You’re engaged to be married and now, after the initial glow has worn off, you’re brain has started to go into overdrive. You’ve looked at all the bridal magazines, gotten inspiration overload on the wedding blogs, received advice from cousin Sue, Aunt Ruth and even Uncle Bob (who wants to be your photographer!). Now, you’ve run back to your fiancé, thrown up your hands and said, “How am I going to to do all this? I work full-time, you work full-time. Plus I don’t think we can even afford to get married! O-M-G!” Your fiancé sits there, shrugs his shoulders (he’s a guy), and says “It’ll all work out”, goes back to watching the ballgame, and you succumb to tears. Does this sound familiar?
Does wedding planning really have to be so complicated, stressful and hard?
How do you plan a wedding?
First, talk to your fiancé. About finances, about goals, and style. What he wants, what you want, before you start researching and shopping. Many men today do have an opinion about wedding planning, but it may not be what you expect. I recently overheard a conversation between a bride and groom at Michael’s as she was looking at invitations to DIY, and she asked him for his opinion. It went something like this:
Bride: Here are a couple of options. Which one do you like? (She clearly wanted to involve him.)
Groom: I don’t know. Shrugs shoulders.
Bride: Well, I like this one. It’s really pretty and matches the flowers that will be in my bouquet. And not that expensive.
Groom: Does anybody really care? Can’t we just email everybody?
Bride rolls her eyes, slaps him on the arm, big sigh and drops everything back on the shelf.
Men have a very different viewpoint (think Venus vs. Mars) about all the fuss about weddings. You will both have to sit down and talk about your wedding. This is a time that may challenge your relationship. It’s going to take time. That’s why many couples take 12-18 months to save, research, create and make their wedding perfect for them. Be flexible. Relax and promise each other not to lose focus about what is the important end result of all that wedding planning – a celebration of love, commitment and marriage.
Photo by Stacey Hedman Photography
Second, gather a team. Not the team of professionals yet, but the confidantes, the calmers, the doers, the ones that can be objective. They can be your family and/or friends, but you need someone in your corner that can be all of the things above. Somebody that knows you personally and really cares about you and your fiancé. It can be one person or several, but you need someone else, other than your groom to help you.
Lastly, you’ve got to do your research. Yep, you need to do this and it will take time. Gather information, take it in steps, don’t overwhelm yourself. If you feel yourself getting stressed and overwhelmed, take a moment and step away. Refresh. Make lists. As you review and research, prioritize your list. If photography is a priority, then find your dream wedding photographer and save up for them. If the venue and food are priorities, spend your time researching that, find the best and then budget accordingly. Always have a plan A, B and C, all of equal cost and offerings. That way, if scheduling or even budget conflicts arise, you have choices available.
Are you feeling a little more in control and calmer? How’s your wedding planning going? Have any tips you’d like to share? We’d love to hear all about them!