In this day and age, many modern brides scour the world wide web in search of the elusive "perfect wedding" - looking at everything from "10 things brides wish they did at their weddings" to "all you need for the perfect wedding planner book." Having recently been a bride myself I would like to share with you all my thoughts on having the perfect wedding. My day was blissful.
I hope you read that first paragraph in a cheesy 50's advertisers voice, I know that's how I wrote it. Reality is, there's no perfect formula for the perfect day. The fact that nothing majorly bad happened on my wedding day was a blessing, but it's usually the embarrassing catastrophes that become stories told to generations. The lack of embarrassing catastrophe was totally out of my control, and if something had happened, it would have been out of my control.
Want my advice on how to have the perfect wedding? Don't take it too seriously. If you're planning a wedding and you aren't having fun, ask yourself if what you're doing is really important. But so you don't feel totally lied to, I do have some tips on how to do that:
Remember what it's about: A wedding is about you (if you're a bride) and your husband. It's a celebration of your decision to make two lives one. The dress, the cake, the flowers and the reception are all extras. When things started to get crazy for me the week before the wedding, I would take a minute and remember that it was about me and him. If no one else was impressed that wasn't my problem.
Pick a second priority and base your planning decisions around it: This is a good way to decide on budget priorities and helped me stay on track emotionally as well. As decisions got more and more detailed (are these the flowers we want on the pews? We have to choose between periwinkle and tiffany blue!) I always had to go back to our priority number 2 - for us it was about people. I tried to make decisions based on the people in my life. To me it was more important that the pews were full of friends and family than that there were flowers placed on them, and whenever I noticed that the blue wasn't perfect I thought to myself, "Will it hurt anyone's feelings if the blue's don't match?" For us, the second priority was honouring the people in our lives, and knowing that reduced a lot of stress.
It will not kill you to go without: Can't decide on wedding favours? Go without. Don't have the perfect backdrop for your head table? Go without. Can't afford an open bar? Go without! If you cannot afford to have a lavish wedding and it's stressing you out, just don't! Have a potluck wedding in a community hall if that's all you want or can afford. Wedding etiquette is often marketing, because weddings are big business. If all the extras are overwhelming, don't do them! I had some people helping with my wedding that ended up doing a bunch of things I had decided to go without anyway. Maybe you will too!
Don't be afraid to let go of your vision: To make room for something better! I had so many people in my life, all of whom had successfully gotten married, who were giving me advice and offering their help - even as far as cutting down trees and harvesting pussy willow branches so we could make a magical scene to say our "I do's," and their input was a blessing for sure. Some things required a firm "no," but overall, allowing others into my "vision" made my day so much better as they thought of things I couldn't think of and they did things I hadn't really thought of doing.
Attitude? Gratitude! It may sound cheesy, but seriously - bridezilla is a stereotype for a reason. Weddings can be really stressful for a bride - everyone puts her wants and whims first and sometimes it's a lot of pressure to have the final say. I have to admit, the most stressed I got in the process was when everyone wanted my opinion on EVERYTHING but weren't actually listening to it (we all survived). But in the end, on the day, it was beautiful and I could not have had such a great wedding if it hadn't been for all those people and voices that had been stressing me out before. So say thank you, and smile. Remember that they're only trying to help and extend as much grace as you can.
So what if the day isn't "exactly what you always wanted" movies and pinterest are highly edited. Be thankful that you get to marry the man of your dreams and for all the help (even misguided) that you received, and remember to have fun! Weddings are fun, and if you're having fun your guests will enjoy laughing at you - good times make good weddings.
Have any more advice for modern brides? Comment!