A Preview Into Planning The Wedding Of Your Dreams

Congratulations! You are officially engaged! What should be the happiest time of your life can quickly become one of the most stressful without a level-headed approach and proper planning. If you are like most newly engaged women, you don’t know where to start or how to plan the wedding of your dreams. Wedding planning can be great fun; but the lists and details also can make your head spin.

First, determine what type of wedding you want. Do you want a romantic getaway with just the two of you? Perhaps a large ceremony at a church or hotel? You may even opt for a summer beach side wedding. Whatever setting you decide, remember that it is YOUR wedding and you should cater to what you truly want.

The second step should be developing a budget and deciding who will pay for the ceremony. Make sure you know exactly how much family members are going to contribute. Parents of the bride historically have paid the bill but more often, it is the case that both the bride and groom typically pay for the expenses; especially in older couples or second marriages. As they take on their share of financing the wedding, more grooms start to participate in the planning process, too. Keep the lines of communication open and encourage your soon to be husband to help you make critical decisions. After all, from this point on, the two of you will need to make mutual decisions.
Remember, whoever pays has the say in the invitation list. Just because someone is helping to pay for part of the wedding doesn’t mean it becomes his or her wedding. It’s one thing to be considerate of family and guests; it’s another to be stressing out about accommodating their every whim. Keep a good balance and you will keep your sanity.

After the budget is developed, prioritize items to be purchased. List your vendors in order of their respective importance to you. It will show you exactly where to spend more money on and where not to spend. You are not obligated to have a large reception, fancy invitations or an announcement in the paper. Spend your money on what is important to you.

During the planning process, remember to communicate with all parties involved. Identify expectations early on of your mother and/or future mother-in-law, etc. to avoid conflict down the road. Be aware of opinionated-albeit well-intentioned-family members. Talk early and often. Everyone has an opinion on how a wedding should be run. For every bride that believes her wedding is “the day she’s been dreaming of all her life” there’s a parent who’s paying for a hefty portion of the wedding and who views it as a reflection on him/her above all else.

You have to be firm in letting your friends and relatives know that while you respect their advice and feedback, they need to respect your right to have the wedding you want. Set the tone early so it doesn’t build up into something much more unpleasant later on down the line. You don’t want your special day to turn into a source of ill-will and hurt feelings that may take years to repair.
Speaking of hurt feelings, selecting your bridal party can be very emotional. You should select bridesmaids who are reliable, flexible, and available to help with the details and planning of your wedding. It also helps if your chosen bridesmaids are happy for you, instead of having feelings of jealousy that may be revealed in a passive aggressive manner. When selecting your bridesmaids, keep in mind that those who live locally will need to help you with the wedding preparations, so choose those who will enjoy the pre-wedding tasks and activities. Choose really close friends or family members with whom you do not have to feel shy about asking for help. It doesn’t make much sense to invite a friend to be a bridesmaid if you haven’t talked to her much in the last ten years.

When making your selections, don’t worry about marital status or even gender of the friends you would like to have attend for you. If you have a close male friend or relative you want to participate, you simply call him an honor attendant. You are under no obligation to invite someone to be a bridesmaid just because you may have been one in her wedding previously. Relationships change, so stay true to your closest family and friends.

Remember to enlist help. You don’t have to do it all yourself, especially on the day of the wedding. If you don’t have a wedding coordinator, it is okay to recruit your family and friends. However, make sure you reward them, even if it’s with a heartfelt hug, thank you note, or post-wedding day gift. Just be mindful that asking for help doesn’t mean you can take advantage of your friends or take their help for granted.

It is critical to stay organized and create a working schedule during the planning process. A schedule is not only helpful to you, but also to the wedding party, family members, vendors, and anyone else with an important role in the wedding. Putting things off because you have ample time is fine sometimes, but not when you’re throwing the biggest celebration of your life. Good organization and early planning are key. In fact, it will be obvious the day of your wedding and people tend to remember bad weddings more than they remember the good ones.

Lastly, remember to have fun in the planning process. Every bride has at least one nightmare wedding story to tell. Remember what your wedding day is about and who is important to you. Whenever you find yourself stressed or ready to cry, take a step outside and just take a deep breath. It’ll clear your mind and allow you to regain perspective.

Congratulations again on your engagement! Remember, as you prepare to walk down the aisle, you are also entering on a new path. You don’t have to walk alone anymore.