What my roaring fiancé was laughing at was not funny: he had just pointed out the fact that I had written half of the addresses upside down on our wedding invitations. I personally did not find the mistake nearly as funny as he did, but I did learn an important lesson that day: sometimes the things that I consider of utmost importance, in the end, are not important at all. As I went on planning the wedding, I remembered that lesson. While I did not appreciate the mistake at the time, the lesson helped me tremendously as I planned. I hope to teach you a few of the tips I discovered as I planned my wedding. Planning a wedding will never be stress-free, but, with a little help, it can be a lot of fun.
Tip #1: Know What You Want
This should be the preplanning stage. The principle is this: you don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry because you will buy things you don’t need and will probably never eat. The same is true for your wedding: you don’t go shopping for wedding materials when you have no idea what you want. Go to get ideas, but leave your checkbook at home. Read books and magazines, look on the Internet, and sketch out ideas. When you have a good idea of what you are looking for, that is the time to go shopping. Everyone enjoys working with a bride who knows what she wants.
- Go to a local bookstore and spend the afternoon sipping coffee and browsing magazines for ideas. Be sure to take a note pad to jot down any ideas.
- Check out craft stores for flower and vase varieties. You would be amazed at all the possibilities!
Tip #2: Lighten Up!
The first thing to remember is the lesson I learned the day I wrote my invitations: Not everything is of utmost importance! If half of the wedding invitations get written upside down, do not go buy new ones! Laugh and send them out. If the wedding dress of your dreams is $1,400, smile, take a picture, and find one you can afford. If you can’t afford sterling silver place card holders, be thankful you don’t have to put each cards in each individual holder and just place a card with a special note to the guest at each seat. If you remember this lesson, you will save money and be on your way to a less stressful wedding.
- Remember to have fun at every stage in the wedding. Make sure you try on several dresses before choosing “the one.”
- Don’t settle. The perfect item is out there! If it is your dress or centerpiece or favors, remember persistence pays off!
Tip #3: Stay Focused!
Do one thing at a time. Get that one thing done. Then move onto the next thing. If you go into Hobby Lobby to look at vases for centerpieces, do not stop in the flower section on the way there. Go to the vases, find what you are looking for, and then go back and look at the flowers. If you apply this principle in each area of the wedding, you will maintain a more organized, and, in the long run, smoother wedding. A focused bride is a happy bride.
- Take a list with you. If you take a list, you will stay more focused.
- Take a friend. Not only is shopping with friends more fun, you can also ask them to help you take on task.
TTip #4: Stay Organized
I touched on this in tip # 3. Focus and organization go hand in hand. This principle becomes more important as the wedding draws closer, for the closer the wedding gets the more things you have to keep up with. Bottom line is this, if you start losing things (wedding site contracts, dress measurements, your fiancé’s parents address list, ect.) you will start losing your sanity, and your dream wedding will turn into a nightmare. So, discover a system that works for you and stick with it! An organized bride is a rational bride.
- Have a specific planner or calendar only for wedding plans
- Get a folder and keep all of your important papers in it (travel records, invitation address, a list of everything you registered for, ect.) so you know exactly where it is.
- As you accumulate small personal items for the wedding such as your shoes, jewelry, or clothing items, designate a specific drawer or chest to store them all together.
Tip #5: Be Open to Suggestions
I will never forget learning this principle. I was sold on having live fish in my centerpieces. Because my fiancé had proposed to me in the world’s largest aquarium in Atlanta, I was convinced that fish, and only neon, orange fish, would do for my centerpieces. None of my friends had the heart to tell me that they thought it was a terrible idea. I am happy to tell you that I did not have dead, floating fish at my wedding! Thankfully, a lady at my church convinced me that it was a bad idea. I cringe to think what could have resulted if I had not listened to her advise. As you plan your wedding, remember that many have walked down the aisle before you. Use their wisdom and ideas to make your day better than you could imagine on your own.
- When you have an idea, ask family and friends what they think about it. Just like my fish idea, you never know the headaches they may save you from!
- Ask your older family and friends what they did in their weddings. Some of their ideas may just be the idea you’re looking for.
Many tips and pieces of advise could be given when it come to weddings. But none is more heart felt than this: have fun! This is an amazing time in your life. It is a time you will always look back on. May it always be a time that gives you joy, and may these tips help you to spend more time laughing on your way to the alter.
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