Setting and sticking to priorities during the planning process.

How to set and stick to your wedding priorities

cakeRibbon and Roses Wedding Cake by Maggie Austin Cake (Wow!)

I'm torn. A friend of mine who's getting married called me on the phone this week with a serious wedding cake dilemma. She wants to use a baker she trusts and whose tastes and sensibilities are aligned with her own. The problem: the perfect baker is 2 hours away in Southern California. Her wedding is in June.

Buttercream + SoCal traffic + a hot June day = A recipe for wedding cake disaster.

So now she's debating whether to “settle or not.” The easy solution is to choose a by-the-numbers wedding cake shop that, as is typical of most wedding cake shops, uses shortening in their butter cream. But oh-sweet-Jesus, who wants to “settle” for fake buttercream under these circumstances?

So Should the Bride Settle on Her Wedding Day?

Settle on what? I asked her where cake factored into her initial list of priorities, which included stunning photography, a unique venue, and a killer dress. It didn't. She admitted that didn't care much about her wedding cake until the decision was on her plate. After months of feeling like her mind and emotions were polluted by the mandates of “The Wedding World,” where she felt the pressure to make sure every detail would perfectly ‘wow' each guest and turn into the stuff of wedding legend, she was convinced that the improper choice of wedding cake would destroy her dream of having her talk fondly about her wedding for years.

Um, perfect cake or not, if you;re finding your self in the same predicament, I have a news flash for you: Her guests won't talk about her wedding for years, and your guests won't talk about your wedding for years, either. Each detail doesn't have to ‘wow'. None of your wedding guests will obsess over every little detail the way you have for the past 9 months. Wedding guests don't care about the minutia; they care about you.

So here's my advice for getting out of panic mode and back into reality.

Remember Your Original Priorities

Refer back to your initial list of priorities and don't let every detail become a make or break decision as it comes up on the to-do list. If the words, “I want to have the best, most delicious, wonderful wedding cake in the world,” didn't come out of your mouth when you were first imagining your wedding, then don't let the decision about your wedding cake railroad your emotional equilibrium now.

In other words, if you didn't think about the cake until you HAD to, don't turn the choice into the biggest fish you have to fry. Use those couple of high-priority details you thought of at the very beginning of the planning process and focus your energies there. For the rest of the details, establish a modest baseline. For my friend, her priorities were: the venue, stunning wedding photography, and the perfect wedding dress. For her, the flowers, cake, and guest favors can easily be phoned in.

“The Wedding Cake is A Lie”

In the end, the wedding cake is a lie. It is not the ultimate prize at the end of the wedding planning game. You are. Your spouse is. Your family is. The chance to celebrate with the people you love the most is. Don't get sucked too far into the crazy commercial wedding world where every detail seems equally important. It's not. Don;t think for one second that the cake at the end of the game is the only thing that will make you happy. It won't. The cake is what it is. The power and choice to be happy is yours alone. And perhaps the decision to be happy is really the most important one you will make.