I have a lot to live up to.
My younger (baby) sister...she hates it when I call her that...got married to the love of her life last February. I was part of the bridal party. This girl is SO ORGANIZED it's actually a little scary; pretty much everything went off without a hitch, even though they had an outdoor wedding in one of the coldest months of the year, with 75 guests for the ceremony and reception/dinner, and another 50 or so invited for the "after party". I mean, everything FLOWED, man.
I, sadly, am nowhere near as organized as my little sister; I'm still stressing details two weeks before the wedding that I probably should have finalized and completed months ago. I have flip-flopped so much on certain issues it has been incredibly challenging for my sis (who is my moh) to discuss them with me without bashing me over the head with a "make up your frelling mind already!!!!" stick.
So, keeping in mind the things I *should* have done, I thought I'd make up a little "Wedding planning Do's and Dont's List" for everyone's edification and entertainment.
1. Do: decide immediately who you want beside you in your wedding party. This sounds like a "duh" sort of thing, but I managed to screw this up royally. Luckily, my sister doesn't hold grudges for my stupid mouth getting ahead of my brain, but I whoopsied big time and thought I was doing her a favour by not asking her initially to be part of the bridal party, she being a new mum and all. Yeah, not my finest hour. In addition, remember that the people who stand up next to you and your beloved are supposed to be those family members and friends who have been by your side, supporting you and encouraging you throughout your life (or a reasonably large recent portion of it), not just your "BFF of the week". To wit, these lifelong cheerleaders should not just be in your wedding photos and then never seen in your lives again, so choose wisely.
2. Don't: announce your impending nuptials until you've discussed many of the important decisions with your intended, and are ready to answer...or not... those billion questions asked by the well-meaning and the nosy, such as where it's going to be held and when, who is paying for certain aspects of the wedding, reception, dinner, booze, etc., whether you'll be wearing white (*wink wink*), and will you be inviting 2nd cousin Ethel twice removed on your mother's side because she was nice to you once when you were ten (by the way, unless you're having a big Italian style wedding, that answer should usually be "no").
3. Do: decide on your wedding colours fairly early in the game. It makes it much easier for you and your bridal party to find or make your dresses, wedding favours, decor...in essence, those deeply personal, custom "special touches" that mean so much during your big day. If you're constantly changing your mind about something as fundamental as your wedding colours (like I did...derp...), it can really muddy the waters on how you want the whole wedding to look and stress out your wedding party.
4. Do: start looking for your wedding dress at least 6 months before the wedding. Wedding dress shopping can either be fun or a total disaster, depending on a number of factors such as your budget, who is paying for the dress (remember the Golden Rule), your desired style, your dress size *wahhh! this one SUCKS for big girls, letmetellyou...*, your proximity to wedding dress shops (happily, with the advent of online shopping this one is less challenging than before, although buying a wedding dress online--like I did..twice--is a story for another post), and how much time you have for fittings before the wedding.
5. Dont: let Pinterest eat your brain!!! This site is crack for women, my friends. It's an amazing resource chock-full of fascinating photos, ideas, hints, tips, and tricks, but while I wholeheartedly support creating a "wedding ideas" board and linking your bridal party to it, don't be a slave to every new fad and trend and cool idea that is pinned onto your board. There is simply not enough time, money, or space to do everything, and you'll drive yourself crazy, exhaust your maids, and empty your bank account if you try to do everything yourself.
6. Bonus Do and DON'T Combo! DO: remember that, as important and all-encompassing your wedding day may be to you and your beloved, chances are there are very few people outside of your immediate family and wedding party who could give a flying rat's hiney about it. So DON'T monopolize conversations with fascinating-only-to-you details about your upcoming nuptials. You will eventually find your discussions take on a soliloquy-like tone as you end up the only one talking, while everyone else's eyeballs glaze over while they look for any excuse to get away from you and your incessant rhapsodizing over how *Awesome!!!* and *Perfect!1!* your Special Day is going to be. When they lunge for the butter knives to jam in their ears hilt-deep, that's usually a good social cue to stop talking about it. Like fifteen minutes ago.
So those are my Big Six Do's and Don'ts, which I didn't personally follow and made things much harder than I had to on myself and every long-suffering member of my family and wedding party.
Learn from my ditzy ways, and have a great, no-stress wedding!