Make Sure Your Big Day Goes Smoothly
Weddings are about so much more than signing a piece of legal paper. If weddings were that simple, courthouses would be the most popular option. Instead, couples around the world spend months choosing the perfect details to go into their marriage celebration–and the perfect guests to share it all with. Since putting on a successful wedding is such a big project, do yourself a favor and help it go as smoothly as possible.
1. Smart Delegation…Not Frustration!
Once you start planning a wedding, you’ll find you’re swamped with two things. First, you’ll have more offers of help from well-meaning friends than you know what to do with. (You may not always realize these are offers of help, of course, since they’re often phrased as pushy advice and criticisms of your existing wedding plans.)
Second, you’ll quickly realize that your calendar is full of dress fittings, cake tastings, venue scoutings, and other appointments you never knew you were expected to arrange.
Rather than allow yourself to get overwhelmed by the onslaught of wedding planning chores and unwanted advice, however, with a little smart delegation you can actually channel one problem into helping the other. The next time you get a call from a know-it-all relative or friend who just has to tell you how white orchids are the only flower for this season, try gently steering them onto solid ground.
“Thank you so much for your helpful advice. I’m thrilled that you’re taking such a personal interest in our wedding planning! We already have our flowers picked out, but if you’d like to come over and help us tie ribbons around the vases, we would appreciate your help very much.” If it works, you’ve just scored an extra pair of helping hands. At the very least, once you’ve extended an invitation to do work, you’ll get fewer advice calls in the future.
2. Stick with Your Decisions
When you first start wedding planning, the road in front of you is completely open. With each decision you make, however, your options narrow more and more. This is great, of course–it means you’re getting closer to creating the wedding you want! You’ll be all set to enjoy the perfect day you planned…unless, of course, you start second-guessing your decisions.
Once you’ve made a wedding decision, stick with it. When you buy the wedding gown you want, stop browsing through dress catalogs. When you book the perfect beach villa for your reception, don’t start listing the advantages of skiing lodges. Once you’ve rented linens and bought flower arrangements in blue and gold, don’t allow yourself to get jealous of your cousin’s pink and white wedding color scheme. If driving with your parents to the ceremony site sounded lovely at first, don’t get dazzled later by visions of limos. And if you’ve made most of your wedding decisions already, then for goodness’ sake don’t attend a bridal show!
The best way to avoid wedding dress (or colors, or flowers, or venue) regret is to wait until you’re certain before setting anything in stone. If you have any doubts about a wedding decision, keep looking around until something grabs you by the heart. Just like the person you’re marrying, you’ll know when it’s true love. And once you fall in love–with the dress, the linens, or anything else–treat your decision with respect.
3. Organize, Organize, Organize
The best wedding present you can give yourself is the gift of organization. If that’s not one of your strengths (or your partner’s), then write a professional event planner into your wedding budget right now. The more lists, spreadsheets, and other planning you do now, the more smoothly your wedding day will go. Sure, you can’t plan for every surprise. But the less you leave things to chance, the less stress you’ll have on the big day.
If you’re not the heir to a ridiculously large oil fortune, do your research ahead of time and find out exactly what unexpected costs you may have to face. Don’t forget details like hiring mandatory venue security or leaving an appropriate donation for your officiant. If you leave yourself some wiggle room in your budget, you’ll have a much smoother ride into married life.
One approach to wedding organization is to find friends and family members who had weddings similar to the type you’re envisioning. Ask them about what parts surprised them, what parts ended up being the most important in the long run, and what they would do differently if they could start over from the beginning. Make a note of any advice that sounds helpful (and feel free not to take the advice that doesn’t resonate with you). With the wisdom of your loved ones added to your own experiences, your wedding day should go smoothly and be full of happiness.