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Congratulations, you're engaged! No doubt your friends and family are circling like vultures, anxious to find out the who, what, when, and where details of your special day. Before you start feeling the pressure of listening to the advice of everyone from your mom's hairdresser to your long distance second cousin, read this advice.
Don't Let Anyone Tell You What Kind of Wedding You Should Have
Your first instinct after getting engaged may be to say, "let's elope!" You share that sentiment with your mother, only to have her burst into tears. Suddenly you're planning a three-hundred person event that involves an ice wall, circus performers, and blooms flown in from Amsterdam. Your fiancé is miserable, as he was imagining an intimate affair in Las Vegas with you, your best friend, and possibly your parents.
What type of wedding you have is a very personal decision and one that should be made by you and your partner only. While there may be contributing factors (your family still lives in your hometown, your parents are donating money with the contingency that you have the event in their backyard), think long and hard about what it is that you want to get out of your special day. Write down your number one idea on a sheet of paper and put it in an envelope. Have your fiancé do the same. Give yourselves one week to marinate on the possibilities. After the week has ended, show your ideas to one another. If you're still happy with what you've written down, find a compromise between your dream wedding and your fiancé's ideal event. If neither of these ideas fits with what your mother-in-law wants, too bad. In the end, you should plan exactly the event you want to have.
Don't Let Anyone Tell You When You Should Get Married
It really doesn't matter if all of your sisters were married on Valentine's Day but you want to get hitched in the middle of the summer. Choose the season that best represents what you and your fiancé ideally want weather-wise and make the plans. After you choose a date, run it by your A-list people (immediate family and best friends) and make sure there are no major conflicts. Have a backup date in mind to use in a pinch should you discover that you've accidentally picked your grandparent's anniversary.
Don't Let Anyone Tell You Where You Should Get Married
The question of where to get married can be a big sticking point for brides and grooms whose parents are more traditional. If you're thinking of bypassing the church for the beach, go with your gut, but plan ahead for the inevitable reactions. If religion is important to you and your parents, assure them that you'll have a qualified clergyman on hand to lead the ceremony, no matter where it is held. If your parents are upset because you've chosen a non-traditional location like Las Vegas, make sure to search out activities surrounding the wedding date that will be of interest to guests who might initially feel uncomfortable with planning a trip to your destination of choice.
Don't Let Anyone Control Your Invite List
A major point of contention for many brides and grooms is the invite list. If your parents are chipping in for your big day, they may try to add several people to your already overgrown guest list. If you can't just flat out say no, work on a compromise. Ask your mom and dad to pick their top five couples, assuring them that you'll add on a few more if people bail from the final guest list. If your parents insist on inviting more guests that you can handle, consider returning the money that they've offered to your wedding fund. Sometimes free cash is too expensive.
Don't Let Anyone Choose Your Bridal Party For You
Having someone in your bridal party isn't as simple as asking them to stand by your side in an unattractive taffeta dress. There's the bridal shower, the bachelorette party, and all of the little details in between. Who you choose to be on your A-team will directly influence how well (or not well) your wedding goes. By allowing other people to decide for you, you may end up with attendants by your side that don't fulfill all of these duties in the particular way that you had imagined.