I also tried to avoid negative feelings by asking for input from all the “stakeholders” and the usual response was the generic: “Whatever you do is fine with me.” This is frustrating because you know that later you are likely to hear some picky comment or some gossip will come back to haunt you. Accepting this as a fact of life can help the Type “A” person let go. Use what my daughter calls being the “bigger man” strategy. Each time you feel frustrated walk away and refuse to be drawn in. Then you have been “the bigger man”. I have found that simple phrase to be helpful for me not just for the wedding, but for many issues in my life.
The next step is set the budget, negotiate your plans with your daughter and let her know that the two of you are the final word. This doesn’t mean that the two of you can’t listen and incorporate good ideas into the plan. Just be tactful when it comes to folks with their own agendas. The phrase: “Mom and I appreciate your thoughts, but we’ve already made firm plans to do …”
This can be the simple response. Since Type “A” personalities can get irritated when others interfere with established plans, using this phrase as a simple mantra can keep you from losing your cool.
Finding the path to the Perfect Wedding has a few more steps and all of them involve research. I consider myself a bargain hunter, but after many years of trial and error, I have developed a list of rules that govern how I comparison shop. Price is not always the deciding factor for me when choosing a product or service. In planning Katie’s wedding, the Internet was the most valuable tool imaginable with multiple sites, price lists and reviews by consumers. I want value for my money and the cliché you get what you pay for is something I have found to be true after fifty years of shopping experience.
As a retired language arts teacher, my thirty-five years of teaching has given me valuable insight into researching quickly with accurate results. The secret is simple: Go from general, broad topics while quickly looking at web sites’ visual material and choose general sites while adding what you like to your favorites or bookmarks. If a site is too difficult to navigate, do not stay with it no matter what intrigues you because you can start spending hours on a dead end. Do not play with the links. Set a limit of two – or I can promise you that you will need a new prescription for glasses when the wedding is over. If I have to hit a refresh button to get a site to operate correctly or a site locks me in and doesn’t let me use my browser button (arrow at the top of the Internet page) to go back to a previous site, I will not save it as a favorite.
I found You Tube to be a valuable general site, as well as David’s Bridal Shop because of the quick searches I could do to check wedding scenarios, wedding dresses, bridal party looks, and their valuable links. Since my daughter was four hours away in Blacksburg, Virginia, attending graduate school the year before the wedding, she was able to do the same searches. Then we used e-mail, web sites and links to communicate possible choices back and forth.
Using the Internet and Katie’s input, I was able to obtain many wedding necessities and information while wearing my pajamas. I found the best price on organza, party favors, programs, place cards, save the date cards, invitations, décor, battery-operated lights to set under lotus bowls, glassware and much more. Additionally, I was able to read reviews about venues, the designer who made Katie’s dress, the caterer, the videographer, photographer, and lists of music for the various dances. 95% of the services that Katie and I chose for her wedding came from the Internet. We either found their site and liked what we saw or checked references and reviews and felt reassured that we were making the right decision. This saved us many frustrating hours of driving time. We narrowed things to one or two places since she could only come home four times during her year at Virginia Tech.