Updated: Jul 22, 2020
Weddings are a thing of beauty. A celebration of love that many people dream of their entire lives. The wedding has potential to be one of the most memorable days of your life, so how can you do your best to prepare for it? How can you circumvent as many potential problems that might arise that could potentially ruin your big day? Well, it's impossible to try and guess everything that might go wrong on the day of, or the days leading up to it for that matter. But there are some pieces of advice we can give you based on what we've seen that might help avoid some potential disasters.
1. Make sure you know who the people around you are that you want to be involved earlier in the process than you think. It may seem like you are doing your friends and family a kindness by listening to them and trying to include everyone in your decision making process. In theory, it's very nice of you to be inclusive. In reality, it will quickly turn into a disaster. The problem becomes too many voices and opinions, as opinions are for one reason or another, attached to emotions. Instead of becoming inundated with emotions, whether that's brides maids, mothers-in-law, etc. , create a very strict group of people whose support you can count and whose opinion you truly value. Create your list of people you want giving advice, and then stick to it.
2. If you are planning to add your own touch and DIY your way to a piece of the wedding, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to achieve it. Often with DIY projects the timeline actually takes longer than expected. If you decide to build your own arbor, create your own centre-pieces, or seating charts, make sure you budget yourself more time than expected. The last piece of stress you need is coming up against a timeline to create 42 hand made gift bags because you didn't give yourself enough runway.
3. Make your decisions early, and be definitive with your choices. It's easy to assume you have more time than you really do, and the reality is, you will come up against your deadlines much quicker than you think. Tackle the big ones off your list (dress, venue, etc.) as early as possible in your process, and do it with definitive direction. Be concise with your decision making process. And if you're to good at making decisions, rely on your list of helpers to brain storm a solution, but always remember you're voice needs to still be the final choice.
4. Understand exactly what your budget is and where the money is coming from. A big point of contention in the decision making process will be budget. Try to remove as much ambiguity as possible by understanding exactly where the money is coming from, and before you begin choosing the various pieces of your wedding, make sure you appropriately budget for each item. Research and preparation will remove any grey area you might come up against.
5. Pick one of your organized friends or family members to be the 'go-to' person on the day of your wedding. If you have contracted a wedding planner, great. They can easily fulfill this position. But make sure that on the day of your wedding you have arranged for a 3rd party to intercede and be the point of contact for your guests. The day will go by so quickly. The last thing you want is to be distracted by 37 people asking you where the bathroom is, or the bridal party constantly inquiring of where they need to be next. Prepare in advance and let someone else do that.
6. Don't be overwhelmed by the thought that 'everything needs to be perfect'. On the day of the wedding, things will not go according to a perfect plan. This is just the facts. Instead of being overwhelmed of trying to make sure everything is perfect, rather maintain your focus on what the day is truly about - you and your new husband or wife committing your lives together. If a table has the wrong guests at it, or the music is too loud, once your day has ended in retrospect, these things don't matter. Keep your focus on each other and let the little issues pass.
7. Accept that you can't please everyone. Tying into the earlier points, you can't (and won't) please everyone. In certain aspects of your wedding you need to prioritize yourself, and not what others think. For some, this is easier than others. But ultimately, again, this day is about you and your new spouse.
8. Prioritize the importance of your preparation and decision making. Before planning out every step of the way, prioritize what is truly important to you and what decisions you can invite a higher level of input from others. If you don't actually care what your centre-pieces are made from, don't stress about it. Delegate the little things and keep yourself focused on what is important to you.
9. Be a Team with your partner throughout the entire process. If your partner doesn't really care about certain items on the list, ask them anyways. Involve them, but also don't get upset when they say 'I don't care'. Ultimately, the point is to create your day together. There will be things that are important to you that realistically, your partner won't care about. That's o.k.. Respond in kind by letting them know, "that's ok. Thanks for letting me know". The point of working together isn't to 'win' a decision, or be overwhelmed. The point is to work together as a team, even as the marriage is just getting started. Begin on firm foundations.
10. Enjoy the process. Tie all of the 9 previous points together and you'll see that the point of the wedding planning and wedding day, really only has to do with 1 thing: Love for your soon-to-be spouse. With this in mind, work at remembering this point daily. Don't become overwhelmed with things that ultimately won't matter. In the grand scheme of things, this day will go by incredibly quickly, and as each significant moment passes, if you're looking in the rearview mirror you'll miss the next one. Remain present in the moment, and enjoy the entire event (planning and all) to the best of your ability.