Weddings, for all the love and happiness in the air, are a lot of work. The insanity of the details is only matched by the insanity of the people who work tirelessly to make this single day truly memorable for all. It’s a thankless job really. It’s the kind of job that will never satisfy everyone, but it’s done anyway in hopes of satisfying most.
And there are lessons to be learned here – not just for perfectionists and brides, but for anyone having a big day of their own. Here are my top 3 life lessons captured on my wedding day.
1. Mentally prepare
There’s just no way to predict all the things that will go wrong on your wedding day. For all your planning, charts, and timelines, the day will still proceed in unimaginable directions. Your napkin order is wrong, the ceremony starts late, a bridesmaid can’t zip her dress, the groom is lost, and your appetizers run out quick. Whatcha gonna do? Well, the only thing you can do: stay positive.
Panicking won’t solve wedding day problems, so it’s important that you keep your mind right. Before any big day, commit to thinking clearly, positively, and rationally. It’s much easier to make decisions when you take your negative emotions off the table. Trust me, the universe is not conspiring against you. Things just happen. And no wedding goes as planned. Find simple solutions and continue on with the day.
2. Be graceful
When hosting, coordinating or participating in an event, all eyes are on you. And, I’ve heard, weddings are the most photographed day of a person’s life. It makes sense that mental preparation would naturally extend into being graceful, especially when you’re on display.
Before your wedding begins, you’re pretty much behind the scenes. For the most part, no one sees or cares about your body language when you react to unfavorable news, and there’s usually still time to solve the problem. While in front of guests, however, unfavorable things happen in the moment. Time runs over, guests get bored, things get cut from the schedule. But what can you really do about it? Well, again, you can be positive. And polite. And kind. And professional. And graceful. If you must break down, step away from your guests to do so. Be constantly aware of how contagious your energy is. It really does make a huge difference.
Communication breakdowns might be the number one reason why things go wrong at weddings. Not only do you have to coordinate the event itself, but you also have to have a strong handle on people’s expectations. Everyone involved in planning–bride, parents, wedding planner, venue coordinator, vendors, etc.–have their own ideas and visions of how they want the wedding to go. It’s important to reconcile those expectations before the wedding day so that you can execute accordingly.
A great start is to understand that certain things are more important to some people than others. If someone really wants additional pictures taken with guests, more time to party, or extra drink tickets, those facts needs to be communicated clearly. Create an environment in the planning process where ideas can be shared freely and where no assumptions will be made. And be sensitive to cultural and familial traditions. Not everyone will get what they want, but at least their desires will be considered.
So although I learned a great deal from my wedding day, these are the top (best) three takeaways. For my part, I’m happier than I’ve ever been and so relieved to finally be married. I can’t even look at my husband’s face without smiling! That let’s me know it was all worth it in the end.
Hang in there, planners! And good luck on your big day.