Mention a wedding and everybody goes mushy and starry-eyed, picturing the
bride floating along on a cloud of happiness. Unless you've been there yourself,
it's difficult to imagine the stresses and strains imposed on the bride and the
people she comes into regular contact with. All too often we hear a sigh of
relief when the whole episode is finally over. To make things easier, we've
compiled a guide on how to go about ensuring that your wedding day is as dreamy
and wonderful as all those fantasies you had as a little girl.
Finances - Get the money issue out of the way - fast! Decide on a budget,
keep a record book and don't dip into those savings - as tempting as it gets.
Spending sleepless nights fretting over who is paying for what and where the
money is coming from is not good for you. Weddings are expensive and it's really
not expected anymore that the bride's family pay for everything. If the couple
both work it may be an idea to split the bill between the two families and the
Make lists - Plenty of them! Keep your plans on paper and out of your head!
It's great to see those jobs get crossed off the list as they get done.
Know exactly what you want - Sit the family down, open a `negotiating table`
and listen to their opinions. Everyone has a different image in their head as to
what a wedding involves. Know what yours is and stick to it. You'll only be
unhappy if you bow to pressure and give in - this is your day and things should
go the way you want them to. Don't let parents bribe you because they're paying
a portion, they've had their turn - now it's yours.
Plan - Start planning way in advance. Sit down with hubby-to-be and decide on
a venue, church, photographer, etc. Popular venues are booking at least a year
in advance, so get in early - especially if you're planning a spring or
Valentine's Day wedding. You'll also need to arrange your honeymoon - romantic
spots are snapped up quickly and the last thing you want is to end up in a
rained out camping spot! Have fun doing it - visit travel agents, read mags,
Exercise - But don't overdo it. The panic about sudden weight gain in the
last few weeks and frantic gym sessions every day can damage your health and
well-being. You won't want to hobble down the aisle with protesting thigh
muscles! Try a gentle, low impact aerobic class three times a week for maximum
fat burning effects. Or better yet, grab your sweetheart and go for a walk - the
time together will be invaluable and the gentle exercise and fresh air is great
for the stress levels.
Put time aside for you - Schedule it into your diary if necessary. Get your
hair done, have a manicure and facial, or simply lie in the bath with a glass of
your favorite wine. Soul-time for you is essential to keep the wheels turning
smoothly. It gives you time to make plans, relax and keep those frown lines at
Keep the romance alive - During this hectic time
it's easy to get wrapped up
in the practicalities of it all. Those close to you may tend to take a back
seat. Wedding plans generally have the couple rushing from one place to the
next, having fittings, meeting family, shopping and bargain hunting. Put some
quality time aside for just the two of you - run away for a quiet weekend, take
the phone off the hook, or simply go to your favorite romantic spot for some
special time together.
Let someone else do it - Don't try and do everything yourself, as much as you
may want to. You'll get so bogged down that you'll end up being exhausted come
the big day. Delegate jobs to others, let those who are good at certain things
show off their talents by lending a hand. Just remember to thank them in person
or in the speeches.
Stay off the booze - Especially the night before your wedding! A glass of
wine is great to help you sleep, but finishing the whole bottle leads to
dehydration and puffy eyes, not to mention the headache! A small tot of
something before marching down the aisle may help stop the shaking hands and
Stay out of the sun - A golden tan looks fabulous against a white dress, but
make sure you wear a high SPF sunscreen. Peeling noses and lobster shoulders are
not something to aspire to! If necessary, use a self-tanning lotion, but have
someone else apply it, to prevent those streaky lines! Also, if you're going the
fake route, apply the lotion at least three days before your wedding, watch out
for other cosmetics reacting with it and make sure you've used the product
before, to prevent allergic reactions.
Eat! - Don't overdo it but eat something simple on the morning of your
wedding. Try some fruit for the sugar levels and carbohydrates for sustained
energy. You're going to be on your feet for a long time and the nerves certainly
don't help matters. Let your husband make you weak in the knees, not the lack of
Don't wear new shoes - You'll be hobbling around by the end of the first
dance and the grimace it puts on your face is certainly not attractive. Find a
pair that's comfy and wear them for at least two weeks before your wedding.
Alternatively, have an old, comfortable pair dyed or covered. Don't wear a heel
height you're not familiar with. Tottering around on stilettos you've never worn
before is certainly not elegant and you'll probably end up endangering yourself
and all those around you!
Be prepared - Pack an emergency bag for when
you're dressing. Include a
needle and thread, aspirin, eye drops, extra pantyhose, nail polish, hairclips,
etc. A family member or friend could keep it on hand for you during the ceremony
and reception. It may be very useful and you'll probably take it along on
honeymoon as well!
Rest - Make sure you get enough snooze time at night and on weekends. Close
friends always want to be part of the pre-wedding celebrations and the invites
may never seem to end. Take it easy, turn them down if you have to stay strong
and on top of things. Late nights and early mornings are not going to help the
complexion or nerves.
Include the groom - All too often the bride takes over and leaves the groom
on the sidelines. Make him feel wanted and important by getting him involved
wherever possible. The time you spend together, planning and organising is a
special part of the wedding memories you will cherish for many years to come. A
male perspective on things can also help - they look at life differently and
their viewpoints can be fun and refreshing. Remember that this is a wedding for
two people - let the planning be the same.
Play it safe - Don't be tempted to buy a range of unfamiliar cosmetics.
possible you'll react and end up with swollen, red eyes and blotchy skin. If you
really have to, make sure that you do so at least four weeks in advance to give
your skin a chance to adapt. Rather stick with the old faithful that you know
work well and look good on you.
Keep a sense of humour - At times it may all seem too much and
if the effort is really worth it. Each wedding has something that makes it
unique and that gives people something to look back on with fondness and a
Be real - Your wedding should suit your personality. All too often, couples
try to make their wedding into something they're not and this is where things
can go horribly wrong. If you're not comfortable in formal surroundings then opt
for a relaxed, outdoor affair. Perhaps a morning wedding would suit you better
than a more sophisticated evening event. Let your personal touches shine
Let it all flow - Weddings are meant to be fun, romantic and a stepping stone
into the rest of your life. You've done all the planning, organising and
arranging and your day is finally here. There is nothing more to do except sit
back and enjoy a day that will change the rest of your life, forever. Be
positive, be confident, be happy, be yourself. Congratulations!