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Whose Wedding is it Anyway

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WeddingOk, you’ve found him.  It wasn’t easy, it took a lot longer than you thought, but finally Mr. Right did emerge from the sea of male faces, and now there’s an expensive rock sparkling on your finger.  After all that searching, you’d think it would be time to have some relaxation wouldn’t you?  Just enjoy being with this man who adores you and who you want to spend the rest of your life?  Unfortunately, that’s not quite going to happen just yet!

As soon as you announce the engagement, your life will never be the same again - unless you take control right from the very beginning.  That doesn’t mean that you become some kind of bride-to-be-tyrant, although it’s just possible that this might be called for at some point if people are having a hard time accepting that it’s not them getting married, but rather it means that you take control of deciding what kind of wedding you and your partner want.  A wedding isn’t an excuse for a family reunion.

It’s your special day.  The day you want to remember for the rest of your life.  And you need to have people hear how you want it to be!

First of all, discuss it with your partner - before you mention it to anyone! Preferably before you even tell anyone you’re engaged!  Make sure you are both on the same page about the kind of wedding you’re going to have.  If you want a small wedding with just a few people, make a list and when you announce the engagement to your parents and close friends, tell them it’s to be a small intimate gathering only and this is who will be invited - no exceptions (or you could end up with a small crowd once you start the ‘well if you invite x you must invite y game.  ‘if x doesn’t come without y’, fine, that’s a spare place!  On the other hand, if you are both clear about a fantasy wedding with the horse drawn carriage, bouquet tossing, garter ripping, 7-tier wedding cake, then again - decide on how and where you want it to be.

If you’re having bridesmaids, hotel venue, and flowers etc, get opinions about dresses, get opinions and reviews from people who’ve had their weddings at the places your interested in, and find out what flowers stay freshest the longest but you and your partner should decide the actual finer points of the wedding between you.  Don’t leave it in someone else’s hands, and don’t be coaxed into having more than you really want, whether that’s in numbers at the reception, or the kind of room decorations.

Financing a wedding can be one of life’s most expensive luxuries.  Consider your budget when deciding what kind of wedding you want.  If you have an offer to have it paid for by one set of parents, or the other - or both - check that no strings attached come to that offer as regards how the wedding will be.  Be sensitive to the feelings of anyone trying to be more ‘helpful’ than you’d like, but be honest about how you feel too.  It’s your day - and if you and your partner want to be married barefoot on a Californian beach, or in the largest Cathedral in the State, then you need to get people to accept that that’s how it’s going to be - local laws and finances not withstanding!

Moms are usually the most helpful and yet worst at trying to take over the arrangements.  If you’re happy with this, that’s fine.  If not, have a quiet word with your mom when you first notice it rather than leave it and let the resentment fester until you take out the wedding stress on her two days before the wedding.  She’s only trying to help - it may not be the help you want, or need, but she thinks she’s doing what’s best.  Be diplomatic with her, and anyone else who seems to be taking charge.

Explain that you’ve got it all under control (if you haven’t then you need to make sure you have a plan for that before getting the people doing the organizing to down tools!) and you’d really like to do this yourself.

Make your wedding memorable for the beautiful day you’ve always dreamed it would be.  Decide on the kind of wedding you and your partner want, and then make sure that you make it happen. Don’t turn it into a family event that everyone remembers because for the 3 months leading up to it, the bride turned into a dictating monster who upset everyone in sight before she walked down the aisle!

Instead let anything go that doesn’t directly interfere with the wedding itself, so what if the flowers baskets are the wrong shape if they look good, there are surfers on the beach where you’re having the ceremony, great aunt Milly dyed her hair purple, and the hotel double booked you etc.

Remember, as long as you’ve done your best to arrange the wedding you and your partner want, and you’re married at the end of the day, everything else will work out just fine. Just stay calm, say ‘I do’, and smile for the photographer!


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