Why is wedding planning viewed with such negativity?
This isn’t a rhetorical question. I’m serious. Someone please answer me. How did we let the wedding planning process become this dark cloud that hovers over a couple? Society, what have we done?!
I consistently hear comments about the “stress” “financial ruin” “burden” “chaos” that comes with wedding planning. I’ve met couples who feel as though they are drowning in stress all because of their wedding. Then bitterness creeps in to the engagement season, wedding day, and sometimes marriage.
Maybe this post will let you into the “why” behind my profession. The statement above is one of my biggest motivators. I don’t want to see another couple suffering through their engagement and overwhelmed by sadness, frustration, anger (you name it) on their wedding day. It shouldn’t be this way.
I’m here to let you in on a secret. It’s pretty important.
Are you listening?
IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY!
Your engagement and your wedding day CAN BE whatever you and your fiancé want.
Here’s how: CHOOSE TO BE INTENTIONAL.
Now before we move on to the tips, there’s something I want to clarify: not making a decision really is a choice. That’s why when I meet a couple the first thing I ask about are their values. I give them the opportunity to clearly decide and define what they want their engagement and wedding day to be about--to be intentional while preparing for marriage.
I’ll go through the foundational steps that I walk through with every couple so you and your fiancé can work through these steps together. Get your notepad or iPad ready.
You’ll find that these are rather simple.
1. List out your values for your wedding day.
What do you want your wedding day to focus on and be filled with? These values can include aesthetic elements. The challenge is keeping the list short. Definitely less than 10, but more than 3.
Examples? Sure thing! I’ve talked with couples about the following values on their wedding day: stress-free, organic, light-hearted, reflective, family focused, spiritual, musical, city-chic, joyful, and creative.
2. List your values for your engagement.
Really, another list? Yes, I’m serious. This second list will guide how you approach the first set of values AND better prepare you for marriage than planning your wedding.
I’ll offer a few examples: peace, connecting with family members, deepening your relationship, joy, financial freedom, quality time with friends, emotional healing, and adjusting to life together.
While it is important that these are two separate lists, elements can overlap.
Starting with the list of engagement and wedding day values allows you and your fiancé to make clear decisions and brings a sense of stability.
When you’re faced with a choice (whether it is about your napkins or how to address a conflict with your bridal party) go back to your list of values. From there if you’ll find what option best aligns with your core values and clearly see which options to avoid.
For example, when you are choosing vendors, pull out your values list. Which vendors align with your values for your wedding day. It will make your choice much clearer and you can feel the freedom to say “No” to a service provider.
Establishing your values sets the pace for how you spend your time, your money, and your thoughts. This also allows your wedding day to be a true reflection of the two of you. It can’t get more intentional than that.
These steps aren’t a magic spell for keeping stress away. You are human beings, so normal stress is going to happen (and a major life change like getting marriage is a natural stressor). Life continues (joys and pains included) when you are preparing for marriage, that’s why it’s so important to be intentional in this season.
You have the power to make this sweet season what you two need and want it to be. Don’t let someone else or society tell you otherwise. Be intentional and it’ll be good--it’ll be just right for you.