The other day, I received an email from a really cool, recently engaged bride. And as excited as she is about being engaged, she's totally lost and a bit discombobulated as she begins her wedding planning journey. Her main obstacles? Well, just like most newly engaged brides, she needs to find her bearings; she feels lost as to where to begin with the wedding plans. And, on top of that giant obstacle, she's missing her amazing mom (she passed away sometime ago) who, "... was a great visionary artistically and would have been so helpful and well, it is what it is. Not complaining, just a little anxious I guess." (OMG. Sniff. Sniff.) Finally, my girl is literally all over the map when it comes to a location for her wedding as she finds herself worrying about her guests making the trip. WOW. I can totally see why she's feeling overwhelmed. Did I mention that she wants a fall wedding. OF 2016?!! Oh dear God!
Okay... So, let's take a deep breath and start at the beginning, shall we? You're engaged! YAY! It's so exciting, and overwhelming at the same time. In-between looking down at your ring every five minutes, and all of the congratulatory FaceBook notifications, it's awesome (but, in the frightening way). Seriously, with every admiration of that FAB engagement ring, inevitably the next question is, "When are you getting married?". Right? RIGHT. And, it feels like it should be so easy to plan a wedding because there is a shitload of advice and "how to's" out there about where to begin, right? Right. So, what's the problem? Well, not all of the advice out there is good advice, and considering that the majority of you are new to to wedding planning, it's tough to decipher what's good, and what's crap.
It's funny to me, because you know what's missing from all of that "expert" wedding planning advice out there? The one BIG, yet extremely simple question whose answer will act as your wedding planning guide? Hold on... Allow me to step onto my soapbox... Ready? Ahem... "What is important to you (and your sig other), bridey?" PERIOD. Easy, right? I mean, whose wedding is it anyway? It's YOURS! So, own it like you would anything else in your life. Take a step back and ask yourself what's most important. We pretty much ask this question while tackling any other obstacle we take on in our lives, yes? So, start simply. Ask yourself what's most important, and you'd be amazed at how quickly the rest will fall into place.
Getting back to my overwhelmed, missing her mom, on the never ending road trip to finding the best wedding venue, bride? Obviously, I asked her what is most important to her (and her sig other), but I also suggested that she let go of the bullshit. Stop trying to please everybody because it never works. She and her man have been to several weddings, across the country (and world for that matter), so to get sidetracked on location because you are being considerate of your guests (is nice, but...) is a roadblock. So, get rid of it. You've traveled the world for your friends and family, and they will either do the same for you, or they won't. Of course, you hope that everybody on your list will attend your wedding (even in Timbuktu), or most everybody, but even if you had it in your backyard, bridey, there are no guarantees, so let yourself off of the hook.
No matter how long your mom has been gone, planning a wedding without her still hurts. And, while there is nothing I can say to take that pain away, what I can do, is suggest is to subtly include her memory into your planning, and into your wedding day. Bridey, how you choose to do this is personal and will be different for each of you. Just be careful not to get overly indulgent, and remember that your mom would have wanted you to be happy while you plan and also on your wedding day.
Bottom line? Planning a wedding is exciting and overwhelming. So, when in doubt, just ask yourself, "Whose wedding is it anyway?"