At it’s core, your wedding is a celebration of the two of you coming together for the rest of your lives, and as long as that happens everything else will be fine.
That said, some weddings are super fun and meaningful to guests and wedding party alike, and some are, well, painful. Time and again, I see people do these three things and then regret it. So here’s the top three mistakes I see that make their weddings less than dreamy!
Having friends (who aren’t professionals) do big jobs. In order to save money, a lot of us ask friends and family to help out with our wedding. This can be great if you know someone who’s artistic and likes to do makeup, or if a friend who loves to scrapbook helps you with the invitations.
It can easily go wrong, though, when you ask your cousin who loves to bake carrot cake for the church potluck to make a five tiered wedding cake. Or if your buddy just got a new camera and loves to take pics of his kids in his backyard and you ask him to photograph your wedding.
There is a reason that there are so many professionals that do nothing but weddings. It is really hard to make wedding cakes, hard to cater a party for 150 people, and hard to photograph a wedding. I’ve seen cakes fall in on themselves and food run out before half the guests have gone through. Lots of people refuse to show their wedding pictures because a friend took the pictures and they didn’t turn out. Keep in mind that you get what you pay for, and if you get a friend to do something for free you might not like the end result.
Little side note. If you have a friend who actually is a professional photographer or caterer or hair stylist, don’t expect their services for free. Don’t even expect a discount. This is how they make their living. If you get a discount, even a small one, be grateful!
Getting too caught up in traditions! I bet you can think of five wedding traditions and customs in five seconds. Don’t see the groom before the wedding. Wear white. Your father walks you down the aisle. Wear a veil and carry a bouquet. Have a printed program on every seat. And this is all just before the actual wedding starts!
I know lots of brides who participate in traditions because they think have to, or they don’t know what to do instead.
Traditions are fine. They’re great. But some might not fit who you are or might even make you uncomfortable (if your dad isn’t in the picture, a father daughter dance might make you feel awkward!). In fact, following every single custom is tedious and makes for a long and stiff night. And don’t worry, the party will still be loads of fun even if you don’t do the dollar dance, the chicken dance, the train thing where you snake around the ballroom, the garter and the bouquet toss, the cake smashing, the receiving line, the passing of microphone for random family speeches. Geeze, the list goes on and on! Do the ones that feel right, and leave the others out.
Having your Mother’s wedding. I know this sounds harsh, but often when planning a wedding, particularly if your parents are paying for all or some of your wedding, they feel that they can have the wedding they (and by they, I mean your mom!) always wanted. If they’re paying for everything, then, of course, they can have some imput… like a few guests they’d like to invite or the card box that they think is beautiful.
But, it is your wedding. Not. Your. Mother’s. She probably wants you to have her wedding because she had her mothers, and your grandmother had her mother’s and so on and so forth back till the beginning of time. It wasn’t her fault and she, deep down really just wants you to be happy. And I don’t mean to say you shouldn’t make a few concessions, but break the cycle!!! Have your wedding. (Please note that I am BY NO MEANS advocating being rude or short tempered with your parents. In some ways, this is a day they’ve been waiting for for longer than you! Be kind. Be open. Be inclusive. And be strong. Everyone can be happy if there is good communication and solid ground work.)
Remember that in addition to being a wedding, it is a day that should be very representative of you two as a couple. It shouldn’t be a chore for either of you. Make it your day.
What’s the one thing you wish you could change about your wedding?