By Jessica Nance
Many people equate stress with wedding planning, but why? Yes, there are many details and you may feel like it will break the bank to make a perfect day, but shouldn’t it be enjoyed from start to finish? Here are a few practical ways to remove the stress so you can enjoy one of the most memorable days of their lives!
1. Let Go. It’s Their Day
This may be the hardest tip but the most important. Remember that each child is unique and may not want to have the wedding you had or you dream about. Traditional weddings are not trending now and each couple wants to bring in their own personality versus what etiquette may say. If you cannot find it in your heart to agree, you may want to look at hiring a professional planner to help you come to an agreement or meet in the middle. Planners are not counselors, but they are creative and have the experience to know how to talk through each issue that may arise.
2. Know Your Budget Before You Start
You need to have real conversations with your children about what you plan to contribute to their overall budget for their wedding. Make sure you decide if you are going to pay for parts like the dress, venue, and flowers, or if you plan to pay for the total. Many parents struggle to pay for the total wedding, especially if the couple plans to invite a large number of guests or has more expensive ideas for their big day. It is best to decide what dollar figure you plan to spend the minute the ring goes on!
This is the number one reason for stress in the planning process. The average wedding costs approximately $24,000 in Davidson County. This usually makes parents choke up a bit because their wedding cost around $5,000 in the 70s or 80s. Now weddings are a major social gathering and large production with the works for all of the couple’s friends and family. Make sure you save cash for this event because one thing people regret after the wedding is that lingering credit card bill. One idea to help is to look at all-inclusive options that you can pay monthly for the full wedding versus paying for a lot at one time. Just make sure your child knows what you will be contributing so they do not assume and end up stressing out over a bill they did not expect.
3. The Big Day – Help!
This, coming from a professional planner, is one of the major items people forget about until the last minute and forget to include it in the budget – a director! You have spent so much time, effort, and money on this perfect day for your child, but how will it all happen if you are playing the parent role? You can’t help your child get ready, look pretty yourself, greet/host guests, direct people down the aisle, check to make sure the cake arrived, and still keep yourself together emotionally if you are trying to run the show!
Hire a professional director to take what you have invested in and make it all happen without a worry. Focus your time on your family and, more importantly, on your child that is giving their heart to your new son or daughter in law. Directors should create a custom timeline, direct the rehearsal, give you professional advice, move guests from space to space, and coordinate with all of your vendors. Weddings without directors can become a hot mess very quickly. The average professional director with an assistant costs around $1200 for their services.
4. Set Up and Clean Up
OH ME! The dreaded issue of TIME at your venue and all the STUFF that must happen during that time! This is another professional service I would highly suggest you invest in. Some directors can add this service and work it into their team’s timeline. Many think about how long it will take for the actual event, but are never realistic about the time it takes to put everything out and clean it all up. Know what you are contracting when you hire someone. Does the caterer or venue take the trash? How long do you have the venue so you know how to time out the day? What items may need muscle? Did you remember to pay additional for the florist to do a set up of the flowers? So many things will result in stress if you don’t pre-plan for time needed at the beginning and the end. Plus, who wants guests to walk into the ceremony site that is not complete?
5. Knowing Responsibilities and Working Together
This is a subject that can cause stress emotionally. Make sure you know what the couple wants you to be involved in and what they want to do alone. Some have a great relationship and want parents involved in everything, but some find it easier to make the decisions themselves and have you just be there as a supporter. Also, consider the other child’s parents. Most parents want to be involved in some fashion. Plan out in the beginning what task you can give everyone to make anyone that wants to be involved feel, well, involved. Emotions are very high when it comes to planning out one of the biggest steps your child will make, so be considerate of how to respect your child’s wishes but help make others feel important, too.
Side tip: the Bridal shower or luncheon may be a great way to involve people that may not be involved in the wedding.
Hang in there parents! It may be an emotional and slightly bumpy ride, but remember: Be considerate, but honest. Make sure you are supportive, but not in the spotlight. Let your children shine on their day while you enjoy watching what they have become and the adventure they are now undertaking. Hire professionals and get references from people with real experience. Above all, happy planning and congratulations on extending your family!