As we go well and truly into April, we head well into wedding season. I’ve seen a few weddings come up on my Facebook timeline in recent weeks, and it’s inspired me to write a wedding-themed post. Planning a wedding without a doubt is one of the most stressful things you can do, and when you have OCD, it’s ten times worse. I’m planning to write a post at some point on wedding planning when you suffer with a mental illness, but for now, to kick things off with this potential wedding series of blogs, I’m going to talk about general things I wish I had known when it came to wedding planning. So if you’re a fellow bride to be, or you’re simply brushing up on tips for when your time comes, enjoy.
1. You Can’t Please Everyone
Rule number one. You generally find that there’s two sides when it comes to pleasing your guests, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll jump from one to the other depending on how things are going. Side one is: “It’s OUR day – it’s all about us, we should have what WE want,” while side two is “These people are important to us, we want to make sure they have a lovely day.” I generally found that I’d be side two most of the time, but if one person made any kind of negative comment, I’d instantly switch to side one. Generally, you want a happy medium between the two. On one hand, you’re inviting all of your favourite people, and you want to make sure they’re happy. On the other, you’re paying a hell of a lot of money for a day you’re only going to do once, and it’s all about you and your H2B. Accepting this is easier said than done, but it really is true when they say that you can’t please everyone. There will always be one person that’s not 100% happy with the food you’ve picked or one person who doesn’t like how your venue is further out of town than they’d like. If you changed your plans for every single person that had an issue with something, you’d end up having a wedding that you hated, and no one wants that.
2. Don’t Sweat the Seating Plan
This ties in nicely with my last rule, but it caused me so much stress that I felt it was worth mentioning on it’s own. That fucking seating plan. Excuse my French. So much stress over a seating plan for a 2 hour meal. We genuinely re-wrote our seating plan at least 5 times. It starts with (this person) can’t sit next to (that person) and then before you know it, you’re pouring a large glass of wine and wondering why the hell you’re getting married in the first place. Obviously, if there is genuine family beef, then maybe it would be worthwhile to keep certain people a part, but if we’re just talking “I don’t want to sit next to her because she gets on my tits,” don’t worry yourself. At the end of the day, they’re grown-ass adults and they should be able to sit for 2 hours on a table with several other people without any drama. If you’re really worried, make sure there’s one or two people on the table with them that they get along with. It’s also worth remembering that by the time they find out who they’re sitting next to, it’ll be too late to say anything. It’s unlikely that anyone will complain to the bride or groom about the seating arrangements on the actual day of the wedding!
3. It Pays To Be Strict
While planning a wedding is no time to be a bridezilla, it’s also no time to be a pushover. Be strict with your deadlines when it comes to things like RSVPs and payments for hen and stag parties. Put a date on your invitations for RSVPs and stick to it. When it comes to payments for your hen and stag parties, if you haven’t had anything by your cut off date, they’re not coming. I lost £80 planning my hen party though people not giving definite answers, but at the time I wanted to make sure they still had the option to come. By the time they bailed it was too late to get any money back and I didn’t want to cause any shit by telling people they owed me money when they didn’t even come. You don’t have to be a massive dick about it, but just be strict with your dates. Send out several gentle reminders and make it clear if you’ve not had confirmation by your chosen date, they ain’t coming. Yes it’s harsh, and it may seem a little bitchy, but it will save you so much stress (and in some cases, money) in the long run.
4. Be Organised
It may seem obvious but it pays to keep on top of literally EVERYTHING. This came easy to me because any form of organisation is basically like porn for me, but if you’re not the most organised of people, it’s still worth doing. Make a spreadsheet of your expenses and the dates that your suppliers need to be paid by, and if you’re feeling really organised you can even make one to keep track of your guest list – i.e. whether people have RSVP’d, if they’re bringing a guest, if they have any dietary requirements. Another thing I did was I had a folder with hard copies of everything in. In this day and age of course, everything is online, but sometimes it was nice to physically have things on a piece of paper in front of me – you can make rough notes, and it’s handy if you can’t access your emails straight away.
5. The Little Things Genuinely Won’t Matter on the Day
Again, it’s easier said than done when you say not to worry about these things, but honestly, it’s true. To put things into perspective, I’ll give you a brief list of the “little things” I genuinely lost sleep over:
- What will people do after the meal when the room is being changed over for the evening reception?
- How will we make sure all of the photos we want get done? Who’s going to organise people for them?
- How will people get to the venue? Should we have arranged transport?
There were plenty more where that came from, but these were definitely the most common. I can honestly say that during the entire day, none of these things mattered. People keep themselves occupied during any turnaround bits, they’ll check into their rooms or they’ll pay a visit to the bar. If anything it gives you a chance to talk to people a bit more! As for the photos, we were lucky enough to have some great photographers who did pretty much all the work for us – all we had to do was give them a list of the photos we wanted. If you’re still worried, delegate the task to someone in your wedding party, like a bridesmaid or your best man! When it comes to getting to the venue, again, people are grown-ass adults – they’ll find a way! The beauty of weddings is you give out the invitations with plenty of notice, so your guests will have plenty of time to arrange transport.
So, that’s it. My un-sugar coated lessons I learned during the year of planning my wedding. I hope you have enjoyed them – like I said earlier, I’m aiming to write a few more wedding posts over the next few months with some more tips what not. It veers away slightly from the mental health side of my blog, but when I started this I was determined to have a little bit of everything here, so that’s what I’m doing.
What lessons did you learn when it came to wedding planning?