No one really sets out to plan more than one wedding. Most of us, if we’re interested in marriage at all, aim to do it once.
That was my original plan. But, as fate would have it, my first wedding was cancelled, quite suddenly, in fact. Needless to say, had anyone asked me at the time if I ever thought I would go through it again, I would have said “no way.”
Years later, I’m in a much different relationship which thankfully has offered me the opportunity to walk down the marriage path again. We just hosted our wedding, and having planned wedding number two, I can honestly say there are many reasons why it’s so much better the second time around. Whether it’s your second time planning a wedding, or your second wedding, this advice may help warm up your cold feet if you’ve got wedding planning jitters:
1. Throw convention out the window.
You’ve learned to do what you want. Stop worrying about what everyone else requests, what everyone else might think, or what everyone else believes is “right.” It’s all one giant façade anyway—no one really agrees on the best way to do anything and there is a varying opinion on every element of a wedding. Put down the magazines and look to your partner to decide how the two of you want to do things. These conversations will, in turn, bring the event authenticity.
2. Give up on bridesmaids and let your friends come as they are.
No amount of friend support during wedding planning is worth $300 full-length green gowns, up-dos, and dye-able shoe blisters. The real way to honor your friends is to include them, feed them, keep their glasses filled, and keep the DJ playing songs you know they love.
3. Refuse to let your crazy family interrupt your happiness.
You’ve learned how your family can get under your skin. Now it’s time to use the tools you’ve acquired through trial, error, and therapy to ignore the annoying comments, smile through the awkward moments, and hug them even when they’re acting like people you don’t like.
4. Don’t sweat the details.
Wedding planning the first time meant stressing about all the things that were new and falsely important—flowers, timing, colors, church programs, music. But the day will be complete with simply your partner and everyone on the guest list around to celebrate with you. Pick a location that limits the decision points so you can kick back and enjoy.
5. Get comfortable in your own shoes.
Shopping for your wedding dress should feel like a luxury, not an obligation, knowing you can truly pick out something you feel beautiful in, whether it’s white, green, black, or yellow. And this time around, you can actually buy wedding shoes you’ll wear again.
6. Don’t look to the wedding day to change your life.
You’ve been through enough to know when a relationship is wrong and when it’s right. The person you celebrate a wedding with now truly feels like a gift. Plan the party with the attitude that you’re celebrating something you’ve built with time, with work, and with those around who helped shape the person you have become.
7. Be glad you’re doing it.
The planning, the cost, and the effort will all seem small compared to the experiences and meaning you’ll feel during the wedding days. You’ll never experience those feelings unless you give the idea a second chance.
Most importantly, remember that there is no wrong wedding when you marry right. Spend your time planning and living all at the same time. No wedding is worth taking over your life. Try as much as you can to enjoy the moment and make decisions that feel right at the time. Sure, you might make a mistake, but without mistakes, there would be no experience.