Need to plan your wedding and actually enjoy it, or just commiserate on what you wish you did differently, I’ve got some easy tips for you.
Earlier this month I shared that Mr H and I are celebrating our 9 year anniversary and how we would like to go all-out for our 10 year with a vow renewal that would be the wedding we always wanted. Not that we didn’t enjoy parts of our wedding, it was just a difficult day…which I was largely trying to organize from the UK. The ceremony (which should be the most important factor anyway) was perfect, the sermon (by my dad) was great, we were married by my Godparents and the music was on-point…and then everything else was marred by people and elements.
In the spirit of gifting others with hard-learnt knowledge, here’s a list of ways you can be prepared for your wedding. I’m not talking about where to find the best photographer or flowers, but practical things to help you plan your wedding so that you, the couple, enjoy it.
1) Prepare for the weather.
It should be a given but we get hung up on pretty Pinterest images and don’t always think of the practicalities. If you’re wanting the ceremony to be outside under a romantic floral gazebo remember that the weather can be mercurial – especially in Cape Town where we can go from heat waves to hurricanes quicker than a sneeze. In the hot summer months, if you’re outside, people will burn and sweat and there is nothing sexy about streaky foundation and a glistening top lip – think about providing parasols and fans for comfort. If rain is afoot, have a back-up – minced hair is a tragedy. There is no adequate planning for Cape wind though. Sorry.
2) Keep the formalities fun.
Photos are an important part of the wedding day as you want to document each second but don’t let that become the main focus. The day as a whole requires you to ‘be in the moment’. Don’t destroy everyone’s souls by taking hours to capture photos and leaving your guests to wonder aimlessly about with no sustenance. Likewise, pick your minister and master of ceremonies wisely – those who drone on, injecting 100 year old jokes (especially misogynist ones), make it awkward.
3) Don’t over entertain.
Packing in an itinerary of fireworks, marimba bands, petting zoos and acrobatics can turn your wedding into a spectacle rather than a celebration of you as a couple. Entertaining everyone present and featuring something special is great but don’t make it into a circus. Plus, you could save that money and put it towards a great holiday. #justsaying
4) Eat, drink and be merry.
People are happiest when they have full stomachs. It doesn’t have to be an extensive array of fancy food options. You don’t need to fork out thousands on drinks, just have enough. Don’t make people or yourself wait too long for food either – its a quick way to get people tipsy.
5) Are you taking the piss?
My mum came to look at a lot of venues with me and we always checked for two things, 1) air-con, as our wedding was in February and it’s a hot month and 2) whether the toilets were nice enough and big enough for me to get in, hike my dress up and wee. You can forget about some of the small things but trust me, having to pee in a small-ass cubicle whilst wearing a meringue is not pleasant.
6) Don’t be bullied.
Families have a way of being your best friend and your worst enemy and nothing shows this more than a wedding. If you don’t want children at your wedding and your cousin is sulking because that means her 3 year old demon can’t attend, don’t give in. Don’t allow yourself to be emotionally blackmailed because you want a small wedding and your Grandma wants 50 of her ancient friends to be present or your brother wants to bring his new goose who doesn’t even like anyone. Put your foot down. If they don’t like it, then they aren’t worth it – those who love you will get it. I don’t even care if I’m ruffling feathers. This is a celebration of you and your partner coming together to become one, to tread a path where you put each other first.
7) Make it personal.
As you plan your wedding don’t forget to inject your personalities into the day. Don’t be tempted to compare your wedding to others – I know it’s hard – and don’t be afraid to do something truly ‘out-there’. Likewise, if your perfect day is an elopement or a trip to the registry office rather than a big to-do, go for it! No one said you needed to have 12 bridesmaids, champagne fountains and a white dress.
8) Give yourself a day to relax after the wedding before you head off on your honeymoon.
I guarantee that once the wedding is over your emotions will be going haywire. Take a day, or two, to breathe before you head off on a honeymoon so that you can give your holiday your full attention.
In the end, the day is all about you and your partner and celebrating the start of your future together.