Wedding planning involves an avalanche of options. What color should the linens be? Do we even want linens? Should we have a picnic or a giant ballroom reception? Cathedral veil, tea length, do I even want to wear a wedding dress? How big of a wedding party, are we having one of those? Cake, no, donuts, NO, pies. Don’t even get me started on invitations. It’s a lot. A wedding mission statement might be adding one more thing to your list, but it’ll help you knock the rest of that list out in half the time.
I’m gonna tell you a story about college, and I promise it circles back to weddings, just stay with me. I majored in graphic design in college (film in grad school), and we had to design a ton of logos. For each of these projects, we’d have to do a class critique, where you’d show everyone your work and they would give you (hopefully constructive) feedback. The thing is, if you don’t know what the goal is, it’s basically impossible to even say whether a logo is good or not. The Chuck E. Cheese logo is great for a kid’s party center, but it would be terrible for a bank. The logo isn’t objectively good or bad, and if the class focused too much on that, you’d get useless comments like “I don’t really like green, you know, personally.” And if you’re trying to design a logo without knowing what your goals are, it’s gonna be a long and frustrating road. So we made a pared down mission statement for our logos.
In this super quick version, we’d pick a few words that communicated what we hoped our logo would convey. If you’re working on a Chuck E. Cheese style place, your words might be fun, bright, and welcoming. Then when you’re up at 2 am working on it, you’re no longer looking at every color available to you and thinking “are there seriously this many colors?” You’ll instead look at the options, and say “is brown fun, bright, and welcoming? No, it’s not. Maybe yellow, is yellow fun, bright, and welcoming?” During class critiques, instead of asking if people liked the final product, we could instead ask, is it fun? Is it bright? Is it welcoming? You have something to ground all of your decisions.
With a wedding mission statement, you can do that, too. A wedding isn’t objectively good or bad, either. It comes down to whether the wedding meets the goals of the people getting married or not. The important step here is to decide what is important to you, and to ask yourself why you’re having a wedding. Is it about family togetherness? Or just the two of you making promises to each other? Do you want a huge bash, or just your absolute nearest and dearest?
Some example wedding mission statements are:
Our wedding will serve as a time for our friends and family to reconnect with us, get to know one another, and enjoy a happy weekend.
“Drunk, dancing, and legally married”
“Mushy AF performative legal transaction with tacos.”
“To use our wedding celebration as an opportunity to thank and support our community that has been so good to us, while being as eco-conscious as possible.”
“Brunch and games and heartfelt celebration in nature.”
“We want our weird to be seen.”
Once you have a vision in mind, and maybe even have written out your wedding mission statement, you can gauge your decisions against it. Letterpress invitations are nice, but do they fit with our focus on sustainability? Lobster is great, but is it tacos? This is a great brunch spot, but do we want to give up our focus on being in nature for it?
You can use your mission just as much for aesthetics as for value statements – if your theme is simple, organic, and sustainable, then you use those words to get through the zillions of options presented to you. Is this venue simple, is this food organic, are the flowers sustainable? If you’ve made the choice to hire a planner specifically so that you DON’T have to make all of these decisions, they will absolutely love you for giving them such a clear idea of what you want from your wedding.