Five Ways to Avoid Wedding Disaster

There are many ways to plan a wedding that you won’t enjoy.  For example, your best friend says you MUST do the bouquet toss, although you think it’s the silliest of customs. You want to cry as you cut the over-your-budget wedding cake you ordered to please your mom. Your guests are cold and wet after an unexpected shower at your outdoor ceremony…

Don’t let this happen to you!  From the Wedding Examiner, an LA-based creator and conductor of hundreds of civil and event weddings a year, comes Five Ways to Screw Up your Wedding, in 5 Parts. Read and be warned!

Part 1: Don’t get divorced first.

I guess this is a problem that the Examiner experiences often, so I’ll include it even though it seems silly. Apparently some people do not know that there is a difference between being GRANTED a divorce, and a divorce that’s FINAL. People who are ignorant of this do silly things like fly to Vegas and marry someone else, before they are legally divorced, thus technically making them BIGAMISTS. Don’t do that. The Examiner would caution you not to even begin planning your next wedding until you have your FINALIZED divorce papers in hand.

Part 2: Go into debt.

The cost of the “average American wedding” keeps spiralling upward, and this year they’ll have us believe it’s nearing $29,000. The Examiner is skeptical of these statistics, pointing out that “Just one $4 million celebrity wedding can lift hundreds of $25 civil county weddings into “average” territory.” Whatever the real average is, the Marital Industrial Complex will try to push that figure up, telling you that you DESERVE a wedding with all the trappings of royalty… it all look so pretty, I just have to have it!  But if you can’t pay for your party without running up your credit cards or borrowing from friends or taking out an unsecured wedding loan, just say NO.

“Going into debt for Your Special Day will not only ruin your wedding, it’s likely to wreck a good long chunk of your life and credit rating and relationship.  Mortgaging your future is no way to start a marriage… And who wants to be average, anyway?”

Part 3: Have a wedding you’ll hate.

Despite what Granny or Maid of Honor tells you, there’s no such thing as “HAVE TO” when it comes to planning your wedding. If you give in to guilt and peer pressure, you are likely to end up hating your wedding and resenting the people who talked you into it. So there are two other ways to go about the planning:

1. Be tough and do it your way, no matter what everyone else says (as long as YOU are paying for it!)

2. Compromise and incorporate some of the ideas other people suggest. If you think creatively, you may come up with ideas that make EVERYONE (or at least most people) happy!

Part 4: Develop unrealistic expectations.

You can hope and pray that it won’t rain on your wedding day, that the marriage license bureau will be open whenever it’s convenient for you, that your flower girl doesn’t throw a tantrum that will hold up the entire wedding processional, and smoldering family feuds will be forgotten in the joy of your wedding day. But in the unlikely event that things don’t turn out quite as you planned, try this four-point strategy:

1.  Meet unexpected obstacles with grace, creativity, and a sense of humor. It will all make a great story, someday.  Laugh about it, even if you’re not feeling like it’s so funny.  The humor in the situation will catch up to you later (one hopes.)

2.  Deploy the back-up plan. You do have a back-up plan, don’t you?

3.  Take a breath and let it go. Life will go on.  People make mistakes.  You can’t control the weather.  You’re not the only one that matters today and it’s not worth starting a war over. You Will Survive.

4.   Remember why you’re here. Bear in mind your devotion to one another and the larger purpose of this day; if you contemplate that for a moment, nothing else should really matter.

Part 5: Starve, bore and ignore your guests!

Don’t bore your guests: A common grouse about wedding receptions is that they are “frequently too long in duration and too short on substance.”  For  ideas on making your wedding fun, “dig into your hobbies, work, ethnic or national traditions (back in the day at Austrian receptions, the couple had to saw a log in half with a two-person lumberjack saw.  Bet you haven’t seen that lately!)  Your guests will be grateful you made the effort, and they’ll savor the uniqueness for years to come.”

Don’t starve them either: Unless you’re serving a ten-course meal, there’s no need to stretch out  the eating part of things for four hours. After your guests have made the effort to dress up, drive out, and sit through the ceremony, asking them wait even longer before you feed them so you can take photos or change clothes is inconsiderate, especially when there are kids involved.

Don’t ignore, or worse, neglect your guests! If you choose to invite people to your wedding instead of eloping, your first priority is to make sure everyone feels welcome, comfortable, and safe. A gracious bride and groom know that a wedding day is meant to honor the assembled community as well as the newlyweds. Make sure everyone can understand your wedding program and follow what’s going on. Don’t leave guests hanging around not knowing what will happen next.  Scrutinize your venue for hazards such as uneven floors, uncomfortable chairs, poor heating or ventilation. And of course, be hospitable and express your gratitude for their presence not only at your wedding, but in your lives.