We get it; you put a lot of effort into planning your dream wedding. You DIY’d a bunch of small details, spent an extraordinary amount of time seeking out a stunning wedding cake and may have even rented a bit of crazy entertainment. But no matter how much you try, you can’t control every aspect of your wedding. And it can amount to a lot of stress. Sometimes it can be hard to let go and see the forest for the trees, but if you know that, yes, people will wear jeans to your formal reception and that not every detail will be done flawlessly, it can help to manage that stress. So what are those things you can’t control? Well, we’re glad you asked…
You’re engaged and bursting with excitement. But what should you do next? Everything, basically. And right away. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, the best wedding venues, caterers, dessert shops, florists and DJs in your area are well known. And if you want the best of the best, you have to book way, way in advance. Think a year. That’s not to say some amazing vendors aren’t available on short notice, but if you’re a particularly picky bride or groom, you’re going to want to get to work ASAP.
Unless you’re working with a Kardashian-level party budget, you’re going to have to learn how to budget your wedding. You may dream of a custom wedding dress, a big bouquet of roses and a meal catered by the most expensive restaurant in your state, but that’s a tall order. Prioritize where you spend your dollars based on what’s important to you, your fiancé and your loved ones. Most people walk away from a wedding remembering the food, the music and the dress, so consider putting your money into those things and skip the pricey centerpieces.
When planning a wedding, it’s likely you’ll enlist the help of your parents, in-laws, wedding party and other close friends and family members. And those people will have their own thoughts about your big day. While they should defer final picks to you and your betrothed, some people may feel like they’re planning their own wedding. Compromise is key, especially if the people with opinions are helping to foot the bill.
You may dream of a meaningful wedding bouquet of peonies, but unless you’re getting married during a very small time frame, those flowers simply won’t be available. Or they will be prohibitively expensive. If flowers are the most important thing to you, plan your wedding for the appropriate season. Otherwise, you may have to compromise.
The most polite people know that you technically have only a day or two to RSVP to a wedding invite, but that’s a pretty old-fashioned rule of etiquette. You can tell guests to send back the pre-stamped envelope by June 1, but people are still going to miss that deadline. To save some of this stress, give your guests a little wiggle room. For instance, if your caterer needs the numbers by June 1, mark your RSVPs for May 24. You will also most likely have to hunt some people down by calling them. Your wedding may be an exciting occasion, but the RSVP isn’t everyone’s top priority.
About 10%-20% of wedding guests will decline your invitation, but there will be an even smaller percentage of invited guests who will confirm their attendance and still not show up. Last-minute emergencies definitely can happen. Maybe the babysitter had to cancel or the car got stuck in traffic. It’s stressful because of course you want your loved ones at your big day, and at such a late point in the wedding process, you’ve already paid for their meal and drinks. But there’s nothing you can do. Hopefully the absent party apologizes.
For every guest who doesn’t come, expect a wedding crasher. Maybe your family friend’s daughter’s new boyfriend decided that he was worthy of an invite and the family RSVPs for six when you gave them five seats. Or maybe someone will sneak in for the open bar from an adjoining ballroom at your event center. Sneaking in to weddings or not understanding the concept of a cost per plate is just one of those behaviors people don’t know are rude.
Your groomsmen can provide their exact measurements to a tailor, your bridesmaids could get their dresses resized and you could have bought a custom gown. But things happen. Maybe that measuring tape was off or your maid-of-honor is bloated or your fiancé lost a little too much weight due to nerves. Just remember to bring along some handy items like a sewing kit, fashion tape and bandages, and you’ll be just fine.
You can plan for the most idyllic May or October wedding, when temperatures tend to be mild, but nature doesn’t care about your plans. You could have a steamy, hot and humid day for your springtime wedding and a snowstorm in October. Have a contingency plan if you’re planning to hold your wedding outdoors, and everything will work out.
Someone will pass gas. Or someone will mispronounce your new name. Or maybe a groomsman trips while walking down the aisle, or a baby starts crying right as you say “I do” or you drop your wedding rings. You can practice and practice your wedding ceremony, but something unexpected will happen. While it may seem stressful in the moment, in just a few days, it’ll be a funny anecdote.
You may already own every essential kitchen gadget, but not everyone you know is aware of that fact, and they’ll just so happen to buy you one anyway. Even if you make your Amazon registry well known to all of your guests, someone will still just head over to Target or Macy’s and buy whatever they feel like for your big day. Be grateful for any gift.
You can put Journey on your do-not-play list, but someone at your reception will still request “Don’t Stop Believin’,” and the DJ will forget your hatred for ‘80s arena rock. Unless you DJ your own wedding or rule over the playlist with an iron fist, one song you’re not a huge fan of will roll into the mix. Just dance along and laugh it off. Other people just might be enjoying themselves.
Unless you label your wedding as a black tie affair, someone from some distant relation will show up wearing jeans. Or a T-shirt. Or dirty boots. This person doesn’t mean any harm, they may just not know the definition of “formal attire.”
Inevitably, some woman will wear a white summer dress or a similarly distracting gown to your ceremony and reception. If you learn just one thing about the stresses that accompany planning your wedding, it should be that you can’t control other people. It may seem obvious to you that a woman who isn’t the bride shouldn’t wear white, but some people don’t know that this is one of the rudest things you can do at a wedding.
More from The Daily Meal: