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As a wedding officiant I have the opportunity to observe many folks doing their own planning and set up for their wedding and reception.
Some people are fortunate to have the funds to hire a professional planner and to pay the costs involved in creating their dream wedding. Many do not and these are the situations I would like to write about today.
Seeing someone's special day fall far short of their expectations is so sad I want to cry. I know the dream the bride has, of seeing herself walking into her fairy tale wedding, everything just so and all the chairs filled with smiling faces of friends and family sharing her day and wishing her well. And it isn't that way at all.
Much of this disappointment could be avoided by using some common sense and living in reality not in dream land. It is far better to plan smaller, within your ability and have everything go as planned than trying to reach too far and then needing to face reality at the moment when you should be standing with stars in your eyes as you look into the eyes of the one you love to say "I do".
Let's start with the guest list. Be realistic. Most of us really don't have that many real friends. True we all know a lot of people and it would be cool to have lots of people there so you can have your big day. However, remember this. The people who are there because they truly love you are the only ones who count in the long run.
There are two big reasons for being selective in choosing whom to invite. The first reason is to keep your wedding well within what you can afford and the second reason is to avoid the chance of having a room set for one hundred guests and seeing half of the chairs empty.
You may think that everyone who sends a RSVP will honor it but far too often they won't. It happens so often that I am no longer surprised when I see it. I just feel bad for the bride and groom.
Many couples try to go big on a small budget by doing all or most of the work themselves. Often they barely make it to the wedding on time, or run severly late while rudely leaving their guest sitting for thirty minutes to a hour waiting. By the time the couple stand before me they are so frustrated and tired they have guaranteed themselves a less then wonderful experience.
The day is your special day and you deserve to be able to enjoy it in it's entireity. If this means inviting only a few people to a wedding in the park complete with a covered dish dinner, which the guests help to provide then do it. Don't apologize, don't feel bad because it isn't a royal wedding, it is your wedding, done to the best of your ability and you will enjoy it. Your friends will enjoy itas well.
Do some research to provide little touches which cost very little but add to the overall enjoyment.
You can add a sand ceremony, (great at beach weddings), a rose ceremony, jump the broom and so many more. You could have a memoriable tree planting ceremony, find out if thre is a place in a local park or if you have a home you could plant in your own yard to honor your day.
There is no limit to the really nice things you can do to create a wonderful, memorable, special day. Well within your means and something that doesn't look like it fell far short because you tried to over reach.
I have lots of good ideas on my website www.thesimplewedding.com
I hope my blog is helpful to you. If I can be of help in anyway please contact me and if you are planning a wedding in south Florida I would love to be your officiant.
My congratulations to all of you who are ready to say "I Do"
Best Wishes...Donna Merritt, Wedding Officiant