UPDATED: MARCH 2018
We all know that planning a wedding can be one of the most stressful things you can do in life. Planning the most joyous day of your life can cause the magical appearance of as many grey hairs as having your teenage boy announce that he’s leaving education to tour the world with his punk metal band.
There’s no getting around the stress of your wedding, but being forewarned can help lessen the stress a bit.
But only a bit.
So to help, I’ve scoured the internet and collated some of the more stressful aspects of planning your big day, plus a few ideas on how to best deal with them.
Sitting down with your husband, while you draw 10 circles on an A3 sheet of paper, as you plan where your nearest and dearest can sit to enjoy your wedding breakfast might not sound like a lot of fun, but….well, OK it isn’t a lot of fun, but it’s a necessity. After all, you don’t want your Uncle Albert sat next to Patricia, the lady from the WI, do you?
Not after last time!
After an hour or so of staring at all of your guests names, trying to put them all on your table plan in a suitable formation, the job begins to look like a challenge worthy of it’s own round of the Krypton Factor.
There’s no getting around it; you’re going to have to put in some time on the seating plan…or are you?
Why not just let people sit where they like at your wedding? The Brides Wedding blog has an excellent article on how to have a “no seating plan” wedding breakfast and gives you a few ideas about how to manage it.
See? That’s one less grey hair already!
The Guest List
Where are you meant to start when it comes to making a wedding guest list? The dreaded blank piece of paper can seem like a Herculean task to fill with the perfect balance of names. It’s hard to work out who you want to be there on your special day and who you’re happy spending the rest of your life never talking to again (because those are the ONLY two options).
A good idea is to take a writers approach to the task.
Instead of trying to get it perfect right from the off. Break it down into two tasks: the rough draft, and the edit.
The rough draft: this is the brainstorming part of the list. Just get as many names of people on the piece of paper as possible. Don’t think too much about whether you actually want them there, just concentrate on getting every person you know onto that piece of paper.
Now do it again. You’re bound to have missed out someone.
Remember, don’t think; just brain dump every possible name you can think of.
Yes, even HIM!
Good. Now comes the editing part. Look at your list and mark the people who are “definites” – those that absolutely, positively HAVE to be there at your wedding.
That’s your starting point.
Once you have your definites, you’ll know how much room you have for the not-so-definites.
Give all the other guests a “Priority”, “if budget allows” or “only if Hell freezes over” rating, or give them a numeric score out of five. Anything that gives you a tiered system. Be honest about this. Remember, it’s your wedding; you don’t have to show this list to anyone else.
The lovely people at Wedding Happy have created a similar system, entitled “How To Begin Creating Your Wedding Guest List” that you’ll find helpful.
Alternatively, you can use the approach below to massively reduce the costs of your big day:
Choosing a theme
Every wedding has a theme, whether it’s an all encompassing, White wedding, where everything, including the food, has to be white, or whether you’re just wanting a loose “vintage” theme.
Committing to a theme can be a tricky task, especially if you’re trying to be overly specific right from the outset.
The best idea is to start with general theme ideas. Agree on the underlying theme or idea and then work from there.
Modern or old fashioned?
Colour theme or not?
Flamboyant or understated?
Once you’ve got a general picture of idea of how you both want your wedding to look/feel, you can then work on some specific ideas, e.g. flowers, dress, invitations etc. By agreeing on a general theme at the very beginning, you’re less likely to have big arguments about the smaller aspects of your day later on.
If you’re still looking for inspiration regarding wedding themes, The Knot have a blog post detailing lots of possible wedding themes that will give you plenty to think about.
Fighting with your partner
The last thing a blog post about weddings should talk about is fighting with your partner, but it’s definitely worth a mention. Fighting and bickering is caused by stress and we’ve already seen how stressful planning a wedding is, so it’s something you need to bear in mind, especially when he doesn’t agree with your choice of flowers, or she isn’t quite so keen on your ex being quite so high up on your invite list.
Fighting with your partner is a rite of passage. It’s going to happen, so brace yourself and be ready.
Accepting that it’s going to happen is part of the battle. Remember that you’re both adults and that you’re stressed because you want the day to go brilliantly.
YOUR day, remember?
You’re getting stressed because you want the day you stand up in a church wearing your nicest clothes to be perfect.
That’s why you care so much.
And you should.
You love each other, remember?
If your love for each other isn’t enough motivation to fight fair, this article by the Huffington Post on how to fight fair with your partner will give you some pointers.
Or, if fighting fair with your partner doesn’t work, you can always get some wrestling tips here.
If you have any other hints on tips on how future couples can avoid killing each other before their wedding, feel free to share them in the comments below!
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