Here’s a little essay I wrote some time ago. Thought I’d mirror it here! ~ Ami (This article has also been mirrored on Heaven’s Gift’s blog)
Just before my wedding (way back in 2005), I resolved that no matter what, short of death or destruction, I was not going to freak out over anything that might go wrong on my big day. Luckily enough for me, despite my lack of attention to a whole lot of details (because I was in the middle of an insane work week when I got married), nothing went badly wrong enough for me to freak out. Of course, there were things that I would have liked to have run smoother or looked better. I could list them out, but the extensive list would make you ladies gasp in horror at the lack of attention I paid to my own wedding. : )
Still, because I had determined to concentrate on nothing else except have fun, I went through it all in a aura of zen calm. And it did me so much good! I thought I should share some of the simple ideas and coping mechanisms I advice my soon-to-be-wed friends to take. Some I put into action at my own wedding, and some I kinda thought up after the event. They’re not groundbreaking ideas and some are pretty common sense, but I figure we need a post that addressed how to prevent and handle wedding boo-boos!
5 WAYS TO PREVENT WEDDING STRESS AND BRIDEZILLA MOMENTS
1. PRIORITISE. First off, decide what you want to prioritise on at your wedding. Do you want it to be first and foremost highly meaningful, awesomely pretty, an occasion to honour family and friends, or simply have fun? Having a priority in mind will help you decide what to keep and what to drop when it comes down to the time crunch on your big day. Eg: Do you spend your time personally overseeing the flower arrangements to get the atmosphere just right or spend the time writing an awesome, tear-jerking speech to thank your parents at the dinner?
(For me and my husband, the main purpose of the wedding was to create a memorable occasion where people had fun. So instead of stressing over frills and pretty details, we went for the experience. We got an awesome R&B live band (Walking on Water), laid out rugs and sofas on the lawn outside Burkill Hall, got professional masseuses to give foot rubs and generally encouraged people to flop around the garden, chat and have wine. We had people who stayed till the absolute end of the wedding because they had so much fun!)
2. STRESS *BEFORE* THE WEDDING. Do all your running around, decision making, contingency planning and assigning of responsibilities before your big day. Any details that cannot be attended to before your wedding, either forget about it, or delegate to other people who can handle it for you. Which brings us to the next point -
3. DELEGATE. On the day, you are untouchable. Put all your energy into being the happiest, nicest bride ever. Foist everything off on a good friend. Most importantly, empower her with decision-making, some money, and your word that you trust her decisions intrinsically. Of course, if you have a wedding planner, all the better!
I had a great group of friends from church who volunteered to help me at my wedding. One of them was put in charge as an overseer and she basically delegated, took stock and checked up on details on my wedding day. I am so grateful I had her around – I think the wedding would not have looked or felt as put-together without her and that group of friends!
4. WHEN THINGS GO WRONG and they will, remember that there’s no such thing as a perfect wedding. Accept that things WILL screw up somewhere and instead of freaking out or taking your attention from enjoying yourself, find a way to make the best of it and make it into an interesting story. It’s often the wedding hiccups that make the best post-wedding stories. But only if you deal with the issues with humour, grace and restraint. And if nothing can be done to fix a problem, shrug your shoulders, close one eye and trust that everyone will be happy for you despite the tear in the dress, the fact that the flowers are not as fresh as they should be or that the makeup artist was a bit overenthusiastic with the blue eye shadow. I know one groom who forgot to bring the bridal bouquet when he went to fetch the bride. In the end he took the entire floral arrangement off the back of his bridal car and presented it to his bride! : ) It was big and bulky, was probably full of highway exhaust, but it did the job and I bet they’re still laughing about it to this day.
5. DO NOT BECOME BRIDEZILLA. Keep topmost in your mind the fact that your wedding is a celebration of love, family and friendship. Don’t get so caught up on the small details that you forget about the overarching reasons for the celebration. The wedding is a big deal, but you’re shortchanging yourself if you lose friends after the event because you threw a hissy fit, you turn out looking stressed and unhappy in the photos, and half the time you are muttering angrily under your breath in the wedding video!
And if something DOES snap and you are inadvertantly curt with someone, find a way to apologise to the person, be he/she friend, family or wedding vendor. They might be in the wrong, but practice grace and apologise for losing your temper. It will do a great deal of good in dispelling tension, keeping the peace on your wedding day and making sure there’s a relationship after the wedding. This applies even for wedding vendors who you will probably not be seeing again – remember they are a part of your wedding too. Nastier ones might actually do things to spite you – think caterers or servers spitting in your food and such! Even for those who don’t strike back in any percievable way, its still in your best interest to keep things cordial because happy vendors are much more likely to go the extra mile for you. Think photographers who will help you photoshop out that huge nasty pimple!
So ok, those are the preventive measures. So what happens when things do go wrong? No one can think of contingencies for every single thing, but I thought we could list out a few scenarios (whether true or hypothetical) and accompanying fixers in the comments, just to give an idea on how to approach wedding problems. So please share your wedding boo boos for the good of brides-to-be!