Never having planned a wedding before, nor having had the experience of going from engaged to married, there naturally is a big learning curve. We ladies are expected to assume the roles of wedding planner, hostess, daughter-in-law, bride, peacekeeper, decision-maker, budgeting guru, and wife all in one fell swoop. Talk about overwhelming! Here are a few key points that will help brides-to-be to feel confident about the whole ordeal.
1. Don't second guess your instincts. Everyone has an opinion about everything when it comes to weddings, and the good news is that you ultimately know what's best for you. So whether it's picking a wedding ceremony location, deciding which invitations to use, or deciding how large you want your reception to be, notice your initial reaction. It's nice to consider all of your options, but listening to your instincts can provide great clues as to what will be most meaningful for you on your wedding day.
2. Don't forget to stop and smell the roses. Literally. You bought a dozen luscious rose-filled centerpieces. Smell them! A wedding is not only about photo memories. For a more memorable wedding day, find ways to document all of the sensory experiences; sight, taste, smell, touch, sound. Rather than a disposable camera at each reception dinner table, why not have a memory book where guests are encouraged to record their favorite smells, tastes, and sounds from the evening? Are you and the groom artistically inclined? Set up a large blank canvas or paper sheet with colored pens and pencils, and encourage guests to create art inspired by your wedding. By encouraging guests (and yourself!) to explore new ways of interacting, you all will have created more meaningful, distinct memories of your big day.
3. Don't feel the need to follow etiquette guides too closely. They are guides, not set-in-stone commandments. A wedding etiquette guide may suggest that it's not appropriate to wear a chapel-length gown or have a floor-length train or a veil at a less formal wedding. Eh. Go for it. It's your wedding day and there is nothing more appropriate than a smiling bride on the big day!
4. Don't expect things to be magically perfect between the two of you after the vows. It's too much pressure! Men don't get married and suddenly change their behavior drastically, and neither will you. A wedding ceremony is a public proclamation of your love and your dedication to one another. It's one of the most special vows you can share with someone. What it is not, however, is a magic spell that is cast and makes you two different people, in a new relationship. Instead, you two are committing to love each other just you are right now, and accept each other, flaws and all. It's what the vows are all about. It's not really fair to get married and expect the person you're with to be different. Do you have concerns or hopes for how you'll work together as a married couple? Talk about it pre-wedding! Whether it's in pre-marital counseling or over a quiet dinner alone, talk about expectations and your roles together.
5. Don't worry as much about what might go wrong on the big day. You may have clicked on this article because you felt it would guide you away from imminent "I do" disasters. The real deal is that your attitude towards your nuptials is what matters. You can chose to focus on what might go wrong, what not to do, who you might offend. Conversely, you can chose to focus on the idea that things will probably go "wrong", they often do, but that is what makes your wedding unique and memorable. Life would be awfully dull if things worked out perfectly. Use humor as a way to defuse tension. Chose to view your wedding less about achieving perfection, and more about experiencing the journey.
Now, doesn't that feel more do-able?