How to Plan a Wedding that Doesn’t Suck

July 30, 2019

“My wedding was so stressful, I broke out into hives and became physically sick to my stomach on the day, so I couldn’t even enjoy it.”

This is from a real conversation I had with an acquaintance of mine recently. She talked about how she caved to traditions and pressure from friends and family, listed off a true series of unfortunate events on the day of her wedding, and with a shrug, ended with “that’s just how weddings go though, y’know?”

When I hear so many married folks talk about how sucky and stressful their wedding actually was, I thank my lucky stars that our big day went off without any major hitches. As we enter into the peak of summer and wedding season, here are some little wedding planning nuggets to help you stay cool as a cucumber and ideally hive-free 😎

Plan to wing it on the day.

My partner Dylan and I are mega planners. Like, down to the very minute planners. But the key to us having the most chill DIY nuptials came down to a conscious choice that we made when envisioning our wedding day.

We recognized that everything we planned might very well go out the window on the day of: vendors might not show up, weather might not cooperate, clothing might rip, one of our sweet baby nieces might have a meltdown in the middle of the ceremony, but that was totally okay.

We talked a lot about how this one day in our lives wasn’t the be-all and end-all, and that getting married did not define us. We knew that this choice that we made was a real gift to both of us: to spend an entire day celebrating just how awesome we are together, along with our loved ones. There’s no such thing as a perfect day, but funnily enough, going in with that mindset, it came pretty damn close. 🥂

Recognize your strengths and your weaknesses.

If you do choose to hold the big event, use your talents where they fit best, and get help on things that stress you out. Yes, this can mean hiring a talented wedding vendor cough but it also could mean recruiting friends and family who are a little more gifted in the [planning, decorating, baking?] department. And getting help with the planning process by hiring a wedding planner or day-of coordinator can actually help you save money in the long run.

Know that every plan you make has to be executed by someone on the day, and it can’t be you.

Especially if a DIY wedding is your dream, make sure you have a designated person you can hand everything over to on (or before!) the big day. I can’t recommend day-of coordinators enough, but this could even be a friend or member of the wedding party who gets fired up at the thought of chasing vendors and herding guests.

Remember that 👏 you 👏 don’t 👏 have 👏 to 👏 do 👏 anything. 👏

Leading up to our wee rural Ontario wedding, we took our newly secured marriage license to a last meeting with our officiant. As we were coming in from Toronto to meet with vendors, she agreed to meet at a convenient location just off of the highway, the nearby Tim Horton’s (how much more Canadian can you get eh?). As she was taking us through the legalities of holding a wedding ceremony, she told us something that helped me put the entire planning process into perspective.

“Now that you’ve secured your marriage license, you really have everything that you need to get married. I could literally marry you right now in this Tim Horton’s. We could find some random person in the coffee line to be your witness, and you could seal the deal right here, without any of the other stuff.”

Anything else that you add to your day should only add to the experience, not take away from it. You should absolutely include all of the traditions that are important and authentic to you, just ditch the things that aren’t. Not wild about cake? Ditch it. Public speaking not your thing? Follow this sweet couple’s lead and recite your vows in private before the ceremony.

Embrace your quirks.

Your wedding should be a reflection of you and your partner! Otherwise, it’s not worth the work if you’re just going to conform to other people’s tastes. Embrace your quirks and think about how you can bring your personalities and favourite things into the vibe of the day. And if you need help brainstorming decor ideas for your brunch-themed wedding, a calligrapher or decorator can help you. My favourite part of wedding calligraphy is creating truly unique personal touches for a couple.

Don’t worry too much about sticking to convention, or doing things a certain way out of fear of being tacky… because *weddings already are* 😘

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