10/24/09

secrets for a stress-free wedding


Paul and I were watching the movie "ghosts of girlfriends past" last night (my choice, and he just tried not to complain) and the bride in the movie kept giving herself hernias because there were no figs in the rehearsal dinner salad, and because the best man tipped the five-tier cake over and ruined it the night before the wedding (ok that's a bit of a problem, but in my opinion it's not worth a heart attack). I started thinking about the wonderful experience I had during my wedding planning process, because I was determined not to let the little things stress me out. It was very important to both d and myself that we be able to enjoy the process of picking the details for our wedding, and we wanted the planning to bring us closer, not to make us fight more than we ever had in our relationship (as it seems to do to the many couples i see on wedding television). So I thought I'd share some of the tips and tricks that I used to stay sane and happy while planning our wedding this past summer.
  • decide beforehand which details are flexible, and which are set in stone. If you want to stay happy and keep things functioning, not every one of your ideas can be set in stone. This is because not everything is going to work out the way you want it to. as far as weddings go, this is statistically impossible. you need to know ahead of time which things you will fight for if they are going wrong, and which ones you are okay with letting go and finding another solution.
  • we were working with a (very) limited budget, so I had already made a note in my mind that things were going to be as beautiful as they could be with the money we had to spend - and the creativity that I had time to put into it. having unrealistic expectations of what your decor will look like or how much food you can have will only set you up for disappointment.
  • have as many contingency plans as you can think of. if something is out of your budget, booked up, or sold out, be a quick thinker and come up with a plan b that you can be equally excited about
  •  don't let other people stress you out. you will probably realize as you are planning your wedding that some of the people around you are living vicariously through your bridal-ness, and that they love telling you what will work, what won't work, who to invite, and how to do things. tune them out. this is your wedding, and the only thing that matters at the end of the day is that you & your guests have fun, and that you are happy with the result.
  • remember that your guests are all your closest friends and family. this helps a lot with the stress of trying to please your guests. if you think of them simply as guests, it becomes really easy to get scared that someone might not like the menu, or the music, and then hate you forever. but these people love you - that is why you are inviting them in the first place. they are there to see you at the peak of happiness and celebrate your marriage, not just for the free food and booze.
  • don't let the imagined problems of others add to your stress. if someone in your close planning circle is stressing about a detail, or bitching about another member of the family or the wedding party, tell them "it sounds like you have that all under control. thanks for your help" and then let them continue to be all stressed out, all on their own. if they can't handle it any more, tell them you will deal with it rather than letting them complain to you indefinitely - whatever they are stressing about is usually something that doesn't matter that much anyway when you look at everything in perspective.
  • you may not be in the same situation as i was, but it probably helps to sit down with your groomsmen ahead of time, and tell them what your expectations are for them. yes, this is a party, but as groomsmen (and you may want to have this conversation with your bridesmaids as well, depending on how crazy they are - luckily mine were wonderful) they have a responsibility not to get out of control. this doesn't mean not enjoying themselves, just keeping the "clubbing-behaviour" in the closet until the afterparty. give them all responsibilities (like making sure all the single aunts have dance partners), and really stress that your parents and grandparents are there, and you would be very upset if they had to witness a groomsmen removing his clothing as he danced on the bar, and they will hopefully understand and rise to the challenge.
  • have a wedding-day coordinator. whether they are someone you pay, or one of your bridesmaids or another trusted friend, having someone with a schedule and a knowledge of what needs to happen when (ceremony, photos, events at reception, who the parents & grandparents - and other important guests - are) takes the pressure off you having to make sure every little detail is running smoothly. sit down with your coordinator (choose someone organized and they will love "running" your event) beforehand and go over the schedule and all the little details that you want them to make sure are being executed properly. this will save you much stress on the day of, because anything that you would be worried about, you can instead reassure yourself that someone has it under control.
Most importantly, remember that your wedding is happening because you and your man love each other, and you want to commit yourselves to each other. that is what this day is about, not about all the details and the people. in the end, if you can focus on this, and remember to take time for each other and maintain what your regular relationship is like amidst all the chaos, you will be able to take deep breaths whenever anything goes wrong and know that it's not the end of the world, because once the day is over you will be with the man you love forever.

1 comment:

  1. i like your words of wisdom...thank you! i am really trying hard not to stress out on the little details because i think it could just ruin the whole planning process....good words!

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