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Whether you’re the bride or the mother of the bride, or especially if you’re the mother in law to be, if there’s a wedding in the works, you need a plan. It doesn’t really matter who is paying for the expenses, the star of the show is the bride—it’s her special day. She needs to be in charge to make the day perfect for her. Here are some tips on ways to keep everyone happy and get through an event that can be so fraught with problems.

 Who is in control?

There is usually someone, either the bride herself, or perhaps her mother who steps in early to try to take control of the wedding event. While there are many ways to solve the problem of “who’s in charge?” the answer is always the bride. This is her day to shine. Her day to remember for the rest of her married days. Hers. Now that is not to say there can’t be many advisors and helpers. What is included in the online guide for grandparents is a wedding planner, and a caterer and a florist, and all the rest. The thing to remember is that the bride needs to be happy with the decisions as each one is made. If money is a concern, which it usually is, then diplomacy and compromise will be involved. The last thing you want is to cause the bride to feel as if the day is out of her hands.

 Design a wedding checklist and a timeline.

You’ll want to plan out each and every step of the wedding arrangements. Make a checklist that you add to as you think of things and create a timeline for each decision and event leading up to the big day. For most brides, this list will begin anywhere from twelve to eighteen months ahead of the date. Even a small wedding requires lots of steps. Where will the wedding take place, who will make up the wedding party. Where to find the perfect dress and what will the bridesmaids wear? What are the signature colors, who will cut the cake? Where will the honeymoon be, and hundreds of other questions. As each decision is made and each date is crossed off on the timeline, the bride can rest in the assurance that all the bases are covered.

 Stick to a budget.

You may have a very tiny budget or a vast one, no matter. Whatever the total amount available, divide it up and stay within your means. Much of the stress involved in wedding planning occurs when choices are made which eat up too much of the budgeted amount available to spend. Often the dress is one of the biggest expenses, or perhaps the food. There are many ways to cut costs and still  have a spectacular wedding event. Dresses can be found on sale, or stitched by  a competent seamstress. The wedding dinner can become a cake and coffee event and save hundreds or thousands of dollars. Remember that the wedding is just the beginning of a lifetime together and although it needs to be special, it is just as  important to begin married life without big debts or hard feelings from those footing the bill.


While the bride and her mother may make all of the initial decisions, once the  wedding plans are in place, there will be the need to delegate many small jobs.

Who will drive people to and from rehearsals and to the event? Who will pick up food or flowers? Who will be sure everyone is in the right place at the right time?

Who will solve last-minute problems and be the one to speak with the bride? Every delegated job will be one less thing to worry about on the special day. And while you’re at it, have some emergency items on hand: a sewing kit, some snacks, extra pairs of socks, safety pins, etc. You may never need those items, but you’ll be so glad you thought of them if they should become necessary.

 Relax and Enjoy.

Once the big day arrives it’s your time to shine. The major decisions have been made, everyone has done their part and now it’s time to enjoy this once in a lifetime event. You can be sure that some little thing will come up that no one thought about, but nothing will spoil your day. Try to savor each part of the day because it will fly by. Enjoy the camaraderie with your wedding party members. Treasure the time with family gathered in your honor. Be fully present during the ceremony and reception. It’s all for you—for your future together and for your lifetime memories.