Planning your wedding can be so overwhelming. There are so many details to figure out and decisions to make. Food, flowers, photography, music, ceremony, reception… thinking about it all at once can make people just decide to elope. They might think that they just can’t afford their dream wedding, so why even bother? Or maybe they have a large budget, but making all of those decisions is paralyzing to them.
Most brides who feel overwhelmed with making all of these decisions do decide to hire a wedding planner, so I get the opportunity to advise them on how to make all of these decisions easier for them and their families.
The first thing I tell them is to decide the three items that are the most important to them. I can usually figure that out after a 15 minute conversation about their wedding because they are the three items that they talk about first and for the most amount of time. Those three components are different for everyone. One of my very first clients told me at our first consultation that her priority was cake. She wanted everyone who attended her wedding to remember how amazing the cake looked and tasted. Some other clients spent the same amount of time at our final consultation talking to the bartender about what drinks would be served as they did to us talking about all of the rest of the details. Your priority may be the food, or flowers, or music. I’ve seen it all. Whatever your top priorities are, they should take front seat to everything else. Of course you have to make decisions about all aspects of your wedding. You can’t have flowers and no venue, or food and nothing to drink. But, you should spend the most time and money on the things that matter to you most. And it’s best to decide that before you start planning.
Another thing I see with my clients that causes them stress is worrying TOO much about guests. They worry that if they pick a certain weekend, some people won’t be able to come. They are distressed that people won’t like the food they choose, their signature drink, the music, cake flavors, etc. While it IS nice to consider dietary needs (gluten sensitivities, diabetes, vegetarian) you can’t possibly pick a date that works for several hundred people, food that they will all like, music choices that they will all be happy with… the list goes on. You can’t make everyone happy. No matter how careful you are, it just won’t happen. What you DO need to keep in mind is that your guests are attending your wedding because they want to see YOU get married to your true love. That is THEIR focus. Having good food, drinks, cake and music is, of course, part of the celebration. But most people are just happy to be able to be a part of your celebration and your day. They would never expect you to try to cater to their needs and certainly don’t expect you to choose their preferences or cater to their calendar.
Finally, there are so many tools available both online and in bridal magazines that can help you stay on track with your planning and keeping up with all of the details. You don’t have to decide every single detail in the first few weeks of being engaged. There are a few decisions that must be made right away (date, venue and photographer), but there are checklists available to help you with the month to month details. Also, part of your bridal party’s duties are to help you with planning, so learn to delegate some of the work to your best gals!
If you still feel stressed and overwhelmed with the planning process, you really ought to hire a wedding planner to walk through the process with you. She can be your very best means for working through the details and making decisions as well as be a great sounding board for all of your ideas and dreams. Most of all, learn to relax and enjoy this process! It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and it’s not worth stressing over and losing sleep over minor details that most people won’t even notice!
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