Opinion: Advice For Couples Planning Their Wedding

Stacy Ann

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Exactly eight weeks ago was my wedding day. After five years and countless adventures together, I got to marry my person.

Due to being a bridesmaid many times (27 dresses, anyone?) I had observed how unhappy couples often were on their special day. The experiences helped me learn what mistakes to avoid.

Months of planning and incredibly thoughtful decisions paid off. Our bridal party and guests expressed how unique the wedding was and how much they enjoyed the festivities. Between wood-fired pizza, hours of dancing with a fantastic DJ, glow sticks, yard games, and a party bus to an afterparty, it was everything we wanted and showcased our personalities perfectly.

However, the reality is that the day could have gone very differently. Here are the lessons learned on the journey and what I would tell anyone planning their wedding.

#1. Hold your ground when the pressures set in

Very early on, guests were informed young children would not be allowed at our wedding. My partner and I had attended many weddings with kids and knew it simply wasn’t the evening/vibe we wanted for ourselves.

Everyone was extremely understanding and didn’t say a word… until my sister-in-law threw a fit. Her husband (my older brother) said I wouldn’t understand because I don’t have kids. Our dad also said that I should let my niece (a four-year-old) and nephew (a six-month-old baby) attend because it would be “cute.”

I held my ground and said I hoped they could attend with the boundaries I had set in place, and they ended up finding a sitter last minute.

Day of the wedding, COUNTLESS sets of parents (including my brother and sister-in-law, ironically) came up to me and thanked me for having it a kid-free zone so that they could enjoy an evening together.

#2. Don’t be surprised when people show their true colors

Not a single one of our friends caused any drama. All of the fuss came from our immediate family, whose sense of entitlement was astonishing.

For example, my husband's father insisted that we invite fifteen of his friends that we did not know. We explained that the venue was small and we had kept our guest list to close friends and family. My father-in-law was not happy at all.

My older cousin, whom I had recently reconnected with after a decade of separation, was disgruntled that she wasn’t a bridesmaid. She and her family flaked the morning of the wedding (typical behavior and why we had issues in the first place), and we haven’t spoken since.

Although some other features were ruffled, my partner and I held our ground and reiterated time and time that it was OUR day.

#3. Listen to your gut, especially when it comes to vendors

Three weeks before our wedding, I couldn’t sleep because I had a strange feeling about our DJ. We had a meeting earlier that day, and he had thrown a fit about playing our song list which we had carefully curated.

Music is the #1 passion my husband and I share, and the dancing/party portion of the evening was the most important to us. We had a meeting with our DJ, and he threw a fit about playing our song list/demanded we let him take requests even though we had included a song choice as part of our RSVP.

In passing, I mentioned to my coordinator how worried I was about the DJ. She off-handedly mentioned that her friend was a DJ and would be perfect for our music taste. For the heck of it, I had her connect us, and lo and behold, he’d had a last-minute cancellation and was available.

We lost our deposit, but the reality is that the day would have never been the same. Our new DJ understood our vision and brought the house down. It would have been easy to think, “eh, this other guy will be fine,” but the reality is that it would have changed the evening entirely.

#4. Constantly question whether or not what you are doing is actually what you want

You may believe you know how you want the day to play out, but it is still incredibly easy to fall into what you “think” you want.

For example, my partner and I began practicing a traditional waltz for our first dance early in the planning stages.

One night we were chatting over a couple of glasses of wine, and we both asked ourselves, “do we want to do this?” We realized that the stress of trying to remember a few twirls and steps wasn’t something we wanted, so we scrapped that. We ended up just swaying and talking, which was incredible.

Overall, our wedding was a success because it reflected who my husband and I are as people. It’s so easy to get lost in the noise and outside pressures, However, I promise that fighting to make it your unique day, is worth it.

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I am a writer & relationship consultant that primarily deals with narcissism, overcoming abuse & trauma, and self-love. Contact me @ Blog: carriewynn.com Instagram: carrie_wynnmusings

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