Well, technically it wasn’t my wedding. For our silver 25th wedding anniversary on July 24th a few years ago now, my husband and I decided to have a vow renewal ceremony and big party. Almost everything was identical to planning a big wedding and—wow—I am glad I went through the experience. Over 6 months I felt like an engaged bride, living the life of planning a wedding. I sent save the date cards, planned the reception including decorating, renting tent, tables, chairs and place settings, hired the caterer, tasted cake (that was fun) and, well, did everything that all of you engaged folks are doing. I even have a proposal story because my husband re-proposed to me. And of course, I hired a celebrant to write and officiate our ceremony.
I learned so much being in the shoes, so to speak, of a bride (they were strappy silver sandals, btw). Sure, I had been though this process 25 years earlier, but my actual wedding was smaller than my anniversary event and even so, I forgot how much work it was. I am happy that I got this crash course in wedding planning now that I am in the biz as a wedding officiant and wedding blogger.
Here are the top 4 things I learned about getting ready for the big day.
#1. Don’t worry so much! Yes, just like many of you, I was worried about—everything! Would the dress fit right, would my shoes hurt after a long evening of dancing, would the weather cooperate, would I be anxious during my vows? It was iffy, but the rain managed to hold off, my feet were very happy, my dress was perfect and yes I was anxious during my vows. And you know what, it didn’t really matter whether I was worried or not, everything was magical about the day.
#2. Hire experts! Even though I am in the wedding business, it doesn’t mean I can put together a wedding all by myself. It takes a lot of time and coordination and different skills to pull off a big wedding. Find professionals who can help you make the experience more enjoyable and help reduce your worry (see #1).
#3. Have lots of great friends! And delegate to those great friends because you can’t do this alone! There is so much to do, even if you have hired many experts to make your wedding day go smoothly, so lean on your friends. Maybe Sue is great at flower arranging or Jim is tall enough to hang decorations—whatever talent your friends have, make use of them.
#4. Focus on your mate! With all the practical issues surrounding a wedding, it is easy to forget to give attention to your spouse. Take time to hug and kiss every moment possible throughout the planning process and of course during the actual celebration. After all, he or she is why you are so happy to do all this wedding planning and get married (or, in my case, anniversary planning and renew vows)!