Wedding Disasters 'How to avoid the first and biggest mistake of your new life'

It's the most happiest day of your life. Everything you've dreamt of since you where a kid. A day you will remember for the rest of your life. But time after time many people fall for the same regrettable mistake that most couples make. A mistake that you will also remember for the rest of your life. What am I referring to?

'The first and most common wedding mistake is:

'Trying to for fill everyone else's expectations and wishes'

What do I mean by this? When your planning your wedding you get advice from many different people. Everyone from your parents, friends, colleagues and co-workers and even perfect strangers. Each party gives you advice on how their wedding was and some ideas on what to do. Innocently and unselfishly this advice sets expectations on you on how your wedding should be like and what you should have. This combined with your own ideas and cultural expectations you begin to plan your wedding on what you think other people want. Other common thoughts following on from this are:

· Trying to make everyone happy (specifically your parents)

· Going to extremes to make certain guest happy

· Trying not to disappoint people by adding their wishes into your wedding

· Putting yourself second

Then there's the other mistake people make. That is you get so caught up in all the preparation, planning and organisation of the wedding that you forget what's it all really about. That is you! Ask yourself, who is this wedding for? Is it for my parents, my guests. Is it to impress others? But we all know the real answer. The wedding should be the bride and groom.

But your thinking: "People's advice and expectations are important!" This is very true. It is helpful, useful and can help you explore ideas, themes and aspect you haven't considered on the all important day. However, the key idea I want to convey here is:

'Be aware that when planning your wedding to not lose sight of the bigger picture'

That is, when you begin to take advice and meet other people's expectations, then the more you might run the risk of losing sight of the bigger picture. The more you make the wedding about them and not yourself. Don't get me wrong here, people's expectations and advice are valid, but the key message here is

'Don't lose focus on making the wedding about you and your wishes primarily'.

Through the risk of not meeting people's expectations leads to a risk of disappointing them. Is this selfish? I think not. As I said before, it's your wedding. The day is about the two of you spending the first day of your life together and celebrating the union of you and the one you love the most.

But how do you avoid disappointing people and make the wedding more about you. Tell them! Make it clear that it's what you want. Of course in light of the circumstances if you do receive advise you both want and like, of course take it, run with it and go for it. But if you do begin to feel that the wedding is more about other people then yourself, then it's time to draw a line in the sand.

One good way of doing this is when receiving advice, begin to reply by saying 'We want this, or the bride/groom and I have decided we'd do this'. This sets a clear message in that person's head of what to expect. It makes their expectations clear.

Why am I telling you all this? Well if you haven't guest I too am planning my wedding. This is one of the realisations I have come to. The lesson I have also learnt from my friend at his wedding was that he allowed his father to plan his wedding. This was a mistake in the end as it turned out to be the type of wedding his father wanted, rather than a wedding he and the bride wanted. Now when looking back he does remember fond memories of the day but some part of him does regret not making the wedding more about himself and what he wanted.

So when your planning your wedding, just be aware of what you want to achieve. Make it about you and no one else. If you do receive advice make your own expectations clear as well.

Stay tuned to my next article 'Wedding Disasters: Why not to invite Tom, Dick and Harry'