Excerpt from last month’s Bride Tribe – I had so much amazing feedback to this idea that I just had to share it with you all too!
A couple of years ago I read Marie Kondo’s bestselling book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up (The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing) and my mind was as transformed as my bathroom cupboards. Since then, I’ve waxed evangelical about the wondrous benefits of Marie Kondo’s approach to organising your life and home.
While the “KonMari” method offers practical guidance on cleaning out your home and organising our belongingings properly, it’s much more philosophical than that.
Today, while talking to a friend I realised that I’ve been so inspired by the life-changing magic that I now apply it to all my wedding planning advice. Interested in how discarding the majority of your wardrobe is analogous to planning your Big Day? It really all comes down to two little words.
A concise introduction to ‘Tidying Up’
How many times have you rifled through your wardrobe, picking out items to discard or give away, yet you never actually achieve a clutter-free cupboard or a closet full of clothes you’re dying to wear.
Promising that if you properly declutter your home once, you’ll never have to do it again, KonMari instead advises not to cull items you don’t want, but instead take every single thing out of your closet, and put back only those that “spark joy” – those that bring real happiness to you. If you place back into your wardrobe/bathroom/life only those joy-giving belongings, you reach the nirvana of housekeeping and never have to clean again.
Applying the KonMari Method to Wedding Planning
An organised approach to prioritising and planning
This process applies fittingly to Wedding Planning in so many ways. In both life and wedding planning, many of us spend money on things we feel like we’re “supposed” to have, even if those things don’t really bring us happiness (spark joy).
I know I’ve said this before, but your wedding is not just the sum of its parts, it’s not merely a combination of spending money on all the right wedding vendors, i.e. Celebrant + Expensive Dress + White Shoes + Bridesmaids + Flowers + Decor + Music + Food + Wine + Favours = Wedding.
I so frequently hear from brides who feel like they are making decisions based on what they believe is expected of them, whether that’s due to pressures from other people or traditions, rather than what they really want.
I have previously suggested that brides begin wedding planning by focussing on a few key priorities and getting those elements exactly as you want them, before moving on and organising “the remainder”, and even going sans much of the remainder, if those elements are not really, meaningfully important to you.
I went on the AM show a few months ago about the Kiwi wedding, and how we’re willing to do things differently, and not necessarily having everything. At the end, Mark asked me for an example of something couples can do without, but this is the exact opposite of what I’m saying. It’s not really about asking what you can do without, but about starting with what you really want and need – everything else is just “gravy”.
How would Marie Kondo plan a wedding?
Wedding planning with “Spark Joy” in mind
Applying the KonMari method to wedding planning means planning a wedding that’s simple and meaningful. It means you can save money, save on guest numbers and save on stress. Here’s how:
Kondo Your Guest List
I’ve written at length about starting your guest list, and this echoes what I said there, but only invite to your wedding those guests who will really ‘Spark Joy’ on your wedding day, and continue to be part of your future lives too.
Distant family members, ex-boyfriends, old colleagues (/current colleagues?), parents’ friends, friends’ parents – do each of them really spark joy, or are you asking them out of obligation?
Kondo your Wedding Priorities
What would Kondo do, prioritising at all the various elements a wedding could have? She wouldn’t have things just for the sake of it, because they’re on-trend, or because she saw them on Pinterest. Nope, Marie Kondo would plan, and budget for, only those elements which would really bring her joy on the day – those that will bring real meaning to your celebration. How much meaning and joy each element will bring to you is very personal, and each wedding will be different – that’s the beauty of it. Read more: Prioritising
Book the Wedding Vendors who Spark Joy!
Do each of your professional vendors spark joy – do you really love talking to them, do you want to spend time with them on the day, or in the lead up? Are you excited to stand with not just your fiance, but also your celebrant, for those all important moments? Have you chosen people who connect with your personality and vision, or are you booking those with the best reputation, or the cheapest?
Do your Bridal Party Spark Joy?
Before you even ask the all important “Will you be my bridesmaid” – read the bridesmaids guide and think about which of your gals is really going to spark joy for you – throughout the wedding planning process, in the immediate lead up, planning your bridal shower and hens do, and on the wedding day itself.
Does Spending Money Spark Joy? Spending money can be a happy experience – hello shopping! Budgeting for and then spending money on your wedding should feel GOOD, not bad, not guilty, you should be excited to experience what you’re investing in, not worried about your depleting accounts.
Does Wedding Planning Spark Joy?
IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE PAINFUL! Okay, no need to shout, but wedding planning can actually be enjoyable. Celebrate your engagement, make it special?
Write about the proposal and doodle your wedding day dreams in your little white book, eat cake with your fiance (every damn day until you find the wedding cake that will spark joy, or ditch the wedding cake and have a tower of donuts or a chocolate fountain or a margarita slushy machine instead of all of them!) and have fun. If wedding planning gets stressful, bring it back a notch, focus on only what you love, not what you feel like you need. Talk to your bridesmaids – the ones you chose cause you knew they’d bring you joy when you needed it, talk to me, talk to your Mum, take a load off, get cosy, tell your fiance you need his help, you want to elope, or that he’s in charge of planning from now on.
Whatever it takes to ensure that wedding planning is really freaking awesome, do that. Keep Calm, have FUN and Spark Joy, babes xx
Ready to spark joy in wedding planning? Head to the index of planning posts, or check out the little white book in my online shop.