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How to Set Priorities For Your Wedding

how to set priorities for your wedding

I've been married for a year and a half now but still remember my wedding and the process leading up to it like it was yesterday. I've had a handful of posts written on wedding planning and how to go about it in the least stressful way. Now that wedding season is approaching again, I decided I would go ahead and publish them on a series I've affectionately named Wedding Wednesdays. For the next few Wednesdays I'll be sharing my experiences, tips, and ideas for wedding planning. I hope you find my experiences helpful, and for those of you already marrieds- chime in with words of wisdom! 

We had some good friends get married about four months before us, and were consequently a few steps ahead of us in the wedding planning process. As we began to plan our own wedding, they wisely suggested that we set priorities for our wedding. It was probably one of the wisest pieces of advice we got during the entire process so I'm going to explain how we did it, in hopes that you will do it too! 

1. Sit down separately and write down the top three things you want in your wedding. 
Alex and I each sat down separately (we didn't want to influence the other's decisions), and wrote down our top three things that we valued at our wedding. For me, I wrote down the top three things I wanted at the ceremony, top three things I wanted at the reception, and the top three things I wanted for the entire wedding. I know this technically adds up to nine things, but it was easier for me to organize my thoughts doing it that way. 

In a culture of Pinterest perfect weddings, you are led to believe that every little detail has to be important. While the little details are important, you should be able to determine what things are more important to you than others. My lists are down below and should give you an idea of what I'm talking about when setting priorities. 

Top 3 priorities for the ceremony: 
1. Communion (I really wanted Communion)
2. First look be when I look down the aisle (I was adamant about this one from the beginning)
3. Washing of the feet (I had seen this done once before and loved the symbolism behind it) 

Top 3 priorities for the reception: 
1. Good dancing/music (I think the dance makes or breaks the wedding reception so this was my #1)
2. People to enjoy themselves (this equated to no seating plan because who likes sitting with strangers??) 
3. Good food 

Top 3 priorities for entire wedding: 
1. That the Lord would be glorified throughout the day
2. That the day would be low-stress and that I would remember that at the end of the day I would be married to my best friend 
3. Pretty location 

2. Sit down and compare lists with your fiance 
Once you have your list, sit down and compare it with the list that your fiance. Ladies, I'll say it once and I hope you hear me. It is your wedding. But it is also 100% your man's wedding too. That means he does and should get a say. I know most people lean towards the bride getting her way, but don't forget your guy only gets one wedding too and it should be something he enjoys too.

I've heard of guys whose wives didn't listen to them at all when planning their wedding, and it caused a lot of resentment later on. Girls, let your guy have a say. On the opposite spectrum of that- guys, let your girls have a say and if there's things you can let go, let them go because she's probably been dreaming about this a lot longer than you have. 

3. Compromise, compromise, compromise 
There is a 99.99% chance that when you sit down and compare lists, they won't be exactly the same. Alex hadn't really heard of washing of the feet idea (during the ceremony), but saw how important it was to me and agreed to it. Alex really wanted to write and read our own vows during the ceremony- something I wasn't too particular about so I agreed to that. We both agreed that a pretty location was important to us, so that really played into our decision of the venue. 

They say that marriage is about compromising, and that is 100% true. You can start practicing compromise when you're planning your wedding. 

Setting priorities was a VITAL step in planning our wedding. It helped us determine where to spend more money (thus helping keep us within our budget), it helped keep us focused, and it kept me from being a bridezilla (more on that next week!) I will say that Alex was a very easy going groom and cared about a couple of things and let me do things my own way the rest of the wedding. If your fiance doesn't want to sit down and make a list of priorities with you, then I would tell him that he doesn't have a right to complain about something he doesn't like later on. If there's something you or your significant other care about in regards your wedding, you need to state that clearly. Setting clear expectations from the beginning will save you a lot of arguments and turmoil down the road. 

That being said, go out and set your priorities! Happy wedding planning! 

Do you think you'll be able to pick a top three priorities in your wedding? All you marrieds out there- did you set priorities when you planned your wedding?  

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  1. these are such good tips! my groom is very easy going too & luckily we have the same tastes! so we set what our priorities were & then kindly dismissed any "opinions" that others so love to freely give! haha

  2. Robyn, we are lucky gals to have had easy going grooms because that definitely makes a HUGE difference! And you're absolutely right- you have to perfect the art of dismissing opinions when you are wedding planning haha.

  3. Such a good idea!! We just started the planning process and I will need to do this with my fiance. I already know we're probably on different pages but this will help us narrow down what's important.

  4. I don't think we set priorities and is probably why we were so stressed out!! Great advice!

  5. So, for me I really only had 2 things I really wanted: I wanted a dinner/dancing reception, and I wanted to pay $ for a good photographer. Jordan's only thing was that he did not want to do a unity candle. We ended up doing communion too! I loved it. We saw each other before the wedding and took "first look" pictures, and I am so glad we did. It worked out really well for us. We were able to take all the posed portrait shots with the wedding party before the ceremony, which allowed us time to take other fun pictures after the ceremony and not be all stressed out. For me, I think it's more stressful to wait until you walk down the aisle to see each other, but I know that's a personal preference :) I'm the only one of my friends who's done that so far. I don't necessarily think you have to list out all the top priorities for each part of the wedding, but making sure everyone knows your MOST important things makes it easier to make decisions and tell people no if they're making you do something you don't want to do.

  6. Ahhh that's too bad you were stressed- I mean we were too but not terribly. I'm glad you think setting priorities could be a helpful thing!

  7. Yayyy Nora I'm so glad that this caught you at a good time! I really can't emphasize how important this was in keeping our wedding planning low stress! I hope it helps you guys!

  8. Well I originally sat down to only write out 3 things TOTAL but then my analytic brain took over and I had to name 3 top things for each section. I totally agree that outlining the top things for each section isn't necessary at all- as long as you name the few things that are important to you. Sounds like you guys had a good idea of what was important and I'm with Jordan- I did NOT want a unity candle haha. And actually doing a first look was a HUGE and pretty heated discussion that took place several times during our wedding planning. It seems like everyone I knew was really opinionated and in favor of a first look, and so I really had to stick to my guns. I'm glad I held my ground, but it was really hard- that seems to be one of the things people are most opinionated about. I agree with you- to each his own :)

  9. I think it's one of those things that works really well for some people and no so well for others! I do think people would actually like it a lot if they entertained the idea, but it seems like most people love the tradition of The Moment and are pretty set against it, and I totally get that :) I don't remember it being a discussion point for my wedding, though. Actually I really don't remember ANY heated discussions about anything. It probably helped that I honestly didn't care about a lot of stuff. I was like "eh, either is fine," so we ended up going with what worked best and it was great! Of course that's 4 years hindsight, so I could have just blocked a lot of it out ;)

    *Amanda* | The Lady Okie Blog

  10. I was actually the only one of my friends to keep with the tradition and for some reason it was just something I had forever dreamed of and wanted to do. I totally agree that first looks could be really cool and less stressful, and I think a lot more people are entertaining the idea. I'm glad I stuck to my guns seeing as it was pouring rain right up to when the ceremony started. That was really the only heated discussion besides one I had with my mom about popcorn (ridiculous I know). I mostly didn't care and was really easy going but couldn't help getting upset when people wouldn't stop bugging me about the first look. >:O haha


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