Posted on: April 1, 2015
Written by: Bev Cumiskey, Executive Assistant, SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts
With love in the air and wedding season upon us I must admit, I love planning weddings! I’m not entirely sure what it is about being involved in wedding planning that I love so much, but I’m pretty sure it has something to do with the fact that I’m a hopeless romantic. Having said that, I know that while planning a wedding can be one of the happiest times in a person’s life, it can also be as stressful as navigating a tidal wave in a rowboat. Whether you hire a professional wedding planner or take it on yourselves, know that there are tips and tricks to make the planning process as smooth and as painless as possible.
Based on my own experiences and observations, here are my top five “must dos” to ensure that everyone arrives on the special day feeling more blissed out then bummed out.
- Get your Dollar Ducks in a row.
Everyone will tell you that before you dive into the planning part, you need to get yourself sorted out with a spending target spreadsheet. It may sound elementary but knowing where the money will be spent is the single most important step to help everyone ‘keep calm and enjoy the ride’. This is so important that it bears repeating…”I will have spending budgets… l WILL have spending budgets… I will HAVE…” and so on.
- Clear the Air before the Smog rolls in
If Dad is paying for the reception venue, does he get to pick the reception’s venue?… No. Generally speaking, the final decisions are made by the bridal couple— but it’s quite possible no one told Dad that and now he’s feeling confused as to why the reception cannot be held over at the Legion 238. To avoid any misunderstanding, ensure that everyone knows, for instance, that even if they insist on paying the bar bill it does not mean they get to serve moonshine (as if!)
- Form a Let’s Talk about the Wedding Committee
Keep the committee tight– the bridal couple and two additional members – one from each camp works well. Elect a chair. Choose the person who has the best track record for keeping things on schedule. In my case, it was my son’s future father in law. Meet once a month and then more often as the big day approaches. Have an agenda and a checklist. Have your meetings out on the town – break bread together – have fun. If you choose your committee wisely these meetings will become one of your most treasured memories.
- Know Your Place
Unless you have one of the two leading roles, you automatically fall into the best supporting role category. This was imposed upon me by a total stranger and here’s how that happened. My soon to be daughter in law graciously invited me to attend a bridal dress shopping excursion. I was over the moon. As I waited for her to come out in a gown, I sat next to a man who was at the salon with his wife and daughter. He asked me if I was the mother of the bride and I said all proud as punch, “actually I’m the mother of the groom”. Then he said without hardly even looking at me, “well you know what they say about the mother of the groom” and I said in all honesty, “no I don’t know, what??” to which he replied, “stand back and stay quiet”! Hey, I’ll admit that at first I was a little bit taken aback by the brusqueness of it, but soon realized this was sage advice and taking it to heart would serve me well.
From what I’ve seen and heard, the single biggest you-are-making-me-absolutely-coco-puffs-crazy- that-I-will-never-speak to you-again part of any wedding plan comes from trying to consider everyone’s opinion… about everything! I found that unless I was asked for one, I didn’t offer any. Stand back and stay quiet! It works.
- Expect the Unexpected – it Won’t Disappoint
It goes without saying however, I’m going to say it anyway – Be prepared for something to go wrong, because it will and everyone needs to be okay with that. All the planning in the world is not going to help when the limousine has a flat tire, or the flowers show up in fuchsia instead of tangerine or not at all!! Long after the day has come and gone, you’ll reminisce about what a wonderful day it was but the real belly laughs will come from remembering the rogue commissioner who used the wedding ceremony to share his views on sin and hell (yup) or the power outage that happened just before dinner service (okey dokey – everyone on the floor for an a cappella version of the chicken dance)!
Most of all, keep your eyes on the prize… two people have made the decision to spend their lives together. Planning this commitment celebration should be grounded in all the love and respect that led to making that decision in the first place.