Understand this, bride and groom to be: On your wedding day, something will not go according to plan. You’ve heard the stories of tripping brides and fainting grooms, of drunken relatives waxing less-than-eloquent during toasts, flower girls refusing to perform flower girl duties in all manner of ways – and these stories are now funny. That’s what you need to remember, because right now you’re in a panic that you will forget something really crucial. The important stuff is here, the details that ensure the entire day isn’t ruined, like calling a halt to the wedding.
Unless you’re really disciplined, you will probably overspend on your wedding. No room for overspending? Decide which aspects are most important to you – the venue, serving a meal to guests, flowers – and make adjustments to allow for your desires. Planning a wedding is stressful, but going into debt will prolong the stress and put your relationship at risk. If the wedding of your dreams is more important than a strong relationship, you might need to reevaluate.
- Leaving Necessities Out of the Budget
Consult a wedding checklist when you form your budget and wedding plan. Nothing can ruin a wedding day like neglecting to arrange transportation for your grandmother from the airport, or underestimating a bar tab. Give your budget a cushion of 20% for forgotten incidentals.
- Neglecting Legalities
Most couples are aware of the importance of the marriage license, and while it’s the first important detail to get right, there are others. Investigate guidelines your church venue or religion may have regarding the wedding ceremony, like attire requirements within the church. Don’t forget the rules of postage – most wedding invitations are bulky and a single first class stamp won’t deliver it on time if it has to make the trip twice.
- Setting the Date Too Early
Unless you’re in Vegas or you want a small, casual affair in your Aunt Sarah’s barn, you’ll need more than a few weeks, or even months, to pull it off. Reserving a viable venue is just one aspect that may require at least six months in advance. Florists, caterers, D.J.s, bands, photographers – availability of the service of your choice will be greater if you have more time.
- Venue, Venue, Venue
Most locations demand unique adjustments – a historic church without air conditioning in August, a rose garden path too soft for high heels, a windy beach that makes short work of aisle runners. Don’t avoid an outdoor venue, but choose an alternate site in case of bad weather.
- Refusing Help
There is no shame in asking for help; after all, you’re not a pro, and without a great deal of experience anyone would forget a few things when planning a large event. If you tend toward an OCD disposition, eventually you’ll find yourself spending hours on details that won’t matter much in the long run. If you’re easy going you’re more likely to forget dozens of details and make the day awkward for yourself and others. If possible, hire a wedding planner, or accept the help of relatives, friends and bridesmaids whenever offered.
- Make it Your Day, But Consider the Feelings of Others
Seating arrangements can be maddening, because who hasn’t had a divorce in the extended family, or a falling out somewhere within the clan? And is the chicken dance really essential to your happiness? Make your best effort to plan a celebration where every guest can relax and have fun.
- Be comfortable
Your own comfort is important as well, from shoes (never underestimate the importance of footwear) to the contents of your stomach (don’t overindulge the night before, but eat something the morning of, in spite of wedding jitters).
- Hiring Based on Popularity
Get references, look at samples where possible, and don’t forget that a wedding contractor in demand will be far busier than others, and may be late for appointments as well as on your wedding day.
- Trying Something New Right Before the Wedding
A new hair color, makeup technique, a spray tan that can be disastrous against a white wedding gown are all last minute disasters about to happen. Give everything a test run before the big day with enough time to fix mistakes if need be.
A wedding day you can remember with fondness and laughter, in spite of a few gaffes – that’s the goal. Put a priority on the formalities, make a livable budget and stick to it, and gather a team of assistants – do these things and you’ve covered the most important bases.Share This!