Your prince charming popped the question ? It was romantic and all you’ve always wished for ? Congratulations ! Now, where to start when you plan your wedding ?
There’s always the option to go for a wedding planner and after planning my wedding, I can say I know now why they are so expensive ! There’s so many things to do when you plan a wedding ! I want to establish first what needs to be planned for the W day and then I’ll tell you about the one tip that made my wedding day go by easily and peacefully. I will make articles on those subjects as time goes because you would be here until next year if you had to read all I did ! Here is a list of things you need to figure out when you plan a wedding and as I go along I’ll put links to each other subjets as I make posts. All those subjets even though they are obvious have some particularities which I will explain later.
- The date !
- The budget or who pays for what ?
- The dress !!!!! (and veil or hair piece, the shoes)
- The tuxedo (renting or buying)
- What type of wedding you want ?
- The priest or the official
- The church or the place the ceremony will take place
- The venue for the reception
- The menu, the wine
- The music and DJ
- The guests
- Is there going to be a honey moon ?
- The maid of honor, the bridesmaids and best men
- The photographer
- The gifts or registry
- The something new, something old, something borrowed and something blue ? (hey why not!)
- The timeline sheet for the W day
After you have all those things planned you have a solid wedding day. There might be things that are included in certain traditions that I didn’t put and of course, one day I might write about that but as for now, I will tell you about my experience. I do not want to sound like I have all the answers and I know everything there is to know about wedding planning. But if you want to see how it is to plan a wedding from a bride’s perspective as I did it myself one year ago, you’ve come to the right place 🙂 If you are like I was (and still am) and you like to read about weddings, look at wedding dresses, wedding magazines, watch shows about it or even cry at every wedding you go to, well welcome to my world !
I had a beautiful wedding, the weather was really great for an October day, no clouds outside, a blue sky, it was all I’ve ever dreamed of that day to be. You want to know what tip I received from a friend of mine that just cut the stress down by 90% ? Here it is :
The one tip a bride and a groom should follow to make sure their wedding is great.
Pick 5 things that are important that you and your future hubby want to have on your wedding day. Those 5 things that are essential for you to see that day as a success. Those 5 things that are unchangeable or UN-negociable for you.
Here’s an example (and please, don’t take this as the things that needs to be important, your couple should be the only one deciding those 5 things) :
- I wanted to have all my guests to be able to come with their kids. I’m a family person, I wanted it to be something everybody would enjoy and even though it was more expensive in the end to have kids, I knew that some people could not afford to dress up, drive up to my wedding if they had to plan for a baby sitter or afford one. So for me, it was important that people could bring their kids. I had to make sacrifices in order to make this condition essential.
- I wanted to do business with local businesses as much as I could. I wanted to encourage local businesses because it was important for me. Fair trade, eating local, saving the environment are part of my values so my photographer was an old colleague of mine that started doing that a long while ago part time and I wanted to hire her (and I’m glad I did). I went to elementary school with the DJ I hired, I knew he had worked on radio stations, he owned a music store and he was the DJ for receptions for almost 15 years so I knew my night would be great (and it was and he even offered a friend discount!). I had my dress made by a local designer (and don’t you think I spent more than 900$ on my dress because I didn’t. I swear it’s true, because it was local, it was custom made and I felt like it was the dress I always dreamed of). I hired a good pastry chef and florist that were local also. All those choices made me saved a lot and I was glad to provide work for people in my hometown !
- I wanted to get married in a church. This is a personal decision and it’s important to respect the values you and your futur hubby have when you take that decision. A wedding can have many ways to be a wedding and a church, a city hall, a park, a vineyard or even an aquarium are great places to get married if it’s where or how you want it to be. Your families, your in-laws, your friends and coworkers might try to influence what they think is best. What I think ? You get to decide how it happens and it’s important to talk about it to really make sure you and your future hubby are on the same page on the matter. After that, it’ll be easier if it’s a solid mutual decision. I wanted to get married in a church but a lot of people around me were wondering why in a church, why getting married officially in the first place but for me and my husband it was something we both wanted.
- I did not want to do a seating chart. And I didn’t and nobody died, even the staff of the venue is still alive, no tornado happened, no fighting either. I wanted people to sit with whoever they wanted to. The only table I planned was mine with my parents and my husband’s parents (Duhh I know, it’s obvious!). We had a regular menu, a kid menu, a vegan menu and a halal menu. We also had people with allergies that told us in their RSVPs. You might think I was mad to pull that off but my mother in-law had a brilliant idea. For the kids, the staff saw easily who needed a kids meal since it was age based. People who had the vegan menu had a blue card, people who had the halal menu had a green card and people with allergies (that were known ahead and with their names and allergies written on the card) had a red card. The staff were provided with the names of all the guests and all the choices of the meals in a file I send them so they planned in advance the meals. The cards were there to ease up the service. So if someone didn’t have a card, they had the regular menu. The staff saw the color and names on the tables and brought the plates accordingly AND people got to meet new people since some tables were half one family and half another one. In the end, everybody danced together later in the night and I was glad I had such good friends and family that went along with it. I didn’t want to think about who was friend with whom and decide if kids had to eat with their family or if they preferred eating with their cousins the same age. The staff of the venue, my family and friends all had a great night and saw that it worked even though I had pressure from everybody to do a seating chart, but I didn’t want one and I didn’t do it and it worked. The venue staff wanted to make sure service would be efficient and that they wouldn’t kill people bringing them food they couldn’t eat and that idea was a neat compromise for all of us.
- I wanted to plan something to do for my guests between the end of the ceremony and the reception since there was a down time of a couple of hours. Ever been to a wedding ceremony that ends at 2pm, that you needed to wait until like 5pm or 6pm to eat, came from out of town and had nothing to do but wait ? I did and I felt like when people are coming over to spend the day of your wedding with you, they will gladly wait around and talk but it’ll be way more interesting for them if they have something nice to do in between (and for their kids also, trust me!). Our reception was at the Aquarium, yup they have a nice venue for weddings and events. They made a price for us to all of our guests to have access to all the activities of the aquarium the whole afternoon. They saw seals, fishes, polar bears, walruses, starfishes and jelly fishes while my husband and I were with the photographer ! So no one felt like they had nothing to do and we had no pressure to finish with the pictures either. The kids just loved their day since they got to see a princess in a dress (that’s how they called me that day, how cute was that!) and they saw lots of nice animals and fishes ! So for lots of people my wedding will have been a nice day filled with a nice ceremony, a visit to the aquarium, a nice meal and a party ! That’s my kind of day !
You see, all the other things that had to be planned could change or be modified if they weren’t vital. I could make compromises on those other issues in order to have those 5 things. Like, I didn’t video tapped my wedding, I didn’t buy expensive goodies for my guests I made something myself that was aquarium related (if you’re curious, look at that), I didn’t have an open bar and so on. That top 5 helped me focus on what was really important to me and my husband. Of course, those 5 can change if something happens. My priest went to the emergency room the night before the ceremony so we had to find somebody else last minute (with hair rolls in my chair on my wedding day!) so that moved up in my top 5 I can tell you that !
I hope that tip that was given to me by a colleague (who got it from a friend of his) will help you have the day you want with the important stuff you want in it. Because after all, a wedding day is something important and your energy should be spent on important things also, don’t you think?