If you’ve missed Part 1 of our Wedding Planning Starter Guide series for newly engaged couples on words of wisdom, go back and read it first. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.
What if you are ready to start wedding planning? As with any big project, my advice is to discuss and come to a consensus on the 40,000-foot level, big picture aspects. Sit down and really ask yourselves this question:
What kind of wedding do you want to have? This is a loaded question, no? There are so many ways to answer this question so let me help you dig a little deeper with a few exercises.
- Think back to the weddings or any big parties you have attended in the past. What do you remember most about them? Usually what you remember most are the things that are important to you. So two people can go to the same wedding and remember completely different things about it. Which elements did you like best and least? Use adjectives or phrases to describe them but try to be as specific as you can. It could be the way you felt or how you love the appetizers or how you really enjoyed meeting other guests.
- Here is another exercise. Ask yourselves this: if money was no object, what would your wedding be like? This will represent the ultimate ideal but you’ll also discover that even if you need to scale down your dream to reality, there will be certain elements you are not willing to compromise. That’s important to know.
- Last one. Forget that it’s a wedding. What kind of parties do you like to throw the most? Some people really like intimate dinner parties. Others like to invite everyone over for an open house.
My thinking is that your wedding would not be too far removed from your answers to these questions above. And if that’s the case, then you’ve just created a wedding that is really YOU. Some of you may be able to answer these questions very quickly without having to think about it very much. While some of you may need to take more time to think about it. That’s OK. Take your time. It’s important to have a clear picture of what you want.
Families. I recommend that you discuss how your families will be involved. Families are complicated these days. Figure out how much and in what ways they will participate in the planning process, if at all. Couples planning from afar might need substantial help from parents that live in the Washington, DC area where the wedding may take place to do some leg work. While others may give specific tasks to a sibling or prefer to do all the planning themselves. Whichever combination you choose, make sure the expectations are clear up front.
Some people believe that a wedding is also the joining of two families. With that said, you also want to get a feel for what your respective parents’ expectations are for your wedding.
What is this all about? Ask yourselves what this wedding is all about. Sometimes, the simple answers are the best guiding principles.
In the next chapter of this wedding planning series, we will discuss money and budgeting – Vicky