You’re getting married — congratulations. But somehow your imagination never took you further than proposing and how weird it will be to introduce your partner as your “wife”.

Now you are in some other-worldly nightmare where things such as sugared almonds, buttonholes, place names and flowers have not only become extraordinarily important but also hideously expensive.

While getting married might have seemed like a good idea at the time, the confusing merry-go-round of stuff that comes with it makes you wonder if dropping the equivalent of a house deposit on one single day is worth the interminable planning of the thing in the first place, even if you get a new suit and a holiday out of it.

Staying sane is important, as is being a helpful and supportive fiance as your future bride navigates the seventh layer of hell that is wedding planning. It can be done. Pick your battles. Would you rather choose the venue or select the bonbonniere? Your best man or the colour scheme? There are many, many elements to even the simplest of weddings; trust the process and that your wife-to-be knows what she is doing when it comes to the little things. You are marrying her, after all.

Try to be helpful. Yes, there are things you can do aside from picking up your suit and remembering the rings. You can address invitations, for example. Try to pick mundane tasks you have little to no chance of cocking up.

Be interested, or at least good at feigning interest. This way you will eliminate approximately 48 per cent of wedding-related arguments. For the sake of a few hours here and there whereupon you look at table plans, artful decorations and make thoughtful, non-judgmental commentary and approving noises about bridesmaids’ gifts, you will win a world of brownie points.

Make a mental list of things you are happy to drop decent cash on — dress, venue, honeymoon, rings — and put on your negotiator’s hat. Explain patiently that less money spent on invitations or cake, say, means a more expensive dress or an extra night at that swanky resort in Thailand. To give with one hand means to take away with the other but the real trick is making it seem like a good thing.

DIY weddings are all the rage — are there things you, your family or friends could do or make for that “handmade” touch? I’m not talking about raiding the flowers from your mum’s garden here. No, things you can confidently delegate to other people whose skill-set makes them appropriate for the task. It could be fun — saving money on a wedding IS fun, it’s like cheating the system.

Make it into a game — for winners.

Oh, and do try to enjoy yourself. At best you’ll only do this once.


© The West Australian

More wedding inspiration at The West Australian Wedding Guide.