Have it Your Way
Be clear about the type of wedding you want: local vs destination. Small vs. Large. How many ceremonies? Traditional. These are typically faith-based and culled from the tradition the bride and groom were born into. Religious. Non-denominational. Non-religious. Interfaith. Pop culture theme. The options are endless….That will inform a lot of your decisions and help you avoid a lot of frustrations and arguments with your spouse or family. Do not try to conform to other people’s expectations because no matter how many times you are told that the day is not just about you, it is. You want to make yourself happy first. People who truly care about you will love to see you glow will happiness, however to choose to celebrate.
Have a Realistic Budget
Have a budget, add about 25% to it, and stick to it! J Let us be real, your wedding will cost more than you want it to in most cases. There are many incidentals, which will creep up on you (service charges and gratuities, overtime charges, cake cutting fee, etc…). Start with your budget and scale your wedding plans accordingly. I do not recommend budgeting for monetary gifts. It is awesome if your crowd spoils you but that should never be part of your plans because you can never know for sure. Would you count on an unknown bonus amount to pay for the next rent or mortgage? Well…you should not! J If your family is chipping in, sit them down and get a firm commitment of how much exactly and when they can provide the funds. Then use 60% of those promissory amounts in your budget. Family may bail on you, but it will be easier to navigate it you are prepared for it.
Beware of “In Kind” Gifts
I would not advice just saying yes to anything provided “in kind” unless you are sure of that thing matches your standards and expectations. For example, someone may say “I will cook”. If you are not sure about the person’s cooking skills or their ability to provide enough for your guests, and in a timely manner, politely decline. Lie if you have to. You already have it taken care of. For example, at my wedding, someone offered to provide transportation for my bridesmaids and they ended up taking a cab. That person was present at the wedding and never said a word about it afterwards *sips tea*
Wedding Crew Dilemma
Bridesmaids are a bit overrated in my view. I mean they are supposed to be your support system and your closest friends but in this day and age it is very hard to boil down your friendships to “besties”. People are very complex creatures whose behaviors can drastically change depending on circumstances, which are almost never under your control regardless how close you think you are to them. In my experience the people who were the most helpful and supportive were not always the people designated as “bridesmaids” they were friends and family who were genuinely happy for me and wanted to go the extra mile to make my wedding day perfect. That is something you cannot always put a label on. Have bridesmaids if you want to, but do not put pressure on yourself to figure out who your “best” people are before the wedding. You will have a better answer after the wedding J if you must choose, pick fun people, close people, family, anyone you want. Make sure you all have a good time and keep it moving.
Eat! Seriously. Have ALL the cake.
One of the biggest regrets I have about my wedding is literally not eating during the entire ceremony. I was so excited and in the moment and people watching that, I did not get to any of the pricey courses or the outrageous dessert table. How silly of me! Do not be like me; enjoy every bit of deliciousness that comes your way. Literally, savor the moment. Alternatively, you can eat leftover Portuguese chicken from your fridge at 4am.