Lighthouse Photography

The Bride’s Guide to Wedding Planning

Men have exactly three duties in planning the Big Day. Propose, get a tuxedo, and show up at the altar on the day of the wedding.
Brides get to plan a guest list, seating arrangements, flowers, pick a church, find a pastor, color co-ordinate the entire proceedings, pick the cake, choose the menu, find decorations and goody-bags, fend off arguments among her bridesmaids, book her nail and hair appointment, and…oh yes, get a wedding gown and show up at the altar on the day of the wedding.
Doesn’t seem fair, does it? How can a bride not become the target of a reality TV show when faced with an insurmountable wall of decisions and obstacles? Here are a few tips to keep your head and soul intact.
• Delegate: Your bridesmaids are more than just pretty faces in unfortunate dresses at your ceremony. Use them to their abilities. Is one of your friends the “artsy” type? Let her design the gift bags. Does one have a “green thumb?” Give her your floral choices and set her free.
• Don’t sweat the small stuff: Ok, so your Uncle Joe will have to sit at the table with Crazy Aunt Lacey. Chances are, they will only be seated to eat; afterwards, they will be swept up in the fun of your ceremony with dancing and socializing. Besides, those two at the same table will make for fantastic stories at future Christmas and Thanksgiving get togethers.
• Prioritize: Think of what you absolutely need at your ceremony and reception. You need a venue, a minister or priest, and a wedding gown. From there, everything else is icing on the proverbial wedding cake. Write down everything you think you need, and put them in order from what you must to what you would like to have. Licenses are in the “must have” top ten list, while lace doily place mats co-ordinated to your bridesmaids dresses may be a bit farther down the list. Your stress level will minimize when you prioritize.
• Consider hiring a wedding planner: If you stink at organizing, forget to put on clean socks, and can’t decide on an ice cream flavor on a good day, you may benefit from turning your planning over to a professional. It’s a simple as giving her your budget and dreams; she can make it happen. She also will have contracts for big discounts from bakeries, florists and so on; chances are, the money you spend on her services may balance out in discounted prices.
• Don’t be a victim of buying your gown a size smaller and dieting to fit it: This is a recipe for disaster. If you do manage to lose weight between when you bought your gown and when you intend on wearing it, it will be far easier to take the excess material in than to let it out if you fall short of your goal. This is an exceptionally stressful time in your life; adding to your stress with rigid dieting in the hopes of fitting that gown shouldn’t be an added stress.
• Hair, Nails and Makeup: Have an idea in mind when you see your stylist. This isn’t the time to try something “delightfully different” with your hairstyle and make-up choices. You know your hair; if you suspect it will not stay in a deliciously complicated style, chances are it won’t even if the stylist unleashes her prized Crazy-Glue hairspray concoction. Keep your style simple and clean to lessen the stress of trying to pin it back into place after you leave the shop. This isn’t the time to play with dagger nails and the latest make-up trends, either. You need to be stylish and on-the-go, not a prisoner of your style choices.
• Don’t expect your fiancé to be overly sympathetic: He will listen, certainly. The advice he offers may not be what you needed to hear, however. He might be just as happy with a large screen TV tuned to the NFL with nachos than a DJ and broiled chicken cutlets over pasta. While it’s important to get his input, remember his ideas will probably be far simpler than yours. This doesn’t mean a thing regarding his love for you and his excitement over the Big Day, so don’t take it personally. Many times, men just want to see their girls happy. This said, watching his wife-to-be cry over invitations is not his idea of “happy.” He may seem unsympathetic, but he is most likely just trying to minimize your stress.
• Remember why you are getting married: Yes, this has been the day you have been dreaming of your whole life. That said, remember the goal of this day is to begin a new life together with the man you love. When you feel yourself beginning to become bogged down by details, remember the reason for the day rather than stressing over the planning of the day.
• Laugh at the Stress: One day, you will look back on the little flaws and mistakes of your big day with fondness. If every wedding day went without a hitch, we wouldn’t have so many hilarious You-Tube videos. Relax, and don’t take it all so seriously.
Remember, this day is supposed to be fun. Try to relax and enjoy every stage of planning your day; and it will turn out exactly as it should.
Even if it doesn’t quite turn out exactly as you planned.