If your wedding is approaching, here are some things to keep in mind.
1 - Did you ever see the movie Diner? The couple played by Daniel Stern and Ellen Barkin spends all of their time planning their wedding, to the exclusion of everything else. Finally he snaps, complaining that he doesn't remember what they ever talked about before their engagement.
Can your relationship stand on its own feet if you removed all the wedding preparation talk? If not, are you really in love with your fiance? Or are you in love with the dream of being a bride?
2 - To have -- Many guests happily bring money-laden cards to the reception with them.
Having a dedicated person stationed at the wishing well or card box will discourage theft of what may be a sizable amount of wedding money.
3 - To hold -- Brides are generally busy holding bouquets instead of purses on their wedding days. However, many brides also have medical conditions that require daily medication.
Make sure your health doesn't nosedive because you don't have quick access to your purse with all your medication. Assign one of your bridal party to carry your medications for you, and to remind you to take them in the swirl of a busy and exciting day.
4 - From this day forward -- You will be shocked at how quickly the day speeds by. You may also become overwhelmed with emotion, which can turn your normally sharp mind into hazy confusion at times.
In order to get all of your dream wedding shots from your photographer, plan those out well in advance of the day. Once those key moments are past, there's no do-over.
5 - For better -- As you move from singlehood into marriage, your wedding is a good training ground for practising the art of putting other people's needs before your own.
Weddings are also about the frail grandparent who would love to dance with the handsome young groom, but needs her walker. Your new husband can ask the grandparent to join him along with her walker and do a slower-than-usual fox trot that doesn't travel too much.
6 - For worse -- In every family there's someone who doesn't get along with someone else, or whose behavior is so obnoxious they are sure to cause a scene.
If there's a real threat of discord breaking out amongst your guests, perhaps assign a friend or family member to steer the offenders clear of one another. If your Big Day can't proceed without combatants, take as many steps as possible to diffuse volatile situations before they begin.
7 - For richer -- Unless money is truly no object for you, have you taken a second and third look at the sorts of things on which you're currently spending money? It's easy to get swept up in the excitement of the day, but are your guests really going to keep the cute little monogrammed bells you've ordered to go in the little gossamer favor bags?
Rethinking little details like those, which seem so romantic, can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars as you head into the first year of your marriage.
8 - For poorer -- Are there people in your life for whom being part of the wedding party is too much of a financial burden? Participating in a wedding can cost a good amount, from paying for a bridesmaid's gown to airfare if it's out of town or a destination wedding.
Consider paying some of the costs for a friend in need, if you couldn't bear to hold your wedding day without her. Tell her it's your gift to her for a lifetime of friendship and support.
9 - In sickness -- Are there chemically-sensitive people in your wedding party or on the guest list?
Avoid using scented candles during the ceremony, decorating the church or hall with potpourri, or included scented soaps or other fragrance items in any wedding favors.
10 - In health -- Are you remembering to take time to recharge your batteries as the moments count down to the Big Day?
You want to be able to truly enjoy such a milestone day. Don't wake up on your wedding morning with a sore throat and a fever. Take an extra moment and eat. Stay well-hydrated. Get more rest than you think you can afford as you race around taking care of this and that.
11 - To love -- You may become very swept up in the passion of the moment, yet when you kiss for the first time as husband and wife, try to recall that a wedding is a public ceremony.
Keep the x-rated smooching for later, after the guests are gone.
12 - To cherish -- Are you a scapbooker?
In the same way that you would assign someone to remember your medications on your behalf, or the way you pre-plan your wedding shots, don't forget to set aside the little signposts of your Special Day: brochures with the wedding site printed on them, paper napkins with the hotel logo, or a business card from the caterer.
13 - Till death us do part -- Is there a cherished family member or friend missing from your wedding celebration?
Carry them up the aisle with you. Wear your dad's cuff link through the lace on your shoulder, or carry your mom's favorite brooch by pinning it to the ribbons holding your bouquet together.
What are your tried-and-true suggestions for new brides-to-be?
Photo by Helen Tansey
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