One of the many reasons that I love weddings is the abundance of love that is typically a huge motivating factor for the entire event. You’ve met the love of your life; you’ve made the decision to make a commitment to each other; and you want to share that moment with your closest friends and family. That by itself is an amazing vision for your wedding, but of course, there’s more to it than that.
You may or may not have heard the stories about the pains of wedding planning, and in so doing have formed ideas about what you want and what you don’t want. You may also have some theories about why it’s always such a problem. Most of my clients approach me with full confidence that they can do this on their own, and for the budget that they have in mind. While there are many ways to plan a wedding, the goal of this blog is to help you understand how to simplify the process, plan the wedding you intend to be planning, and control the time (and potentially money) that you want to spend on your special day.
In order to do that, we have to first start with understanding the wedding planning mindset. There are essentially two approaches to planning: the dream vs. the reality.
Many people have spent years imagining exactly what their weddings will be like. Perhaps you’ve fallen in love with the fairy tales which have influenced what you think a wedding should be like. Or you have a love of wedding reality shows, and while you understand that these budgets may be over the top, there are certain elements that you’ve decided are must haves. In this scenario, you likely move past the engagement stage in to examining pictures on Pinterest and vendor profiles on Instagram. From there, you start to build an idea of what you want your wedding to be like: the look, the food, the people, the music. You’ll likely start to form strong opinions about what you like and what you don’t want for your wedding.
If this doesn’t sound like you at all, you probably fall in to the second category: you have no idea what you want, so almost every idea will sound like a good one. While you may still start browsing on Pinterest, you’re probably also discussing with your friends and family and getting their perspective on wedding planning. You may be influenced by what others want for your day, whether that be your parents, your friends, or other relatives. Almost everyone you know will have an opinion about how to plan your wedding correctly.
In both of these cases, this is what I call the dreaming approach to wedding planning (or the Pinterest wedding). When you plan your wedding by dream (whether your own dream or that of your friends and family), you end up with a lot of ideas, some really beautiful mood boards, and likely no way to implement the concepts in reality.
While the dreaming approach may be the most natural, it doesn’t set you up for the realities of what you’re about to dive in to. It may be cliche, but the heart wants what the heart wants, and once you’ve started to build your vision, it’s much harder to move beyond that without causing disappointment if it turns out your vision isn’t entirely realistic.
Don’t get me wrong, Pinterest is great for ideas and for crystallizing the concepts you do decide to include in your wedding. Unless you’re an artist or have photos from other locations that you’ve pulled together, having a Pinterest board will be very useful when speaking to your vendors. The problem is that those pictures on Pinterest don’t come with a price tag or a sense of the effort required to make them a reality. The images may be beautiful, but to get those specific shots, vendors have often poured countless hours and thousands of dollars to achieve the final look.
You may be thinking “but my wedding is supposed to be the dream!” I completely agree that your wedding should be whatever you want it to be. However, what are you willing to do to achieve the dream? If money, time, and effort are not a concern, then this planning method is fantastic. You may still be required to pull the vision together, but you will get what you want. However, if you have any constraints, it may be better to apply a more realistic approach to wedding planning.
In next week's blog, we'll discuss more of the realities of wedding planning.