Your Wedding - Your Way
Stress-free wedding planning that reflects your personal style.
By guest blogger Blair deLaubenfels
Getting engaged brings euphoria, joy, and expectation. But all too often the initial excitement that comes from saying "yes" to the big question gets lost in the attempt to answer all the little questions like who to hire, what to wear, where to get married, and how much will it cost.
Here are five fun steps to help plan the wedding of your dreams, personal style in tact.
1. Share your deepest desires
Great partners care about each other's dreams and know how to lend support to help them come true. Before you run out and tell your family and friends your big news, sit down with your fiancé and make a list based on your deepest desires.
- List ten things that you really want from your wedding and the five things that are most important to you about your honeymoon.
- Number them in order of priority.
- Talk about why you choose those things and make a pact that you will work together to see that most, if not all of your deepest desires will be met as you make your wedding planning decisions. This mutual understanding and trust will help you arrive at decisions and respond to all the well meaning advice you’re bound to encounter on your way.
- If you start worrying over little things, check your priority list to get back to what really matters.
2. Set up your support team
With the help of trustworthy friends, supportive family members, and recommended wedding professionals, you'll be able to design a stress-free wedding. Put together a friends and family team based on love, reliability, and interest, and give some thought to the unique skills and talents each individual can bring to your day. Don't be shy to delegate.
Choose the professionals you need by recommendation. Hire an experienced wedding consultant that can share their expertise with you or ask friends who have been married recently. Talk to other wedding professionals and look for businesses that have won local and national awards and recognition. Check references! It doesn't take long and the feedback you get will be invaluable in bolstering your confidence, or steering you clear of a costly mistake.
3. Agree on a budget
This is one of the toughest parts of wedding planning. The average wedding in the United States costs between $18,000 and $25,000 depending on where you live. Use your priority list to set a comfortable budget. Splurge on the things that are really important and get creative about the rest.
Junebug Weddings image editor Kim Bamberg and her husband Adam shared their desires and set their budget in a truly inspiring way. They discovered that they had both always dreamt of getting married in France and that Kim had envisioned herself in a gorgeous gown since she was a little girl. Before anyone told them their dreams were too outrageous, they found the perfect chateau just outside of Paris, rented it for a whole week for less than the average reception cost in Seattle, and invited their friends and family to join them on a once in a lifetime vacation. With cake from the neighborhood boulangerie, flowers from a local market, and the most memorable wine on the planet from the vintner down the lane, Kim was ecstatic when she made her way down the aisle in her Madina Vadache designer original.
4. Reflect your personal style
Do what feels most like you! Most cowboys aren't crazy about tuxes with tails, and fashionistas usually aren't comfortable in anything but the very latest haute couture. Don't let magazines, advertisements, or other peoples' expectations drive your choices. There are a million options to choose from in every aspect of wedding planning. Find the elements for your wedding that are all about you and really make them your own.
5. Relax, and let the magic happen
You're in love, and this can be one of the best times of your life.
I've attended countless weddings and heard about all the little things that cause stress and worry. In almost all cases those distractions have turned out not to matter in the end. Learn about your partner's dreams, think creatively to develop a comfortable budget, involve your friends and family in unique ways, and let your style shine through. Chances are, your wedding will be perfectly you.
Blair deLaubenfels is Senior Editor for Junebug Weddings, which features a list of some of the country's most exceptional wedding photographers who are available for travel all over the world.