Wendy Dessler eases the bride-to-be’s mind with this guest post on real world wedding planning. Read below for practical tips on planning a wedding without all the over-the-top pressure.
If you believe what you see on social media sites, blogs and in major wedding magazines, you might be convinced that every wedding today must be a Broadway production. Over-the-top, glamorous décor, couture fashion and the kind of entertainment that requires a stage manager definitely makes headlines and is really fun to look at too. However, more couples cite the desire for a wedding that is “simple and elegant” than pretty much any other theme or design concept. Thankfully, it is a lot easier to “keep it simple” than to stage a production any day.
Start with the Venue
Choose a venue that has natural ambiance with a need for little additional décor. Whether you like a rustic barn feel, an outdoor garden or even the comfort of the family backyard, selecting a place that is already inherently lovely will save you time, effort and money.
Limit the Wedding Party
Instead of a large wedding party, consider choosing just an honor attendant for each side. Everything from selecting attire to holding your rehearsal will take less time if there are fewer opinions and bodies involved.
Give Fashion Guidance
Whether you have a single attendant or many, plan to give minimal fashion guidance. For example, ask your attendants to choose their favorite from a selection of grey bridesmaid dresses and let them pick what works best for them. Yes, you may well end up with six different grey bridesmaid dresses in as many styles and fabrics, but your attendants will look great and feel confident. The key to a simple experience is to assert your priorities, and let the rest fall into place, as it will.
Have a Meaningful Ceremony
There are a lot of bells and whistles that can go along with a ceremony – readers, soloists, other live entertainers, unity ceremonies – all of these can enhance an experience but are “extras”. The basics that most ceremonies require are an exchange of vows and a pronouncement of marriage. Add to that what means the most to you (along with any religious or state requirements applicable to your marriage of course) and skip anything that feels more like an obligation than an expression of your love.
Instead of elaborate floral centerpieces, consider a collection of items like antique books for a literary wedding, or clustered framed photos, along with mismatched bud vases and single blooms for each guest table. Turn guest focus to the experience of connecting with each other, not gawking at major décor installations.
Forego the Favors
Things like guest favors and even bathroom courtesy baskets with colognes, feminine hygiene products, gum, mints, hairspray and more are nice, but they are not necessary. If your goal is truly a simple experience, stick exclusively to the things you actually need.
Hire a Great Entertainer and Relax
Don’t feel obligated to spend your entire reception following a carefully guarded timeline performing one ritual after another to please the crowd. If the formalities feel like just that to you, skip them, hire a live band or a great DJ, and let them manage the crowd for the night. Everyone will have fun, you’ll have genuine opportunities to interact with your loved ones, and you might even remember your party – not just the constant tug-of-war between your obligations and your guests.
Events worthy of royalty have their place, but your vision matters. If your goal is to keep things simple, make that your number one priority today – you’ll enjoy your wedding day so much more if it genuinely reflects you.
Title: Super-Connector at OutreachMamaWendy is a super-connector with OutreachMama and Youth Noise NJ who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition. You can contact her on Twitter.