. 

creative commons: county marquees 

3.  Friends and family will get on your nerves.  People are usually much harder to manage than the details.  Your family may pressure you to invite too many people you don't care about.  Or a bridesmaid may procrastinate on buying her dress.  It may seem like they are singlehandedly trying to ruin your day.  Your mother may hate your linen color or you may get pressured into choosing a ringbearer.  Focus on the good parts and ignore the negative feedback.

4. The budget will try to double.  Making a budget and sticking to it are very difficult if not impossible.  Things will need to be purchased.  You will see things online that you have to have.  If you have never planned a wedding, it can be very easy to underestimate costs when beginning.   Set a reasonable budget and purchase based on good investments not adding fluff. 

5. Las vegas will sound wonderful. Or any other town that will let you elope quickly and with little fuss or expense.  Every couple has that moment where they wonder if they are insane for trying to plan a wedding.  Or putting all of their family into one room together was a good idea.  Family stress, money stress, or details and logistics can make even the most laid back couple envision a wedding with Elvis sounding wonderful. Usually this feeling passes. If it doesn't then find the quickest flight to Vegas and promise to have a small reception when you get back.  Peace of mind doesn't have a price tag.  

6. You may start obsessing over small details.  Whether it is the color of your napkins or the font on the invitation, there is usually one detail that causes every bride to lose it for a few.  It's OK.  After looking at enough Pinterest boards it can be easy to thing that your wedding isn't good enough.  Step back from the computer.  While it sounds harsh, no matter what you do or pick you will always see something better. 

7. Everyone wants to give you advice and share their opinion.  No matter if you want them too.  And they will ask you an endless amount of inane questions.  Just nod your head and give them simple details...and wait for the next person to start asking or offering advice.  It's your wedding and you get to decide what is right for your wedding. 

What happens if something goes wrong at the wedding?

When planning her wedding, most brides think of the dress, the cake, the details and how much fun it will be.  They rarely think of what happens if something goes wrong.

Truthfully, no wedding ever goes exactly as planned, but most of these are little issues that are easily fixed such as a boutonniere needing repaired or the flowergirl not wanting to walk down the aisle.  These are things that only you and the wedding planner will notice.  Sometimes there are more obvious problems such as a circuit breaker flips or a light bulb goes out.  Usually the venue or vendors can fix these problems.

Then, there are the truly big problems, a vendor goes out of business or doesn't show up, extreme weather shuts down the venue, or unexpected illness.  Sometimes vendors make mistakes; they are human.  Other things are completely out of our control.

If you are unhappy with something at your wedding, talk to the right vendor.  Complaining to the wedding planner about the cake won't fix the problem. While a wedding planner helps to direct and facilitate your wedding day, we are not responsible for the services and actions of the other vendors. Decide if a product or service that maybe cost $500 is worth the aggravation and potential lawyer fees to remedy it. If you are unhappy with a vendor, talk to them. Ask them what they can do to make it better; it may not be your preferred solution but it might be an acceptable alternative. Decide how important this really is in the big picture of the wedding.

Ways to avoid being unhappy with vendors:

1. Talk to your wedding planner.  While your planner may not have worked with every vendor in your city, they are usually connected to a network of wedding professionals who can give unbiased opinions about vendors.

2. Look for reviews online.  Common places are bbb.org, Wedding Wire  and Yelp.com.  Just remember that not every review is legitimate; sometimes brides have unrealistic expectations which will impact their feelings about a vendor.

3. Get a written contract from every vendor that includes signatures and information about cancellations and payments.

4. Purchase wedding insurance from a company such as WedSafe . This can include liability due to alcohol and cover you for missing vendors.

Life requires flexibility. Remember the important things is to celebrate your special day together and that the majority of weddings occur with very few issues.