Our wedding is a now a sweet, great, wide-smile-generating, warmth-creating, heart-bursting, ripe on fondness memory. (I can continue with the adjectives but it goes beyond the scope of this post 🙂 )
Whilst the memories are still fresh and the day and its run up not too engulfed with the glittery covering of nostalgia, I have some tips to share with you, on both the Do’s and the Don’ts of this (sometimes stressful) life-altering event known as ‘planning a wedding’.
In my scouting days (once a scout, always a scout), what followed every camp, and what I hated more than a 3am night-watch shift, is a post-mortem: an analysis of what went well, what could have been better, and what simply did not work out. This post is a variant of this. What follows is part 1 of an x number of posts. This particular method is my way of dealing with
- my attention limitations related to efforts in writing longer posts
- my consideration of your patience for reading longer posts
- Dedicate ‘us time’
In the run up to the wedding day itself, you will for sure be inundated with a never-ending list of appointments, meetings, viewings, last minute dilemmas and sprouting problems. It is so very easy for both of you to be so wrapped up in your different roles and responsibilities that you end up barely meeting and, if otherwise, barely talking about anything bar for the wedding. To add spice to this recipe, and with stress mounting on both of your shoulders (or in another scenario, with one party blaming the other for not making enough effort), you may so easily end up either not communicating or shrouded in arguments. Not the kind of environment you want before promising yourselves to each other for eternity.
Our suggestion: Your agendas may be full to the brim, but do find that one hour where you can just be together, on your own, doing something you both love or revisiting places covered in first date memories. It can do wonders in terms of de-stressing and rekindling your patience. Visit your favourite beach when its too early for other visitors; skip that mouthwatering lunch at your mum’s place and book a place for two at a restaurant where you know that no locals go on a particular day and time. Even if you end up eating over-cooked mushy pasta.
- Book wedding organisers
This should be at the very very top of your list. You may think that you can do everything on your own but NO, you cannot be the Bride or Groom and the one telling the caterer when to serve the main course or the one rushing to bring the confetti before the cutting of the cake; you certainly cannot lead the whole wedding party into following the protocol of wedding lingo when you yourself are concerned over forgetting what comes next.
Our Suggestion: For those who know us, you know how much of a perfectionist (and control freak) Richard is (sorry, love 😉 ), so the natural line of thought is that he must have found the idea of enlisting wedding organisers a no-go. Well, you’re wrong on that one. Wedding organisers have the experience, the time- keeping capabilities, the dedication and the determination to see the wedding run smoothly, with no hiccups and no causes of concern for the happy couple. We couldn’t have done all that we did on the wedding day proper without the professional help of our recommended planners: Tony and Doris Grech. Their slogan is ‘because we care’ and they really do! Added to this, it’s always nice to have someone nudging you when you’re stuck with that wedding guest you don’t really want to be stuck with.
Finally, for this section:
- Trash that small island syndrome
A major personal concern was the hell-bent talk of the town. Being the subject of conversations left me distraught and ruined many of my hours – until I decided not to care of course. We are a particular case: a small island where everyone knows each other, we are obsessed with weddings and adamant on commenting, criticizing, spying and deliberating about every single thing which makes up a wedding feast. Sweet much?
Our suggestion: it’s YOUR wedding day; no one else’s. Go ahead with a seated dinner if you so wish, a standing one if that is what you prefer; personalize everything if that’s your thing; have a 100 meter veil if that was always your dream (do check the wind forecast though). Either way, you may try to please everyone, but don’t get your hopes up that you’ll avoid the chitter-chatter.
- Book your honeymoon (however short) in the week before your wedding
On this one, I’m unfortunately guilty as charged. Due to work commitments, we had to be back in the Netherlands a week after the wedding. Having other more pertinent things to deal with, and with the idea that it wouldn’t be difficult to book four nights away (plus flights, plus travelling with a wedding dress in tow, plus deciding whether or not a car was needed), I left the honeymoon booking to exactly the 3rd of September (wedding on the 5th).
Our suggestion: this one is simple: try and try and try again to get more leave following your wedding (believe us, it’s absolutely and completely mind and mood-badgering to go back to work after just four days off), book your honeymoon as early as humanely possible and, for those of you opting for more exotic destinations, sort out your passports, visas and if need be vaccinations. Embassies are already too busy to be dealing with missing documentation!
- Book cheap flights if you have your wedding garb in tow
Following our wedding day we had the most amazing opportunity to meet the Pope… I in my wedding dress, Rich in his wedding suit. (More information on this would be in the next installment of my wedding do’s and don’ts.) This also means I had to fit my dress in my hand luggage, EasyJet dimensions. It was either that or more space in the hold luggage but, having considerably sour experiences with lost luggage in Rome, I opted to fit the camel through the needle’s eye. All was well until we actually boarded the plane and the flight attendant told me that there was no more space for hand luggage. I think I might have held my breath up to the point where I saw my little blue Samsonite on the luggage belt: in one piece, completely dry and on time.
Our suggestion: Fork out some more Euros for extended peace of mind and do yourself a favour and secure your luggage with a padlock.
- Order a bridal bouquet that is too heavy. Or too big.
I almost fell victim to this one for the simple reason that it never crossed my mind. The last thing you want to do on your wedding day is lug around a huge bouquet covering half your face and the petite detail of your dress. Leave the flowers in the hands of the professionals but do communicate well with them.
Our suggestion: Mine in this case. Research what kind of bouquet you want thoroughly and with practicality in mind. You might like that big colourful one but also keep in mind how it will offset your dress and how heavy it might be. Talk with your florist to see what’s best, what they can do, and what the options are. We employed the very talented George Sacco Xerri who not only provided the bridal party bouquets but also the church and venue flowers and deco. He also asked about any particular allergies we might have which may come in handy if you don’t want to end up with a sneezing groom.
More tips coming soon! For those who have already tied the knot, I would love to hear your experiences; for those in the run up to the big day, what’s keeping you up at night?