When I first got engaged, I decided that Wednesdays would be “Wedding Wednesdays.” (Yes, because of the matching W’s.) I’d do all my planning and my DIY projects and it would be smooth sailing and I would never get behind or off-track.
Yea. That didn’t happen. Planning a wedding is a perfectionist’s nightmare! You just can’t account for all the wild, unwarranted and sometimes unreasonable requests, suggestions, and ideas you’ll get. The guest list is impossible, everything is expensive, and there’s always (always!) more to do.
But today was a good day. I finally had a successful Wedding Wednesday. And in the midst of printing, sealing and stamping envelopes, I came up with a few tips for happily surviving the wedding planning period.
1. Stick to your guns
Before you make any moves on your wedding, I strongly suggest you and your fiance sit down and have a serious conversation about what really matters to you. Leave all outside parties out of it until you know for sure what you aren’t willing to budge on. And be realistic. Is a $2,000 destination wedding possible? Probably not. So don’t even set yourself up for those kinds of disappointments. Once the two of you have a good idea of what you want, stick to it. And if you’re given good reason to reconsider, always discuss it with each other first. He’ll probably say “whatever you want,” but remember, you’re still a team.
2. Don’t make any promises
It’s kind of funny how many people have been planning your wedding in their minds forever. And it’s amazing how forthright they can be with their desires. But try your best to listen to suggestions without promising a thing. Everyone is excited and they all want to help and be a part of your big day in any way that they can. Some ideas will be good ones and others you can do without. But, either way, you don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up. And you definitely don’t want to feel obligated to do things that you really don’t want to do. After all, it is your wedding.
3. Do a little bit at a time
Oh, how I could have really benefited from this one. There’s a reason why everyone tells you how fast the time will fly by… Because it will! Any engagement, long or short, is a mad dash at the six month ’til mark to get everything done. One of my best friends is also engaged – and has been for close to a year now – and she’s committed to doing two wedding things a month until her big day gets closer. She tells me it’s been working, and I believe her. Whether you do two things a month or something once a week, it’s much better to pace yourself. Everything all at once will overwhelm even the most organized and composed of girls (or guys).
4. Just pay for it
There’s really no escaping the cost of paying for a wedding. It sucks, but what are you going to do? You’re going to find a way! In many of the most financially difficult moments in my life, I’ve just thrown my hands up – because I knew it was going to work out some kind of way. You wouldn’t be planning a wedding if you hadn’t considered the costs. So you can do this. Find cheap alternatives, do things yourself and don’t take on more than you can handle. If this marriage is forever, like you want it to be, it’ll just be one of the many big expenses you’ll face in your long life together. Trust that the two of you as one will be ok.
5. Remember what it’s all about
This may be the most important of any of these tips. Remembering what it’s all about is the glue in your survival kit that holds everything together and keeps you sane. The wedding is a celebration of your union. It’s supposed to be fun. Whether you didn’t get the linens you wanted or grandma has a run in her stockings, this is your day. And from then on out, it’ll be your marriage to your love. A good trick I’ve learned to keep perspective is the rule of 10. When things happen, ask yourself: Will this matter in 10 minutes? In 10 months? In 10 years? And just like that, you’re back to your cool, calm self. No wedding is perfect. Enjoy the moment as much as you can and then get on with your life. It’s just one day.
So those are my tips. I hope they help you along the way. Making mistakes is inevitable and not everything will go as planned, but make the most of it! You’re only engaged once. Happy planning, future brides and grooms!
Have any tips of your own? Feel free to share in the comments! I’d love to hear them.