I know what you are saying, “as long as I show up on time and don’t drop the ring before it gets on the bride’s finger, I should be golden.” 50 years ago, that might have been true. However, things have changed. The easiest part of the wedding these days, is the proposal. It gets harder and more complicated from there.
I will give you a moment to get over that statement. Ready?
The good news is that you are marrying a wonderful person, who you have known long enough (hopefully) to realize that they make you a better, stronger person, and with someone like that in your corner, anything is possible. Moreover, they feel the same way about you. Maybe even write that down, so you will remember that piece of wisdom, because there will probably be a time when you are at each other’s throats about whose fault it is that the silverware pattern does not matching the floral decorations.
So what can you do to help this process?
First, accept and understand that this is YOUR wedding too. Not just the bride’s wedding, or your mother-in-law’s wedding. Any relationship worth the time is ultimately about making decisions and choices as a couple, with each person bringing their own personality and thought into the fray.
Second, you aren't getting away with the BBQ in the park wedding. We all suggest it, and it never goes well. When you were a kid, you dreamed of pitching in the big leagues, and maybe your bride did too….However, your bride had another dream as well. It included beautiful flowers and hushed candlelight dances, not plastic picnic tablecloths and dogs playing Frisbee. Save this for your post wedding Sunday brunch.
Third, and most important, a wedding is just an elaborate party. Remember, you like parties. Well this one is great, because it is a party with all the people in your life that you love. Think about it that way, and suddenly, a lot of your disinterest fades away.
There are plenty of other things that you can find to do, but here are a few suggestions of ways that you can provide much needed input and assistance, and make sure that the wedding you have is one that you enjoy and can be proud of.
Make a list of what is important to you about your wedding. If it is as simple as Good music, plenty of booze, short speeches, then take that on and make sure it happens. Significant others always love it when you show initiative, and being an active participant in your wedding, rather than a scowling, foot dragger can have all kinds of great outcomes later on.
Make a very specific itemized budget. We all know how costs can spin out of control when throwing a big party. Weddings are no exception. Making a budget can give you a sense of what you need, what you can do without, and where you can cut costs with a little creative thinking. Getting each item on the budget from the ground floor, will help you feel a lot more prepared when the eleventh hour comes along and there is an extra grand needed for transportation.
If you can, hire a wedding planner or at least a month of coordinator. A wedding planner thinks of all the things that you wouldn’t have the first inkling would be important at a wedding. Wedding planners know about how to get a fire permit for candles (bet you didn’t realize you had to have one did ya?), what flowers are in season and always look good, and they work with vendors all the time, and know which ones are working in the best interests of the consumer, and which ones are not. They also take up a lot of the slack when it comes to style and decorations, where you might feel a little (or a lot) out of your depth. The best part is that they let you actually enjoy your wedding day. You can revel in the party, because you don’t have to figure out how to get 400 chairs from the ceremony to the tables in under five minutes, and who is going to make sure that your great aunt Sheila is seated under the umbrella.
The specifics are important, regardless of if you think so. I know, I know, you really don’t care what color the doilies are that the table decorations sit on. Think about it this way, you can give ten minutes of active listening and involvement and have the decision made, or you can give away 3 hours fighting about your lack of interest in the little things that make the wedding special, and then still have to make the decision on the doilies.
Know that at some point, you and your fiancé will have to deal with some sort of crisis, or issue, and that it will all be OK in the end. Planning a wedding is a lengthy process, and things go wrong. No one ever gets exactly what they want, and no matter how much planning you do, inevitably, something goes awry. The important idea here is that you do not dwell on what is wrong, but find the best solution to move forward and enjoy all the things that are going right.
The old chestnut that everyone passes around during this process is that if you can survive planning a wedding, you are ready for a marriage. These sayings don’t last the test of time because they are false. Weddings are a huge undertaking, but in the end, when you are sitting in a chair, vows exchanged and tie undone, watching your family and friends bump and jump to the Humpty Dance, your work and focus will be worth it.
Now grab your beloved and get back on that dance floor!
Written by Aaron Daley
Aaron survived getting married to Locally Grown Wedding's event planner Sadie Waddington with only one small hiccup. He almost didn't get their marriage license! All was saved with a quick trip to a nearby city hall where in 10 minutes they had the official papers in their hands!
Images by JennaBeth Photography the official photographer for Locally Grown Weddings