Still with us? If you are deep in the planning phase – or just starting to dream – trust us: there are definitely things that will ensure your big day is a disaster. How to Have a Really Terrible Wedding – Part 2.
4. Allow other people to ruin your day
tl;dr – Everyone has an opinion, but you and your fiancé have the final say. We all know that “too many cooks spoil the soup:” everybody has an opinion – and especially regarding a wedding – they want it to be heard. Your cousin skipped the bouquet toss, and never forgave herself – you just HAVE to do that! Your BFF has 124 yards of left-over taffeta that you just HAVE to use! Your aunt’s third husband is famous for his inappropriate dance moves, and she just thinks it is so cute! The list is endless … and if you don’t filter out the unwanted advice and ignore obnoxious behavior, you risk having a very bad time. Pick your battles and fight for what is most important to YOU. If the thought of parent/child dance fills you with dread, then don’t do it. Enlist a team of allies to run interference for you, and let them do their job. The florist or decorator can tactfully turn down the taffeta, the DJ can throw on a slow song to encourage a “different” kind of dance move, your wedding coordinator WILL make sure that any venue or vendor problem is nipped in the bud. But, there will still be less than perfect moments. Try to laugh it off (unless someone a danger to themselves or others). Relax and know that sometimes the best memories are of things that didn’t go quite as planned.
3. Wait until the last minute / play it by ear
tl;dr – This is not a good day to leave things to chance – plan ahead! I’ll be honest – not every single decision needs to be made 12 months in advance, but leaving too many things until the last minute – or just “winging it” can be a real recipe for disaster. Caterer? ASAP. Imagine if you will an event where the DJ plays the Chicken Dance and Electric Slide back to back to back to back … because no one told him not to. Deciding to write your vows after the rehearsal dinner? Bad move. Please don’t leave the seating chart until the morning of, and be sure that your timeline has been nailed down so that your guests and your wedding party know what to do and when. Yes, you can drive yourself bonkers trying to check all the boxes on your list before the big day, so delegate, delegate, DELEGATE – that’s what your wedding coordinator and venue manager – and wedding party – are there for. You don’t want to leave anything to chance – so use ALL of the resources available to you to make it easier on yourself AND your guests.
2. Don’t compromise on anything
tl;dr – Marriages are built on compromise, and weddings should be too. There are certain things that you can insist on, and others that you can let slide. So pick your battles. Have you been dreaming of a Jennifer-Connelly-as-Sarah-in-Labryrinth wedding dress for your entire life (don’t we all?*), but it makes your fiancé have terrible 80’s flashbacks? Do you just HAVE to have a donut wall, but your partner prefers pies? You are *meh* about roses, but they are your SO’s all time favorite? Work together and decide not only what is most important to you (say yes to the dress!), what you can live with, and what you absolutely cannot abide. Remember that there are two (and only two) opinions that matter – and y’all can work together to create a day that reflects BOTH of your personalities. Don’t steamroll your partner (and don’t let yourself be steamrolled). Compromise is the key to a blissful wedding – and future.
1. Spend all the money
tl;dr – Your wedding is the first day of your married life. Don’t start it in debt. I’m from the South, and one thing my momma always says is “Have the party you can afford.” I know, I know, it’s your once in a lifetime chance to “be a princess,” or “splurge on a bespoke suit,” or “eat ALL the prime rib and caviar.” Guess what? It’s not. If you can easily afford $250 champagne, or 15 gourmet food stations – go for it! (And please invite me!) But most of us cannot. Your professional wedding team can work with almost any budget to give you the day of your dreams. Make a budget, give yourself 10-15% “wiggle room,” and stick to it. And please, don’t be shy about sharing your budget with the team. We really want to know, and I promise no one will judge you. You will have a group of creative people who love what they do – and the resources to help make your dream day come true. You may have to compromise (see #2), but you won’t be sorry in the end. If you spend the months leading up to the wedding in a state of panic about how you are going to pay for it … it will be difficult for you to enjoy the event, AND you’ll start your married lives with a giant stack of bills. No bueno. Make a budget – and stick to it.
I’m going to add a bonus tip: most wedding venues have rules. Obey them. Don’t book a licensed venue knowing that you want to provide your own alcohol. Don’t invite more people than the venue can hold. Don’t ask to dance until midnight when the venue has sound / time restrictions. Don’t allow your guests to run amok. If you (or your guests) break the rules, don’t be surprised if you (or they) are asked to leave. If you don’t like the rules of the venue, then DON’T BOOK IT. If you weren’t told about the rules before you get a contract: ASK.
So there it is – how to have a really terrible wedding. We are happy to help you avoid these (and other) wedding planning pitfalls … and will work very hard to make your Vermont barn wedding memorable – for the right reasons.
Missed Part 1? Read it here.
*Full disclosure: I’m both from the 80’s AND from Dallas. My husband is lucky that we had a low-key wedding, but just wait until we renew our vows 🙂 That dress will be mine.