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2While it’s not good to dwell on the difficulties of planning a wedding, I think  it doesn’t hurt to be honest about what you should know.  Hey, this could be the heads-up that saves you some worry, stress & frustration.  Here are nine things I feel couples often wish they’d been warned about before their Big Day.

  1. You will be required to make lots and lots of decisions.  If decision making is not your strength then plan to call in someone to support you.  Have your fiancé, your Mom or your wedding planner along for your wedding meetings.  It will be much easier on you and you will not be overwhelmed.
  2. Everyone will want to talk about your wedding. Friends, family and total strangers all want to know about the details of your wedding day and how your planning is going.  All of a sudden, everyone cares about this one thing and forgets about everything else going on in your life. Don’t take it personally and don’t get offended. And if you really don’t want to talk about it,  then don’t.
  3. People come out of the woodwork to give you unsolicited advice. You should ignore most of it. No one means to be unkind to you, and they don’t mean to undermine your decisions, but it happens. A lot! When someone offers their advice, listen and politely thank them – whether they’re right or wrong isn’t the question. It’s whether things are right or wrong for you and your wedding.
  4.  You can have a wedding that fits your wallet and wants. It is possible to have an affordable wedding, no matter how much people say it can’t be done. Did you know that the average wedding now costs over $27,000?  I am not so sure about that.  One of the most stressful parts of planning is setting – and sticking to – a budget.  It can be done and you can have an absolutely amazing day with half the average cost.
  5. Concentrate on the things you’ll remember most and don’t stress about (and save money on) the rest. You can save thousands on your wedding budget just by negotiating, shopping around, DIYing most of your wedding needs, and prioritizing the elements of your wedding that matter the most to you.
  6. You will have unexpected costs.  For various reasons — season, location, timing ,etc. — certain vendors/services/other wedding details can end up costing a lot more than you expected. And while you can do your best to negotiate and trim costs or DIY as much as possible, sometimes you have no choice.  This is why it is so important to maintain a budget and to plan with a little cushion so this doesn’t cause you financial stress, too.
  7. RSVP stress.  Be ready for it.  Guests you thought in a million years wouldn’t show say they’re coming and bringing all of their +1s. And worst of all, you may get an RSVP for people who decided not to show at the last minute.  It’s always best to tell your venue that you have fewer people, because it’s always cheaper to add than subtract at the last minute!
  8. There are always people who are willing to help. If there’s one time you could use help, it is during wedding planning. When people offer, find the small things on your checklists you can trust others with, and let them do it.
  9. Plan for something to go wrong.  No matter how much you plan, something will deviate from the plan on that day. Plan for it. Whether it’s the weather, the large gathering of incompatible people, or just Murphy’s Law, prepare for something going wrong. Remember why you’re doing all this work and , most importantly, who you’re ending up with after it all calms down.  Take a deep breath and let it go. It can never be said too many times: things are going to go wrong, and you need to just take it all in stride.

If these stress points are just too much and you need help sorting them out.  Please send me an email or give me a call as to how I can help. What are you stressing about concerning your wedding planning?  Ask a question or leave a comment below.

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Marsha VanArk at Distinctly Yours Wedding & Events