A couple of friends asked how we managed to plan a wedding from 6000 miles away on a limited budget, no less.
To be honest, I am surprised that we pulled a two-day wedding off and are alive to say that we have done it without going bankrupt or killing anyone. I look back and I conclude that the success of it was realised with a precise definition of goals and budget, careful planning with the help of family and friends, thrown in with plenty of arguments with everyone from the husband to parents to the wedding vendors.
To answer our friends’ questions specifically, I would like to start a small series on aspects of wedding planning which may be useful for some. When I was planning our wedding, I wished I had a website for references on logistics, vendors and reviews, to read about the woes that brides-to-be have, and to feel like I’m not alone. By sharing my journey, I hope to make another bride-to-be’s life easier, help her breathe and remind her to smile.
So here’s the first thing to share. The one thing that was both a low and high point for me was this. I was slightly bothered when people commented on how unnecessarily detailed I was during wedding preparations. I felt rather alone, because they didn’t know half the problems I had to go through, and if they faced the same problems for their wedding, they would want to be excessively detailed too. As a wise friend elegantly puts it, if you ‘fail to plan, plan to fail’. I have lived most of my life like this, and it has always worked out well for me, so I honestly felt that if I made the right preparations before the wedding, I could enjoy getting married on the actual day and that is the most important thing to me. By working hard to make things easier for everyone, I had received some unsympathetic comments and yet I had the best wedding I could ever ask for. It was a double-edged sword.
Looking back, I still stand by planning as much as you can, because for me, this approach worked and I am immensely glad that I was happy and relaxed on our big day. Whatever stress I felt prior to the wedding was thrown out the window the minute I woke up on our big day. I didn’t care if things were going to screw up despite my preparations, because I have done all I could to make room for errors and to organise things for family and friends who helped, and if the day still went wrong, at least I could tell myself that I have given my best and I wouldn’t get upset at unforeseen circumstances. All I cared about was to look the part of a blushing bride and of course to take on my new role as a loving wife.
True enough, some things went wrong but it was easy to deal with them because a) I had an awesome group of friends who helped me so so so much and b) I learnt to expect screw-ups to happen despite the detailed preparations and taught myself to accept that there was no point in getting upset at things that were out of my control.
The result? I had the best wedding I could ask for and I believe our family and friends shared our joy too. Of course, I’m not encouraging brides-to-be to turn into pressure cookers and stress the hell out of everyone. I understand that I am one person who thrives on and needs stress to push myself forward; that is my personal battle. While we are bound to have different personalities and operate differently to get through life, I feel that planning in detail and in advance will help in the case of a wedding. If you have the nitty gritty clearly listed on the agenda, it’s always easier to communicate what needs to be done to family and friends who are helping you out.
I hope that some of my experiences serve as good advice and that my mistakes are picked up as lessons to learn. And I sincerely hope that this series can help you enjoy the planning process as much as possible.