One things for certain. Keep it simple and in perspective.
Perspective: You may think you have only ONE wedding day, BUT you will also only have ONE marriage. The wedding lasts exactly ONE day, the marriage lasts the WHOLE lifetime. Choose your spouse wisely! And truly participate in all marriage prep classes offered by your Church and seek cousel with a good priest.
As for the wedding itself, there’s great beauty in simplicity. If you have lots of family and friends and really want to share the day with everyone, do so. But, it may be beneficial to select around 100 or fewer guests. Remember, you only HAVE to have you two, two witnesses and the priest!
Also, do not worry about a reception. Focus on the marriage, the chapel/church, the sacredness of the vows and the ceremony itself, the marriage preparations from the priest, etc. I mean, in ten years, are you really going to care what was served at the reception and if your table decorations really matched your flowers? Chances are, something will go wrong with some decoration somewhere, so the fewer the better. Also, the fewest people you have to coordinate the better. (Including wedding party, reception, photography, ect.)
Remember those wedding planner books were designed to MAKE money off of YOU the bride. You don’t HAVE to use every single decoration/service listed. You can pick and choose. Stick with the basics (your dress, his tux, church music, etc.) and build up from there. And you don’t have to buy name brand I mean people thought my dress was thousands of dollars and I got it on the sale rack for $99. (Yes that’s two nines and no zeros.) Also, some premade things are perfect and cut down on having to count on others. We had pre-arranged silk flowers. They looked beautiful and no one could tell except the flower girls, but they loved the souviener!
As for yourself, don’t try to be a “perfect” bride. You don’t need the perfect gown, shoes, or jewelry. You don’t need a several hundered dollar hairstyle and spa treatment. You don’t need tons of make up. You need YOU. Focus on the internal beauty and it will shine forth and make whatever you wear, even if its a just a nice church dress, gorgeous. Honestly, if your future husband can’t think you are beautiful in a simple modest gown, than you might want to think about that one a bit!
I hate to sound frugal, if you have thousands to spend go for it! But, do NOT go into debt for it. There’s nothing worse to start a marriage than debt. The more you save, the more you will have for the actual marriage, future children, house, the things that will matter in the long run. You CAN have an elegant wedding cheap! Trust me.
So focus on the MARRIAGE, prep classes, and priestly advice. Then focus on the ceremony itself (make it truly sacred–as sacred as you want your future marriage to be:) ) Then, and only then, worry about details.
God bless you two, I will pray for you!