Type A women everywhere have long endured good-natured jabs from friends and family regarding their sometimes over-the-top organizational tendencies. Most of us brush off this light criticism since the same characteristics that encourage a type A to alphabetize her DVD collection often lead to academic and career excellence. Whereas a more laid-back bride-to-be might elect to languish in the engagement afterglow, type A brides are more apt to purchase bridal magazines, assign the wedding party and set the date within mere days of joyfully accepting the marriage proposal. Rest assured, there's nothing wrong with either scenario! Wedding planning is most enjoyable when done within one's comfort zone, whether it's relaxed and go-with-the-flow or organized to the extreme. We've assembled a list of five helpful tips for brides with type A tendencies. Our tips are designed to play up their strengths and encourage these brides to enjoy the planning process!
5: Pick Your Organizational Pleasure
If you're keeping hard copy records of your contracts and lists, photocopy important documents and keep these copies stashed in a safe place. It never hurts to back up your soft data, either.
The days and months following a happily accepted proposal are truly a type A bride's time to shine. Thanks to their meticulous note-taking abilities and organizational prowess, type A women are already equipped with most of the necessary tools for planning a beautiful wedding. Before scheduling even the first cake-tasting appointment, brides of all persuasions would be wise to devise a specific organizational system. Electronically inclined brides might choose to keep appointments scheduled on computer or Blackberry, whereas others might select the old-fashioned (yet trusty) paper day planner.
Whichever method you choose, commit to one form from the very beginning or risk appointments falling through the cracks. Unless you have a photographic memory, wedding planning isn't the time to rely simply on your brain to keep things in order. Details will surely be flying from every angle, leaving brides without an organizational system frazzled and frustrated.
4: Manage Expectations
Even type A gals can't handle everything solo! Once the planning process has begun, it's critical to have open and honest conversations with the key people involved in your event.
Since you'll be sharing your future with him, the groom's input on everything from guests to location is absolutely necessary, unless he offers up front to give you full control. Of course, the entire shindig is reliant on the available budget. Often, parents of the bride and groom will indicate how much they're willing and able to contribute toward the big day. This conversation must be handled delicately if the parents don't offer financial assistance up front. Recent economic downturns have left many retirement-age couples with a serious dent in their savings, so more brides and grooms are footing the bill for the wedding, reception and honeymoon themselves. Money talks aside, the bride's parents traditionally fulfill a range of other roles, from acting as host at the big event to serving as unofficial wedding coordinator if the bride lives out of state and is unable to travel for all appointments, according to the experts at Martha Stewart Weddings.
The honored members of the bridal party do more than don a tux or taffeta on your wedding day. Bridal showers, couples showers and bachelor/bachelorette parties are a few of the standard events that are usually spearheaded by honor attendants. The key to keeping everyone happy during the pre-wedding process is communication. The bride and groom should discuss these events with their attendants to figure out what everyone is willing to put forth in terms of time, effort and finances. For example, an out-of-state bridesmaid might not be able to attend a bridal shower, but she might jump at the opportunity to contribute funds to the event. Always remember that these people are your friends before they are your attendants, and be sensitive to any financial or other constraints they might have. At the end of the day, what matters is that they're willing to stand up for you and your fiancé as you begin your journey together.
3: Full Disclosure
It doesn't hurt to anticipate the worst! Give your maid of honor copies of any poems or verses that are going to be read at the ceremony, and ask the best man to keep a list of your requested songs. You'll have insurance if your readers or DJ blanked on their tasks.
Vendors accustomed to dealing with slightly disorganized (or overwhelmed) brides might be intimidated by the opinionated and detail-focused type A personality. Take measures to avoid arguments by giving vendors a rundown of your personal preferences, including your desired method of communication (e-mail, phone or fax).
Expectation management is also key to a good working relationship. Discuss in advance the possible problems that might arise and how you prefer them to be handled at your event. If necessary, request that your specifications be written into the contract to avoid nasty debates down the line. On the big day, the bride should be focusing on the vows she's about to take, not worrying that white roses will be substituted with pink carnations without her consent.
2: Embrace Your Nature
Type A brides should take this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to embrace their natural organizational skills and obsessive tendencies with relish. Most type A brides plan as far in advance as possible when selecting and booking vendors, venues and ordering gowns. The experts at Wedding Channel.com recommend that the location and ceremony officiant be selected first, followed by other vendors such as the caterer, photographer, cake maker and florist, to name a few. Doing so will make it much easier to select vendors with availability on your big day.
Spreadsheets, seating charts, calendars and labeled folders are just a few of the tools that type As are adept at designing and utilizing to produce an incredibly efficient and well-run wedding. There's no need to reinvent the wheel if you don't want to, however. Many wedding Web sites have already done much of the grunt work with budgeting tools, planning checklists and guest list managers available for use -- and many of these tools are free.
1: Don't Overdo It
Type A brides can get a leg up on post-wedding insanity by writing thank you notes as gifts arrive, rather than letting expensive gifts pile up unacknowledged. Handling a few notes at a time will make for a stress-free honeymoon, and your guests will surely praise your impeccable manners!
Being engaged is supposed to be one of the most joyous times of your life! Don't let the sometimes stressful and all-consuming planning process overtake this special time with your fiancé. Bear in mind that while your wedding is probably the center of your universe, it's not quite so pivotal to your family and friends. Make a concerted effort to schedule nights out with your girlfriends where wedding talk is banned (who are we kidding -- just try to keep it minimal). Above all else, don't sweat the small stuff! Chances are slim that anyone other than you will notice less-than-perfect last-minute floral or food substitutions. As long as the couple is glowing and the guests are fed, happy and entertained, the event will surely be remembered for years as a rousing success.