Before we even knew what it meant to us, we were planning a wedocracy. What does this mean? Well, a wedocracy is couples and guests joining together to make wedding planning fun. And that’s our app, but the philosophy behind it started when we got engaged.

On July 14th, 2012 (Bastille Day!), my now husband asked me to marry him. And, we started thinking about how we wanted to experience the planning as well as the day itself.

Early on, we established a few guidelines. If it did not add to our happiness, we would not do it. And, if it was necessary but added stress to our lives, we would figure out how we could get the most out of the experience and enjoy it.

And so we began.

The mission:

Throw an event with 130 guests from several different countries to witness and celebrate our cross-cultural extravaganza while maintaining the joy and excitement we experienced when we got engaged.

The challenge:

Blending together our mixed heritage in a way that honored our desires, the wishes of our families and our respective cultures and our desire to enjoy every moment of it.

The solution:

Whenever possible, choose joy. Actually, this was our mantra.

The strategy:

If we need help, ask for it. This meant involving our community in a way that felt helpful to us.

How it played out:

When we cancelled our ideal wedding venue due to their disorganization, we did not panic. It was disappointing and challenging, but we knew that their lack of organization would cause more stress and that we would regret the decision to stick with them, so we moved on.

Part of choosing joy was about rallying our wedding posse, which was our friends and family. We spread the word and let everyone know we were looking for a venue. And then, one night while I was talking to one of my bridesmaids, she mentioned a venue that I should consider.

I called them the next day and within a week we had a new venue.

And when my traditional African parents insisted on certain traditions, I chose the ones that felt important to me and let go of the rest. It was very meaningful for us to include that part of my background, but it was our wedding and it was important that it represented us and the traditions that had significance for us. We did not decide to do things just because they were expected or proscribed, and yet our big fat Nigerian/American/Jewish/Mexican wedding was so fun and memorable for everyone.

The thing is, it is not always easy to choose joy when planning a wedding but it is this choice that will set the tone for how things will go.

So, choose joy by asking yourself this: If I do this, will I look back and regret it. If you think you will, see if you can find the courage to do things differently. After all, while you are your mother’s daughter, it’s not your mother’s wedding.