Wedding Advice for Engaged Couples
You don't want your wedding to become a burden in which you take care of and worry about taking care of every last detail. You need to plan ahead and enlist the help of others. The wedding should be an enjoyable event for both of you, not a stress-filled headache. Discuss traditions with both families before the big event. Make plans to spend wisely on your wedding while also making it memorable. Having a good friend or network of friends who can help you with planning is essential. Trust your friends and the professionals you have hired to do their jobs.
Your job is to enjoy your wedding day. All of these things should be dome before the wedding. So, gathered from all the people, couples, families and counselors I have met at hundreds of weddings over the years - here is my best wedding advice for engaged couples.
My Best Wedding Advice for Engaged Couples
Tip #1 - Make the Wedding Truly Yours
Between all of our friends and my spouse's wedding planning business, I have seen hundreds, maybe more than a thousand weddings. Some traditional in huge, spacious church. Some were on the beach at sunset with all those attending in bare feet. The most exciting wedding included the taping of TLC's "Rock the Reception" at the wedding reception, complete with a professionally choreographed dance number which included members of the wedding party.
This event was planned by the couple in secret - nobody knew what was happening when the group burst out onto the dance floor to the surprise of all in attendance - it really fit with their personality.
That was a great and memorable wedding reception and everyone had a blast!
Tip #2 - Don't Get Caught up in All the Details
There is an old saying that advises folks wisely - don't sweat the small stuff. This is especially true for engaged couples planning a wedding. If you or your partner tend to be micro-managers or control freaks and you can't let all these professionals do their job, then you're likely going to have a very stressful few weeks or months before your wedding.
Here's my best advice - pay a little more and hire the best people to do their job in planning and executing a great wedding. That's why you pay them. You already have the stress of being married soon, so why add to that? There WILL be screw-ups, mistakes and snafus - it's going to be fine.
Relax and enjoy being in the moment - everything is going to work out - and if it doesn't, you'll have a great story to tell your grandkids.
Tip #3 - Make Time to Savor the Wedding Day
This sort of goes along with what I just wrote in the previous section. This is SO important - you only have a few hours on one single solitary day to enjoy, savor, partake and luxuriate in this one-of-a-kind experience.
Plan to have other attendants take care of all the things that need to happen at your wedding - that's why they are called attendants. Your primary responsibility on your wedding day should be to take it all in, soak it up and make memories for a lifetime.
Your wedding is a special day so make time to enjoy it. Remember - it is YOUR wedding.
Tip #4 - Wedding Tradition is Just a Guideline - Yeah, Right
I have seen all types of weddings throughout my life. Some are very, very traditional to a particular religion, belief system or culture. Others did not consider any type of convention or tradition. One wedding in particular was so strange that some wondered if we had actually travelled back in time to some sort of Haight-Ashbury hippie convention.
The thing to remember here is that traditions are just that - traditions. It is your wedding so it should be up to you whether you follow tradition or not. I will say that families fare better at weddings if there is some consideration and inclusion of their particular traditions. This is especially true if each partner comes from a different background that may be rich in cultural or religious traditions.
It is possible to include traditions from each family without having a "traditional" wedding.
Tip #5 - Make Sure You Can Afford Your Wedding
Some of the best advice I've ever heard, and wanted to pass on to you, is to make sure you don't spend more money than you can afford. In my 53-plus years I have been to a lot of weddings and I can remember many times sitting there, looking at the spectacle of some very expensive weddings. I wondered how much of this money spent could be put toward a house or an education for their future children's college?
One event we attended cost over $125,000.00 (USD) and the families could clearly not afford to pay for it all - so they borrowed against their homes to give this couple the wedding of their dreams.
Bottom line - have the wedding you can afford and make the best of it.
More Good Advice for Engaged Couples Planning a Wedding
Arrange for Pre-Marital Counseling
Get some pre-marital counseling before you tie the knot. This can be one of the best investments in the life of a couple, especially if neither has been married before. It just makes sense to get a road map before you head out on what could be a life;long journey.
Counseling affords the opportunity to anticipate where difficulties or challenges will arise and how to prepare for these. Marriage workshops or Marriage Weekends are also a great idea. These weekend groups typically involve several couples, some of them may even be married.
Makes sense to get advice from people who already have a successful marriage, right? Most of these events and counseling is offered free of charge.
Develop a Network of Happily Married Friends
When you get married, your world will seem like its been turned upside down. In a way it has. Your single friends will remain as friends, but you need to start making new friends as well. As soon as possible, start to develop a group of happily married couples with whom you can meet regularly.
Perhaps it's a standing dinner date, or an event with a couple who shares a common interest like bowling or traveling. If you spend time with happily married couples after you are married, you are more likely to enjoy similar success in your marriage.
Talk About What Each Expects From Marriage
When two people come together, they bring parts of their own worlds, their own traditions and their own ways of doing things. Unless you have previously lived together, one of the biggest challenges for couples after the wedding is the actual day-to-day machinations of actually living together.
Each partner brings their own "baggage" to the relationship - and that's OK. That blending of difference is what makes life interesting. Before any of that happens, you need to sit down together and discuss each partner's expectations of planning the wedding day, ceremony, reception, honeymoon and finally, your married life together.