Last Updated on August 16, 2021
Weddings are an incredibly special – and important – occasion. They’re a celebration of the love between a couple; a love intense enough that they’re willing to swear their lives to one another. Not surprisingly, this means that planning them can be an incredibly nerve-wracking affair.
But it doesn’t need to be.
At the end of the day, how stressed you get about your wedding ultimately depends on you. If you go in with the right mindset – and the proper knowledge – you’ll be able to put together a top-notch ceremony in no time at all. That, in turn, will leave you free to focus on what’s important; your special day.
Let’s dive right in – here are a few tips for planning the picture-perfect wedding.
Don’t Get Caught Up In Seeking Perfection
You’re probably a little confused that this is the first heading. After all, we’re talking about planning the perfect wedding, right? Why shouldn’t you focus on perfection?
The answer to that is simple: complete and utter perfection doesn’t exist. It’s humanly impossible for us to be entirely perfect. Keep that fact in mind, and your planning’s going to go a whole lot smoother, as you won’t spend time stressing about whether or not every single flower arrangement is perfectly symmetrical.
“This event is an expression of yourselves, but it’s not all you’ll ever be,” newlyweds Teresa and Ben explain to Bridal Guide. “It’s just the beginning! In fact, some of the best moments were ones we didn’t plan for at all – like a fabulous photograph of my dress all tangled up in leaves and dirt. Embrace the unexpected, and each others’ opinions, and don’t let an unattainable ideal sour the big picture: You’re in this together, now and for the future.”
Get Your Priorities Straight
You’ll save yourself a ton of lost sleep if you learn to prioritize. Even though this day is all about you and your spouse, where planning is concerned you should always put your guests first. What are you doing to ensure they enjoy the event? How do seating arrangements play into family dynamic?
Most importantly, how can you make the experience as memorable as possible for everyone involved?
“There are priorities,” says veteran wedding planner Taylor Lynn. “However good the food is, you never come away from an event saying that you had the most wonderful piece of chicken! You come away saying you had the most amazing night, heard the most sensational music. For me, the two most important ingredients are entertainment and lighting and that would be where I’d recommend the initial investment.”
Brief Your Speakers
Before the ceremony, make a point of talking to everyone who’s directly involved to make sure things go off without a hitch. You want to discuss how things will proceed – who’s going to talk, what are they going to say, and how are they going to say it. More importantly, what do they need to know about your wedding guests?
“I found myself briefing both our celebrant and my mom in regards to what our friends and families would need to know,” writes Ariel of The Offbeat Bride. “For example, we really wanted our guests to ask us our vows and also to pronounce us. Our celebrant totally got where we were going with this and was happy to lead everyone in these sections. But we were still worried that our guests would be so surprised to take on this role that it would be so quiet that we’d only hear a tumbleweed go by. We went back to our celebrant and asked her to write a preamble to set everyone’s expectations about their role in the service up front –- and yes, as a result their voices were as loud as we hoped they would be!”
Cut Down On The Paper Trail
The days when you needed twenty binders of planning documents, a whole book of fabric samples, and a ton of notebooks to plan a simple wedding are long behind us. All you really need is a cloud storage/collaboration platform, like Google Docs. Tools like this are accessible no matter where you are, and you can organize things so you’ll never end up losing an important speech or a planning document.
“I’ve got a binder, a website, several notebooks and pieces of wedding-related paper lying all over my apartment,” notes Kelly Faircloth. “But the only tool I really needed to get through this without rending my garments and running screaming into the night was Google Docs. Sure, maybe your dad still hasn’t gotten the hang of the Internet. But that’s what the export to PDF function is for!”
Don’t Be A Bride(or Groom)zilla, But Don’t Be A Pushover, Either
Everybody knows the horror stories of the control freak bride or groom. For them, nothing is good enough. Everything has to be absolutely perfect, and completely under their command. The moment something isn’t, they blow their top like Mount St. Helens – and everyone ends up embarrassedly standing by while they throw the equivalent of a temper tantrum.
Nobody wants to be that power-mad nightmare of a human being; no one wants to be the person who’s nasty in the days leading up to their wedding.
As such, a lot of people tend towards the other end of the scale. They end up so afraid they’re going to end up as a ‘zilla that they make allowances they otherwise would not. As a result, their wedding ends up completely out of their control.
There needs to be a happy medium.
“Know that it’s perfectly okay to say no, no thanks, not gonna to happen when your florist tries to talk you into expensive hot-pink table overlay,” says Faircloth. “And once you put down a deposit on something, don’t feel guilty about making sure that vendor gets her job done. If you’re paying for a wedding planner, don’t let her drop the ball. If your sample floral arrangements are the wrong color, speak up.”
You Can’t Control Absolutely Everything – All You Can Do Is Prepare
You can’t plan for every single eventuality, nor can you control every little detail. If you try, you’re going to end up driving yourself mad. Don’t sweat little details like the weather, or attendance, or whether Uncle Myron is going to get drunk and embarrass himself again.
That’s all stuff you can’t control. I was at a cousin’s outdoor wedding a few years back, and though the weather report called for clear skies, we ended up getting completely rained out – just as the two were saying their vows. Then somebody made off with the carpet. And you know what? Even in spite of all those things that went wrong, it was still an incredible time for everyone involved. Plan for things like the weather or a belligerent family member, but don’t lose sleep over them.
Hire Someone To Handle The Gifts, Media, And Guests
Come your wedding day, you shouldn’t be scrambling about dealing with logistics. Hire a few people you trust to handle details like the gifts, find a vetted wedding photographer, and recruit ushers to deal with the guests. Your focus should be entirely on your spouse, and nothing else.
….And Someone To Host The Event
While you’re at it, why not hire a professional to plan things for you? Sure, you might have to sacrifice a little control, but there are people who’ve made an entire career out of putting together amazing weddings. If anyone’s capable of making your vision a reality, it’s one of them.
At the end of the day, there’s one very important detail you cannot afford to forget: this is your wedding. It’s one of the most important days of your life! If it’s not a joyous occasion, then something’s gone wrong. Get out there and have fun! Celebrate! Let your spouse know how much they mean to you!
As long as you’re still together at the end of the night, that means the ceremony was a roaring success.
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