With the exciting process of planning your wedding day, it can be easy to over complicate the simple. For many brides, the excitement for creating a one-of-a-kind wedding gradually begins to muddle their vision and cause them to feel flustered and overwhelmed by the task at hand.
There is no shame in wanting one of the most important days of your life to be unique, beautiful, and memorable! That said, there is no reason to make your wedding planning experience a painful and unnecessarily exhausting one by trying to reinvent the wheel. So with that in mind, here are a few thoughts on three of the most impactful “this or that” considerations when trying to keep stress levels low:
Venue: Avant-Garde or Established
Many couples have the false impression that a “backyard wedding” will help save money, when in reality, they often weddings cost as much and often more than those hosted with an official venue. While the idea of a popular, established wedding venue may seem less creative than a wedding in the wilderness or on the family farm, it can definitely save you a lot of time, money, and complications in comparison.
It’s easy to forget that, unlike a venue that is set up to host weddings all of the time, hosting a wedding in an unestablished location will require extra resources like a tent, tables, ceremony and reception chairs, lighting, electricity, restrooms, staging, rain plans, microphones, catering space, directional signage, temperature control options, parking assistance, special permits, event insurance, extra labor for setup and teardown… The list goes on! Though a completely avant-garde venue can be incredible, it’s quite often not worth the time, energy, or money, if you’re on any kind of budget.
Decor: DIY or Professional Design
One of the oldest misconceptions in the book of wedding planning is that creating all of your own centerpieces and decor will save you money. There can be a little bit of truth to that, but only before you consider the fact that time is money. There is nothing more daunting than the moment when good intentions collide with the pressure of a fast approaching wedding, and far too many brides learn this the hard way.
Not only does DIY work require personal time, product trials, materials, space to assemble, and storage before and after the event, it also requires coordination that must be communicated to others for setup, teardown, and return plans. Unlike rented decor, DIY decor doesn’t come with professionals who will not only take on all of the hard work for you but who also can set up and remove everything with no burden to the bride or family. (Not to mention, traditional live flowers for centerpieces bring life to a room.)
Professionals exist because they know what they’re doing and they enjoy what they’re doing. Support (often small) businesses and leave the work to them!
Wedding Day Timeline: Switch It Up or Stick with Tradition
It’s natural for engaged couples to strive to make their wedding day stand out from others, but the wedding day timeline is not the best place to do that. Though it might feel uninspired to have the same flow of events as other weddings (ceremony, followed by cocktail hour, followed by reception), that sequence shouldn’t be underappreciated. Weddings share this same general “run of show” for two primary reasons:
First, this general timeline has been refined and honed from years of wedding experience. There’s a reason for everything. For example, the ceremony is usually scheduled in the afternoon to allow for plenty of time for getting dressed and taking photos, while the cocktail hour after the ceremony offers guests the luxury of casually arriving to the party and gives the wedding party sufficient time to take family and newlywed photos.
Second, the familiarity of a wedding day timeline is one of the most thoughtful things you can give your guests. Guests are often somewhat familiar with the way a wedding flows, and whether they know it or not, that familiarity offers a sense of comfort. The decision to invite more than essential guests (your immediate families) is deciding to have a party, and having a party means you need to take care of guests and do most everything with guest experience in mind. Unless lots of time and money is spent to properly guide guests through an unfamiliar wedding flow, too much variation to what guests will expect can cause a sense of confusion, disorganization, and chaos. Do yourself and your guests a favor and stick to the basic structure of a classic, traditional wedding day timeline. There are plenty of other ways to add pizzazz to your day without rocking the boat.