Since planning my own wedding and taking my relationship so nauseatingly public, I’ve learned how remarkably easy it is to relate to each other. I’m in a same-sex relationship and I live in New York City, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t relate to every other girl out there who is planning a wedding of her own. Any of us who have planned or are now planning a wedding knows that we all face similar challenges during a time that is both exciting and stressful. I’ve amassed some advice that I believe is pretty solid.
Here are my top five little tiny pearls of wedding planning wisdom:
1. Create a new e-mail address for your wedding. You’ll be SO glad you did this. I thought I was being cute and clever when I came up with 2brides2be, which began as an e-mail address before I had the idea for a blog and then the site you see today. Keeping our wedding e-mails out of our individual inboxes kept us organized without getting us overwhelmed.
2. Don’t hire a single vendor that you don’t connect with. I know the word “connect” can be so ridiculous. I’m not one to sit down for coffee with plans to become besties with my potential photographer, but I’m glad that my wife and I went with our instincts on who to work with. Planning our wedding was a blast, in part because we genuinely enjoyed everyone who helped make it happen.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ya know when you read a wedding blog and the bride gushes about her sister-in-law who baked the wedding cake and six pies for the dessert table, or the great-aunt who sewed burlap table runners and you’re thinking,Seriously? I have no one in my life that can build a chuppah or bake dessert for 175 people, but they did help in other ways. Sam and I did not have a traditional wedding party, so we found various elements with which to include our loved ones. We had friends helping us make beds in the cabins where many of our guests were staying, and we employed my mom to help us make gift bags. We actually didn’t ask for enough outside help, and I wish we had. Loved one want to be involved and most will be willing to lend a hand. (Anyone who isn’t will probably let you know!)
4. Take your ceremony seriously! Don’t laugh or roll your eyes because this seems SO obvious. When planning our ceremony I was terrified at the thought of making everyone sit there and pay attention to such intimate moments between us. I am so glad that we hired a professional Celebrant and I am glad that we asked our friends and family to gather with us. Who cares if your ceremony is a little long? We gave our guests cocktails and knew they would sit still for a little while! I know a major wedding trend right now is for couples to ask a friend to officiate their wedding. Some of my own friends have done this and it made for such a personal and enjoyable ceremony. I do not recommend asking a friend who has never done anything like this, but I do think this is an especially excellent idea if you have a friend or relative who has previously performed a ceremony, and even better if you love your Priest or Rabbi, if your mom’s best friend is a minister, or if you find yourself in some other similar situation. This is your wedding day, and it’s okay to gather your guests to witness a beautiful, well-planned ceremony. My wife and I were married by a seasoned pro who knew how to handle such an important occasion. Take the ceremony seriously and allow it to be special.
5. Sit down and discuss the wedding of your dreams with your fiancée. You cannot plan a wedding trying to make everyone else happy. If you attempt to do that, you will just end up making yourselves unhappy. Sam and I didn’t want to spend our entire wedding day having our hair & make-up done, so we had a big brunch followed by Kegs & Kickball. We got to enjoy our whole day with family and friends. Plan the wedding you really want and your loved ones will be honored to celebrate with you, even if they think kickball on your wedding day is nuts.
If you’re not planning a wedding and you’re going to like, a thousand this year, here are only two tiny things to remember:
1. Don’t complain to the bride. If you have a concern or a complaint, find someone else—anyone else—to share it with.
2. Bring a card. If you’re not giving a gift for any reason, at least write a nice card. We had friends who went out of their way to find cards on Etsy that were meant for two brides, and those are special keepsakes. I won’t forget that they did that, and I’ve since made it a point to do the same myself. (This has become much easier this past year as more and more mainstream companies roll out same-sex greeting cards).
Leave your own little pearls of wisdom in the comments.