Wedding planning. It’s a phrase that will either make you cringe or jump for joy; there is no in-between. We all want to remember our weddings fondly, but it turns out that wedding planning is a little more nuanced than booking a photographer and picking a colour theme. As you prepare for your dream affair, take some time to look beyond the details, and add a little mindfulness to the process.
Here are my tips for adding mindfulness to your wedding planning:
Prepare for the marriage more thoroughly than you plan for the wedding
It’s easy to get caught up in planning the perfect day, but when it’s all said and done, the focus should be on building a firm foundation with your husband-to-be. This is the man that you want to spend the rest of your life with – your wedding, as memorable as it will be, is simply a vehicle to get you there. Many brides focus so intently on the wedding planning process that they are prone to the “bridal blues” – a feeling of sadness and deflation once the wedding is over. A great marriage will trump a great wedding any day, so don’t lose sight of the goal as you plan your little heart out.
Keep relationships intact
As tempting as it might be, don’t come to blows with your soon-to-be-mother-in-law over the second cousin she insists you invite. Don’t alienate your bridesmaids by placing heavy-handed demands on them. Don’t give your dad the cold shoulder if he refuses to wear a pink tie. Once the wedding is over and the confetti has settled, the last thing you want to try and do is patch up the bridges you burned in your bridezilla heyday. We get it, wedding planning can get emotional and stressful, but the “dream wedding” is never more important than the people in our lives. Sticking to your guns at the cost of your relationships is just plain crazy. It’s never worth it. But on that note…
…Don’t let yourself be steam-rolled
While vicious fighting isn’t worth it, if you feel strongly about an aspect of your wedding, and someone is trying to persuade you more towards their own preferences, it’s okay to speak up. Be gentle, but firm. Fake cry if you have to(!) Explain that you love their help in the wedding planning process, but actually, you have always pictured your wedding to include a wheel of cheese instead of a cake/a rock band singing you down the aisle/a dog ring bearer. Be willing to compromise on some less significant things, but be confident to stand firm on other things that are truly important to you.
Stick squarely to your budget
Your big day is just that: a day. Avoid putting yourself in the woeful position of having to fix your financial situation for years after the wedding, when you should be building towards your future. We guarantee you won’t be smiling at your husband and purring “I’m so glad we splurged on the Maine lobster for our reception guests” as you pay yet another monthly instalment towards your credit card debt in years to come. And avoid falling into the trap of throwing a lavish wedding simply to impress your guests – once they’ve been to a few weddings, they all start blurring together and chances are they’re not going to remember all those painstakingly paid-for lux little details.
Avoid browsing wedding dress shops once your dress is ordered (warning: you will be tempted!)
“But it’s so fun trying on wedding dresses!” you cry. The problem is, you really will be crying *actual* tears if you find a dress you love even more than the non-refundable French lace gown you special-ordered a month ago. Yes, it will almost definitely happen if you go down that road. Don’t tempt yourself.
Thank people sincerely
From the siblings who blotted out their calendars for three days to fold paper cranes with you, to the friend you commissioned at the last minute to walk Great Aunt Irma to her seat, thank everyone. I mean, people don’t do these things for the sake of being thanked, but it’s always nice to be appreciated.
Plan for the practical as well as the pretty
Form a wet-weather plan (even for a mid-Summer wedding with a less than 1% chance of rain!). Work out how to go to the bathroom in your dress. Bring back-up shoes. Carefully consider the contents of your bridal clutch (we have a GREAT guide right here!). Practical planning is not as fun as pouring over gorgeous invitation designs, but it’s 100% worth it – even if only for your piece of mind!
Be prepared for things not to go to plan
When I got married, everything was seemingly perfect. The venue was stunning, the flowers were lovely, and my bridal party were on fleek. But early in the ceremony, the sound system completely cut out, which meant our guests weren’t able to make out a word of our vows. And then multiple trains started steaming past, honking ferociously every time. Was it ideal? Nope. Were we happily married at the end of it? You bet! I’m going to boldly surmise that there hasn’t been a wedding in the world in which every last detail has gone to plan. Baby, you need to be flexible! Expect the unexpected. Go with the flow. Muster all of your bridely grace, and roll with the punches. It comes to a point when that’s all you can do – you may as well embrace it!
By adding a little mindfulness, you set yourself up for wedding planning success! Most of all, enjoy the process – it’s not often you get to plan a magical day to celebrate your love… so make it special!
You might also like
The photos in this piece were all from my gorgeous sister Hannah’s wedding last November, and were all snapped by the exceptionally talented Michelle Karas Photography (as linked at the top). Permission was obtained from each individual in the photos prior to publishing.