The Wedding Planning Issues You'll Come Up Against – And How To Solve Them
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Organising a wedding is an exciting, fun, traumatising and stressful time – in fact, think of an emotion, any emotion and chances are you’ll have felt it at one point or another on your journey planning the biggest party of your lives.
Well we've been there, so we want to pass on what we've learned along the way in the hope it will make your planning go a little smoother.
In the words of the great Mark McCabe, are you ready?
Promising yourself you’ll lose weight
Sample sales are so tempting – after all, it is very possible to get the dress of our dreams for a fraction of the cost. (We’ve all seen that episode of Friends.)
But what’s the point if we can’t fit into the damn yoke? Most of us tell ourselves that in the lead up we’ll be working out like demons and drinking pots of that tea that promises us rock hard abs. Yeah, sure, we might. Unfortunately, might isn't good enough when we’re bawling a month before the wedding because we can’t get our dream dress over our arses.
Never buy a smaller dress, no matter how tempting the bargain. You don’t need that pressure. Instead, buy it in your actual size and make sure in advance that your bridal shop or a good dressmaker will be able to alter it if you lose weight.
Freaking out at the thought of doing a first dance
For most of us, the last time we were on any kind of a stage was for our Christmas concert back in primary school. So is it any wonder that lepping about in front of loads of people (to a sappy song) makes our insides go a bit funny?
My husband and I were definitely nervous at the idea of it but we said feck it, picked a song we loved, and swayed like we never swayed before. And it was lovely.
If you don’t want to do a first dance, you don’t have to. The beauty of a modern wedding is that anything goes, so if it’s really making you sweat or it’s just not your cup of tea, skip it.
But if you’re just a little nervous, talk to people you know that have done it. I can pretty much guarantee they’ll say they actually enjoyed it. Oh, and pick any song you want – after all, romantic doesn’t necessarily mean soppy.
Blowing your budget
Much as we love ogling them, wedding blogs have ruined us. We see centrepieces of pears spray painted gold, more fairy lights than every Argos store in the country could ever hope to sell us and reception tables that look like something from the glory days of the Roman Empire.
But unless you have an unlimited budget, there are going to be some things that just won’t be possible – which I know can be hard to hear when you have your heart set on pulling off a day that looks like a Vogue fashion spread.
First of all, give yourself a break. Your wedding will be gorgeous, because it’ll be yours.
The best advice I can give if you’re getting overwhelmed is to assign the bulk of your budget to the things you care about the most, and spend a little less on others.
Write everything down in order of priority and see where you can make savings. For example, you might want to go all out on the décor so you could trim the budget by using a Spotify playlist instead of a DJ. Alternatively, you could skip the favours and get your bridesmaids to wear their own dresses so you have a little more spends for the venue.
Trimming down the guest-list
Any couples who have spent time at the hellmouth that is guest list trimming will tell you it’s one of the most stressful parts of the whole shebang, especially when you have chosen a small venue.
“Do we have to invite Sheila’s fella? We barely know him; but wait she’s coming from up the country and needs someone to travel with her and anyway it would seem really stingy if we told her he couldn’t come but then if he does comes we won’t be able to invite Dan, who actually we know and really like.”
See? Total, unrelenting torture.
I’m going to suggest you get brutal here – but within reason. If you’re desperate to keep the numbers down, don’t feel obliged to offer plus ones for partners, unless you know them well.
Look at it on a case-by-case basis. If a lot of your friends know each other, they won’t need to bring someone but if there’s one friend who knows nobody, would you not be sound and throw them a plus one for the love of God? And if your wider family is huge, a diplomatic way to cut numbers is to invite one or two representatives from each. They’ll understand that you can’t invite them all. Hopefully.
Feeling the pressure to invite your parents’ mates
Which leads us smoothly to the next pain in the arse – the passive aggressive (or not-so-passive-at-all) pressure to invite the whole of the rugby club, your Da’s workmates and “a few of the girls” from your mother’s Zumba class. And worse, your parents have given you cash towards the wedding, so you can’t say no, can you?
YES YOU CAN.
It’s a lovely gesture to invite your parents to ask their close friends to the wedding. After all, sharing it with their besties will probably make it even more fun from them, and who are we to deprive them?
Saying that, we have a limit. It’s our wedding day, so why should we bump our friends off the guest-list for people we barely know? A good way to approach it is to give your parents a number of people they can invite from the off, and tell them they have to stick to it. If they wheedle for a few extras, stand firm and tell them you love them dearly but you’re already up to your limit.
Losing the rag because people won't RSVP
You’ve excitedly sent out your invites and now you’re sitting back, waiting for the RSVPs to roll in. But wait, after a steady flow for the first couple of days, you’ve heard nada since. Nearly half of the people YOU WERE KIND ENOUGH TO INVITE haven’t replied and the wedding is in less than a month. Sweet suffering Jesus.
Firstly, cool the jets. It isn't anything personal. Sure, your world revolves around your wedding right now, but strangely enough, other peoples' lives are going on as normal.
To put it simply, people are lazy and/or forgetful, and it doesn't mean they aren't excited to be part of your day. A few weeks before finalising your list with the venue, just re-email the stragglers and politely say, “Hi guys, haven't heard from you re the wedding. Be great if you could let me know if you can make it. Finalising the guest list so if I don't hear back this week I'm going to assume you won't be able to.” That should put the skids under them.
There you have it - problems solved!