Friday, December 5, 2008

Getting Ready for a Wedding

The happy couple with a groomsman and maid of honor

We just had a wedding (our daughter's) at our house--literally, under a tent on the side lawn--and I hope to be writing more about this wonderful event in the future. At this point, I don't have time to write as much as I would like, as we are now getting ready for a second wedding (our son's), though the season and the couple's preferences have sited this happy event at an old mansion in West Virginia. But I feel compelled to offer a bit of advice to mothers and brides-to-be, just in case there are readers facing wedding preps who find their ways to this blog. That advice is: There is no such thing as over-planning for a wedding. Trust me: weddings require an attention to detail unsurpassed by any other celebratory event in human history; whether small, medium, large, or grandiose, they require the proverbial cast of thousands (well, literally, hundreds or dozens) of behind-the scenes helpers and heros to carry out, and everything takes more time and costs more money than you are likely to anticipate. Hosting a wedding for 100 people is not the equivalent of giving a buffet dinner for the same crowd. A special note to mothers of brides-to-be: Do not let anyone--be it your dear spouse, a nervous bride, a kindly aunt, a concerned friend--tell you that you are overdoing the lists, research, index cards, and other planning. You will likely become fixated on fabric, flowers, pew ribbons, cake fillings, and ceremony formats: Relax and enjoy the fact that you can think about little else.
Finally, there are hundreds of wedding books and Web sites out there. They do not all agree, even on some of the etiquette fundamentals. I highly recommended starting with two: Weddings by Martha Stewart, the first of her books on weddings, which has lovely essays and gives you lots of ideas of how to go over the top if you have the financial means to do so, and Bride's Book of Etiquette, by the editors of Brides magazine. The second title has a good table of contents, a helpful index, and doesn't omit any of the crucial etiquette topics that you will have to deal with.
Happy wedding planning! It's great fun!

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