In my opinion, planning a wedding can give more than a signed piece of paper at the end of the isle.
Before I start, let me say I am writing on the assumption that if you are here reading this you are in the middle of planning a wedding or simply enjoy weddings. If not this might not be the right place for you. You are welcome to stay but please be nice.
Planning a wedding is hard work, don’t get me wrong it’s fun work and it is by choice essentially, but if you do make that choice, it takes up a lot of your time, physically and mentally and tests your relationship. Big or small there is a lot to consider, especially in this age of social media, where your wedding day is likely to be shared online through 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon and back again, you want it to be perfect. A representation of your relationship and hopes for the future all rolled up into 1 or 2 days of eating and drinking.
Planning a wedding takes all those life skills you have developed over the years and gives them a good old stress test. Never been good at compromise? You will be after planning a wedding. Not good at making decisions and trusting your instincts? You will understand yourself more. Always left counting your coppers for toilet roll at the end of the month? You will become a budgeting wonder. I’m pretty sure if you listed out the skills you use in planning a wedding it would be on your CV immediately after the big day!
I have no idea if it happened on purpose that way or if it is a happy coincidence but the planning part of a wedding I think helps you with the being married part. It’s such a task to undertake, it forces you to think about life, goals, your differences and similarities. You work together to create an event that suits you but that will be fun for your guests, and work with sums of money a lot of us rarely see in our personal lives and many not in our professional either. It’s pretty scary and you take it all personally.
Rather than me giving you my planning tips and advice, (I will impart my event planning “wisdom” at some point, but not today) I thought it might be nice to celebrate the things planning a wedding teaches us rather than focusing on the ‘work’ side of things. True the learning comes through the work but knowing what we might gain makes it so much easier!
When you begin a relationship you develop a trust with your partner, without it I don’t think you would be getting married, it’s a given, I hope. Planning a wedding cements that trust in ways you can’t fathom, it is not just about fidelity and protecting your heart, you are planning your future and you must trust your partner to protect and nourish that future every day, not just on your wedding day. Working together does help you do this.
Steve is my best friend, he has been that since the night we met. If we had not become romantically involved I still think we would have been best friends. In becoming my husband and in planning our wedding day together he became my champion. He gives me courage when I need it, he knows when to let me fight my own battles and knows when to step in and stand up for me. He may have done these things without a wedding but it definitely made things more real for us. In the preparations for the day he made me sure he would be that champion for me. God knows I would not be writing this blog without him.
Two people is not always enough
Get your mind out of the gutter please, no I am not talking about in bed! I’m talking, hard hitting life stuff, the stuff that floors you with no prior warning. Your partner will be there for you no question through this or you will be there for them, but what if it’s both of you in need, where do you turn? Well it’s probably going to be to those friends and family that helped put lace on jam jar candle holders and stayed up late drinking, laughing and planning favours with you. It takes a village to plan and put together a wedding, it takes a village to navigate through life. Good stuff and bad it should be shared with your nearest and dearest.
As I mentioned, planning a wedding doesn’t come together overnight, as well as the emotional relationship benefits I found to having a wedding it also gave me practical and personal skills. Delegation, multitasking, budget control, thinking on your feet, creativity and compromise were all skills I already had but improved on in planning my wedding. The biggest skill though was trusting myself and my own creative ideas. Rather than working to someone else’s brief and vision I could control my own and this was both scary and liberating. It was a journey and I am a stronger person and better at my job because of it. (Previously I worked in marketing and events so these skills where very relevant to me.)
Hopefully this post will help you see through the drama’s of the planning and help you get to the good stuff, it’s not just wedding planning it’s life planning and it’s really exciting!
I would love to hear about your experiences of planning a wedding, if you’re in the middle of them or did it years ago – if you have a good story let me know! Happy planning!