As told to Mikolo by Lydia Akoth.
As a ‘bride-to-be’ before, Iâ€™ve already suffered a few burns in the process of planning my wedding so I just thought I should share a few from myself and other brides Iâ€™ve spoken to:
Procrastination â€“ Leaving things up to the last minute
This is a killer I tell you. Hereâ€™s the thing, once you find THAT dress, photographer, caterer etcâ€¦and they fit your budgetâ€¦STOP LOOKING. If you keep looking for something better and canâ€™t find it, chances are that one you had fallen in love with at first will be taken by the time you go back. Secure services as early as possible; most service providers require a certain percentage of deposit. So the earlier the better.
Not going for hair & make-up trials
Ladies, I cannot stress enough how crucial this is. Â Anyway, in my bridal make up experience Iâ€™ve come across numerous brides whoâ€™d be UBER-frustratedÂ due to hair not doing what they want it to (particularly weaves).Â Going forÂ trials (2-3 weeks prior to the big day)Â gives you andÂ the stylist time to play around with ideas â€“ what works for you and what doesnâ€™t. I normally encourage brides toÂ carry a few pics from magazines that can be used for inspiration. Iâ€™d alsoÂ advise you to have your trials on the same day you go for your finalÂ dress fittings. In that way, you get to seeÂ whether the whole look with tie up or not on theÂ wedding day.
Not diarizing appointments
This is recipe for disaster. You need to bear in mind that while you plan a wedding, lifeÂ goes on the other hand â€“ friendsâ€™ parties, family, meetings, work, other appointments etc. If you donâ€™tÂ keep a diary, then youâ€™re literally inflictingÂ unnecessary havoc into your life.Â Remember thereâ€™s life after your wedding soÂ if youâ€™re going to miss your friends and family eventsÂ all in the name ofÂ wedding-planning, then prepare to miss them after the weddingÂ as well.
Not requesting mock-up tables
This is similar to point 3. I recently had the lady whoâ€™s doing my decor prepare a mock table after a friend advised. I had no idea how much I needed this until I got there and discovered that although I liked her first set-up, she actually had much better ideas which we played around with and I walked away all smiles. Now I know her and I are on the same page in terms of decor.
Being a walk-over
DO NOT let people walk over you. Just DONâ€™T. Hereâ€™s the thing â€“ as much as mommy, sissy,Â aunty Maria and them are excited about your day, they may get carried away and start making it about them. I wear my hair natural and have always known that I wanted to wear it out on my wedding day. I had to put my foot down when family members suggested â€œwedding hairstylesâ€ aka â€œhappily marriedâ€ as my other friend calls them. Another bunch is your bridal partyâ€¦huuuweee!Â Look, itâ€™s your day, you donâ€™t get married every yearâ€¦take charge.
Not letting partner contribute ideas
Ladies, I get itâ€¦itâ€™s your wedding BUT whatâ€™s a wedding without a groom? Hm? Get him involved. Consult with him. Get his input. You donâ€™t want an escort on the day but a man youâ€™ll spend the rest of your life with. Let him throw in his 2cÂ worth, it may not be much but it will make him feel like itâ€™s his wedding tooâ€¦which it is. What my hubby did (and I call him this because he is) was let me run with everything and come to him with final decisions, fortunately for me he only added his 2c to the programme, groomsmen attire as well as his own. Luckily for me heâ€™s got an OK taste and is surrounded by quite stylish groomsmen who offered great advice.
Pushing away help
The process of planning a wedding can be draining â€“ emotionally, financially, spiritually & physically. You need people; support system; people who love you and are willing to offer themselves to see your wedding day turn out as perfect as you want it to. Once you allow people to help, you actually get to realize how blessed you are to be surrounded by such love. Iâ€™ve had friends whoâ€™d literally call me and be like â€œSoooÂ girlâ€¦you know Iâ€™m paying for your xxxxxÂ right?â€. Me: â€œNo man you donâ€™t have toâ€ Friend: â€œUhm I wasnâ€™t asking. Itâ€™s done!â€ *hangs up phone*. Well I have special kind of friends. Some have offered their time to run around on my behalf. My sister has literally appointed herself my wedding planner and this experience has actually gotten us closer to each other as sisters. If this is not love, then I donâ€™t know what is. Given the fast-paced life I lead, I couldnâ€™t ask for more.
Trends will come and goâ€¦Just Do You. Thereâ€™s a photo of my late grandparentâ€™s wedding at moms that I canâ€™t help but stare at each time I go home. That picture is timeless; itâ€™s gorgeous. My late gran is not even wearing a white dress on it but she still looks like a beautiful bride. Always remember that 10-20 years from now, youâ€™ll be stuck with those photos. Question is â€“ will you ask yourselfÂ â€œWhat the heck was I wearing?â€ or just melt each time you look at them?
Ignoring the eldersâ€™ advice
Woman, listen to your momâ€¦she knows best. You donâ€™t have to agree with everything she says but thereâ€™s just stuff you have to pay attention to. Things like cultural/traditional bits of the wedding you donâ€™t know, particularly in African cultures. I initially thought Iâ€™d get dressed at the matrimonial venue but my mom sat me down and explained to me how important it is for a bride to wake up at her parentsâ€™ home, have breakfast & get dressed there. Among other things, she reminded me how thick blood is when I told her who my bridesmaids were. I initially had 4 friends & 2 family members for bridesmaids; now I have 2 friends and 4 family members and couldnâ€™t be happier!
Marriage is one of Godâ€™s most beautiful institutions. Not everyone is happy to see you walk down the aisle; not every attention-seeking ex-girlfriend/boyfriend is happy for you. If you want your day to be perfectâ€¦prayâ€¦prayâ€¦and pray. Come on nowâ€¦on your knees!