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What Are Weddings All About?

Wedding BouquetWhen we think of weddings, we all have the most idyllic pictures in our minds. The beautiful bride. Lovely scenery. A cozy atmosphere for the tables that are all neatly set. Flowers. Flower girls. Happiness and laughter. Family photo’s. There’s generally a good vibe going around there do’s – lol.

I guess I’ve been pretty blind about it too, so I won’t blame anyone who takes it all for granted.

You have absolutely no clue what its like if you haven’t been through a wedding yet. And if you used a wedding planner, sorry, you’re disqualified.

Weddings take planning. Immense loads of planning. From the word go. I never thought that deciding on a date could be such a big issue. But I promise you that you will know exactly when I mean when you get there.

You have to keep in mind all your family who lives far away – will they be able to make it to your wedding? Then the season. What type of wedding do you want? Spring, fall? This will determine what flowers are available, and also what type of dress the bride will be wearing.

Once the date is set, after both parties have listed all the pro’s and con’s of WHEN the wedding will be held, you have to start thinking of invites. Invites will be determined by your colour scheme, or theme. Now, you also have to think about WHO you’re going to invite. This is bound to cause some strife between the couple, and between the couple’s families. Families always want to invite loads of people that the couple doesn’t really know, and doesn’t really care to have at the wedding.

The people who are invited will most probably be determined by the people who pay for the wedding. For instance, if the couple pays for the wedding themselves, they won’t easily let their minds be changed by parents who want to invite long lost aunts. But now the tricky thing is, if the parents pay for the wedding, they have a huge say in who’s being invited.

Traditionally the bride’s father pays for the wedding, but I guess these days people are ignoring almost all traditions, so this one went along with the rest. Honestly, its easier if the couple pays for the wedding themselves.

Once you’ve come to an agreement with each other, as well as made peace with the families, the guest list can be finalized. Remember, this is NEVER cast in stone. Never ever assume that your guest list is FINAL. A finalized guest list just doesn’t exist. Ever.

We’ve had some pretty interesting happenings around our guest list. First of all we drew it up with about 60 guests. Perfect. I always wanted a small wedding! Problem #1? I didn’t invite half my family. LOL. :( I guess we’re not very close with a lot of people in my family, and I really didn’t want people there who just want to comment on the whole “do”.

My folks weren’t very happy about this, which I could understand, so we adjusted the list a little, and added some more family from my side. Great. My fiancé’s family are all pretty close, so we couldn’t get away with leaving people out really. Asif that wasn’t enough, some of the people who were invited, invited their OWN guests along with them. I guess it wasn’t done on purpose, or to be strange or anything, but they just assumed that we had invited their kids and their whole entourage. Great. We have some extra faces. People we haven’t even ever MET!? Arrrrgh! Fine, we get ourselves together again, we make peace, and practice our smiles for the uninvited guests.

Once your guest list is setup, and you have chosen the colour scheme or theme for your wedding, you’re ready to start with the invites. You might make these yourselves, or perhaps you’d prefer having these made. If you have the spare cash to have them made, good for you, but note, you might not realize how much the whole wedding is going to cost. Don’t be too stingy, but also don’t throw around your money like you have found a pot of gold.

Personalizing invitation can be very costly if you’re not doing this yourself, but it adds a nice touch to the invite. We did ours this way, but we also made them ourselves. When you make personalized invites, make sure to make a couple extra “general” invites – just in case you forget someone, and also to keep in your wedding album.

Finally the RSVP date comes, and though a lot of people don’t RSVP on time, we eventually get everyone’s replies. We realize that we’re going to have some empty seats, and make use of this opportunity to invite friends who we would love to have there, but who weren’t on the initial list either because we forgot about them (sorry 😛 ), or because we didn’t think we had the space. Now this is where the “general” invites come in handy. My sister and her family RSVP’d, saying they won’t be able to come since they live in the US. I was very sad, but made peace with it. 12 days before the wedding they get told that they now have the opportunity to come. I’m absolutely ecstatic that they’re coming, but realistically speaking, we have to make some adjustments. Extra seating, gifts, place names etc, etc, etc. Its all good though – I would change it all over twice if it meant they could be here.

Now you have your guest list filled up to the max, and you’re ready to have a the wedding?! You think you’re ready to book all the equipment you’re going to hire, i.e. chairs & crockery etc. BIG MISTAKE. If you want your max to be 90 guests, allow for about 5 people to still pitch up that you haven’t invited. Sometimes you forget about someone until the last minute, and other times people are just really rude and pitch without being invited. Its always safer to have a buffer. Also remember to hire some extra chairs etc. in case something breaks. You don’t want your guests to be without a main meal just because their plate broke.

Now we have to start thinking of table gifts, place names, a table planner, and decor. Decor can be pretty easy, but also tricky. You don’t want to crowd the table with lots of little fairies and stuff (I’m not having any fairies on my wedding, but some people actually like this), but at the same time, you don’t want the tables to look too bare. You have to think about vases, and flowers, and which flowers are in season, and who’s going to arrange them, and who’s going to pick them up, and when you need to get the vases to the people who are arranging the flowers. All of this has to be done in time, but not too long before, else the flowers will wilt. Same with the table gifts – ours specifically. We have chocolates, and these need to be set on the tables, before the guests arrive, but not too long before so that they melt. *sigh*

While all of these arrangements are happening the wedding dress is the bride’s top priority. Whether you’re hiring, having your dress made, or making it yourself, its stressful. I was fortunate enough to have my fiance’s Mom offer to make my dress, and she finished this week – she did such an incredible job, and I’m really excited about it!! 😀

The groom’s clothes might be a bit of a fuss as well, that’s if you want him to wear a waist coat. This will have to be made to match the colour scheme of the wedding. Personally I don’t like waist coats at all, so my groom won’t be wearing one. (I keep wanting to call a waist coast a petty coat instead… I guess its cause English isn’t my first language, but come to think of it, the groom wood look equally weird wearing either one of those. To me that is 😛 )

Once the bride and groom’s outfits are decided on, you need think of your entourage… First you have to choose these! It might sound easy, but I can assure you its not even close to that. You’ll always have people who feel they should rather have been chosen. Either that, or the people who you have chosen will want to take over the whole show. They might try to design their own clothes, changing colours to something that doesn’t vaguely match the colours you’ve chosen for the wedding. The worst I’ve heard of recently, is that the maid of honour wanted her dress made exactly like the bride’s, just in a different colour. What the heck is up with that? I would slap that maid of honour and tell her to wake up, and see that its not her wedding. Yeah, I know, I won’t do that, but the little person inside me feels like doing that.

I’ve been very fortunate to have an excellent, supportive, and very cool bridesmaid. I’m not going to have a maid of honour and bridesmaids and all that. Just one bridesmaid is fine. Really. Her dress is nearly finished, and though I gave the main idea for the dress she chose her own fabric and some extra trimmings. I was at first a bit upset that I didn’t see the fabric before she bought it, but in the end, she has good taste, and it will look good. No use fussing about the small things. At least her dress won’t look anything like mine!!

The flower girls are a total different issue. I was going to use my two nieces, but since they live in the US and wasn’t coming to the wedding, I asked my fiancé’s cousin. Needless to say she is ecstatic. Now, after hearing that my nieces will in fact be here, we had to do some chopping and changing. We’re having three flower girls now, but the two nieces are not here long enough in advance to make the dresses. I’ve decided not to let this bother me, and my sister will just have to get the dresses in the US. Its one of those things that cannot be changed by worrying.

Apart from those three, we’re inviting a family which has five kiddies; four of which are girls. All four are dressing up really nicely. They would also love having something to do. Shame, I feel so sorry for them, cause I really don’t have something for them to do!? They even worked out a dance!! LOL. This is just too funny. So many people are planning things for MY wedding without me knowing it. Mmm… And I thought just the honeymoon was supposed to be a surprise? :O

Oh well, I can imagine if I was little, I would’ve loved to dance at a wedding too? So they can do their little routine while we’re busy taking family photo’s – its bound to entertain the guests who are waiting in one way or another 😉

Now, I have 10 days left, and I honestly don’t know what to stress about anymore. I’ve worried, and wondered, and imagined everything over and over and over. I’ve spent my nights rolling around trying to think of things I might have forgotten.

My head is too full. But it feels like its stuffed with cotton candy… Sticky, and like a I can’t get anything out of it which makes much sense. I don’t know if that was a good comparison. Or maybe I didn’t explain the comparison well… Like I said. I cannot think straight anymore.

The most important things to organizing a wedding? I guess… To NEVER under estimate the cost. NEVER under estimate the work & planning. And once everything is done, try to relax, and just sit back and enjoy.

That’s not a very easy task though. I will let you know how it went, and if I was able to do just that. :)

In the end its about spending the most amazing day of your life with the people who you love. The people who care for you, and the people who you want to share in this very special event.



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  1. February 28, 2008    

    Oh yes, weddings are a huge amount of planning! I doubt there are many things so intensely planned as weddings. The first time I got married, there was tons of planning, a huge wedding, the works. The second time, we married at the court house on Valentine’s Day 2000! We’re still as married and I already had all the ceremony. All that planning is more than worth it, tho, when you see how wonderful your special day is.

    My friend got married last May and her wedding was crazy planning. I helped her with almost everything, it was wild! The wedding, however, was absolutely beautiful. She did everything, she even made the dresses! I don’t think any bride should go to that extent, there has to be a point at which she rests. 😉

    Good luck with your planning, Danette. I’m sure your special day will be wonderful!

  2. Laura Laura
    February 28, 2008    

    I’m getting married this April in Seattle, Washington, and besides the planning, the hardest part is not letting the magazines’ ideas interfere with my own.

    What I really want is pure simplicity (no fancy restaurant, no ice sculpture) and to share this special day with as many people in our lives as we can fit in our church. However, the glossy pages (even if they feature “real” weddings – LIES!) only sell me “necessities” to make my day perfect (sorry for the cliche).

    I feel I can have a meaningful ceremony and a gracious reception without going into debt or becoming frazzled. No, I don’t need designer chocolates with personalized tags, letter pressed menus, or a weekend at the spa for 50 bridesmaids. All that is required is my fiance, a pastor, good food, and good company.

    Even my fiance’s mother does not believe me when I say I just want a Barbeque at my parent’s house for a rehearsal dinner. That’s how my family celebrates, and besides, no one speaks to anyone other than their neighbor if we go to a restaurant. I’m so happy my friends understand my ideals; both of my bridesmaids found dresses that suit them and the occasion – one for $30, and one borrowed from a friend. I don’t need perfection…I need special memories.

  3. Laura Laura
    February 28, 2008    

    sorry for venting. All of your stories are exciting, and in the spirit of what I believe a wedding should be. O didn’t mean to sound aggressive; I’m only frustrated with the traditional planning process and I thought your audience would be sympathetic. If only people planned their marraige as much as their wedding…but there I go again.

    “In the end its about spending the most amazing day of your life with the people who you love. The people who care for you, and the people who you want to share in this very special event.”

    I couldn’t agree more. Best of luck!

  4. Sibu Sibu
    February 29, 2008    

    I know you’ve been having sleepless nights about your wedding, but i also happen to know that you are working hard to plan for it. It might be chaos now, but on big the day you will be smiling!!!

    Goodluck D!

  5. August 26, 2010    

    I think a lot of brides need to see this. Well done for anyone who can offload all of the stress onto a wedding planner but I really think that some brides feel better for having planned it themselves once the day starts. I cannot wait to plan mine!

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