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A DOZEN DON'T DO'S WHILE "I DO"-ING
By Shirley Henderson 27/8/17
DON'T COMPARE YOURSELF
Put down that glossy overpriced mag and ban yourself from that photoshop induced fantasy they call Pinterest. Instead seek inspiration for your wedding from your relationship. Where were you the day you meet, your first date, the day you fell in love, the day of your proposal? What were you wearing? What did you eat? What were the sights and smells? What are your family backgrounds and traditions? Bring back the memories to inspire your colour pallet and theme. Create an event that is unashamedly about your unique union.
DON'T FEEL UNCOMFY
Despite what Beyoncé pipes, pretty doesn't have to hurt. Your wedding day is a long one and more physically demanding then an amateur wrestling match. Dress accordingly. Girls, if you are not accustomed to wearing stilettos or your venue has uneven terrain, ditch heels for boots or sneakers encrusted with bling. Unless your strapless gown is tailored to you, you're not only going to be hitching your lover, you will most likely be hitching your dress up all day. To avoid nipple slips, contract a reputable seamstress to add detachable spaghetti straps. That way you can pop the straps on and off as you please. Guys, ditch jackets if the weather is hot and sport sexy suspenders. Both girls and guys be prepared for cold or hot weather no matter what time of the year. It only takes a summer shower to bring on the cool night breeze just as much as a sunny July day can reach 30 degrees. Wear layers of clothing that you can add or remove accordingly. Heed my word not just the marriage couple but also the bridal party.
DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF OR THE BIG STUFF
All you need to get married is two adults in love, a celebrant or other entitled official and two witnesses. The remainder are all wants. They are nice to have but not essential to be legally married nor to create a harmonious and mutually fulfilling lifelong relationship. This is why you should not let the trials of wedding planning and the wedding day rule and ruin you. Aunt Joan was a no show, no sweat, she may have a legitimate reason, carry on regardless. The cake gets dropped, no sweat, get someone to run to the cheese cake shop for a replacement. The photographer is late, no sweat, delegate someone to track their slack arse down and take a selfie with a sly smile because you know you will get your photos heavily discounted as compensation for their error. It's all about recovery time after an upset. Your choice to remain calm and cheery when faced with adversity will ensure you a delightful wedding process and day.
DON'T FORGET TO TAKE TIME FOR EACH OTHER
Try to incorporate at least half an hour of alone time with your favourite human in your wedding day timeline. No bridal party, no photographers, just the two of you. Have a mini picnic together before your bridal photography session, eat at a sweetheart table instead of a bridal table, have a private reveal and a little chat together before the ceremony. These are all ways to nab a few quiet moments in an otherwise hectic day.
DON'T THINK OF YOUR WEDDING AS A PHOTO SHOOT
When someone you love passes do you wish you had more photos of them or more time? I guess the popular answer would be both. The good news is you can have both! Ask your photographer to take a back seat and take more candid pics of you spending time with your tribe. Keep the time of posed and bridal couple shoots to a minimum so you don't miss the pleasurable company of your friends and family. Don't choose things like colours, dresses, and decoration based on how it will look on Facebook. They're just photos, reminders of your day and not a reason to base decisions or dedicate hours of precious and fleeting wedding day time on.
DON'T TRY AND CHANGE YOUR BODY SHAPE
Unless it's a life time commitment to a healthier lifestyle don't try to loose or gain weight for your wedding day. Fad or radical diets promoting rapid weight loss or gain can be dangerous.
DON'T BLOW THE BUDGET
A wedding is the beginning of the rest of your life and life costs lots of money. At the beginning of your wedding planning it's important to set a realistic maximum budget and stick to it. Avoid going into debt like the plague. If you can't afford things, think outside the box for alternatives. BYO picnic weddings are trending. Another affordable catering option is a desert wedding. My cousin and her husband did this, they had their ceremony in the afternoon then the guests seperated to their choice of dinner. Everyone congregated after their meals at the reception venue and were met with a delicious desert buffet.
DON'T CHOOSE YOUR THEME BEFORE YOUR VENUE
Your venue will have a lot to do with how you theme and style your wedding. Some venues include decorations and you might be limited in choice. Others will give you free reign but it would look like balls if you put a colour scheme in that clashes with the carpet or you put a beach theme into a rainforest retreat.
DON'T THINK YOUR WEDDING IS ALL ABOUT YOU
If you want it to be all about you go and elope with yourself. Otherwise, remember you have a partner that has equal say. Get them involved by asking their opinion and be willing to compromise. Yes, compromise, welcome to marriage! You not only have a partner to consider but your family and guests, the ones who have always supported you through thick and thin. Don't disregard them. Listen to their ideas in the planning stage and get them involved. Be open to delegating tasks to them, it will bring you closer and make your wedding more personal. At the same time if there is a demanding pushy family member or friend who wants it all their way, deal with them politely and give them a role in their area of interest for eg if Mummy Dear is insisting you have pink napkins and you really wish for orange reply with, "Jim and I have already decided we're having orange napkins. I'd really like you to fold them for me in the shape of a swan, like you did for Christmas last year".
Don't expect your bridal party to change appearances for your wedding day. Asking someone to lose/gain weight, grow/cut their hair and cover up tattoos/scars is taking away that persons identity. Your bridal party is made up of individual people, you will have a better result if you treat them as such. Don't expect your bridal party to keep forking out dollars. Keep the budget as low as possible for them. If you have requested they buy their own dress/suits consider letting them choose their own in a selected colour range, or pick an affordable high street style. Is anyone going to care if their shoes match? Asking them to wear their best shoes in a certain colour will keep costs down for them. Don't expect your bridal party to be as interested in your wedding as you are. They probably have their own problems and exciting times filling their head space. Make a list of errands that you are wanting to out source and ask a collective bunch of peeps to help you out. Allow them the choice of which jobs they would like to take on. Don't expect gifts or money, you invited your guests because you wanted them to witness the celebration of your union to your partner, not to pay for your wedding or honeymoon. Gifts should be graciously accepted but not expected. I understand some couples ask guests to pay for their meals, which is a great idea provided this is stated along with the price when the invite is sent. That way people can consider if they can afford this cost before replying.
DON'T MISS OUT ON THE FUN
Don't get so caught up in formalities that you don't have time to party. Speeches are an important part of a wedding but they can get lengthy. Ask your speakers to keep it short and sweet, under 10 minutes and don't open the mic up to the floor.
DON'T DRINK TOO MUCH
It doesn't look pretty. Plus you've invested a lot of time and money into this day, stay sober enough to remember it.