With the holiday season coming to a close and a New Year upon us, chances are high that some of you are reading this while sporting a brand new, snazzy ring on your finger! Over the past decade of working with to-be-weds, we've come up with these Bridal-lutions to help you get through the New Year as the future Mr. or Mrs.-So-and-So. Congratulations!
1. Resolve to not lose sight of the day after the wedding.
And I'm not talking about your post-wedding brunch! You are marrying the most amazing person. You are lucky to have each other. After the cake is cut, the gifts are packed, the the adorable favors taken home, you guys will have one another. So while the wedding is important, remember the next day is the real start of your new lives. If you keep that in mind, you'll inevitably have much more fun planning it all.
2. Resolve to be a gracious bride or groom.
Oh, these people will make you crazy at times. Bridesmaids will be selfish and guests will sometimes pull some crazy, wacky stuff ("What do you mean you want to bring your cousin and her three kids?") but, if you keep your head above the fray and remember to be gracious and thankful, your memories of your engagement will be much sweeter. No one likes a Bridezilla, not even herself! (Seriously, I can't tell you how many past bridezillas have called me months later to say, "I'm not really like that!")
3. Resolve to compromise (sometimes).
It's your day your way, but when arguments arise with mom or in-laws, sometimes its better (and easier) to stop, drop and roll. No, you don't want to hire a band that your mother-in-law loves, or wear a dress just because your mom picked it out, but would it kill you to have a menu card? Probably not. Would a monogrammed napkin totally ruin the aesthetic of your wedding? Not really. Don't sweat the totally small stuff, and you'll be able to put your foot down when it really matters.
4. Resolve to trust your team.
Do your due diligence before you hire a vendor (recommendations, ask around about them, look them up in magazines or online, check on insurance, etc.) and then stop doubting them. If you have hired a true professional, they will care about doing an amazing job almost as much as you do. Energy -- negative, draining energy -- is constantly wasted fretting over vendors who are already contracted. Remember, every vendor is a pro, but also a human, and negative questioning has never extracted top performance, in my experience.
5. Resolve to stick to your schedule.
I have to go to the gym five or six times a week to not act like a crazy rhymes-with-witch around the office. I know that about myself, so I have a schedule and I discipline myself to follow it. If you (or your planner) has set up a schedule for planning tasks and chores for your wedding, stick to it. It's easy to let work and life derail you, but the more you spread out the tasks of planning the wedding, the easier it is to not to be overwhelmed. Hire people in a timely manner, don't drag out the process and stay on top of thank you notes and your registry. Work is very important, but you must prioritize your wedding as well.
6. Resolve to see the big picture.
Read number 1 and 2, and combine. If you find yourself freaking out six months from now over a ribbon trim, stop, walk around the block, and ask yourself, "why?" Maybe it's not about the ribbon and you're annoyed that your fiance doesn't care about the details you care about. Maybe you're exhausted of making decisions. Maybe you need a little break. But remember, a ribbon is still a ribbon. It's one tiny element that helps make the picture of your day, a painting stroke in the masterpiece of your wedding. It will not ruin the image. Step back, see how great everything else is, and move forward.
7. Resolve to accept possible setbacks.
Don't take this as an omen, or as a "wait for shoe to drop," please ladies, but sometimes there are random setbacks. I've had a wedding that needed to be relocated eight weeks before the big day. Once, they put up a scaffold in front of a client's venue the day before the wedding without anyone (even the venue) knowing. A friend's maid of honor was put on bed rest, and she wasn't able to be at the wedding. They sound like horror stories, but ultimately, none of these things ruined anyone's wedding. Remember that, girls and boys. Sometimes life's complications sneak into wedding world. But they will not, and cannot, ruin your dream day!
8. Resolve to do what you can afford.
You aren't going to win any awards by having the world's largest wedding that you go into debt for. Assess what you can afford and commit yourself to having a reception that fits into that goal. Don't be afraid to rethink what the wedding needs to be: Maybe it's a breakfast or brunch instead of dinner, or dessert reception with dancing.
9. Resolve to celebrate who you guys both are.
This doesn't need to conflict with resolving to compromise, but listen, you only do this once. If you guys are quirky, don't be afraid to be quirky. If you are formal, be formal. Celebrate culture, celebrate faith, celebrate the things that made you love one another. If you are enjoying your party, so will your guests, so make it something you would love to attend. Resolve to have it be the kind of celebration that you guys would actually host. If you would never have a sit down formal dinner, no one is telling you that you have to. And if you would never have a low key cocktail party, well, consider cutting your guest list until you can have the kind of fabulous celebration you can swing.
10. Remember, personal is not generic, and inspiring doesn't mean replicating..
Somewhere, personalizing a wedding (making it seem reflective of your personalities and unique to the two of you) got confused with slapping a monogram on anything that was markable and replicating every cute idea seen around the blogosphere. Use blogs to inspire, but try, really try to make it personal. It will pay off. If you are doing a photo booth, what are props you could use say something about the two of you? Maybe a handle-bar mustache speaks volumes about the two of you, but maybe two hockey sticks might say even more.
Enjoy this special, magical time in your lives! Enjoy this wonderful year where you wave your ring finger around and get constant manicures! It's special and fun!
A version of this post originally ran on: AlwaysaBlogsmaid.com