Wedding Planning 301: Resist the Pressure

It’s Wedding Wednesday and time for Part 3 in this month’s Wedding Planning series!!! There are so many newly engaged ladies out there who are so excited to marry the man of their dreams, but at the same time, are terrified at planning a huge event! I know, because I was one of them! If you haven’t already, check out Part 1 and Part 2 of the Wedding Planning series. Then come back and read this post!

If you’ve read the first two posts in this series, you should already know to 1) take time to enjoy being engaged and 2) book your Big Two (venue + photographer) before you worry about anything else. Now that you’ve done those two things, you’re ready to move on to the laundry list of other things to do… decide on food/catering, flowers, bridal party attire, guest list, centerpieces and all manner of decor, invitations, etc. Whew!

Chances are, you fall into one of these three categories.

1) You LOVE the entire process of planning your wedding. You are extremely detail-oriented, organized, and with the exception of a few not-so-pretty moments, have got the whole thing UNDER CONTROL.

2) You hate planning your wedding because it stresses you out. It’s hard to handle the millions of opinions coming your way, because there’s so much pressure to have a Pinterest-perfect wedding that makes everyone happy.

3) You gave up a long time ago and hired a wedding planner to do e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.

This post is geared mostly towards brides who fall into Category 2, but everyone can benefit! Most brides feel like a category 2 bride at one moment or another, but believe me ladies, there is a way out! The most important thing to do is to resist the pressure. Everyone has an opinion about how your wedding should be, but remember there is no way to make every single person happy. Ever. Plan your wedding the way YOU want your wedding to be, and don’t compromise because someone tells you to! Here is a non-exhaustive list of things that you DO NOT have to have at your wedding if you don’t want to…

1. A full sit-down dinner. Many brides, especially those who are budget-conscious, cringe at the idea of paying $20+ per person for a full dinner! Consider a morning wedding with a brunch, an afternoon wedding with light appetizers, or a late evening wedding with dessert. If dinner doesn’t fit your style or you’re worried about catering wiping out your entire budget, you still have plenty of options!

2. An even number of bridesmaids and groomsmen. I can’t tell you how many couples I’ve talked to that struggle with picking bridal party members because they think they have to have the same number of each. There are plenty of ways around it! Bridal party members can walk down the aisle by themselves, or one groomsman can escort two bridesmaids. For photos, ask your photographer to stagger guy-girl-guy-girl, and put whichever you have MORE of next to the bride AND the groom! Your bridal party portraits will still be balanced and beautiful, and no one gets left out.

3. Alcohol. Some of you are looking at me like I have three heads. But really!!! Skipping the open bar at your wedding will save you TONS of money, ensure you don’t end up with unruly guests, and is another example of something that is often expected at weddings but is by no means essential.

4. Professional hair & makeup. Does it make some brides feel like a queen? Then yes, go for it! Will it make some brides feel uncomfortable? Yes. So remember… you don’t HAVE to have your hair and makeup professionally done. On that same note, you get to decide what your hair and makeup will look like on your wedding day. If you love messy tousled curls but your future mother-in-law insists on a sleek, classic updo, stick to your guns. If you consistently rock a smoky eye but your grandmother thinks that’s an inappropriate look for a bride, don’t give in. If your best friend thinks she’s the BEST at curling your hair and is dying to create your wedding-day look, but you really don’t like how it looks when she does it… say no. Then run far away and make your hair appointment before she asks again. It’s not bad to make some compromises to please the family, but at the end of the day, it is YOUR wedding day.

Thats’s the thing, so let me say that again. At the end of the day, it’s YOUR wedding day!!! Whatever you choose will be, and when the day finally arrives, all the decisions will have been made and what is left is you and your fiancé. Your family and guests will be focused on you and the love that you share… not all the tiny details that were such a huge deal in the weeks before. Resist the pressure to create a perfect wedding that makes everyone happy. Create a wedding that represents YOU!!!

Here are a few easy action steps if you’re starting to feel the pressure:

1. Make a list of non-negotiables. Physically write them down on paper in a journal so you can’t change your mind later when the pressure comes to do something differently.

2. Brainstorm your WHY around the items on your list. This will help you formulate a confident response when someone questions your choice. It also will help you realize if something doesn’t make sense and actually could be done differently. 

Part four of the series will be up next week, and it’s going to be a good one!!! You won’t want to miss it. Happy wedding planning ladies!!!

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