I’ve had a bunch of brides-to-be emailing me about how they can have the perfect wedding, and I have the same answer to each and every one of them: I don’t know what your definition of “perfect” is. An ideal wedding day for me isn’t the same for other brides, but there ARE some universal tips that will help you create the perfect wedding for you, whatever that may mean.
1. Don’t fall into the “pit of compare”. This sounds obvious, but from talking with brides-to-be (and being one myself!), I’ve found that it’s the hardest step to overcome. Listen up ladies: there will be “prettier” or “fancier” weddings than your own. There will be people with budgets three times the size of yours. And there will be weddings that you turn green with envy over each time you hear about them or see pictures. Remember that these weddings – and these brides – are NOT YOU. Your wedding only needs to be perfect for you and your groom-to-be, and nothing more.
Also, every time you think about how much you wish your wedding could be more like X’s, remember that there is someone out there who is green with envy over your plans. Keep your chin up and focus on your day, not someone else’s.
2. Stay within your budget, whatever it is. The average wedding cost is over $27,000 now, which means that weddings are costing brides and grooms a big chunk of change. Whether you have $500 or $50,000 to spend, make sure that you set a budget and stick with it. It’s so easy to find extra ways to spend more and more until you’ve blown your budget out of the water, and then you risk beginning your married life in debt. So get creative, DIY a great wedding and make sure you know what you’re spending your money on.
3. Take any advice with a grain of salt and a heap of kindness. Remember this line from my wedding planning tips post:
When someone offers you advice, listen and politely thank them – whether they’re right or wrong isn’t the question. It’s whether things are right or wrong for you and your wedding.
Think about that seriously the next time that someone offers you unsolicited advice. At the same time, I highly recommend that you accept help when it is offered. Weddings are an all-consuming, reality-bending experience that cost a ton of money and time, so if someone loves you enough to want to help, be gracious and grateful while taking them up on their offer. You are lucky enough to have people who love you and want to see you happy, so don’t take that for granted!
4. Don’t sweat the small stuff – it’s not what you’ll remember in ten years. Okay, so you asked for peonies but got petunias. Sure, you’re pissed about it today, but I have three pretty little words that will help you out: GET OVER IT. This is one day, one magical day that you shouldn’t ruin just because you had a hiccup in the plans. My recommendation is to put someone – a trusted family member, your mother, a wedding planner, etc. – in charge of the day-of duties so that they don’t end up flooding into your big day. Sit down with that person ahead of time, tell them about your preferences and build a schedule for what’s supposed to happen and when. Then, let it go and enjoy your wedding day.
5. Remember the end goal – your marriage. You’re not marrying your guest list. You’re not marrying your parents. You, my dear, are getting married to your husband, and that means that you have to prepare for more than just that single, pretty day. After all, it doesn’t matter how pretty your dress was or how great the food ended up – if your marriage is unsuccessful, you’ll never want to look at those pictures or think about that “perfect” day again. Spend some time alone together and make sure you both understand the commitment you’re making to each other both for now and for the future. Go and spend time with a premarital counselor if you can and create your own “game plan” for your marriage. And remember to love one another each and every day.
What advice do you have to help create a perfect wedding? Share in the comments to help future brides just like me!