When we were engaged in August this year, it was an exciting time, but also a daunting time. Immediately people started to ask about the wedding. Where would it be, and when? Who’s going? What would I wear? How would I do my hair – wouldn’t I be growing it long, like most brides? Who would be the bridesmaids? And what about the honeymoon? It was all quite overwhelming, and really got me thinking about all the expectations that surround weddings, and in particular how the wedding industry puts pressure on couples to make their ‘special day’ into an elaborate performance.
I recall chatting with the hairdresser I used to go to a couple of years back, who at the time was planning her own wedding for the following year. All I can say is that she would have been far happier not getting married, since she was under so much stress to plan an extravagant fairytale wedding for 200 guests, one that catered to the whims of both her parents and her fiancé’s parents, but still looked and felt ‘authentic’. Unfortunately, that just didn’t seem possible. She concluded that the only thing she would have control over throughout the whole process would be her dress, which I thought was so sad. It sounded like the whole wedding was just not worth all the stress.
That’s why I knew that the first step in planning our minimalist wedding would have to be managing expectations. Before any invites go out, before anything is booked in, before clothes or shoes or anything happens, it’s important to decide what your approach is going to be to the planning process, and to firmly stick to that throughout. In our case, we both knew we wanted something simple, authentic, intimate and in keeping with our (limited) budget, and the only way to do that was to consciously disregard almost everything that was expected of us. So, in short, minimalist wedding planning 101: listen to the chatter, then take a deep breath, let it go and do things your own way!
Now that we are on our way to getting our plans underway, I’m looking forward to sharing more of our minimalist wedding on the blog!