Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Staying in Control

I hear lots of stories of brides who complain that some member of their family or other is trying to call the shots in their wedding planning process.  Regardless of who it is or whether they are trying to persuade you to use a certain venue or wear a dress they made, it becomes uncomfortable always having to avert the inevitable.  As the bride, you are the most important person in your wedding.  This is the magic day you dreamed of for a long time.  That means all final decisions should be yours and your grooms.  Sometimes relating that message can be hard especially if someone else is paying for your wedding.  In such instances, make sure you're working within the budget allotted to you.  Talk to whoever is paying for your wedding and tell them your dreams for your wedding day.  Let them know that you hope they can respect your choices.  And in all circumstances, regardless of who is footing the bill, acknowledge people's advice and suggestions, but inform them you and your groom have made alternative plans.  Make sure that you and your groom are on the same page and respond accordingly. If someone is overstepping their boundaries, let them know.  Share this burden with your groom, as a message from the two of you may be stronger than from one of you alone.  Also inform your vendors, that you are the final decision makers in such cases and that they should not be communicating with people outside of whom the two of you approve.  Most importantly, go through your wedding planning with confidence and calm.  That will help you maintain control.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Always a Bridesmaid

Getting engaged is a happy and exciting time.  Your excitement is contagious and people are happy for you.  But what happens when relatives or close friends who have also been longing to get engaged and married find themselves a bridesmaid once again.  For some, your engagement may be bittersweet news.  They are happy for you, but sad for themselves.  Not surprisingly, these feelings can be common among many single women wanting to get married.  They may feel bad they aren't married yet, feel deficient in some way or as though something must be wrong with them.  Low self-esteem or depression may even be a factor.  Whatever the case, another engagement that's not their own can feel like another blow to their hopes and dreams.  So how do you navigate these emotional waters. First and foremost, remind yourself that you deserve to be happy and that your happiness does not contribute to someone else's feelings of loneliness or unhappiness.  After acknowledging this, you can decide how to best approach the situation.  Observe how your bridesmaid, we'll call her, is interacting with you.  Pay specific attention to body language and behavior changes.  If you notice she is not as talkative or more distant with you, sit down with her and have a heart to heart.  Tell her what you've observed and ask what's going on.  If she confirms your observations and confesses her bittersweet feelings, acknowledge these feelings.  Let her know that you want her to be a part of your wedding and involved in the planning (if that's the case), but also that you respect her mixed emotions.  Ask what parts in the wedding process she'll feel most comfortable with and see if you can work with it.  These are sensitive issues and being open, honest and working together is the best way to meet both your needs.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cold Feet

As you move along in your wedding planning process, some of you may feel 100% certain that marriage is the right decision and others of you may begin to question if you're making the right move or marrying the right person.  Rest assured that both feelings are completely natural.  Getting married is one of the biggest decisions you'll ever have to make and it's normal to feel a bit anxious as your wedding date approaches.  For those of you with no worries and doubts, great! If you are, however, getting cold feet, do some introspection.  Ask yourself, where is the anxiety stemming from?  Is it the notion of being married and spending a lifetime with someone?  Are you beginning to doubt your relationship with your fiance?  Have you or your fiance had previous failed marriages or commitment issues?  Getting to the heart of the matter will help you understand your underlying anxiety.  Depending on your answers to these and other questions will also help you take the best approach to dealing with it.  It may be beneficial talking to a relative,  close friend,  your fiance or in some cases, a licensed professional.  Remember that just because you feel like you're getting cold feet, doesn't mean there is something wrong with you or your relationship.   Change, in general, naturally comes with some discomfort, stress, and anxiety.  And marriage, by nature, is change on multiple levels.  When you get married, you change your marital status, dwelling arrangements, and your lifestyle.  You do this to accommodate each other and the new life you'll be creating together.   That is why the first year of marriage is so challenging.  You have an entirely different life you have to get used to.  Anticipating all of that while you're still engaged, it's easy to see how many brides would get cold feet.  Finding comfort and support from those around you as you deal with all these emotions can ease your worries and normalize your feelings.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Following Your Intuition

There's something to be said for going with your gut feelings.  Wedding planning involves many decisions.  Who to invite, what foods to have, which vendors to use, where to have the ceremony, reception, etc. Some decisions will be easy and others will be more difficult.  In all decisions, however, you should go with what feels right.

As you begin the interviewing process of various vendors, treat it as just that-an interview.  Remind yourself that you are the bride and the one doing the hiring, which means they have to fit the profile of who you are looking for.  I say "who" because often we tend to focus on the end result and forget about the process it takes to get there.  A florist may show you pictures and samples of beautiful floral displays and bouquets, but if she does not communicate well, get back to you in a timely fashion, or she has an attitude or personality that does not seem to mesh well with yours, you may want to consider looking elsewhere.  You want to work with someone who not only does a great job, but also who you get along with.  Remember that you'll be working with this individual up until your wedding day and that working with your vendors should be fun and easy going.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when choosing your vendors (beyond the basic questions you would ask about their products or services):

  • Do they return my calls/emails in a timely matter?
  • Does they treat me with respect and respect my ideas?
  • Do they listen while I speak?
  • Do they take my ideas into consideration?
  • Do they understand my wedding wishes?
  • Do they treat me like a VIP client?
  • Are they often busy with other multiple projects/people during a scheduled visit with me?
  • Do they come highly recommended?                                                                                               

Consider the answers to those questions before you finalize any details.  Regarding recommendations, while helpful, it should not be your sole determining factor in choosing a vendor.  Firstly, consider who is making the recommendation. Is it another bride with a similar personality as you or your cousin who is the polar opposite personality.  These things do matter.  Secondly, are the answers to the above questions to your satisfaction.  Finally, go with your gut.  If everything looks great on paper, but you have a nagging feeling inside of you that it just isn't the right fit, follow your intuition.  There are plenty of wedding vendors out there and you want to work with one who is happy to work with you in making your wedding dreams come true.