You’ve said “yes” to the man of your dreams! You’ve cried, celebrated, and posted photos of the ring to Facebook. Take a deep breath, because now it’s time to plan!
Planning every detail of the biggest day of your life can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to turn your greatest joy into your greatest stress. I’ve been privileged to help hundreds of brides over the past ten years to make their wedding personal and unique, and have learned a special lesson from every special occasion. If you feel like you’re drowning in cake samples, RSVP cards, and place setting options, take a moment to reflect on my list of ten “I Dos” and “Do Knots” for planning the perfect wedding.
DO: Make it Personal
Your wedding day should be a reflection on the special relationship you have with your fiancé. Think about what makes your love unique. Every couple has a story, so make sure your wedding helps to showcase your past, present, and future. Choose colors, a venue, fabrics, materials, and flowers that are meaningful. If you and your fiancé love your life in the city, plan a wedding that reflects your urban chic lifestyle. If you met in the park, consider a color scheme that reminds you of how you met, with lush greens, sky blues, and tan accents reflected in your wedding invitations, flowers, and place settings. If you both dream of living on the coast some day, incorporate nautical design elements into your theme to be reminded of everything the future holds.
Do Knot Just Follow the Trends
Think twice before letting a vendor encourage you to do “what everyone is doing this season.” Unless you feel a connection with the colors, styles, and themes of the moment, remember that trends pass, but your marriage will last forever, and your wedding should reflect the key element in your relationship that makes your love eternal.
Do Incorporate The Ones You Love
Wedding guest lists can expand like taffeta before you know it. Sit down and think about everyone who has been an important part of your life. When you look around the room on your wedding day, you want to see the faces of everyone you and your fiancé love and everyone that has influenced the people you have become. When it comes to choosing a bridal party, ask yourself who you want standing beside you when you take your vows. Who has always stood beside you and who will always stand beside you when life becomes challenging? Those are the people who should be part of your bridal party.
Do Knot Let Others Decide Your Guest List
When planning your guest list try not to be influenced by others. If you can’t remember the last name of your mother’s father’s cousin’s niece twice removed, don’t feel guilty for not extending her a wedding invitation. The same goes for your bridal party. Choose only the people you want to be an intimate part of your special day.
Do Say Individual Thank Yous
You are likely going to form a long list of friends and family who help make your dream wedding a reality. Say a personal thank you in your own words to your parents, soon to be in-laws, bridal party members, and guests for helping you to celebrating the start of your new lives. Choose personal and unique gifts for your bridal party members that reflect the theme of your wedding, and that will serve as a permanent reminder of the important role they play in your life. Send thank you cards timely and include a personal message on each one that expresses your gratitude for the role the recipient has played in your life and in your wedding.
Do Knot Forget the Importance of Saying it Out Loud
Don’t take it for granted that your friends and family know how much they mean to you. Telling them in your own words will mean more to both of you, and will give you even more special memories of your wedding day that will last forever.
Do Plan Your Place Settings
Your wedding will be a day that brings people together. Use your place settings as an opportunity to reunite cousins who now liveon other sides of the country, college classmates who haven’t seen one other in years, and even to bring together two sides of your new family. Remember that the one thing that all of your guests have in common is you. That’s all they need to enjoy celebrating with one another.
Do Knot Forget to Enjoy Your Dinner
Do mingle during dinner to thank your guests, but do not miss the opportunity to sample the meal you painstakingly selected! You will have plenty of time to celebrate with your guests out on the dance floor after dinner too.
Do Focus On One Another
With so much to orchestrate on your wedding day, so many people to thank, so many guests, and so much to do, your big day will fly by before you know it. Be sure that once you say, “I do” that you spend the rest of your wedding day with your new husband. Hold hands, pose for photos, mingle together, dance, and celebrate your love.
Do Knot Forget The Day’s True Meaning
Your wedding will last one day, but your marriage will last forever. As you make decisions about flowers, appetizers, RSVP cards, music, and dessert tables, take comfort in knowing that you have already made the most important decision in your lives: you chose each other.