One of my former clients is now engaged and planning her wedding for October. Recently she told me that some of the best advice I gave her about wedding planning was "keep it simple." She took that advice and apparently it's working. Her energy is peaceful, relaxed and happy.
There have been a number of weddings and receptions at our private retreat in Ohio. Some have been for family and others have been for friends. There have been small weddings and large weddings, not to mention other weddings that we have been involved with in the past. In all my experience with weddings, one important thing stands out:
The more time there is to plan, the larger and more stressful the wedding becomes.
Long engagements with no wedding date are not the same thing as long engagements that allow for 12 months to plan for the wedding. For wedding planning purposes, the less time there is to plan the smoother things will go. And less time usually means less money.
In 12 months' time, a wedding expands exponentially from a location, simple reception, flowers, music, dress, tux (or not) and a few guests into a monster that includes a four piece quartet, hand-made origami cranes for each of the 200 guests, flowers both in the chapel, for the bride, for the bride's mother, the groom's mother, grandmothers, and Aunt Harriet's second cousin, Sally! In 6 months' time the guest list is shortened, invitations are simpler, favors are skipped, flowers are cut back and the whole planning process becomes much simpler.
The simplest plan of all is to use an all inclusive wedding service that does all the work for you or elope to Las Vegas. Only invite the people who are important to you; the people who will share your life, not just your wedding day.
"Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion." Cyril Northcote Parkinson