Weddings are not the same as marriages. Weddings are a celebration of marriage for your friends and family. If they weren't, many of us would end up in a courthouse with a fiancé and a justice of the peace.
Although that route is a preferred method for many people, as a wedding attendee I've had to shake my head more than once at some of the choices people make surrounding their big day.
I've seen people get into the "it's all about me" mindset when planning a wedding; I won't discredit that, but guests are the highest priority for a positive atmosphere on your big day. Without them, there wouldn't be a wedding.
Obviously, there's the family to consider. Deserved or not, parents have a reputation of power tripping after a daughter's or son's engagement is announced. After being in charge of their little darlings for the first 18 or so years of those kids' lives, it makes sense that parents want everything to be just as perfect for their children's future.
As a bride or groom, it's important to keep in mind that you have forever to do what you want. Your wedding is an important day in your life, but it doesn't mean you are the only one to please.
There's value in pleasing your parents and your people and putting others' needs or wants first. You don't need to let your parents have their way always, but you should at least let them have a say. Listen to their desires, however strange they may be, and affirm that their opinions are valuable.
Another top priority is to make your wedding accessible, and a few key tips can make that happen.
First, have a clear and informative wedding website. It's no secret that we live in the digital age, and wedding attendees want as much advance information as possible in order to plan accordingly.
Second, there are a lot of small ways to let your guests know they've been part of the planning process. One of my favorite ways is to let attendees make music requests at the reception, and if you do so, make sure it's clearly noted.
Every aspect of your day doesn't have to be going out of your way to please your family and friends—but your guests as much a part of your big day as the flowers or the menu, so don't be afraid to show them love.
Chelsea Lankford is a writer and the creator of style blog Truelane.co. She lives and works in downtown Minneapolis.