Wedding Planning From the Heart: Tips for Keeping the Love in the Wedding Planning, and the Bridezilla at Bay
As women, we all dream a little dream about our big day. Some of us know from the time we are little girls exactly what we want our wedding day to be. On a practical level, planning for a wedding and everything that comes with it can be stressful and unsettling.
Our wish is that you stay positive, organized and peaceful as you go about planning your wedding. The result? A blissful day, and nothing but wonderful memories for years to come.
Setting (and Sticky to) Your Wedding Budget
If you are one of the rare brides for money money is no object, give gratitude to the abundance in your life and move right along to envisioning the wedding of your dreams. If, like the rest of us, money plays a role in the decisions about your wedding day, let's talk budget.
First, decide who will contribute to the costs (including yourself, your groom, family and friends) and how much each of you plans to contribute. An open and honest discussion up front will help set a peaceful and cooperative tone.
Next, decide how much you want to spend on each item (find sample wedding budgets in any bridal magazine). Just remember – these magazines are in business to make money from weddings. Determine what makes sense for you. Many of the "must haves" are simply way out of commercial tradition. Embrace the idea that this is YOUR day, and is a reflection of who you are as a couple.
Avoid the temptation to go over budget. Do not try on that gown if it's out of your price range; you are only setting yourself up for unnecessary stress and heartbreak. Keep it all in perspective.
Whose Wedding Is It, Anyway?
Before you commit one cent on your wedding, spend some time with your groom and your family, talking about your vision for your wedding … the kind of setting, décor, music, food … then share your dream with the people who will help you plan it.
Write down your vision, answering a few simple questions like:
1. As I look back on our wedding ten years from now, what memories do I hope to have?
2. What are the three most important things I must have at our wedding?
3. What are the three most important things my groom must have at our wedding?
4. What family or cultural traditions would we like to include?
Family and friends can be a huge resource during the wedding planning, but they will always come to the table with their own ideas. Welcome their input, and make it clear that this is your day. By sharing your vision with them, they will be more likely, and able, to help make that vision a reality for you.
Of course, you'll spend lots of time reading magazines and browsing the Internet. You'll end up with tons of creative, wonderful ideas that seem just perfect now. Think it through rationally; if you are hosting a wedding for 200 people, and having a big rehearsal dinner the night before, will you really have time to string handmade garlands onto all the guests' chairs the morning of the event?
Be realistic. Your job is to shine, and to begin your married life with love in your heart, not anxiety attacks. Set limits for yourself, and do not over-commit. Keep the event sane, loving and warm.
Searching for the Perfect Wedding Attire and Accessories
With a realistic budget, and a clear vision of how you want your day to unfold, it's time to begin searching for all those wedding accessories.
Finding your wedding dress should be high on your list of priorities. No matter how many magazines you scour, or Internet sites you search, nothing compares to actually trying on those big white wedding gowns. Bring a small group of friends and family with you, and leave your critical friends and relatives at home.
For most brides, it's true that you'll know when you put the right dress on. You'll picture yourself saying your vows, greeting guests, dancing and generally being absolutely fabulous. If you find it, and it's within your budget, commit to it. Second guessing will only cause confusion and anxiety. Let it flow, and listen to your heart.
Once you have the wedding gown, the rest of the wedding attire – the shoes, headpiece, jewelry, and all the rest – will fall into place. Just remember, you will be shining the star that day, so choose wedding attire that lets you shine, instead of overpowering you.
Calm and Collected Wedding Planning
Ah, so many details! The goal is to keep them all organized, without obsessing over them. Get a wedding binder and set up sections for the guest list, seating, quotes for services and rental facilities, recepts, and so on. This binder will be your wedding encyclopaedia. Keep a running "to do" list in the front so you can check your progress.
Do things for yourself during this time to de-stress. Get a massage, take yoga classes, meditate, go for long walks, or do deep-breathing exercises. Journaling can also be very effective in trying to figure out what to do next with your wedding and will help you stay calm and focused. It is also a wonderful gift to yourself to read about what you were thinking and feeling 25 years from now on your wedding anniversary.
If you find yourself getting busy and upset, talk to your groom or a good friend, and ask them to help you keep it all in perspective. Delegate some of the work. Stay focused on your vision, and remind yourself of what you really want out of this day. This will make it a lot easier to let the little stuff go.
Your Wedding Day: Fully Embrace the Moment with Grace
It's finally here … your time to shine and show the world just how much you love this amazing man. Put all the rest out of your mind; the wedding planning is done. Now it's time to relax, enjoy and embrace this wonderful day.
The night before your wedding, get a good night's sleep. Stay hydrated, eat healthy, and avoid overindulging in alcohol, as tempting as it may be to party before the wedding.
Make sure that the women in your bridal party are in tune with what you need. If you need help, ask them. They are your wall of strength, love and support on your wedding day. Let them be there for you, and lovingly accept their help.
Unexpected things will always happen. You can remain calm and relaxed through it all by focusing on what the deal really means. Most of all, have fun and enjoy the first day of the rest of your life being husband and wife!