Planning a wedding can be immensely satisfying and exciting or nerve-wracking and overwhelming or some mix of all of those emotions. It is my career and over the years I have honed my skills through difficult trials and memorable, sometimes comical errors. My own wedding – 24 years ago this December, was thrown together in less than a week. It took place in my mother-in-law’s living room, after a holiday dinner she had planned for our families. I had been engaged since the prior December and for a whole year hadn’t managed to make one single plan. So, I called a justice of the peace and asked my sister to be my maid of honor. My fiancé talked to his best man and his sister (who brought cake and champagne). We made them all keep it a secret as it was a surprise for our families and few friends that were there.
That wasn’t what I had dreamt about or expected for my wedding – nor was it what my fiancé imagined, but in the 12 months that I was engaged, I felt so overwhelmed that I was nearly paralyzed when it came time to make any decisions. And, after a year, my fiancé was beginning to think maybe I did not want to get married.
Looking back, it seems so silly, but at the time, I was truly in a rut. I was new to Houston and didn’t know the city or it’s venues; my fiancé and I were recently-employed college graduates and our budget was nonexistent; and, we were so focused on our jobs that there was precious little time devoted to wedding planning. But, most importantly, we did not have a support group. This, it turns out, is key. It may only be one or two close friends or your mom or your sister. Or, it could be a cracker-jack wedding planner or it could even be the internet. But everyone needs a resource for research, ideas and encouragement.
The other “key” is to take a step. Make one decision – pick a venue or buy a dress or set a date. Make one decision and the others will begin to follow and the whole wedding will start to take shape. There may still be overwhelming bumps in the road, but with a little shove from your support group, you will overcome.
As for me, I am extremely happy with the outcome of my poorly-planned surprise wedding. I ended up with the best husband ever and while it wasn’t the “day” I imagined, it is the day I cherish.