Planning a wedding has been classically described as a huge undertaking of time that costs a lot of money and has a ton of moving parts. With the average US wedding costing nearly $27,000, this description is a reality for many couples. From selecting the perfect dress, to the beautiful venue, to delicious food, and enjoyable entertainment, the task seems daunting. Especially when well-meaning family, friends, and about-to-be in-laws jump in with opinions as well as society as a whole suggesting the wedding has to happen in a certain way.
I’ll let you in on a little secret – it doesn’t have to be like that.
What if we approached wedding planning differently? Instead of trying to keep up with the trends, being better than your cousin’s wedding that happened last summer, or even incorporating everyone’s helpful comments and opinions, approach the planning process with intention.
Think about it, when couples are planning a wedding, how often are decisions made because they think they should do something for some reasons vs. intentionally deciding what is right for that day for them as a couple?
Here’s an example. Last summer, my friend had a photo booth at her wedding, and a candy station, and a DJ with props, and coloring books for kids, and so on and so on. It seemed like she had every trendy thing checked off her to-do list. I loved how she thought everything through and made it all fit together. As a party, it was evident she knocked it out of the park because guests were moving from one event to the next, loving all of it. But as she commented to me a few weeks after, the beauty around celebrating their marriage was overtaken by the activities. The meaning of what that day was representing seemed lost.
The point of this example isn’t to encourage you to avoid trendy things or cut corners to stay on budget, it’s to get you to think about the decisions you are making differently – intentionally.
As my friend and I kept talking, we soon uncovered that she had chosen to have a photo booth because all of the other weddings that summer were going to have one, and the candy station was a hand-me-down idea from her sister’s wedding a few years ago (they already had the set up, so why not?), the DJ with props was a must for her and her husband because they love to dance, and the coloring books were a recommendation from her mom because there were a lot of guests with young children. As a couple, they really only intentionally decided having the DJ.
If you are planning your wedding, I encourage you to make each decision with intention. Choose to do things that matter to you and your partner. If you and your partner love to dance and having a DJ that gets the party going means a lot to you, then spend the time, effort, and money planning that part of the reception. But if you don’t feel strongly about a photo booth or candy station, then don’t waste the time, effort, and money executing those ideas. This is hard because sometimes it means saying no to someone who is trying to help you out by suggesting the idea. And sometimes it’s easy because it means relieving the pressure of keeping up with society.
The other very important thing to remember as you embark on the wedding planning process is to not forget to plan for the marriage. It is so easy to get caught up in the magic of the day (even if you only make intentional decisions!), but as part of the planning, I urge you to plan time to prepare for your marriage.
For us at P/E, we truly feel preparing for your marriage in it’s entirety is the most intentional decision you can make in preparation for your wedding and we encourage you to keep that in the forefront of your wedding planning.