Hey, lady! How's life on cloud nine? You got the love of your life, you've got the ring, and now what? I've learned a lot through my experiences as a bride, weddings I've been a part of, and weddings I've helped plan...here are some helpful thoughts to help you on your way.
First and foremost...do marriage counseling to learn more about married life and being married to your future spouse!
- It can be a pastor, marriage counselor, or life coach
- Ask questions...about any and every thing that you'd have to share: finances, children, in-laws, holidays, chores, who's cooking, date nights, sex
- What are they willing to do (will do, but doesn't like to)? What will they not do (absolutely will not do, even if you asked)
- If you don't live together, find out their daily routine: he's a morning person, you're a night owl; he doesn't like to talk in the morning, you squeeze the toothpaste from the bottom, etc
- Be open and honest because you only get out of it, what you put in to it.
- It will make you closer or you'll find out you're not so compatible, ultimately saving you stress and money!
Decide what your absolute must-haves are...
- These are the things that you would regret later in life and wouldn't second-guess giving your right left kidney for...which leads to...
- Decide how valuable they are to you and budget appropriately for each of them.
- Be more flexible about everything else.
If you feel strongly about something, don't ask for anyone's opinion, just do it.
- This will alleviate the stress and struggle with satisfying others
- Unless your in-laws say they don't want to be involved, involve them. Give them some direction and a task list: guest list for their family, scout venues, rehearsal dinner locations, hunt for favors. Find out what their talents/gifts are and utilize them.
On the other hand, people will be honored to help you, so just ask if you need it, but not publicly on FB or Twitter, you could offend others.
Be mindful and appreciative of other people's time, attention, and contributions. Though it's ALL about you, it's not all about YOU. FYI being a Bridezilla isn't even close to being cute. In case you didn't know, the show has ended.
Here's the deal with vendors:
- Have every thing in writing! Check in a month out, 2 weeks, 1 week, 3 days, and day before.
- Don't skimp on your photos! That's all you have from your special day and if they don't come out great, your wedding will only be a faint, blurry memory
- If you have friends/family with special talents, use them. My graphic designer friend offered to do my invitations as my wedding gift. It's a down economy...don't expect free work and a gift!
- Cash in favors...anyone that owes you something, now's the time to get it back.
- If your budget is tight...get creative. Look into arts & pastry programs at local colleges, for inexpensive cakes, photos, etc. But, be mindful that you get what you pay for.
- Pay on time! You don't want an unhappy caterer preparing your chicken marsala.
- Hire a day-of coordinator! Do not try to do it all yourself, or put that pressure on your mother. Have a non-family member wrangle your vendors, set the reception space, and get the party started on time!
Most importantly, your wedding does not define your marriage.
- At the end of the day, you only need you and your love to get married, because no one else will care more than you do
- And 3 years from now when you're celebrating your anniversary, or getting divorced, no one will care to remember that you wore a $12 dress over your 8-month pregnant body, that you had an amazing sheet cake or that your groom wore Chuck Taylors for your wedding