There's so many things you can put time and effort into, but these are the ones I'm so glad I prioritized!
I think it’s safe to say that we all make mistakes while preparing for a wedding. Certainly, I made my fair share. I put too much emotional energy into some of the wedding decisions that needed to be made (it’s an important day, certainly, but not worth losing your peace over). I assumed the weather would cooperate, and that tornado season in Kansas wouldn’t interfere. I also didn’t think much about what pictures I wanted ahead of time, and I focused too much on other people’s feelings about the day instead of my own.
All in all, it was not the smooth process I assumed it would be, even though I had reassured myself that it would be easy because I wasn’t one of those “Bridezilla types.” Turns out it doesn’t matter how laid back you are, weddings bring out all sorts of craziness. That said, there were a few things I did right, and here they are.
1Remained flexible with little things
I was able to let go of some of the little things, which helped everything go more smoothly, including the bigger decisions. One example was table decorations. Did I have a vision? Yes! Surprisingly, for someone who doesn’t love decorating, I could see clearly what arrangement I wanted to grace each table. Did everyone else who was helping me organize and plan (including my fiance) hate my very specific vision? Yes! So, I backed off. Did the tables still look great for the reception? Indeed, they looked great. It wasn’t my “in a perfect world” scenario, but it was wonderful all the same.
2Made time for prayer together with our guests the morning of the wedding
We were able to schedule a private holy hour of adoration the morning of the wedding, and invited our guests to attend and pray with us. It was a truly beautiful time, and it felt so nice to be physically surrounded by our guests and their prayers in the presence of our Lord. I would highly recommend scheduling a time for prayer that your guests can participate in.
3Got rid of reception traditions we didn't like
We chose not to have speeches at our reception. We didn’t feed each other cake, or do any special dances or really anything extra at all. And instead, we focused on eating and dancing. It worked perfectly for us, and took away the stress of doing things we didn’t want to do or didn’t feel comfortable with. Traditions can be good and beautiful, but there are no hard and fast rules about reception traditions that you should feel beholden to.
4Spent extra time with our families the day of the wedding
We had a buffet breakfast the morning of the wedding, and then spent time with our respective families and our bridesmaids and groomsmen before the sacrament. Afterwards, we stopped at my family’s house and ate and chatted for a bit before heading off to our honeymoon. It is so nice to have those memories of the day with our loved ones, and it provided a helpful sense of closure on one life and the beginning of another.
Wedding planning is stressful and complicated, certainly. But it doesn’t have to ruin your peace or your life. Find the important things you want to prioritize, that you and your fiance can agree on, and then don’t sweat the rest. You will probably make mistakes while planning, but with some grace and prayer, just keep persevering. Patron saint of engaged couples, St. Agnes, pray for us! And while we’re at it, St. Meinrad, patron saint of hospitality, pray for us!