As a bride to be, I know that you have waited for this special day for a long time. Most girls dream about their wedding day, from childhood. We dream about our wedding gown, and how we are going to have a fancy affair, with only 100 guests in attendance, exotic decor, a full orchestra playing at the church ceremony. How about sushi and caviar on the menu?
A transparent tent, in the evening, so that the guests can see the stars through the tent. This is your special day. You will be the centre of attention at your wedding, it’s all about you! Isn’t it? There is a popular reality show on “The Style Network” on DSTV called “Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?” This is a question that every bride and groom needs to ask themselves as they begin the planning process. “Whose Wedding is it anyway?”
What you need to remember is that as much as it really is your day, you have invited family and friends, and workmates to come and celebrate this special union with you. So wouldn’t it be nice if they actually enjoyed your wedding day? The bottom line is you are hosting the people you invite, together with your parents. As hosts, it is important to consider the needs of your guests.
When you are making decisions about your wedding please keep all stakeholders in mind.
As family, and as the groom, there are certain things that you need to understand are very important to the
bride, even if they are not important to you. For example, the Decor is something that is important to the
bride, and as much as you may all need to compromise on certain aspects of the wedding, keep the bride’s
wishes in mind and respect them. This doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything she says, but it will be
easier for you to communicate with her if you appreciate that she does not think the way you do. Be involved!
As a bride, you will find that there are certain things that the groom really couldn’t care less about – not
because they are not important, but because most men are just not wired to care about what type of chairs
your guests will sit on, or whether you use carnations or roses for your centrepieces. Most grooms are all
about the food, the bar and the transport. Of course there is the rare groom who is really into the details, but
don’t get frustrated with him if he is not as excited as you are about certain aspects of the wedding. It’s less stressful for you to try and understand what is important to him.
The Invited Guests
You want your guests to be awe-struck by your wedding, but they also need to have fun. You haven’t invited them there as a punishment. I have often heard this statement “I don’t care! It’s my wedding day and I like sushi”. So who cares if the 200 guests don’t have a taste for sushi? It also may not be a good idea to have a piping hot goat curry, with pork as an option for those who can’t handle the curry. Perhaps you can order sushi on your honeymoon.
I know brides and grooms to be will not like this point at all, but can you really completely ignore your family
when you are planning your wedding? Is this practical? It may be, for some, but when looking at the average
wedding in Zimbabwe, family will be directly and indirectly involved in some of your decision-making, whether
you like it or not, so as a couple, you need to decide how you are going to manage them. Your family members
are just as excited as you are, and rather than try to run away from this, deal with it head-on. If you leave them
out, you may get the shock of your life when 2 bus-loads of people from church arrive at your wedding, and
know you did not send them invitations.
Having said that, understand that you will never be able to please everyone with your wedding plans. You will
need to compromise as a couple, by identifying between the two of you, which aspects of your wedding are
fundamental, and which ones are negotiable. Your fiance is the most important part of the wedding, so you
both need to be in agreement. You also need to agree as a couple, how you are going to involve family in your
So how do you minimise conflict during the planning process? How do you handle family? The best way to manage this is to hire a wedding planner. Your wedding planner reports to you, but can also see things from an independent perspective. In my years as a wedding planner, I have learnt how to involve family in the wedding planning process, while ensuring that you, as a couple, still have the wedding you want.
Written by Ms Rufaro Mushonga, and originally published in The Standard Style Magazine