I really enjoy college basketball and I love the NCAA Tournament, better known as March Madness. The anticipation leading up to the event, the debate about which team is in and which team isn’t. The thrill of knowing that every game could be the last game of the season so you better get it right the first time, no second chances. Finally, the pure joy that the winning team shows when the buzzer sounds and the championship game is over. It’s awesome and I love it!
When I started thinking about what to write this week, the tournament came to mind and it hit me, it’s just like planning a wedding. Let me explain…
Anticipation – Set a Guest Limit
You and your significant other have been together for some time and things are going really well. The question is popped, everyone said yes and the happy tears start flowing. You’ve had a great season and now it’s time for the next step. In basketball, the next step is the tournament, for you, it’s a wedding!
You’re a planner by nature so you start thinking about all the details right away. Where should it take place? What time of year? Who should we invite? That’s just like the tournament. The folks behind the scenes are selecting the venues, setting the times and then, ultimately, picking the teams. Not every team gets an invite to play and not every person you know should get an invitation to your wedding. Weddings are expensive and after the fact, people often look back at their guest book and wonder “why did we invite that person again?” There are always going to be friends or family members that you are on the fence about whether or not you want to invite them. My advice, set a guest limit and stick to it. If you want a small wedding, big wedding, whatever, figure out what that number is and stick to it. Not every team makes the tournament and that’s ok. What’s great, is that sometimes the guests that you were on the fence about, dance all night long, laugh and joke and make the night more memorable (Loyola!). Then again, some number one seeds, get drunk way too early, start crying in the bathroom and pass out before the cake is cut (UVA, I’m looking at you…).
No Second Chances – Pick the Right Vendors
We’ve already established that weddings are expensive, it’s a fact. Special events in general are expensive, not just weddings, but not everyone plans elaborate special events and the sticker shock is definitely a thing you will experience during the planning process. As with any investment, you want to make sure you are working with the right people. You want to make sure that the experts you pick to help you & guide you & protect you through the difficult and stressful process of planning a wedding, are the right ones because you only get one chance. Just like in the Tournament, once you lose, you’re done.
How do you know who is right and who isn’t? That’s a question I get a lot. My advice, talk with a lot of people and go with your gut. Have any of your friends gotten married recently? What vendors did they choose? Were they happy with everyone? Is there a vendor they wish they could go back and change? Read reviews, chat with your other vendors, see who they refer people to and do your research. However, nothing and I mean NOTHING beats sitting down and talking with that vendor. You don’t need to do this in person, it can be over the phone, Skype, hell, even texting can work nowadays but make sure you talk with them. You are going to be spending a lot of time and money with these folks and there is no second chance for a once in a lifetime event.
Time to Raise the Trophy – A Look Back at an Awesome Event
You’ve spent months planning and agonizing over the details. You fought hard to get everything just the way you envisioned. You picked all the right vendors, things really went your way. Sure, there were some close calls with things outside of your control, some buzzer beaters. A bridesmaids dress snapped a seam and mom had to come in with a needle and thread. Grandma wasn’t feeling well and it was unclear if she would be able to make it, thankfully she did. But through all this, you persevered and you had the Best Night Ever. You dance, you laughed, your mouth hurts from smiling so much, it was awesome, you celebrated. Now it’s time to look down at your hand, that ring on your finger, that trophy, will be a constant and steady reminder of not just the love you two have for each other but of that epic wedding you had. Those memories will last a lifetime and while lots of other people will win games and have awesome wedding receptions, you will always have those memories of your one shining moment!
All images courtesy of the awesome Shannon Elizabeth Photography