Wedding Planning – What you didn’t know, you didn’t know

How hard can it be?  Choose a venue.  Buy a dress.  Taste an entire menu of food for free.  A genuine excuse for a spa day for the first time in your life… What’s all this bridezilla stuff about? Just ask any bride who ever floated down the aisle and you can guarantee a string of horror stories as long as Princess Diana’s train starting with “well no one ever told me…” or “we couldn’t believe the cost of…”.

Just follow our occasional guide on how to navigate at least a few of these landmine moments and we will do everything we can to keep the ‘Zilla in her box!

  1. YOUR CREW – Brides, don’t get alcoholically over-emotional with your girlfriends at the engagement party and ask every one of them to be your bridesmaid… ‘because you really, really love them’! Give as much thought to choosing your bridesmaids as you do to choosing your dress. They are not called ‘maids’ for nothing. They aren’t just there to make you look thin or balance out the groomsman in the photos. At some point during the coming process you will need to rely on them in ways you couldn’t possibly envisage. Whilst you may feel you have to ask your cousin’s new wife, if you don’t feel you can ask her to climb up under your dress and reattach a pinged stocking to your suspenders, she needs to stick to the pew list.
  2. SIZE DOES MATTER – Almost any couple will tell you that the first full blown bicker of your joyous pre-nuptials period will be caused by the guest list. If there will be under 30 on your side and you want to avoid a punch up with your mother-in-law over inviting her entire sales force, perhaps a more intimate venue might be the diplomatic choice? If your dream has always been to surround yourself with uni’ mates for an extended long weekend reunion and a ‘no kids’ policy just won’t cut it; be thoughtful and seek out a venue with plenty of decent sized family rooms. These will not only keep guest’s costs under control but also allow space for the obligatory articulated trailer of plastic paraphernalia required for travelling with a 0-10 year old. Trust me they will thank you! Whilst we are on the subject, ask the venue about babysitting options. New parents slinking off early at your wedding will not be tolerated! Who cares that they haven’t slept in two and a half years.
  3. TIME OUT! – If you plot nothing else on the big day, please, please plan a time out! For most couples the wedding day is the closest you will ever come to international mega-stardom. You may suddenly realise what those over-privileged whinge bags are bleating on about. EVERYONE will want a piece of you on the big day. You will have barely three opportunities to actually have a conversation with your new spouse.
    1. During the ceremony – conversation generally fairly scripted! VERY little opportunity for private chat!
    2. First dance – generally fairly loud, embarrassing and again VERY little opportunity for private chat.
    3. Are now three’s the charm! There is generally a tiny window of opportunity somewhere between making it down the aisle and appearing at the reception, whether you go off for photos, take a car to the reception or simply ‘slip out the back’ with the aid of your body guard, sorry trusty wedding coordinator.  TAKE IT! You just got married, this is the most precious and intimate moment of your lives.  Everyone will understand if you just take fifteen minutes to go AWOL for a glass of bubbly and a big smug mutual grin!

There is no ‘done thing’ anymore with a wedding. Certainly, you have to give more than a nod to whomever is paying the bill, but establishing a few ground rules regarding the size of venue you want, (even if the published reasons are a fabrication to avoid an inter-in-law-incident) can smooth the way to the wedding you want.