From Dating to Wedding Day

You envision your wedding day will be straight from the halls of St Paul’s Cathedral, with even a glass carriage to carry you there. The beautiful gown with a mile-long train carried by hundreds of little pages, gorgeous flowers busting from the aisles, and the man you're dating waiting at the altar with a huge smile on his face and tears in his eyes. In reality, it will probably be something like what you see on America’s Funniest Home Videos , unless you are prepared for what really goes on behind the scenes of those picture perfect weddings.

Don’t put things off until the last minute. The wedding planning may begin two years in advance, but the big day will be upon you in no time. It may seem like you don’t need to shop for invitations yet since they don’t have to be sent out for another eighteen months, but when they come back saying ‘Mr. and Mrs. Skunk’ instead of ‘Mr. and Mrs. Strunk’, you will wish you had time for a reprint.

Don’t spend all your money in the very beginning. Make a list of the most important things required to make your wedding special, and be sure that those special things are perfect. If you try to equally divide the money between the photographer, a huge guest list, and an expensive gown or whatever means the most to you on your big day, everything will just be average. By that same token, don’t spend money on frivolous things that mean nothing to you. If you think that giving bubbles to guests for sending off the new couple is silly, don’t buy them. If you think that a balloon arch over the bridal table is dated and gross, don’t buy one.

Hire a wedding planner. There are many details involved in planning the perfect wedding, and many of them are taken for granted. Many outsiders look to the bride for all the answers, and she can quickly become harried and frustrated. Wedding planners come in all shapes and sizes, and the quality level varies as well. The WP could be someone you have budgeted for, or they could come in a package deal with the reception hall. A WP is invaluable for keeping your sanity in the days leading up to the Big Day, at the very least because they will remember to put the rose petals in the flower girl’s basket and remember to stash your flats at the reception hall.

Don’t keep guests waiting at the reception. Take as many photos as possible before the wedding, and keep the post-nuptial limo ride to a minimum. The guests want to be respectful of the newly married couple and wait to eat until they begin the chow line. If your guests are hungry, they are not happy. You don’t want to arrive at the reception to find the guests have opened your gifts and are using your new toaster oven to make food.

Most importantly, don’t forget what this day is really all about. You are planning a wedding because you and someone else fell in love and you wanted to share the rest of your lives together. Don’t destroy it before it begins by allowing stress to tear each other up. Just always remember that the two of you are going through this together, and these little stressors can be considered practice for the real challenges you will face together.

  • Bridal Beauty offers tips to overcome those things that do go wrong. The site also has a list of what to pack in an emergency kit.

  • Photo.net is a forum for photographers. This page discusses wedding photo horror stories

  • Five things that can go wrong but don’t have to!

  • Disasters from flower failures to time outs for flower girls.

  • Chamber Players offers tips to avoid embarrassing mistakes with the live musicians.

  • Jewish Wedding Network gives a cute story about a mistake and the ingenious way they solved it.

  • PZ Studios is a photography studios that has seen its share of mishaps and shares some of the stories here.

  • Wedding Guide tells horror stories from weddings gone bad, and ways to avoid these problems in your wedding.

  • Wedding Insight counsels couples in what can go wrong from the budget to the size of the guest list.

  • The Knot talks about problems guests create, from not returning the RSVP to treating the bride like a concierge.

  • Creative Bride adds insight to the common mistakes and brings up new ones.

  • Wedding Favors includes their list of boo-boos, including forgetting to plan the honeymoon and procrastination.

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