As always, Hollywood sets the trends for many important aspects of our lives — even matrimony.
Case in point: Spectacular weddings have become a major focal point over the last seven to 10 years, with magazine stands featuring tabloids that highlight weddings of the rich and famous. Upscale magazines, like In Style Weddings, Los Angeles Weddings and Martha Stewart Weddings, have been added to the old standard favorites, like Bride and Modern Bride.
Furthermore, television shows such as Platinum Weddings and Who’s Wedding is it Anyway?, not to mention my favorite movie of all time, The Wedding Planner, and numerous others, flood the daily lives of brides-and grooms-to-be.
Gone are the days of tulle-wrapped Jordan almonds and standard ivory and black Crane invitations. Here are the days of “bigger is better” and anything goes as long as it fits the trends and is unique.
The upside of this trend is that the sky is the limit; the ceiling has been lifted from tradition and has been replaced with the freedom to express individual style, and to create an event that is wonderfully and harmoniously your own.
The downside is pressure and the implied obligation to entertain and wow your guests with a wedding unlike any other. To some, this trend may be a refreshing and inviting challenge. To others, it’s simply overwhelming.
So, how do brides and grooms create unique and harmonious weddings? I recommend adhering to the following three steps:
Look to your relationship for inspiration
From the invitations to the ceremony to the reception, an event should have a harmonious flow. By this I mean a theme, a feeling, concept or point of inspiration from which a pattern or trend is expressed throughout and unifies the entire event. What better way to make your event unique than to highlight an aspect of your relationship?
Think about the following things: How did you meet? Where was your first date? Where did he or she propose? What are your favorite songs, foods, activities? Answers to any of these questions can be points of romantic inspiration. Weaving your relationship’s personality into your event will serve as your signature or monogram, and will automatically set your wedding apart from any other.
Build your wedding puzzle
For an event to be harmonious, it has to be well-organized. When all pieces of a puzzle are put together perfectly, a beautiful picture unfolds. When one piece is out of place or missing, harmony has been disrupted.
Think of your vendors as pieces of your wedding puzzle, as they are part of the whole. Communicate your wedding style and inspiration to potential vendors before you hire them. Do they get your style, your concept? Can they help you create and carry out your relationship’s signature? Make sure you have all details in writing before signing the contract or service agreement.
Once retained, coordinate the activities of your vendors. Develop a vendor timeline. Schedule set up and deliveries and starting times so that the vendors support each other. For example, the florist needs the cake in order to decorate it with flowers; the caterer needs the rental company to deliver the tables and chairs in order to drop the linen and set the tables; and the hairstylists and makeup artists need to know what time your pictures and ceremony are set to begin so that you and your bridal party can be ready on time, and so on.
Celebrate your love and nurture your romance
No amount of divine inspiration and skillful puzzle building will create a harmonious wedding if romantic harmony has changed to discord. Over the years and all too often, I have seen couples lose sight of the real reason for the wedding, the celebration of their love. I have actually witnessed brides and grooms fighting on their wedding day because they stopped celebrating their love.
Planning details and the pressure to create a wonderful wedding can overtake a couple and become the focal point of the relationship. Planning your wedding may be the first major task you undertake as a couple. It is an amazing training ground for a solid marriage. Use this opportunity to learn how to work together as a team. Listen to one another’s desires, rely on each other’s strengths and support each other’s weakness. Men tend to really care about the food, music and timeline for the day; women tend to care more about the aesthetics of the wedding.
One of you may be very creative and may naturally take the lead in choosing color schemes, flowers, linens, etc. The other may be very organized and better suited to create R.S.V.P. spreadsheets to track your growing guest list.
Last, but not least, spend time together as you did before the wedding date was set. Leave the wedding planning details at home or in the office and spend time alone — just the two of you doing what you do best, celebrating your love and nurturing your romance.