These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. (John 15:11)
For the past several years, you may have been witnessing the “I said yes!” posts on social media and might have even attended a few weddings. Perhaps this time around it’s your turn to share the amazing news that you’re a bride-to-be, and you’re so full of joy at the thought of having a wedding that you could burst. (Or you may be like I was and have been taking notes since you were a young child during every wedding scene in every movie so that you’d have the details planned out before you even met your future hubby.) Despite the anticipation of becoming a Mrs., the thought of putting together a beautiful ceremony might seem like one of the hardest tasks you’ll ever have in your life.
As far as timelines go, I’m not a huge fan of long engagements, but I don’t think you need to plan a gala fit for Cinderella in all of three months, either. Six months seems to be the average wedding planning time for most couples. It may seem like forever, but where do you even begin in the process of finding the right dress, cake, decor, music and food? I’ve been to a few weddings, and the ones that always stood out were the events where the bride and groom looked peaceful, had a theme that was totally fitting for their personality and didn’t let unexpected hiccups get them down.
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26)
Here are some tips to help you keep your sanity as you plan your wedding.
- Stick to your budget. The costs can quickly start to climb once you’ve met with your wedding planner and decided on your package. For example, maybe the amazing innovative decor was right on target…until you added in your favorite flowers and a wall of fairy lights. I understand that this is a huge day, but there are ways to compromise on cost without your ceremony being greatly impacted. Maybe you can trade a course or two from dinner for the perfect centerpieces. There are even ways to reach out to colleges to see if their culinary students can cater your event at a deep discount. Maybe their fashion design students can design the bridesmaid dresses for next to nothing, and some fun projects can be handled at a DIY party with your bride tribe. Allowing God to help you figure out different ways to accomplish your vision is sure to give you some peace in the process.
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24)
- Invite the people who are most important to you. You may have a list in mind already, but be prepared for your parents, siblings and close friends to put in their two cents. If it stresses you out that your intimate wedding could grow to 500 guests, be clear with your loved ones that you and your fiancé want to keep things small despite tradition. Also, with modern technology you can livestream your wedding at a password-protected link. You can have a more casual reception with extended family at a later date. They’d love to celebrate with you, but would understand that accommodating their hotel discount rates or purchasing an additional 300 meals for guests can be time consuming and quite costly. The most important thing is that you’re celebrating and rejoicing in this amazing new chapter God has blessed you with.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)
- Don’t let it turn into a circus. Unless of course that’s your theme! (I actually attended a circus-themed wedding and it was a blast!) I’ve talked with a wedding planner who stated the most-regretted decision her clients had was adding way too many elements. You might not actually need that fire breather, face painter, dance troupe and 100-person choir on top of everything else on the agenda. Perhaps a live band, some fun games for the guests and a tearjerker of a slideshow of your relationship will be just as entertaining. Most people are just happy to be present at such a huge moment in your life.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. (Philippians 4:4)
- Be okay if things don’t turn out perfectly. I remember attending a bridal shower and asking the bride if everything was all planned out for her big day. She said, “Nope, we still have a lot to do, but if everything doesn’t get done…oh well.” She laughed, and I thought, I’ve never seen a bride so calm before. Like life in general, there will be unexpected things that pop up, vendors who cancel and venues that double-booked. Stay flexible and keep a positive outlook. Nothing that comes at you will be the end of the world. After all, it’s your wedding day and the best part is that you’ll be celebrating with loved ones and rejoicing for all God has done in your lives.
And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. (Colossians 3:14)
- Remember what this is really about. The world may say, “This is about the bride. It’s her big day.” The reality is that once you become husband and wife, you’re now in ministry together. This day is a proclamation of your commitment to follow through on the purpose God specifically designed for the two of you. The people attending are a part of your support system and are witnessing the beginning of something far bigger than you even realize. Keep a celebratory mindset and allow those jitters to turn into a deeper love for The Lord.
I hope this helped to put some things in perspective for you. It’s good to be excited, but also realistic about how your wedding day could turn out.
If you’re already married, do you have any tips about your wedding day that could help future wives? We’d love to hear them in the comments below.