Don’t Stress about the Dress
A letter of advice from a wedding expert for brides and grooms planning their wedding celebrations.
Dear Future Brides and Grooms,
I would like to make one thing clear: I love weddings. They’re special days that bring about lots of emotions and they’re unique moments. There are only 2 occasions in our lives where our friends and family come together in the same place on the same day to express their affection and we only get to enjoy our wedding. There are just a few comments I would like to share about the process of planning a wedding, from what I have observed in my 15+ years of experience working in the industry. I have seen many brides and grooms stress to the point of tears over creating the perfect wedding day, the best experience for guests and the top of the line food.
Here comes the most difficult part of this letter, the one secret that we professionals in the wedding industry are well aware of that I would like to share with you: The perfect wedding does not exist.
Don’t get me wrong, your endless planning and stress will 100% pay off and I am positive you will have a wonderful wedding; however, on your wedding day something, large or small, will go wrong and the most important part is how you react to the problems. If you can keep in perspective the insignificance of each problem you encounter on your wedding day and focus on the bigger, beautiful picture of the celebration you are having with your loved ones, your wedding celebration will be a success. I promise.
We have the bad habit of thinking that there is nothing more important than the bride’s dress at the wedding. My point is not to downplay the importance of the dress but to put into perspective that there are many important aspects to consider in every wedding celebration. Many brides dream of their perfect wedding dress from a small age, or at least for many years. It is true that in most cases finding the perfect dress is usually not cheap and involves several visits, nerves and stress, especially for the bride.
I am sorry. I cannot pass up the opportunity to appeal to brides who are stressed by a piece of cloth to take a breath and realize that your wedding day will be amazing regardless if you find the perfect dress or not. Yes, I said “a piece of cloth“. It can take 9 months for a wedding dress to be ready, which is a long time to spend stressed about the outcome. The dress can cost more than 3.000 Euros, which is a hefty price for a dress that will be worn once. Most brides look for a dress which is branded and handmade by the most fashionable designer of great international prestige, which makes it worth the price tag; however, it is still a piece of cloth. Please, if you are going to focus your efforts on planning this event for a whole year (or more) prior to the wedding ceremony, at least ENJOY IT.
Yes, this is something I say you have to do, enjoy every time you go shopping to find the ideal dress, celebrate when you have chosen it, and celebrate also when you do not find the chosen one. Take your friends, relatives, acquaintances, and wedding professionals along with you to experience the process. Bring along everyone except the boyfriend, unless you do not mind him seeing the dress before the wedding. Nowadays each couple can decide if they want to respect all, some or few traditions in relation to their wedding. Enjoy when you enter a store, admire everything they have to show you, day dream about how you would wear each dress, each complement, what shoe would go with each different option.
Planning a wedding should be a fun process that is taken one step after another. Enjoy when you leave the store. Have a coffee with your companions. Yes, invite them to a coffee for watching you try on countless dresses. Compared to what you are going to spend on the dress, it hardly matters. If your companions enjoy these types of moments with you, they will always look for a way to find time to accompany you and help you with your wedding. Involve them, motivate them, and seduce them. It is not their obligation to accompany you. Even your mother is not obligated. Make her feel comfortable and appreciated. She is your mother and she will be excited if you make her a participant in your decisions. The same goes for other family members and companions.
A wedding is the celebration of a lifetime where friends and family will gather for the sole purpose of witnessing your love for one another. Okay, yes, they also come to eat and drink but keep in mind that your family and friends have been excited to attend your wedding even before receiving the formal invitation to the wedding. Make them feel that it is important for you that they are there. That not only do those hours of work on the wedding show through, but that their opinion is important to you, starting with your dress.
I’ll tell you something. It is a secret that the couples discover many times when it is too late. It is true that everything is important on your big day: the dress, the accessories, the place, the catering, the animation, the music, the photos, the DJ, the video, the decoration, etc; however, there is only 1 thing that will make the guests always remember that day in the following years: the emotions. If that day you have managed to convey happy emotions to the guests, not only laugh or cry at a given moment, but really feel that they are important in your lives, that they have experienced with you a unique wedding experience. If you achieve planning an authentic emotional wedding believe me, regardless of your dress or any other problems, they will forever remember your wedding fondly. And you will appreciate it that much more.
If you take one thing away from this letter let it be this: The happiest people don’t HAVE the best of everything, they just MAKE the best of everything.
Your wedding day does not have to be perfect for you to enjoy it- you will be surrounded by friends and loved ones and this is enough to make anyone’s heart full. So ignore the small problems, as there are bound to be small problems in every day, and focus on all of the wonderful things you have to be grateful for.
With love from Spain,
A little back story: Jose Levy has spent the past 15 years working in the wedding industry in Spain. Over the past decade and a half the wedding industry has transformed in many ways and grown into one of the most lucrative markets in the world. While we still have many of the same traditions, a lot has changed within the industry throughout his career. Thank you for reading and best of luck with your wedding.