There are so many decisions to make when you’re planning a wedding. If it’s a life event that you’ve always dreamed of or held in high regard, it can also feel like there’s a lot of pressure on you to make the ‘right’ decision. (Newsflash: there isn’t one right way to plan a wedding.)
Here are the five things that I wish someone told me during the wedding planning process, because I know it would have saved me some heartache!
Don’t add items to your wedding registry that you will never use. It’s incredibly helpful to get engagement and wedding gifts based on the kindness of your loved ones. A registry is very smart because it can help give people ideas of what you actually want and will use. While you’ll register for the basics, you may feel pressured to add items to your list that you ‘feel’ you should have. Don’t add an expensive hand mixer if you know you’ll never take up baking. Or if you don’t drink wine very often, don’t get a fancy aerator. While it’s nice to splurge on things that you can use for special occasions, it will make more sense to double up on the things you’ll need and use (like an extra set of silverware.)
You don’t have to choose any details based on an image you used to have in your mind. It’s likely that you have a wedding vision made up in your mind that you may feel the need to execute on. Just remember that the wedding you once envisioned likely didn’t take personal preference (for you or your spouse), changing personalities, season, family changes or even budget in mind. It’s ok to alter your decisions (from the goal wedding dress to the wedding theme) so that the final outcome looks different from what you had in mind. The end result will be special and meaningful, no matter how much it strays from what you initially had in mind.
If you’re second guessing having someone in your wedding party, trust your gut. Choosing who will be a bridesmaid or groomsmen is a decision that you should consider thoughtfully. These individuals will not only be cornerstones to your wedding events but they will be in the photos that you keep for a lifetime. If there’s a childhood friend that’s all-drama, a cousin who you barely speak to, or an individual who you don’t see in your life for the long-haul because they don’t support your relationship, then don’t ask them to be in the wedding party. You won’t regret having a smaller Team Bride or Team Groom if it’s filled with genuine people who are lifelong friends. If it’s important to still find a way to honor this person, give them a different job like saying grace over the reception meal.
It’s ok to have an unplugged wedding. One of the reasons that some couples say they would not have an unplugged wedding is because they want their guests to feel comfortable and don’t want to ‘tell them what to do.’ Here’s the thing. An unplugged wedding (where guests are politely told not to have their phones or cameras out, for at least the ceremony) will actually lead to better memories. Guests will be more present and the videographer/photographer who you’re paying good money for will get much better results. There’s nothing worse than an auntie with her iPad behind the scenes of your wedding photos. You aren’t asking too much of your guests and if they actually have an emergency or real reason that they can’t unplug, then they will still tend to what’s needed.
Don’t get so caught up in planning that you neglect your relationship. So often couples end up fighting over the smallest to biggest wedding related decisions. Instead of being a season in your courtship where you’re brought together, you can end up at the aisle on shaky ground. Take the time you need to continue dating your spouse to be. Don’t make everything about your upcoming nuptials. And start paving the way for your future marriage. At the end of the day it isn’t about a color swatch or a playlist but about the promise of forever.
Girl with a diamond ring