Tuesday, July 22, 2008

TAKING THE TIME TO SMELL THE ROSES (NOT THE LITERAL ONES): REFLECTIONS ON MY WEDDING PLANNING (PART II)

One of the other things about planning a wedding that I want readers to keep in mind is three little words:

MANAGE. YOUR. EXPECTATIONS.

Unfortunately, there are TONS of wedding magazines, websites, and blogs out there which present titillating stories about Ashley Simpson's "fairy-tale" wedding (an Alice in Wonderland theme! Crystal chandeliers all over the place!) or the fascinating details about the latest wedding of the celebrity du jour.

During my planning, I was aware of all of the fascinating tidbits, and sure, I read about them too. (In Style Wedding magazine was actually one of my favorite guilty pleasures).

The wedding industry doesn't even have to focus on CELEBRITY weddings to make many brides-to-be extremely self-aware during the planning process. WE (Women's Entertainment Network) has "Platinum Weddings", which is a TV show featuring couples spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on flowers, photography, and everything in between.

While it's fun to read about the beautiful Sylvia Weinstock cake a celebrity bride had shipped across country, or the ridiculously huge platinum wedding band purchased by a doting groom, it's important to remember the element of the ridiculousness about these stories, articles, and TV shows--and the fact that you don't need a large budget to have a beautiful wedding. If you remember that, then it will be much easier to actually enjoy the process. If you enjoy yourself, your attitude will rub off on others.

This may seem like an obvious point ("Yes I KNOW I don't have Ashley Simpson's wedding budget!"), but because so much happens during the planning process, it's easy to lose oneself when immersed in it--and forget how silly the wedding industry can be. This industry has a way of building up expectations -- and trying to get you to go over your intended budget (believe me, EVERYTHING was a battle in terms of my working within the parameters that I had). When I read In Style and became so disappointed that the favors I loved (which some celeb had at her wedding) were way too expensive for me, I realized that I had to be realistic about what I could--and couldn't--have.

My advice is to read these magazines, or watch these shows, for fun, but take them all with a grain of salt.

Some of you may wonder why any of this is important-especially as pertains to my blog, which is really about avoiding being "that bride".

Not taking too much stock in "what's hot" or the latest "must have" - like a Vera Wang couture dress- is a difficult but important thing to be able to do. The most critical thing during the planning process is to be a happy and healthy bride--a key element in behaving and acting with dignity and elegance through the planning process (and on the big day itself).

Being happy and having a good attitude while planning will make everyone around you happy, too. Constantly stressing (even internally) about what you cannot have (which, believe me, 99.9% of the population couldn't have either) does not a happy bride make.

This is in NO WAY to suggest any brides-to-be in cyberland are materialistic or celebrity-obsessed. But, having gone through the experience, and realizing that it's easy to get "sucked in" to all of the glam details in Town and Country Magazine, I figured I'd pass this piece of advice along to others.

I know that it is possible to have a beautiful wedding within certain financial parameters -- and knowing that is half the battle to enjoying the planning process - and taking the time to stop and smell the roses as you do.

Stay tuned!

2 comments:

Dynamite Weddings said...

Any soon-to-be or want-to-someday-be bride can absolutely get caught up in all the hype that surrounds the wedding industry. It's easy to create a binder of fantastic things that you've seen along the way in magazines or websites that you want to incorporate into your big day. The realization of how many of these things are not financially feasible doesn't exactly hit you until you start factoring in all the big things too: venue, photog, food, etc. All of a sudden that Vera Wang dress doesn't seem that important when it becomes between the dress or feeding your 110 guests! You put it well, by saying "stop and smell the roses" because your one day will go by fast and the $ that your spending to be aesthetically pleasing could finance 100 smaller, glamorous parties with your family and friends as a new wife. Absolutely, plan the day you want, but remember if you're not having fun, it's not "your" day. Enjoy yourself!

Sarah W said...

I LOVED this post. Everything was on point. I wish all brides could relate to your thoughts and not get caught up in material side of weddings. Keep the posts coming;)