14 September 2023, by Nicholas Quek

How to Plan a Wedding in 8 Months

When Aurelia and I first talked about marriage, my imagined timeline was that after I proposed, we would spend at least 1 to 1.5 years planning for the wedding. Longer if we wanted to move into a new space, and even longer if we needed to renovate! Yet as we started talking about that timeline, it began to dawn on us that maybe wedding planning didn’t need to take that long. Once it was clear that we both wanted to be married to each other, I proposed and we simply got down to planning. 8 months later, we were married (with a renovated flat to boot). 

It’s not like either of us brought any secret technique or strategy to bear on the wedding planning process. Neither Aurelia nor myself are particularly good at administration, and there were plenty of hiccups along the way. 

If you clicked on this blogpost hoping for a bypass link to book your favourite hotel banquet, I’m sorry to disappoint you! The truth is, there really is no secret to planning a wedding quickly. Planning a wedding is a lot like planning for retirement – it boils down to what you already have and more importantly, what you want. 

With that said, here are 3 reflections we have from our own experiences that will hopefully help you through that process, and maybe make wedding planning a bit less terrifying:

1. Limit the time you have 

Have you ever had a lengthy discussion with your partner on where to eat, only to settle on the original choice? The illusion of time spent planning is that you think you’re giving yourself more options, but really you’re just tiring yourself out. There are an infinite number of decisions to make in a wedding, and the more time you give to planning, the greater the number of decisions you have to make. And for the most part, those decisions will only exhaust you. Worse, they’ll make you less equipped to make the decisions that really matter. You’re not an expert in everything, and you don’t have to be to plan a wedding! 

A good way to filter out unimportant decision is to set deadlines. A better way is to discuss your priorities with your partner so that you both know what to give your time and attention to. Which takes us nicely into the next takeaway which is… …

2. Learn how to fight before a fight

The best time to learn how to fight is when you’re not fighting. Unlike a real fight, the both of you are on the same team. You’re not opponents, you’re doubles partners. Take the time before your planning starts to talk about the things that matter to you, the pursuits that you’re passionate about, the people you love. Learn how you communicate, learn what the other person prioritises and why. In other words, get to know each other.

Being an architect, Aurelia is a person who really cares about spacial experiences, and it was important to us that our wedding venue layout ensured our guests’ comfort. On the other hand, as a passionate food enthusiast, I really cared about the quality of the food. We made it a priority to engage in detailed discussions with the chef regarding the menu. Knowing each other’s priorities before we started planning helped us empathise with each other’s concerns and made the planning process a lot smoother (and quicker).

That said, there are probably things you care about that you don’t even know you do until you start planning a wedding. You may find yourself arguing about things you never thought you would, and even fighting over topics you didn’t know existed a week ago. And this again takes us nicely into the final takeaway, which is… …

3. Plan a marriage, not a wedding

The worst essays I’ve ever written are those where I’ve spent 3 days on the introduction, and 30 minutes on everything else. The truth is, the thing you’re actually planning for as a couple is your life together, not the 24 hours that marks its beginning. It’s important for sure, but it’s only a small part of a much larger story. No wedding is worth a marriage. 

The first item of ‘furniture’ we brought into our new place.

The week of our wedding, there were a few things still left undone. We hadn’t confirmed whether we would be labelling the free bottles of coffee we were providing for guests. It wasn’t clear how the guest table decorations would look like. Then on Tuesday, four days before our wedding, Aurelia had a gastrointestinal infection and was rushed to A&E, where she promptly fainted after seeing the blood that a doctor had drawn. Thankfully, it ultimately wasn’t major and she managed to make it to our wedding, albeit while on several painkillers and a muscle relaxant.

But if she wasn’t ok, I think both of us would have been fine postponing the wedding, even if it meant that we would have to radically change our plans and apologise to our guests. Because at that moment, it became clear to us what really mattered at the end of the day. And getting married on that exact day according to our exact plans wasn’t it.

Consider having a conversation with your partner about the life you both wish to create together. You might discover that you may not need a two-year planning period before you can embark on that journey.

Posted on : September 14, 2023

Filed under : Newlyweds, Soon-to-wed

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