You’re engaged congratulations!
You’re probably now wondering how the hell you’re going plan this wedding… Where to begin? What is the very first step you should take?
Now before we dive into the first thing that you should do when it comes to planning a wedding, let’s talk about the first thing you should not do, and that is to go to Pinterest and download a wedding planning checklist.
I know probably feels completely counterintuitive to what you would expect but let me explain:
After you go and download that wedding planning checklist from Pinterest, what you’re gonna find is there’s anywhere up to 250 to-do items on that list. And I’m going guess that maybe you haven’t planned a wedding before so all of this is going to be relatively new to you.
Now, the thing is, if the first thing you do it to download this wedding planning checklist list, you’re going to look at all the items and you’re going to think that that’s just what you’re supposed to do when it comes to planning a wedding.
But let me tell you that nothing on that list is actually mandatory.
So before you get carried away thinking that everything is, I want you to do this one thing instead — and that is to sit down with your partner and figure out why it is you’re having a wedding in the first place.
That is actually the first thing that you should do when it comes to wedding planning.
You want to sit down and discuss your purpose for why you’re even having a wedding. I mean you have already decided to be married so why are you having a wedding?
Is it because you feel like you should, that it just seems the natural order of things?
Is it because you’ve always dreamed of having a wedding?
Maybe it’s because you’re being pressured into it from your parents?
Maybe it’s because you just really want to have a party with your friends?
Either way, you have to get really clear on why you’re having a celebration. Then, you want to get clear on what your purpose is for that celebration.
Maybe you’ve decided that the purpose of your celebration is to introduce your families for the first time. Perhaps you’re from different countries or different sides of the country and your families haven’t even actually met yet so the whole point of your wedding celebration is to integrate those two families together.
If that’s the case now you get to just design a celebration around that. So when you think about it, perhaps spending all that money on a wedding party that lasts for about 6 hours isn’t going to be the best approach to meet that purpose.
Instead, you might decide that taking a five day tour around the city you live is a better way to bring those two families together. You could hire a minibus, go camping, maybe you visit all your favorite restaurants and neighbouring towns. All the while showing them the places that you love and helping to bring your two families together.
Maybe you go away for a cabin weekend in the mountains and you include lots of family-style dinners over which you share stories, play Pictionary and Charades, go on hikes together… Maybe that feels like a better way to honor that purpose of bringing your families together.
Your purpose might be to celebrate your community and to thank the friends that have become your family. So you decide to have a community potluck where everyone comes together and celebrates as one; your family by choice.
Perhaps you’ve decided that your wedding purpose has a charitable aspect to it and what you’d really like to do is use your wedding as an opportunity to give back. You might decide to get together with some friends and renovate a room at your local community center or perhaps paint a mural on the local elementary school and give to your community in a way that allows you to feel connected to them.
I know this might feel a little strange, particularly when we’re just so used to thinking that weddings are supposed to look a certain way. But the reason we have those preconceived ideas is because of TV, movies and advertising and just because that’s what we’ve been enculturated to believe weddings should be.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s right.
What I would like to offer you is an alternative to that standard wedding format that may feel better for you.
Because here’s the thing; as soon as you start planning your wedding and as soon as you’ve downloaded that wedding planning checklist you’re going to be bombarded with all of these things that say:
You “have to have” a first dance
You “have to wear” a white dress
You “have to have” a bridal party
You “have to do” speeches in this particular order
You “have to” cut the cake
Uou have to have your dad walk you down the aisle…
But I want to tell you that none of that actually has to happen.
This is about you and what you want, and if you have not taken this first step of defining your purpose for the reason you’re having a wedding in the first place, then when all of this pressure and bombardment from advertisers comes at you or when your family start getting involved with their opinions, you are going to be pulled every which way and you won’t even know begin.
You’ll find it incredibly hard to make decisions and, more than likely, you’ll end up planning a wedding that you don’t actually like because you’ve just been pressured into it and felt like you didn’t really have a chance to plan the wedding you really wanted to have.
That’s why getting clear on your purpose and your why for even having a wedding in the first place is the most important step and it should be the first step when it comes to planning your wedding. After that, then you can move on with designing a vision for your wedding based on that purpose.
Now, if you want help getting clear on your purpose again, I know this is like kind of a wild concept, download my Wedding Planning Un Checklist. It’s going help you get clear on what’s actually important to you so that you can avoid all of that crap that’s about to be thrown at you, and plan the exact kind of wedding that you want to have!