Ok so it’s a bit off topic maybe, but my Lovelies have asked for more Lifestyle content, and sure why not?
So tonight is Mammy’s advice to any Brideys in the audience.
The Him and I got married on a Wednesday, over Christmas in 2009, which was (you might remember) the year of THAT BIG SNOW. I’m sure it was a huge inconvenience to many. I’m sure some people grumbled about our choice of date.
But here’s the thing about weddings, they’re a lot like parenting really. Because everyone has an opinion (or ten) and if you try to please everyone, you’ll spin right through the whole event in a whirlwind of stress and worry.
So from an oul married woman to you, the lucky Lovely who is planning your big day, here are some of my words of wisdom…
- Firstly, you WILL get opinions thrown at you. As usual, people usually don’t mean any harm or to interfere, and yet it can be exhausting. There is NO WAY of avoiding this. We had our whole wedding arranged and booked for 18 months before we even put a ring on. We got engaged just 10 months before the wedding, announcing our engagement and the date and venue etc in one go… and even then, we had “You need to look at this venue/band/DJ etc.” We didn’t. We’d booked what WE wanted. And it was perfect.
2. Do what YOU want. Don’t book a hotel just because that’s where your 4 sisters got married. Don’t get married in a chapel/church/field because that’s what people expect. Don’t have a video if you don’t want one. Don’t wear heels if you don’t want to. Don’t have a top table if it terrifies you. Don’t have a traditional first dance if you hate the thought of it. Decide with your partner how YOU see your day, and WHERE you see it happening, and do it. You’ll be married the same as everyone else whether you have fancy cars or 47 priests on an altar. Your Day, your way. And yes you may have some people grumbling about how THEY would have expected it, or done it, but unless you’re marrying your great Aunt Jacinta, her opinion isn’t that important.
3. Don’t get caught up in who can and can’t make it. Whoever wants to be there and CAN be there, WILL be there. Life gets in the way some times; illness, no babysitter, kids suddenly sick, weather… And while you might be genuinely sad that someone can’t make it, or doesn’t turn up, the wedding will go on without them and you’ll still be married to the love of your life. The only people who NEED to be there, are you and your partner and whoever is celebrating the marriage for you! We had some guests who didn’t make it (or used the snow as an excuse not to make it!) and yet, the day went on and we’re still married.
4. Stick to your means: Don’t put yourself in debt for 5 years for one day. You don’t NEED most of the things you think you do. Why do you need the most expensive hotel? Why do you need 6 Bridesmaids? Why do you need eleventy billion people there? If you WANT them there, go for it. If you don’t, why are they invited? If (like us) you are both from huge families, don’t be afraid to set limits. Only aunts and uncles, or first cousins only, or adults only… or only the family members you see and spend time with? Imagine! Imagine NOT inviting the cousin you haven’t seen since you were 4, or the aunty who you’re pretty sure despises you? Imagine!
If you are going to be paying for this wedding yourselves, YOU are in charge of what, when, how and who…(If getting help, of course the people who are helping to fund it should be respected and included in plans.) Yes of course, many of us want to keep everyone happy, especially our parents, but it is YOUR day and if you are going to have to leave out your team mates or workmates so some schoolmate of your Mum’s (who you don’t know) can come, it might be time to have a chat with Mum. Surround yourselves with the people who mean the most to YOU. (Both of our sets of parents hosted a table each at ours. It worked perfectly for everyone. Just a suggestion!)
5. Say NO. “We want to get you a magician as a gift.” “We’d love to get you doves as a gift.” “I’d love you to wear my veil.” ALL of these are kind gestures and if they suit you, go with them. But if you hate magicians, don’t want to see any birds on the day (unless they’re on your plate) and don’t want to wear a veil, JUST SAY NO. But I might offend someone… Are they you? Are they your partner? Are they getting married? No? Well then, they’ll get over it BECAUSE IT’S NOT THEIR WEDDING DAY!
6. To Kid or not to Kid… OOOOOOOOOh, yes. I am going there. You can probably guess where I’m going with this. Do you WANT kids at your wedding? Then THAT’s your answer. If you have kids, chances are you’ll be glad of some company for them. If you have nieces and nephews, you’ll most likely want them there. I’m talking OTHER people’s kids. It’s so difficult to draw a line here and you’ll always get “Well if the kids aren’t invited, we can’t go…” And while this is sad, it’s not your problem.
If we are invited to a wedding and the kids are invited too, unless it’s their aunt or uncle, they ain’t going NOWHERE! If we’re invited to a wedding and can’t get a babysitter, we don’t go. Or one of us goes. It makes us sad, but our kids come first. If we are invited to a wedding without the kids, usually we highkick it up the road, delighted at the prospect of a date day!
Of course, every situation is different and there are things to consider, (eg. Your friend’s Baby is 5 weeks old and she’s breastfeeding tends to be a genuine enough one), but if it’s someone who has 3 kids and just wants to bring them, then NO. This is hard to do. It causes problems. It did at ours. But we stuck to our guns and only had the first cousins, the youngest of whom was 5. Outside of that, nope. Some people didn’t come. We were sad. We’re still married though.
7. Delegate: If (like me) you are a complete Monica, this can be hard. But rather than getting stressed about what needs to be done the week or day before, delegate. I only had one grown up BM. Thankfully she is as OCD as I am, but she took charge of things like collecting dresses and flowers and such, allowing me to spend the day before my wedding relaxed, getting my nails done and going for tea with Himself. I did the same the day before hers. She gave me a to-do list. I dood it. And never mind the BMs, I bet you have a friend or two who aren’t in the wedding party but who’d love to help with stuff? Let them. Don’t spend the week before your wedding so busy that you miss the excitement of it.
8. On the Day: 1. Between courses at the meal, we went to 2 or 3 tables to say hi to our guests. It only took a few minutes and it meant that we didn’t feel obliged to spend hours after the meal walking around tables. 2. Every so often, we’d meet to take it all in. Just us. He’d nod across or I’d catch his eye and we’d go to the bar, on our own, have a drink and watch the fun unfolding around us. If we hadn’t, we wouldn’t have seen each other all evening AND we’d have missed his cousins doing a human pyramid on the dancefloor!
9. Does it matter? Problems will arise and issues will present themselves. The people you THINK will be problematic or stressful, are usually the opposite. No. The drama Llama usually comes in the person you’d least expect. No matter what arises, stop and ask yourself, Does it really matter? Does it really matter if John Joe and Jacinta won’t come if Nancy is invited? Does it really matter if your hotel tell you they have to change the layout of the room. Does it really matter if your invitations have the wrong shade of mauve on the ribbons? Does it really matter if Uncle Jenny doesn’t like the band? NO. So unless the problem is going to affect you and your Him or Her getting married and declaring your love to each other, feck it. It doesn’t matter.
10. Enjoy. Yes it’s cliched and it’s easier said than done sometimes, but your wedding day REALLY should be THE best day EVER. And it will be if you remember that table plans and flowers and bouquets and all that jazz are superfluous. Only have them if you want them. (Ditch the table pan. I’ve been to so many weddings recently where bar the front row of tables of immediate family, the rest of the hall was free-for-all. Worked great. Allow other people to help, do what YOU want and remember what’s important to YOU.
And if you disagree with anything I’ve written, that’s fine too. My way obviously isn’t how EVERYONE would do it. You don’t have to agree. You do what is right for YOU.
I loved every second of being a Bride. I loved every second of our wedding day. I’d do it all over again in the morning… and I’d even marry the same Him.
If you are getting married, I wish you all the love in the world. Enjoy every magical moment, however and wherever you’re doing it.