Tips for Planning a Not-Out-of-a-Magazine Wedding

Tips for Planning a "not-out-of-a-magazine" Wedding | Christian Wedding Planning Tips for the Detail-Oriented Bride

When it comes to planning a wedding, there are about a billion things you can include that will make your day special.

You’ve probably seen at least several hundred of these brilliant ideas already- whether on Facebook, in a magazine, Pinterest, a friend’s wedding… there are just so many options! Just so many details! And all of them seem incredibly important. After all, it’s your Big Day!

I’m here to tell you- as important as the details of your wedding day may seem, they’re truly not vital. 

If the bows on the programs aren’t tied the same way as the bows on the pews, not only will no one notice, but your marriage will still be legal and valid. I promise you this.

But I know- it’s so easy to be wrapped up in those details. After all, it seems that everyone else is! Just look at those websites and magazines!

There came a time during my own engagement that I simply had to look at myself in the mirror and make the decision that I would not be featured in any glossy magazines.

For my own sanity, for the sake of my future marriage and my current relationships, I had to let go of that ideal.

You are planning this wedding for a purpose, and that purpose is not to be in a magazine. That purpose is not to impress your friends and relatives, to show up your cousin who was married a month before your happy day.


The purpose of planning your wedding is to commemorate the joining of two souls before God.

And if planning this wedding is going to pull you further from Him, you’re doing it wrong.

So how do you wade through the ideas and brilliant plans and flower arrangements without losing sight of the purpose of your wedding?


Your first priority, foremost and utmost, is to have an attitude that is pleasing to God.

If you’re making a decision about, say, shoes for the bridesmaids, and you find yourself becoming irritated and thinking terribly mean thoughts about the bridesmaid who insists she can’t wear heels, you’ve got the wrong attitude. Step back and re-evaluate. Are the shoes more important than that friendship? No. Find something that works and move on.
That’s not to say that you won’t find yourself working with difficult people. You absolutely will. That’s where dealing with conflicts in light of Christ’s grace comes in.
You are not your wedding, and everything will be okay. Promise. Remember, your wedding shouldn’t be pulling your heart away from God and His will for you.

Secondly, you need to decide what’s most important to you about your wedding day. 

You will need to narrow down your focus, or you’ll be completely swamped with millions of tiny details that suddenly turn into enormous crises. This is also important if you’re planning a wedding on a tight budget.
Your top priorities will need to take up the majority of the budget, the majority of your time, or both.

Choose four. Only four.

For example, many brides decide that their top priorities will be venue, dress, food, and photography. In my own wedding, our priorities were slightly different- we chose to focus on d├ęcor, food, photography, and hospitality.
We had many guests coming in from far away (the joys of a far-flung family), and we knew that our venue would be Trevor’s family’s church (which, since Trevor was a member fit perfectly into the budget), but decorating was a bit more the issue.

The food and photography took up the largest chunks of our budget, while planning hospitality (like figuring out where everyone would stay) and decorations took the greatest amount of time.

There’s a balance that takes place, here. The most expensive things should not also be the things that have the highest time investment.
One of the reasons the decorations took so much time was because they were so inexpensive! We created the majority of the decor ourselves, which was great for our budget, but was time consuming. If you don't have a lot of time, you may need to plan for a more expensive wedding.

Thirdly, now that you have your four things, use them to guide other decisions.

Let’s say you’ve chosen food as one of your four. 
What about the food? Are we going with something simple, or more elaborate? Let your preferences in your big four help to dictate other aspects of the wedding
Trevor really wanted hamburgers for the wedding, but such a casual-feeling meal didn’t seem to pair well with a reception dinner… so we decided to have a lunch reception, instead! That decision dictated that our wedding would be a morning one.

You don’t need to recreate the wheel. You just need to decide the most important things and use them to help define your wedding.

And then- and I think this was a truly freeing thing to realize for me- if something doesn’t fit into your four things, you can consider it Relatively Unimportant.
My wedding dress, for example. 
I wanted something beautiful, of course, but it wasn’t one of my big, important things. 
Now, it might be for you and that’s just fine, but it wasn’t one for me. And so, I decided on a dress and it was done. I liked it, felt lovely and happy in it, it fit the budget… no need to stress or over-think. Decision made.

You don’t need a billion ideas or hundreds of magazine clippings. You just need a few ideas you love- focus on those, and your wedding will fall into place without agonizing over tiny details.

Remember the purpose, decide on the important things, and let those priorities guide your wedding planning.

It's a sure-fire way to have a wedding that is "you," without turning "you" into a monster.

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  1. I was curious about this post being linked to taking up your cross. But you are so right. Taking up your cross affects everything, even your wedding. Your priorities are great. Amen!

    1. It definitely does. I'm glad that the connection made some sense after you read the post! =)

      It's so important, in this very unique relationship of marriage, to keep God front and center- starting with your wedding day.