Seven ways to keep your wedding from overshadowing your marriage.
5. Think of the reception as a fun party for you to enjoy with your friends and family. One bride's father had the idea that the reception should be a cabaret show, and it was his responsibility to keep all the guests entertained. The bride and groom wanted something fun and low-key, not a spectacle that demanded everyone's attention. They put together a playlist of songs that had meaning for them, ones they knew their older relatives enjoyed, and ones they knew would get people out on the dance floor. They looked at the reception as a fun party, not a place to prove their talent, hipness or anything else.
6. If possible, outsource the planning. Jane's mother loves planning parties and was thrilled that Jane and Philip (names changed) gave her the basic idea of what they wanted before turning her loose to be creative. Meanwhile, Eliza and Mark (names changed) couldn't afford a wedding planner and didn't have relatives who could pitch in, but they had a group of very talented friends who volunteered to manage the various parts. They gave each friend a budget and free rein.
One friend was a sous chef at a fancy restaurant who volunteered to prepare the food, another one did the flowers, Eliza's brother sang at the ceremony and had musician friends join him to provide music for the party, and Mark's sister shot video. If you don't have a close relative with those talents who's enthusiastic about taking on the plans, hire a wedding planner.
7. Remember that you and your partner are on the same side! Your partner may not be as interested in all of the "stuff" as you are, whether it's registry "stuff" or what type of wedding you have. That doesn't mean he's wrong or doesn't care about you. It just means that he's not you.
Not everyone has an opinion about everything connected with the wedding. He may be more focussed on planning a fun trip and enjoying being together when the whole thing's done. He may be more interested in marrying you than in being your groom. When you have a difference of opinion or approach, stop and say — aloud, or to yourself — "I think we've forgotten we're on the same team, which is the whole point! Let me do something warm to connect with you."
These "lucky seven" tips are variations on a theme: It's the marriage that's important. If you and your partner can stay on the same side, relax about appearances, compromise and have fun with each other along the way, you've learned some of the basics of a satisfying married life!