You’ve just got engaged and now you are very excited to be planning your dream wedding. The choices are overwhelming, in all directions. Everyone you know wants a say in shaping that dream. How do you keep everyone (including yourself) happy?
1. Focus on the most important elements of your wedding
Once you have answered the question of what matters most, everything else will start to fall into place. Every couple will have a different response, there is no right or wrong answer. Go with what feels perfect for you. Have you own general idea of what you want the wedding to be. Make sure there’s lots of flexibility within the framework, for good ideas to find their place and for not so good ideas to find a way out!
2. Go with what’s right for you
Don’t let other people’s views about what’s right and best affect your choices and decisions. Remain true to yourselves. You want your wedding to feel and be different from any other wedding you’ve ever been to. Listen to your heart and do what you really want to do, without compromises for other people.
3. Only include rituals and traditions that have meaning for you
Don’t worry about the traditions and rituals that everybody usually does, if they don’t mean anything to you as a couple. Just do the bits you want to do.
4. Listen to input from family and friends, then make up your own minds
Once you have a clear idea of what you want, it’s easy when family and friends offer to help. Accept their offers gladly, because then all the help you receive will be contributing to your vision of what you want for your dream wedding. There’s a big difference between being open to ideas and letting other people tell you what kind of wedding to have! Play to their strengths – organizational skills, knowledge of what flowers are in season and last longest, crafting table decorations, or wedding favours, assembling your favourite photos of the two of you to display at the venue or reception.
5. Give active roles to family where you can
Involve the mothers in helping light the candles for the Unity Candle ritual. Have the grandparents do a reading or say a blessing. Have your children say a poem or be the flower girls/ring-bearers. Choose sisters or brothers as wedding attendants or ushers. That way, everyone involved will have the same goal of making the wedding day and the ceremony special for everyone, especially for you.
6. Choose a formal venue if…
You know you will be glad to have choices, such as wet or cold-weather options; a special room or suite for getting ready; experienced staff equipped to deal with any emergency – from fixing a dropped hem or torn gown to printing or photocopying the ceremony, and sending taxis for stranded guests.
7. Choose an informal venue if..
You like the more personal feel of do-it-yourself. Just be sure you have lots of willing, skillful and above all, reliable, friends and family to help turn your ideas into reality and take the stress from your shoulders.
8. Hire a wedding planner if…
You’re having a large wedding, or one with complex elements. A wedding planner can take care of catering, entertainment, processions, size of wedding party, flowers and invitations. They can find a photographer, or someone to make the cake, or the dress, and may recommend which Celebrant to use as well. You can also arrange for them to take responsibility for paying all the vendors involved in your wedding, from venue to florist to Celebrant.
9. Make the most of the knowledge and experience of your Celebrant
Your Celebrant’s goal is to turn your ceremony from a dream into a reality. A great Celebrant will listen to your ideas and may offer creative suggestions of how to make them happen. They’ll also contribute their own ideas, which may not have occurred to you. They will not try to push you to do something their way instead of your way.
10. Choose the wedding clothes that are right for you
By all means take friends or relations shopping for the wedding dress or suit, it can be so much fun. Just don’t let them convince you into something when it doesn’t feel right. You’ve got to feel stunningly beautiful or handsome in the clothes you buy to wear at your wedding.
The clearer your idea of what your wedding and ceremony should look like, and the more gracious your attitude to any help that’s offered, the higher the chance of having your dream wedding day.