You’ve dreamed about your wedding day since you were a child and since you’re only getting married once, why not have everything your way? If you were marrying yourself, paying for it yourself and only you would be in the audience, I’d say sure. However, most likely you’re not.
You owe it to the person you’re marrying to find out what their idea of a great wedding is. He may say that he wants whatever you want. Or he may volunteer that a small or quickie wedding is his preference. Maybe your desires don’t match up but this is the time to negotiate. Compromise on the size of the guest list. Or let him choose the cake and you choose the flowers. Whatever you do, do not simply discount his desires or allow him to simply “show up” at the wedding (this is a short-cut to resentmentville).
Set a budget immediately and stick to it. If your parents are paying for your wedding – this is not carte blanche! In all honesty, those cocktail napkins lovingly imprinted with your names and the date are going to be tossed in the trash. No one will remember what flowers were in your bouquet. Several thousand dollars for a dress you’re going to wear for a few hours is not a good return on investment. What people will remember are the personal touches. Write your own vows. Circulate at the reception and greet each guest personally. A picture of you and your beloved in a frame as a party favor is nice but a picture of you on your wedding day with the guest that is then sent to them is better.
Be gentle on your attendants. They’re essentially volunteers. Do not make them spend money they don’t have just to satisfy your ego. Pick an inexpensive, flattering dress. One pre-wedding party is sufficient. Do not make ridiculous demands just because you’re the bride. Many friendships have not survived a bridezilla.
Your guests are there to help you celebrate, not to be window dressing or witnesses to your fantasies. Treat them with respect. Do not make them wait while you take endless vanity shots. Be polite, even to the ones you wish your future mother-in-law hadn’t invited. Send thank you notes for presents.
Your wedding day is a celebration of your new life, not the day that everyone bows to your wishes. Keep it in perspective – it is one day out of your entire life.