Getting engaged is exciting. Whether you’ve been with your partner for a little or a long time, taking your relationship to the next level is a big step. Getting married is even more exciting! Celebrating your commitment to each other in front of your loved ones will be the BEST day of your life.
Sadly the voyage from engagement to marriage isn’t always smooth sailing and the process of actually planning your dream day may not be what you expect.
In this raw post I’ll share 5 things you should know before you start planning to hopefully prepare you for the rough seas that may be ahead.
1. It will be harder than you think
Planning your wedding is going to be a shit-tonne of work. It’s going to be stressful. I can absolutely guarantee that at some point in time you will consider eloping just because it all seems too bloody hard.
I’ve quizzed hundreds of brides-to-be and a massive 96% of them reported feeling stressed out about their wedding at one point or another.
There are many things you can do to keep your stress levels down (start by reading my book!) BUT please understand, planning the biggest day of your life won’t be all roses.
2. It will be more time consuming than you think
This may surprise you but of the weddings I’ve planned, most of them have around 120 tasks that need to be completed. 120! Some have less and some significantly more.
From the clothes to the cake, the flowers to the food, there are lots of moving parts to a wedding that need to be organised. It takes time to do all of these.
Industry stats say the “average” wedding (I hate that term, but anyway) takes over 200 hours to plan. That’s 5 weeks full time work! Most couples spread this out over a 12 or 18 month window but it’s still, it’s a lot to do.
So, if you don’t have a long period of time to plan your wedding, best get started quickly. The more organised you are in advance... the less stressed you’ll be on the day.
3. It will cost more than you think
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard how expensive weddings are. Or at least, they CAN be. This is not to say you need a massive budget (some of my favourite weddings have been done on a shoestring) but you will need some money. And more money than you originally think.
I’ve helped plan $100k weddings and I’ve known couples who’ve planned $5k weddings and you know what they had in common? They went over budget. Pretty much every wedding costs more than you think it will.
Technically speaking, all you really need is a celebrant (which can cost just a few hundred dollars) and a couples of witnesses but for some reason, weddings turn normally sane people into stressed-out spend-a-holics. You have been warned!
4. It will take over your life
The term bridezilla is thrown around alot these days and I understand why. Weddings have a tendency to bring out both the best AND the worst in people.
Now, I was a psychiatric nurse for 10 years, so I feel fairly qualified in saying that wedding planning triggers something in women. They get preoccupied to the point of obsession about every tiny little detail. It literally takes over their lives.
You might be sitting there thinking, ha… not me, but don't be so sure. Pretty soon you’ll be spending hours looking for wedding favours, Google-stalking photographers, ordering colour swatches and Pinning a million things you’ve never even heard of before.
When you partner gets sick of hearing about it, your besties have stopped calling and even your mum rolls her eyes when you mention the wedding, you’ll know it’s happened to you too!
Don’t stress though, it’s a temporary insanity and everyone will forgive you for it. Eventually!
5. You should start with the end in mind
This is, unfortunately, the most well kept secret in the world of wedding planning. The absolute BEST thing you can do to make sure your wedding doesn’t stress you out too much, cost too much or take longer to plan than necessary is this… start with the end in mind.
Spend time at the beginning (eg right NOW) getting crystal clear on what you want. What I call your Wedding Concept. Not just a Pinterest board and a generic theme, but a really rich, deep, insightful blueprint of how your day will look and feel. What makes you unique, individually and as a couple? How can you use that to create a magical and memorable wedding?
I’m always astounded at how few couples both to really conceptualise their wedding. Er, it’s the biggest, expensive event you’ll ever plan!
All planners, all businesses really, what do they do first? For each new project, they build a proposal. They create a document that outlines expectations and the scope of their work. They get clear on what they will deliver and then produce a plan to make it happen.
This is what I suggest for your wedding too. Think of it like this, if your wedding planning was a jigsaw puzzle, your Wedding Concept would be the picture on the front of the box. Much easier to figure out where all the pieces go when you have one!
So, to summarise… your wedding is going to be more challenging, more expensive and more time consuming than you thought BUT you can drastically reduce the extent of that by having a clear, well thought-out, well documented vision of what you want. And I can teach you how to create that (did I mention my book?) so you don’t book or buy the wrong things along the way.
Your wedding will still take over your life… but you really won’t mind at all. All the best lovely 🙂
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