Pre-wedding challenges


So you have decided to get married. That in itself is big – a decision that is no longer necessary in order to live together and have children.  Thousands of couples no longer tie the legal knot.  So congratulations on your decision!


Now there is a wedding to plan. Did you realise just how much was involved? Perhaps not.  I am watching my daughter and her fiancé prepare for their big day and I am marvelling at how well they are managing.  It is a project.


First there is the venue.  It might be the beach.  It might be a garden, perhaps your friends’ or your parents’.  It might be a glorious place in the country with a large garden – you can choose which tree to have as your backdrop – and a lovely house to have the reception.  It might be a hotel or a country pub.  It could be a restaurant, or a river bed, or the side of a mountain.  I have taken weddings in all these kinds of places.  I confess I have never done a wedding that involves sky diving.


Wherever it is there are several things to consider.  First, do you have a plan B if the weather is not co-operating?  A beach is a wonderful place to say your vows but if a howling southerly and rain are coming in, it won’t be much fun.  Where would you go if you can’t be outside?


Often there is an indoor area if you are using a venue set up for weddings. You will be surprised how many people can fit into what feels like a small space.


Second, how many people do you want there and how many can you afford to have? This can be tricky.  Do you want all your distant cousins and elderly aunts and uncles?  Do you want children and babies there?  How will you explain to your father’s cousin that you would love to have her there but you can’t accommodate her children?


Third, it becomes more tricky if there are divorces and stepfamilies and unresolved knots in the relationships.   I did a wedding once where the father of the bride wanted to bring his new and younger partner and the mother of the bride found that very upsetting.   These are not easy problems to resolve.  I can help you with these kinds of issues as my area of expertise in an earlier life was relationships in stepfamilies.


Then, you need to find a celebrant.  How will you choose? Do you want someone who is extroverted and funny?  Do you want one who is serious and grave?  Do you want a young, fun person who may not have much experience, or do you want an older more experienced person who may not reflect your style?  Do you want a man or a woman? Do you want someone who shares your beliefs and values?  There are many things to consider about your celebrant but in the end it gets down to how you feel with that person.


What about your supporters, the wedding party? You may or may not want a best man and groomsmen, a chief bridesmaid and bridesmaids.  It is often fun to include a bridesman, and a best woman.  Will you have children to be flower girls and page boys? Who will bring in the bride – will anyone bring in the bride, or will she walk in on the arm of her husband to be?


My daughter is having great fun choosing a dress, deciding what colour shoes to wear, whether or not to have makeup done professionally, and what to do about flowers.  Then there are invitations, on line gift ideas, dresses for bridesmaids, deciding on a menu, thinking about table decoration and seating plans.  The most important thing is to see these things as fun and interesting, not stressful and challenging, if you can.


There are many other things, and a good celebrant will help you with them.