After “Yes” and Before “I DO”
by Sharon Kidder
Sunday, January 30, 1994
SF Examiner & Chronicle
Between saying “Yes” and “I Do” there’s one more question to be considered. “How do we create the kind of wedding that we want?”
Whether it’s a secret ceremony or a social extravaganza, your wedding day is uniquely yours. The planning time can be productive and the day itself stress-free and blissful.
There are three strategies for a highly successful wedding:
1. Establish priorities within a budget;
2. Select a team of competent professionals; and
3. Create a script for the entire wedding day.
The first essential step is to establish priorities within a budget to help guide decisions. If simplicity is your highest priority, it’s important to understand how each bridal attendant adds to the complexity, length and cost of the event. Turning to the old tradition of just a maid-of-honor and best man may address this priority. Other priorities usually include desired number of guests, degree of formality, and time of day.
If you envision a richly elaborate ceremony, you might opt for a candlelight ritual replete with candle lighters, petals strewn by rosy-cheeked cherubs, a lengthy musical prelude, trumpet fanfare, a ring bearer and a bevy of young maidens carrying elegant sprays of garden roses tied with French ribbon.
Once you have established your priorities/budget and reserved a site for your event, the second essential is to select the team of professionals who will listen to you and create the unique day of which you are now dreaming. If fabulous flowers are a high priority, then you’ll probably always be on the edge by deferring to a favorite aunt who “just loves flowers.” Instead, you should gather recommendations and interview florists, selecting one whose style you admire and with whom you feel comfortable. This principle of selection applies to musicians, the celebrant, caterer, baker and photographer. Each of these individuals will become an intimate part of your wedding day.
If placating family members’ conflicts with your desire to use professionals, there are always significant and rather risk-free tasks that they might be asked to perform while still allowing you to utilize the team you’ve selected. Providing the groom’s cake might be assigned to the cousin who wanted to “do” the bride’s cake. Decorating the groom’s cake and table would probably provide just enough of a task for the flower-loving aunt.
The third essential strategy for a stress-free wedding is to create a script for the entire day. (As you go through this process, you’ll probably decide to script the day of the rehearsal, too.) Each aspect of the wedding day should be included in the script, with a highlighted copy given to each “player.” You will find that focus will shift away from you. The players will start interacting with one another as they recognize how their roles inter-relate and they clarify expectations.
A quick glance at your completed wedding day script will show a thoughtfully designed event, enhanced by the correctly balanced team of professionals, family, and friends who will make saying “I Do” seem natural and beautiful.