How To Get Hitched Without A Hitch
Find out the best ways to counter the stress both in the lead up to your wedding and on the big day itself.
Organizing a wedding is reportedly the third most stressful event in a person’s life, right behind moving and having a baby, but it doesn’t have to be that way. While it’s true that weddings often require a lot more work than you think -- even if you’re just popping down to the local courthouse. In this guide, we’ll show you the best ways to counter the stress both in the lead up to your wedding and on the big day itself.
Scheduling and Preparation
The key to ensuring any event goes smoothly is organisation, so get planning as soon as possible beforehand- a year in advance is often best. In this section, we’ll go over the biggest things that you’ll need to prepare for your wedding (along with some smaller details you might not have thought of).
Setting a Budget
Your wedding budget is going to be the major decision that affects all the other ones, so you really need to make this one first.
Music: Will you have a band, a DJ, or a playlist? Check the budget.
Reception: Can you hold the reception in a hotel ballroom, your local community center, or your parents’ backyard? Check the budget.
Food and drink: Will your guests be drinking Champagne, sparkling wine, or paying for their own alcohol? You get the picture.
Your budget, like all wedding planning decisions, is a matter of negotiation. If you’re both big music fans and couldn’t imagine getting married without a band, then you can always sacrifice another aspect that isn’t so important to you (like having a sit down meal for your guests). Granted, it’s not the sexiest of conversations and will probably involve some huge negotiations on both parts and maybe even some phone calls to a favourite relative to ask for a small loan. But there’s no point blowing all of your money on the band before realising you have nothing left for the venue.
Just remember, it’s not worth going into massive debt to pay for the wedding. That will ultimately amp up the stress when it comes time to make repayments -- which is not exactly the best foot forward for your newly married life.
Making a Schedule
After deciding on your budget, you’ll need to make a schedule for what needs to be done in preparation for the wedding in order to make sure that nothing is forgotten about. The easiest way to do this is to work backwards from your proposed wedding date and separate the tasks by month. For instance, you’ll need to book vendors, like the florist and photographer, between six and nine months in advance to avoid disappointment.
Shopping for Bridesmaid Dresses
Credit: Eric Ward
While most women do expect a certain amount of anxiety when searching for their wedding dress, they often don’t anticipate the stress involved in shopping for bridesmaid dresses. According to a recent survey, 78% of bridesmaids hated their dresses and honestly, it's easy to see why; bridesmaids are shelling out a couple of hundred dollars on a dress that they didn’t choose, that may not look great on them, and that they’ll probably never get to wear again.
So why not save the arguments and let your bridesmaids choose their own style of dress in a colour that matches your scheme? If the style of dress is important to you, consider allowing your bridesmaids to choose the shade or to make minor amendments (such as lengthening the hem past the knee or having a higher neckline) to disguise areas of their body that they aren’t comfortable with. Nobody wants a self-conscious bridesmaid. By allowing them to have some control over their dress, you make them happier and take the stress off of you.
Providing Children’s Entertainment
If you’re having children at your wedding, remember that they are likely to get bored easily during the service and reception. To counter this, have some child-friendly activities for them like colouring pages at the dinner table or playing Finding Nemo in a makeshift crèche with a parent or two watching over them.
Selecting the Music
Choosing a wedding playlist is often fraught with hard decisions because music is an intensely personal thing. One way to take the stress out of deciding is to choose the ceremony music and first dance songs with your partner and have your guests choose the reception music. On each RSVP card, ask them to pick a song that they’d like to hear; that way you can just blame the Taylor Swift songs on your teenage cousin if anyone asks. Another quick option is to simply browse some pre-made Spotify playlists, and pick the one you like the best. You can always remove songs you don’t like, and add in others you simply can’t live without.
Having a Rehearsal
There is much more to a wedding rehearsal than simply practicing how to walk in a straight line and it can help you tackle any problems before the wedding itself.
Timing: Most venues will have more than one event scheduled for the same day, so it’s important to get the timing down or risk ruining someone else’s special day.
Nerves: Even the most outgoing and confident people can have trouble being the centre of attention for a full day; by rehearsing in front of your closest friends and family, you can get used to the attention and feel less self-conscious on your wedding day.
The Wedding Party: Although most people will have attended a wedding before, they may not have taken part in one. A rehearsal helps the bridesmaids know where they should stand and helps the best man know when they should get the ring out, which will make them feel calmer.
Vetting the Speeches
Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels
Everyone thinks that their wedding day should be immune to bad luck, but sometimes things do go wrong unexpectedly. The good news is that as long as you prepare, you’ll be able to handle these crises. To protect yourself against major problems which will cause your wedding to be rescheduled with little to no notice, consider taking out insurance. Wedding insurance will help ensure you won’t be stuck with an unexpected bill if the venue is damaged or someone is taken to the hospital.
Smaller problems, however, just require a tiny bit of preparation. Here are some examples:
If you’re getting married outside, check that the venue has an indoor location in the event of bad weather
Have a small sewing kit on hand with the thread colours of the suit and dress in case of small tear
Have a first aid kit on hand with aspirin, plasters, and the cooling gel inserts for heels if you are planning to dance all night long
On your wedding day, the last thing you should have to worry about is making sure that everyone else is okay, so delegate some of the tasks to your wedding party:
Put your father in charge of making sure the staff get tipped by giving him the money in advance
When the first bridesmaid is ready, ask her to call the vendors and make sure that they’re en-route
Have your brother/sister take a walk around the venue to check that nothing looks out of place e.g. that the rubbish bins have been emptied and the right colour scheme is being used
Ask your best friend to take the lead on collecting wedding presents at the end of the night and taking them safely home, so that the happy couple can head straight to their hotel room
Overall, while weddings can be stressful, it’s important to remember that is only one day out of many that you and your spouse will share. Hopefully, the process of planning for and dealing with minor issues now, will help you feel better equipped to manage bigger problems down the road.