Since the moment I got engaged, I have truly relished wedding planning. I never really understood how much work and love goes into weddings until I became a bride-to-be; I can count the number of nuptials I've attended on one hand and only three of them took place within the last 10 years! Now, almost four months away from my own walk down the aisle, I have a much better understanding of weddings and a new outlook on celebrations in general.
1. I vow to never be upset if I’m not invited to someone’s wedding.
Prior to getting engaged, I had no clue how much weddings cost and what a huge impact just a few guests can have on the party budget. As a result, I will never be upset if I'm not invited to someone's wedding. On the flip side, I won't find it strange if someone I'm not particularly close to does invite me to their wedding in an attempt to be inclusive and not leave anyone out.
2. I vow to only buy gifts couples have registered for.
Gift registries always seemed a little selfish and impersonal to me, but now that I’m a bride, I understand the importance of them. It can be a big pain for couples to have to exchange or return repeat gifts of items they didn't need; because of this, I vow to always stick to the registry when buying presents for engaged couples. Also, I'll be sure to spend more money on wedding gifts than I previously did! Before reading blogs and etiquette Q&As as a bride, I didn't know how much guests should spend, but now I have a much better sense.
3. I vow to return RSVP cards immediately, not 10 days after it's due.
Embarrassing confession: I once had to be asked via email if I would be attending a wedding since I hadn't returned the RSVP card (oops). I thought that since I wasn’t able to attend, it wouldn’t matter if I actually dropped it back into the mailbox or not. RSVP cards are just something you don’t quite understand until you’re on the other side of the invite. I haven’t even sent out invitations yet and I’m already stressed about having to hound non-responsive guests for a reply, so this is a mistake I will NEVER make again!
4. I vow to make the most out of my seating arrangement.
In general, I think brides will take notice of all the smaller details at weddings, now that they've planned them for their own special day. In my case, I'll be keenly aware of the seating at upcoming nuptials. I think it's interesting to see where people are seated—whether it's a few tables away from the bridal party or in the back of the room, behind the DJ, can speak volumes about the couples' relationship with guests! I also notice escort cards more now, mainly whether they're easy to read and how long it takes to find mine in the crowd.
5. I vow to ask brides questions about their planning process.
Let’s face it—if you’re single, you’re probably not too excited to chat about weddings, although there's always exceptions. Not many of my friends are married or engaged, but I don't recall asking the few that were any questions about their planning process. Now that I'm about to tie the knot, I understand what a huge undertaking planning a wedding can be and how brides want to talk to others about it! I'll be making a more concerted effort to get updates from friends who are getting hitched, but only because I'm actually genuinely interested now, but because I'm sure they'd love an excuse to talk wedding with someone!
How do you view weddings differently now that you're planning your own trip down the aisle?
Nikki Stroud is a real bride who is learning every step of the way when it comes to wedding planning. She and her fiancé, Corey Allan (both Ball State alums), will be married in September of 2012 in front of their friends and family in Indianapolis. Glittering ivory lights, exposed plumbing and sleek wood floors depict their romantic yet rustic venue in the Downtown area. The couple hopes to incorporate personal touches to make the celebration truly reflect their relationship.