Wedding Fairs: Cautionary Advice

Wedding Fairs are wonderful things with lots of exciting ideas for brides and grooms. But, (how did you know that was coming?)

You want to go off to wedding fairs prepared to take notes rather than purchase (unless you already know exactly what you’re looking for!)

These events are filled with lavish excess and that’s a ball to experience. They are not, however, necessarily filled with things you need for your wedding. And they’re built to get you to buy. So be careful. Don’t blow the budget!

Enjoy them, sample all the pastries and rub wonderful creams on your hands. And then go home and make some sound decisions about what you want at your wedding and what realistically, given that your future happiness is still interlinked with your financial groundedness, you can afford!

New Years, Weddings and Wedding Priestesses!

Well, Happy New Year, my friends! I seem to have taken a short hiatus (unannounced even to myself). I had a wonderful holiday, full of singing and fmialy and friends and food. Sweetpea and I even did some recording which was so much fun!

But it’s January, and time for putting into motion all the plans and dreams from before the holiday madness intervened. So, look here for more helpful hints and thoughts about your relationship, your wedding and your marriage. You’ll want to check in occasionally on the writing I do for Examiner.com and Over at Ezine articles (check out the right-hand side of the page.) and this week, no really, I promise!, you’ll get a glimpse of my new monthly newsletter (called, what else? The Wedding Priestess!) with all sorts of reflections about gettin’ hitched from me and from some of my most beloved wedding colleagues!

It’s going to be a great year. After all, you’re getting married! Or you’re woroking on a really wonderful relationship! Let’s celebrate together!

Believing in you and in your love,

Ann

Fireworks Champagne Glass

Start to Develop your Holiday Traditions

Here’s a great way to start figuring out what really matters to you in your life. If you do the work for the holidays, you’ll have a headstart when you start planning your wedding. What? You didn’t know you get to have your wedding be about your values? Now you do!

Before you start making a lot of holiday plans that you might get stuck in forever, why not figure out what makes each of you and both of you happy about the holidays?

  1. What do you like to do? What are your favorite holiday memories? How can you repeat them?
  2. What do you care about? From cookies, to caroling to volunteering? What do the holidays say to you?
  3. Who do you want to spend time with? Are holidays about friends? family? people in need? You get to choose!
  4. What holiday traditions would you like to establish in your own home? When you’re newly engaged or newly married, it can be easily assumed that you’ll go to other people’s houses. That may not be the only way you want to have the holidays.

Tip: Talking about these things and planning ahead will serve you in very good stead in  the years to come. It will also establish a pattern of discerning what really matters to you which will be great for the wedding and for your life. Why not have yourselves a happy little holiday season?

Last thought on Wedding Programs

You don’t need to have a wedding program. They seem to be a fairly recent trend. All through the 80s, when performing weddings in non-church locales, people managed to get married without them.

I succumbed, I admit it. But my wedding ceremony was involved and had responsive readings. (I am the Wedding Priestess, after all!)

But if your wedding ceremony is straightforward, you don’t have to have one. Your bridal party will be introduced at the reception. And they’re not inexpensive, even if you design them.

Tip: consider whether or not you’re having wedding programs because you need them or because the wedding industry thinks you need them.

Working Partnership

Patty Potter Fichett, wise woman, wrote these words from Stephen Sondheim  on her FB page yesterday:

It’s hobbies you pursue together, savings you accrue together, looks you misconstrue together that make marriage a joy….

It struck me as useful advice — advice you don’t want to postpone following.  These things don’t only make marriage a joy, they make it a marriage. Togetherness is the goal of your marriage.

That’s why it’s really dangerous to have only one person doing all the wedding planning. Plan your wedding and your marriage together. Wedding planning is a great crucible for forging a working partnership. A wedding isn’t the “bride’s special day,” it’s the event that moves you from engaged to married and celebrates that transition with your friends.

Tip: Want to build the best marriage possible? Start working together at the very beginning… and then share the laughter and the tears that accrue through a lifetime of living into that sharing!

What to Put in Your Wedding Program?

I get this question all the time. And my answer is always: far less than you think.

During the wedding ceremony, you want people to be paying attention to the wedding ceremony. If people have reading material in their hands, they will pay attention to that. Guaranteed. So, what belongs there?

  1. Names of Participants
  2. Order of Service
  3. Dedication

Tip: Leave anything else out for post wedding handouts. You were wondering how to get your cousin’s niece involved anyway!

Let Fall Give Your Wedding Planning a Boost

There are lots of seasonal metaphors that Autumn offers a wedding couple. I’ll share some of them with you this week.

But the fact is the season also good for “harvesting” all the research you’ve done over the long hot summer. There’s nothing like a cold snap to give you the energy to get things accomplished. So, even though we’re all whiny because we are loosing warmth and light, get organized and get going. This season has arrived to gavanize you in your wedding planning! (kudos to © 2007 Christy L. Varonfakis for this beautiful photo!)

fall_leaves

budget weddings, what are they good for?

I’ve been writing a series over on http://articlesbyann.com about planning your wedding cheaply. The thing I keep stressing in that series is that you can change what you do and how you think about your budget when you focus on meaning rather than money.

In today’s great examiner.com article, Elizabeth Oakes rues the mass purchasing weddings. She asks whether you really save money and reminds us that these weddings require a far greater time commitment of brides and grooms. Always amusing, (really, read her, follow her over there.) she points out that you often get exactly what you paid for. Another thing I never have understood about weddings is why everyone wants their weddings to be exactly like the next one. Warehouse weddings offer way too many possibilities for that.

Tip: There are lots of good ways to cut costs at weddings. Some of them include not doing some of the “musts” at weddings. (Never saw a reception that wasn’t impoved by skipping the expensive garter toss!) But here are a couple things to consider.

  1. Make a wedding budget, figure out where you want to spend your money and stick to it. So much of wedding cost is over-run.
  2. Simplify your wedding notions. What are you really trying to accomplish here? And you know what, there’s nothing that says you can’t have a great party at some other point in your life. Gather your friends on a frequent basis, it’ll make your marriage better and it’ll be a lot of fun.
  3. Shift from money to meaning. Create a fabulous wedding ceremony and great wedding vows. Now people are there for the celebration and not the party and that’s a good thing.

Use your wedding to solicit support for your Marriage

Marriages do better when supported by a community. Your community came to your wedding wanting to celebrate and support your wedding vows and your marriage. This relationship that is so perfect for you deserves to be celebrated.

Tip: So give your community a chance and they will give you all the support you could ever want. Check back tomorrow for the beginning of some pointers on how you can use different segments of your wedding to build the support you want.