Further tips for the newly engaged budget bride

12Feb09

I’m continuing where I left off yesterday.

6. Embrace the wedding blogosphere-but learn when to step away.
There is so much inspiration out there it can become really overwhelming and hard to narrow down a vision. I had about ten different ideas going on in my head when I was first engaged, so it was hard to make up my mind. I advise to add a bunch of blogs to your reader as you’re deciding your vision for the day. Then after you’ve done that, scale it back a bit so you don’t end up changing your mind. When I was first engaged, I had about 100 blogs in my reader. Now I have about 40-and they’re not all bridal blogs.
7. Start a image folder straight away.
I would make the mistake of seeing a photo I liked, then not saving it, then never being able to find it again. Right click any photo you like, and name it with the blog you found it from should you need to go back to that post again. Once you have a bunch of images you like, play around at polyvore.com or in Photoshop if you’re more handy then myself. You’ll be able to see how certain color combinations match up together, and it’s easier to get an overall feel for your day when it’s all laid out in front of you.

8. Your wedding is valid-no matter what others might say.
No matter what you’re doing-your wedding is yours alone. You don’t have to have the traditional $28,000 American wedding to prove your love and to show your guests a good time. Some of my favorite weddings have been ones that took places in parks, where they had a picnic reception, or at home receptions. Why don’t people have more receptions like this? I guess because in America people have it in their heads that you have to have this grand affair in order to have a wedding. You don’t. You, your groom (or bride) and a couple of witnesses. That’s all you really need. Anything else is just extra.
9. Accept that others are probably going to want to throw you a party or two. But if they don’t-that’s okay too.
You often see brides that have five or six showers in the course of their engagement. That’s lovely, but at least in my case, I’ll be surprised if I have one shower. My family is small and spread out, so if I do have a shower, it will end up only being a few of us-and I’m okay with that. I’ve never really expected any of the traditional parties that go along with an engagement, so I’ll be surprised and happy if any take place. That said, if you have a large group of friends and family and it will make them happy to have a party for you-go for it. I see brides angsting about this, they don’t want to come across as moochy. But it’s not as though you’ve asked for the shower to be held, so enjoy it if the occasion comes up.
10. If your wedding is going to be untraditional-learn to fib about the details to those who will give you grief about it.
I’m very lucky. I was born to two people who could give a hoot what I did at my wedding. If we wanted to get married under water, they’d be cool with it as long as rented a glass bottomed boat so they could watch. The boy’s family is the same way. They honestly don’t care about the logistics. This is not to say they don’t care about out plans, but they are excited with what we tell them. I know not everyone’s families are like this. There are numerous horror stories about overbearing mothers and future mothers-in-law. If this is a situation you’re dealing with, then learn to get by with telling them as little as possible for as long as you can. Then when you have to tell them, break it to them as gently as possible. Something like this:

“Look Mom, I’m wearing a red dress. I know you don’t approve, but I’ve already bought it and I love it. I understand your concern that I’m not wearing a traditional white dress, but this dress makes me very happy, and don’t you want me to be happy on my wedding day?”

Of course your mom wants you to be happy on your wedding day. She’ll probably fuss and try and get you to change your mind on more than one occasion. But stay firm. It is your day, not anyone else’s. I heard a great line once from a wedding planner on “Whose Wedding Is It Anyway.” In the episode the step-mom was really overbearing, and driving both planner and bride nuts. She said something along the lines of: “Mothers need to realize that this day is not about them. It’s about their children. If they don’t like what’s going on, they need to put on their big girl panties and deal with it.”

I think that sums it up thusly. Do realize that if you are accepting money from your parents or your future in-laws, they do get a say. So if your parents are the overbearing cuckoo types, try and plan it without their help. That way if they do bother you, you can say “Our wedding, our money, our business!” It probably won’t shut them up at first, but if you keep saying it, they’ll hopefully eventually get the hint. Yes, they are your family, and I understand that part of the wedding is to make them happy. But don’t give in to them just to make them happy and then make yourself miserable in the process. I realize this advice is easier said then done. So ultimately, pick your battles. Fight for what’s important to you, then let the rest go.

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