Wedding tips

Brautstrauss 2Last week, I came across some pictures of our wedding and spent some time reminiscing. It’s probably the best that can be said about any wedding that groom and bride are firmly convinced it’s the best wedding they ever attended. That’s what we do, and rose-tinted glasses aside, I also think that, objectively, our wedding went very well indeed. Partly this was because my husband and I were veterans of many other weddings, and were thus able to avoid a number of pitfalls. Because spring is coming, and with it loads of weddings (and thinking about weddings is far preferable to contemplating the stubborn snow that is still lying outside), here are some of my tips for a perfect wedding. Please add your own tips below!

  • Stay in complete control of the whole procedure. With that I mean venue, guest list, food, entertainment etc. A friend of mine was forced by her mom to invite hoards of second cousins, for example, but as a result she could only invite one personal friend, and she is still upset about that fifteen years later. Of course, it’s much easier to block off parental interference if you are older, and even easier if you pay for everything yourself.
  • When you delegate – as I did to a very old friend who served as ringmaster throughout the day, arranging who was to hold a speech when and what games were played in what order – do so to a person in whose excellent good sense and taste you can trust implicitly. An example: Here, it is traditional to kidnap the bride and hold her ransom until the groom has performed some funny tasks. Some couples like this tradition, but I did not intend to spend the better half of the evening in some room away from the party, and so we vetoed this early on. As a result, we got to enjoy the day without ever wondering how we’d be embarrassed next.
  • Don’t ever let your guests go hungry. You’d think this one was self-evident. Think again! I went hungry – badly  hungry – at two weddings I attended. At the first, after one very small entrée of melon and bacon, we had to listen to speeches for about 45 minutes, and by the end of that my stomach made the most alarming and embarrassing noises. It was worse some years later, when the whole party was made to wait for the guest of honor – a favorite aunt whose plane from the United States was several hours late. Dinner was held back for almost two hours, and there we sat with champagne in our blood and a single piece of bread for each person as part of the table decorations. That was ghastly. So never underestimate the importance of spacing out meals evenly.
  • If your fiancé has a decided taste in fashion, take him along when you buy the wedding dress. My husband and I have very different tastes when it comes to women’s clothes, and we both knew that if I chose the dress on my own, or with a friend, chances were high he’d dislike it, while this was the one day I wanted him to be struck speechless with my beauty. So I took him along to the wedding boutique, and we had a lovely day choosing the dress. Really! We were relaxed, we had fun, and it was a most romantic experience.
  • Either do your makeup the way you always to it, or get a really good makeup artist with a light touch to do it for you. You want to recognise yourself in the wedding pictures.
  • Mix the entertainment so that there’s something for each age group. We had a puppeteer in the afternoon, later we had both waltzes and disco music, there was a short break after tea so that whoever wanted or needed this could either lie down for a minute or go for a short walk.
  • Strike a balance between what each of you – bride and groom – want at your wedding, and what will keep the guests happy and entertained. For me, a wedding is only delightful if neither side is bored, or stressed, or feels marginalized.

So what are your tips for a wonderful wedding celebration?

Rike

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13 Responses to “Wedding tips”

  1. Tee says:

    This is timely for me and I’ll be paying attention to all the responses. My youngest daughter will be getting married at the end of May. She’s the first one of my three kids doing so. (I believe the first two may just be a perpetual bachelor and bachelorette.) I’m probably older than most parents are whose kids are getting married. Some of my peer group have grandchildren of an age that could marry. I’m a bit out of it with the planning and am happy that my daughters have their ideas and I gratefully accept them. But both girls live out-state; in fact, one lives in London. The wedding will be in my city. It’s been a little on the tough side getting everyone coordinated; and at times I think I’m failing at it. So much to get done and so little time remaining to accomplish it all.

    Geez–I haven’t even begun looking for a dress for me. Yikes! I panic every time I think about that, but I’m waiting for one of them to come in to help me look and choose. A clothes horse I am not.

    So, Rike, you gave your side of it and it was good to read. I’m anxious to hear some comments from the other side too (the parents) to equal it out. Basically, though, my attitude is that it’s the couple’s day and it should be their ideas and choices. When asked, I’ll give my opinion, but know it’s theirs to make in the end. If it’s important enough to me, I may bring up something; but I always say, “Your call.”

  2. Victoria S says:

    We will have had our “perfect” wedding day thirty-one years ago on the 15Th of September. And while there are things that stand out in my memory about that day ( I went home , wedding dress veil and all,in the back seat of a yellow VW because we didn’t have enough money for a limo, so one of our cousins drove us home) :-)

    The best part of that wedding day has been the marriage. Wedding days are great, but the marriage is even greater. One day that took me about 7-8 months to plan vs. 31 years–no comparison!!!!
    Enjoy your wedding day, but don’t get bogged down in wedding day minutiae.
    Take as much time to enjoy your spouse and any family you make as you did agonizing over which color Blush you should use on the table linens.
    And it’s your wedding day—have fun!!!

  3. Susan/DC says:

    The advice I give is to relax and enjoy the day. Too many people (generally the brides) are focused on a perfect wedding, which is impossible. First of all, every single guest has a different idea of what constitutes a “perfect” wedding. Second, to a large extent the guests don’t care. They want good food and a comfortable place to sit, beyond that they are usually indifferent. They love you, you love them, they are there to share in your joy — that’s the main point of the day. The kind of flowers in your bouquet or the style of tabletop decorations don’t matter. So get the best food you can afford and make sure the guests are protected from the elements if need be, and then don’t sweat the small stuff (and the rest is all small stuff).

  4. Andre Nievo says:

    Many people might not noticed this but you have give a valuable wedding tips.

  5. Meri says:

    jaja my brother got married this past weekend. Everybody says It was perfect. Fun, original, wonderful food and ,most important, the couple looked realy in love (by brother smile in the church made ME cry).

    What the bride’s side doesn´t known is that the groom, half his family (myself included) and friends had food poisoning. A cousing had a syncope and the doctor was refusing to assit him and my other brother was almost arrested for threatening the doctor(with a law suit).

    So my advise is relax and have fun. Happiness is an state of mind.

  6. carrie says:

    Weddings don’t have to be uber-expensive. My daughter was married about two years ago and we had a budget of $5000. We went over a bit, but managed to stay close.

    ~We had a local store make wedding cupcakes at a fraction of the cost of an expensive cake. The bride and groom cut a small decorated layer cake and everyone else ate cupcakes. It was a hit.
    ~A young friend was apprenticing for a portrait/wedding photographer and did an AMAZING wedding album, CD, and music montage DVD for $500. We chipped in extra to have smaller albums made for grandmothers.
    ~We found a beautiful tea length dress at a Bridal outlet.
    ~We had the wedding and the reception in the same place, a beautifully decorated Spanish tapas bar. The food is were we put the majority of our money, and it was worth it. The food was plentiful and amazing, and people are still saying it was the best wedding food they’d ever eaten. ~Many guests also thanked us for not having them drive across country from the church to the reception. Out-of-town guests were especially appreciative for not having to find two unknown places in a strange city.
    ~My daughter made her bouquet, those of her sisters, and the flower girl’s basket out of silk flowers, and she made the table arrangements. She designed and printed her own invitations, as well.
    ~In lieu of a rehearsal dinner, we had a simple buffet at our home for family and all out-of-town guests. This way, the bridal couple was able to actually visit with friends and family who had made the trip for the wedding.

    My own wedding 26 years ago was simple and fun. My tip: Keep it simple so you can have fun and not worry about a bunch of crazy details. Your wedding day should be FUN. And, expect at least one thing to go wrong, so roll with it. For my wedding it was forgetting to buy a guest book, and for my daughter’s it was forgetting the groom’s ring in the dressing area. They faked putting it on him during the actual ceremony and no one knew until afterward!

  7. xina says:

    My son was married 4 years ago. I think it is much easier being the groom’s parents than the bride’s parents. My DIL mother was pretty stressed for months and even at the wedding. They live in Iowa, so I couldn’t help her that much. She has a huge family, and we have a very small one, so most of the guests were their friends and relatives. Looking back, it went off without any problems. And Tee….congratulations! I think the dress for the mother of the bride is more important than the mother of the groom. In fact, I took months to find something and it happened that my DIL’s aunt was wearing the same thing! We laughed about it, but it was a little weird. We are both the same size in height and weight, but she is blonde and I am more reddish blonde.

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