Stress free wedding planning.
You are Engaged! You are overflowing with happiness and excitement and start counting the sleeps until your special day. Until you realise, you actually have to plan the wedding, and suddenly things can start taking a rather interesting turn. Well meaning friends and relatives who are also overflowing with excitement can start turning the entire process sour, and instead of tearing your hair our or cancelling the wedding altogether, here are some ways to get through it with your sanity intact.
Ah, my personal favorite. The ability to manage your family, can be the defining moment of whether this is about to become a bumpy ride or better still, a smooth one. Parents want to be able to celebrate a milestone in their children's lives, as it is one for them also, and it may important to try not and forget that. However, this is not their wedding. And it is equally important that they are very clear about that also.
The problem comes in when there is money changing hands, parents may wish to contribute, although many couples today can afford to pay for the wedding themselves, or want to. Either way, a monetary gift towards the wedding reception, is just that, it is a gift, and if it is going to come with all sorts of conditions, well then, it is not a gift now is it? Be very clear that accepting money is not going to be a bargaining tool for which family members get to pull rank and make demands, and that this wedding is about you and your fiancé, and not about who they want you to invite, or where they want you to get married.
Be upfront with relatives, and explain that you are not able to invite everybody, and don't feel bad because you have not invited Aunty Mildred that you have not seen since you were 5 and has not even met your fiancé. Don't look back on your wedding photos and see people in them that you have not seen for 6 years and after your wedding day, will never see again.
It is actually perfectly acceptable to tell your family how you and your fiancé want your wedding day to be, where it will be and who will be invited. They might get a thin lip for a few days, but they will get over it. The best advice is, to take some time with your fiancé and discuss what you would like to do before either one of you discuss it with your families, so that there may be no opportunity for them to get over involved. Be up front from the beginning, it will be very difficult to allow somebody to help and then turn them away later.
But don't leave relatives out completely, allocate specific parts of the planning to Moms or Aunties so that they still feel important, and that could very well prevent them from taking over completely.
Ladies, ladies. This part is important. Your man, he loves you, he proposed, and in the head of many a man, his responsiblity ends there. And before I get death threats, know that I am a woman writing this article.
Most men do not want to be involved in the planning, for one, there are too many women clucking around in anxious little circles and it just makes them terrified. Belive it or not, they do not care what kind of serviettes you have or whether you have roses or tulips. It doesn't mean they don't love you, or that they are not interested in the wedding, they are. But they are men, they are not enabled with any program in their head that can confidently ascertain what colors go with what and whether strategically placed lanterns will be a little over the top. They can't, don't judge them, don't get a thin lip and don't think for one moment that it is an indication of how much they love you. They love you, they just don't understand fuchsia pink.
The B word. Possibly the most contentious wedding conversation point next to family. But before you hurl yourselves over the cliff of debt, and start a marriage with massive bills to pay, just take a moment to think.
Pretend you were arranging a birthday party, okay there are two of you, but just work with me here. Are massive arrangements of flowers, that cost well just about the same if not more than your dress, really really worth it? Florists, charge a small fortune to grace your tables with huge arrangement of flowers. Would you be spending so much on flowers for your birthday party? Maybe not. The flowers get taken home or dumped in the trash afterwards, and there are many ways you can save money and give guests something to take home and remember you by.
Give your guests the colors or theme of your wedding and ask them to raid their gardens the day before, and if possible, drop them off at the venue the day before. Go to a florist wholesaler and buy ribbon and other accessories, and either get a professional florist to arrange them or a clever Auntie or Mom. Your venue will look amazing, and it will be extra special because all of your guests brought something they have grown and nurtured themselves. You will save buckets of money...just think of all the extra money you will have on honeymoon!
Discuss your options with vendors, whether it is hair or make up, catering or your DJ, be upfront about how much you are able to spend and you will be pleasantly surprised at how negotiable they are. Remember they need the business as much as you need their services.
Photographers that are newbies to the wedding industry may be willing to give you a massive discount, because they are still building their portfolios, check their earlier work and discuss what your requirements are. But above all, listen to your vendors, they are professionals and know what they are doing, don't be abrasive and difficult, there is a fine line between knowing what you want and telling a professional how to do their job.
At the end of the day, your wedding day is just going to be a few hours, after months of planning. Don't forget what the real meaning of a wedding is, a celebration of the Bridal couple, you and your fiancé. Don't get bogged down by the details, relax and enjoy the ride. Because trust me, it is all going to be perfect.