Planning your wedding? Recently engaged? Congratulations! We have put together the ten most important commandments to follow when planning your wedding.
I have to admit that regardless of all the advice (both good and bad!) that I received leading up to the big day, one thing is true: Once you set that date, time really does fly. There’s so much to do! Find the right wedding invitations, set up a cake tasting, drop those pesky ten pounds, look for the perfect dress (as well as beautiful accessories!). It’s so easy to get lost in all the planning and forget what the day is truly supposed to be about. At the end of the day, it’s just a party – and all parties eventually come to an end. The marriage itself is the important thing to focus on. But it’s okay – here are ten things to keep in mind when things start to go crazy.
10. Start Early
There’s no harm in a little early planning. My fiance and I had been together for five years before we got engaged. So, when it did finally happen (on a beach at sunset, no less!) we both already had an idea in mind of what we wanted as far as our ceremony and reception were concerned. However, what no one bothered to tell us was that some places book up YEARS in advance! Have a specific venue in mind? Go check it out pre-engagement! Want a cake from a specific bakery? Set up a tasting! It may seem a little unorthodox and against tradition, but if you truly have your hearts set on something, get out there and do what you can to make it happen! After all, you (hopefully) only get married once – it may as well be exactly what you both want!
9. Take Care of Yourself
This may seem a little ridiculous to even mention, but between friends and family wanting to congratulate you (and possibly take you out for dinner to discuss the fun details!) trying to find the time to look for a caterer, a venue, and other other details, you have to make sure you’re taking care of yourself! It may seem like just a little thing, but making sure to stay hydrated, get at least 7 hours of sleep a night, and eat breakfast every single morning can help keep those tension headaches and cranky conversations at bay.
8. Get Ready for Opinions, Judgments, and WAY Too Much Information
When you get engaged, (besides telling your engagement story a zillion times!) everyone is going to have an opinion about your wedding, whether it’s warranted or not. Some people will tell you that tradition is everything, and your marriage will be doomed unless you have the ceremony in a church (no joke- I actually had someone say that to me!). Some people will even go so far as to tell you that marriage is a huge mistake and don’t do it. I actually had a former coworker of mine advise me against getting married because “it’ll be the end of your sex life!”. None of that matters. These people are telling you these things based on their experiences, and of course every relationship is different.
7. YOU Are the Bride
In addition to everyone having an opinion about your Big Day, another thing to be on the lookout for are meddlers. These people mean well and usually have the best intentions, but get very upset when you don’t want to follow their rules and what they think is ideal for your wedding. What works for you may not work for someone else, and vice versa. Just because your great aunt whoever was happily married for fifty years, had her wedding in a church with a simple reception and a honeymoon weekend at a local hotel doesn’t mean that you have to follow suit. YOU are the Bride, so what you say goes, regardless of who may or may not have a problem with it.
6. To Invite or Not to Invite?
Regardless of how many friends you would love to have there, sometimes the purse strings simply won’t allow it. Any good friend will understand that it’s not personal and won’t take offense to it. Anyone who does take offense to being cut from the guest list probably isn’t a real friend anyway and most likely doesn’t deserve to be there. I have a huge family, so unfortunately, a good bit of my friends that I would’ve loved to have there simply didn’t make the cut. Luckily, most were very understanding.
5. Pinch Pennies
It’s really crazy what wedding have evolved to over the last few generations, pricewise. From what I understand, a typical wedding back in the 60s or 70s was pretty casual- almost a “punch and snacks” sort of affair, if you will. These days the average cost of a wedding for 150 guests is anywhere from $20-25 thousand dollars!!!! I don’t know about any of you, but I don’t randomly have money like that sitting around anywhere! (And if I did, I guarantee you, I’d be on a beach somewhere right now, sipping a margarita and not having a care in the world!) Cut corners where you can. I found A LOT of helpful advice right here.
4. Tradition, Smadition
As I said in rule number 7, YOU are the Bride, so at the end of the day, what you say goes. Hate the idea of a huge, stuffy affair? Have a casual Sunday brunch instead! Every bride is different. We all have our own ideas, we all have our own vision in mind of what we want our wedding days to be. The bottom line is that as well as being fun (and stressful!). A wedding is supposed to be about love, not the right napkin color or ice sculpture centerpieces.
3. Have Fun
During the planning process, you’re going to have a million decisions to make. If you hate making decisions, ask your bridesmaids and family for help. When my fiance and I had our wedding tasting with the caterer, I invited my in-laws and bridesmaids. Not everyone could make it, but of the people that could, we had SUCH a great time. We got to sample delicious food, a couple of cocktails, and got some great input that we might not have considered, had it just been my fiance and I.
Despite all the insanity of the countless decisions, minuscule details, and other little things that may randomly come to mind, this is a day that you will remember forever, and its really important not to lose sight of that. Which brings me to my last Commandment….
You finally made it! The only thing you should focus on on your Wedding Day is the love between you and your fiance, and your family and friends. This will be a day that will inevitably fly by, so it’s really important to just stop for a second, take a deep breath, and savor everything about it. All the wedding planning (while super stressful) does pay off, I promise! The result of all your hard work should be a happy, romantic day that celebrates love and is ultimately, the first day of the rest of your life.