Here at Guestie we want you to have the wedding experience you’ve always dreamed of. That means a fun, memorable and meaningful time without the stress or worry. But it’s not just the day-of that should be amazing! Your wedding planning time can be chill and stress-free. It can be a time when everyone builds up excitement and anticipation for the celebration ahead.
It’s Not the Fried Chicken on the Reception Menu that’s Causing You Stress
Leah Weinberg is the owner and creative director of ColorPop Events, a New York City-based wedding planning company. She’s also the author of The Wedding Roller Coaster, a book that helps engaged couples take some of the stress out of the planning process. A few years back she recounts a conversation she had with one of her clients. They were having an argument with her dad. That conflict proved to be the inspiration for her book.
“The argument on the surface was about whether or not they were going to have fried chicken on their wedding dinner menu. And after talking more about what was happening, I explained to her that it probably wasn’t about the fried chicken, that it was more about him not knowing how to express his emotions about his daughter getting married, his baby girl, all that stuff.” She says many times petty arguments over some specific element of a wedding can manifest from deeper emotions. “I’ve seen people just start to get really weird when it comes to weddings. And I really wanted to understand why.”
De-Stress the Wedding Planning Process
Weinberg decided to dig deep into the psychology of weddings, researching and talking to experts before putting together her book. “We don’t really talk about the emotional side of wedding planning. We don’t talk about the behavior and the psychology of it all. I didn’t want to write a book that was a how-to plan your wedding, there’s plenty of resources out.
This is about surviving your wedding planning process with all of your relationships intact.”
She says it’s not worth ruining relationships in pursuit of a perfect wedding. “Your wedding can be perfect. But, if you’re not on speaking terms with your mom, that’s not the wedding experience that I want for anyone.”
Money: Doesn’t Have to Be The Root of Wedding Stress
Weinberg doesn’t hesitate when asked about common causes of wedding planning conflict. She says it’s money, particularly when it comes to discussions with loved ones who may be offering to contribute to the cost of the wedding. “When you do bring in those outside financial contributors, that’s when it gets really tricky. You do have to know how much money they’re going to give you, you need a number and it’s hard to just go up to somebody who has said they want to help and be like, ‘So, how much?’ But you need a number because you have to know how much you have to spend on stuff.”
Weinberg advises couples to provide an education to those contributing on what things cost. “You can explain to them what the wedding is going to cost. And then they can say, ‘Oh, well, we have more to give than what we initially said,’ or ‘this is all we have to give.’ Then you have to revise your plans a bit.” Finally she says it’s important to address what strings are attached with their contributions. She suggests couples ask questions such as ‘What are your expectations in giving us these funds? Does it mean you want to be consulted? Do you just want to be kept in the loop? Do you want to be given decision-making authority over certain things?’ “Depending on what the answers are to those questions, the people getting married have to decide, do we want to accept this money or not?
Guest List Guidance
It’s easy to want to skip these potentially awkward, tense conversations. You may be able to lean on your wedding planner for help if you’re using one. Weinberg says that part of her service includes coaching couples on having these conversations as they initially put together their budget.
Weinberg urges couples to understand how tied their guest list is to their budget. More guests exponentially mean more money spent. “I don’t think couples quite understand how the size of a guest list really impacts their budget and how much they’re going to have to spend. There’s the obvious things like the more people you have there, the more food and drink you’re going to have to have, but they don’t necessarily think about things like the more people, the bigger the space you’ll need, the more rentals you’re going to have, more tables, chairs, linens and knives and forks and everything for all of these people,” she says that’s just the beginning.
“Then the more tables you have, the more decor or centerpieces you’re going to have to have for the tables, the more staff you’ll have to have to service them.” It’s easy to see how quickly expanding the guestlist can impact the budget.
Do You Invite Your Parents’ Neighbors You Never Met?
When you have family contributing money to your wedding, you may encounter them wanting some input on the guestlist. Or, even if they aren’t contributing, there still may be pressure to invite people that are close to family members, but not people you’d necessarily want to invite if it was just your choice.
Weinberg is a big proponent of skipping the invites to the people you don’t want to have at your wedding. “I know sometimes that’s not possible because of family dynamics or because of who’s paying for the wedding. I think that the people at your wedding should be the people who are nearest and dearest to you. Hopefully you have a say in making that happen.” She says it’s preferable that you’re not introducing yourself at your own wedding. “That happens a ton with single guests and their plus-one. A random date at a wedding can make the couple feel uncomfortable.
You may want to limit the guest list to just the people you really want at your wedding. It’s okay to invite a single guest without giving them a plus one. One way to make them feel more included is with Guestie’s Guest Gallery and Message Boards. Here everyone attending can get to know one another and form connections before the wedding day.
How to Make Your Wedding a More Meaningful, Joyous Event?
Take a deep breath. Meditate for a moment. Then start to visualize the most important aspects of your wedding day. What memories are most important to make? Weinberg says getting the wedding of your dreams starts at the beginning of the planning process. “Taking time at the beginning of the planning process to really understand why you’re getting married and what you want your wedding to look and feel like so that you have this kind of guiding principle that you can always come back to,” advises Weinberg. “When you have that very clear vision that’s going to carry itself throughout the planning process and into your day.” She says having that clarity will give you the guiding principle that’s going to help the day feel like it’s meant for you both.
To make the wedding planning process more fun, don’t forget to include Guestie in the months leading up to your special day. It’s the perfect way to break the ice, give all of your guests a feeling of connectedness and extend the celebration into months not hours!