by Celia Mulder
This is by no means a definitive guide. For that I would need to write a book, a long one. In the meantime, here are a few tips I've picked up from helping couples through their planning:
1. Everyone has an opinion. You've heard this before. It's on a lot of wedding planning lists because it is something that happens every. single. time. People you didn't think would have opinions on your wedding do and they want to tell you them. I once overheard a bride's aunt complaining that there was a seating chart, something that's a given at most weddings!
The important thing is to remember whose opinions are most important to you and your day:
- Your fiancee's.
- Your wedding planner (who you hired because you trust their opinion!).
- If you parents are helping pay for the wedding, their ideas should be taken into account as well.
- Other wedding vendors, in the area of their expertise (your florist on flowers, for example).
- Anyone else whose opinion you value - maid of honor, siblings, best friends, etc.
Everyone else's advice you can take with a grain of salt. Some ideas might be good but many will be irrelevant. Unless a person knows you and your vision really well, they won't know what will work for your day and what won't.
2. Self care! This is the single most important thing you can do. Plan in tons of time to take care of yourself, especially in the weeks leading up to the wedding. This could be taking a full day trip to a spa (and turning off your phone while you're there). Or getting a massage once a week. Working out will help calm your nerves (and help you look and feel great!). It could even be something as simple as taking a long bath or coloring.
Don't be hard on yourself when you do get stressed and overwhelmed. You're probably going to get hung up on a small detail at some point and I can almost guarantee you will ugly cry in front of your fiancee. Let it happen and then let it go. Don't beat yourself up about it, it happens.
3. Delegate. There is a lot to do to prepare for a wedding and, at least in my experience, friends and family are always willing to help. In fact, some of them may welcome having tasks. They don't want to see you stressed and anxious, they want to see you relaxed and enjoying yourself. Don't be afraid to reach out so that can happen! If you're someone who needs to be involved in every step of the process, ask them to keep you updated on everything so you can feel like you're there when you're not.
4. Once the wedding's here, stop reading blog posts. That also goes for Facebook posts, wedding planning books, etc. Stop asking people what they wish they would have done on their wedding day. Your wedding is going to be amazing because you planned it to be. Last minute changes and additions are only going to add unnecessary stress. This goes for the people around you as well - tell mom to stop forwarding you wedding horror stories.
5. Accept there will be things that don't go to plan. Nothing is ever perfect but when it comes to weddings, that word gets thrown around a lot. Think about what the most important parts of the wedding are for you (the music, the food, getting sunset photos, talking to every guest, etc.) and make sure those things happen. Then try not to let the small hiccups ruin your day. After all, at the end of the day, you'll be married to someone you love and that is always the most important part!
Celia Mulder is the editorial director for Simply Blue Weddings and an event coordinator with Sincerely, Ginger Event Design & Production. When she is not immersing herself in weddings she writes comedy romance novels, makes terrariums, and works on her multitude of creative projects. She loves the moment at a wedding when the bride first sees her vision come to life.