How to avoid insanity while
planning a wedding
Editor's note: Marie MacKay filed this before Spring
Break; by the time you read this, she will be well into
By Marie MacKay
March 20, 2006 | I'm getting married in one day.
I know that may sound crazy to some of you but I'm
23 years old. I should have been married five years
ago according to Utah standards.
So here I am, ready to tie the big knot, although getting
to this point is a lot harder than I expected. Planning
a wedding isn't a walk in the park; it's more like a
walk through a dark forest infested with money-sucking
caterers, florists, decorators and photographers.
Unlike many women my age, the details of my wedding
weren't already decided in my head when I was 5 years
old. I was thrown into the game a little unprepared.
So I thought I would share a little advice of what I
learned about planning for the most important day of
Dive into your connections
Weddings, especially in Utah, can be very expensive
-- too expensive if you ask me for something that is
over in a matter of hours. Instead of finding a photographer
online who can cost more than $2,000 just for the wedding
day, ask around and you'll be surprised what kind of
talents or resources your friend's friend has. You don't
need a professional to make your invitations or decorate
your reception. There are a lot of people out there
who are willing to help for FREE.
Keep it simple
Gift favors at $20 apiece are not necessary for each
guest at your luncheon, either are brides maid dresses
for your five sisters and three best friends. Think
of what is reasonably important like a cozy ceremony
or a small luncheon and a reception at a nearby business.
If you want to go all out and invite everyone you know,
prepare yourself for a lot of extra work.
Attend a bridal show
I don't know about the rest of you, but when I got
engaged, I had no idea how to plan a wedding. Who would
have thought there were so many things to plan for?
There are the flowers, the reception, the food, the
engagements, the bridals, the dress, the colors, the
luncheon, the honeymoon, the tuxes, the showers and
the list goes on. Lucky for Utahns, there are about
five million bridal shows in Utah, pretty much all year
round. They give you a lot of good ideas without having
to make any decisions, plus you might win some prizes.
Keep a budget
In the pretend world of weddings, everyone has thousands
of dollars to throw around on just about everything.
But most of us have a budget to stick to. So, before
you buy anything, scout out the best prices, compare,
decide and then write down every penny you spend. In
addition, plan for at least $100 to $200 in overdraft.
There will always be things you will forget, like a
$50 wedding license.
Ask advice only from close
friends and family
The more advice you ask for, the more people will be
offended when you don't do what they told you. Your
grandma is not the best person to ask for advice when
planning a wedding. Heck, you shouldn't have to do what
I tell you either. When you start asking your neighbor
and your roommate and your cousins, trouble will start
Do what you and your fiancÚ
Although everyone loves advice from family and friends,
they shouldn't decide what will be going on at your
wedding. Do what you want. Everyone else will get over
Plan way in advance
Start planning for your wedding the day after you get
engaged. Reception centers and churches get filled up
pretty quick and you don't want to end up at the Chapel-O-Love
in Vegas for the biggest day of your life.
Remember the ceremony is
Many times the reception, the luncheon and the honeymoon
are put before the actual wedding ceremony. That shouldn't
be the case. Take time to think about what you're doing.
You're promising to spend the rest of your life with
someone else. Make that the top priority and the rest
Think about after the wedding Where are you going
to live? What's your job? How are you going to combine
two different incomes? Are you going to have kids right
away? Yeah, these are important questions we all need
to answer. So put everything in order so that you and
your spouse's first fight is not the cause of your last
fight as a couple.