It's getting closer and closer to the wedding, and I am starting to feel the pressure. I have had a year and half to plan but no matter how much you plan for an event, there are certain things you just can't do until it get's closer. I have liked planning my wedding so much and have so many people tell me that I should offer event planning as a service so I am doing just that (see that lovely service tab up there ^). As fun as it has been planning a wedding there are a few things that I have learned in the process that no one told me (and I wish they would have!)
It costs more than you think (you more than likely will go over you budget.)
Because I didn't have a planner who knew the ins and outs of weddings and what it all entails I did a very preliminary estimate. I did this estimate before I knew exactly what I wanted for decor and all the details that go into the big day! I would suggest either 1-Padding your budget for unexpected expenses or 2- Set your budget once you know more of the details. We all want our wedding's to be PERFECT but we also want to watch what we spend on that special night. It's tough to find the right balance!
It's not all about YOU.
As self centered and selfish as it sounds, I really thought weddings were all about what you and your partner what you wanted. Should that be the case, yes, but not completely. M and I are doing a lot of things the way we want to make the day what we want it to be, but your friends and family are taking a lot of time out of their schedules, and you really want them to enjoy your event! You want the day to be memorable for you, but you want it to be a night everyone remembers, and looks back on fondly. One thing M and I did when planning our wedding was to think of all the things we dislike as a wedding guest, we want our wedding to be one that we would enjoy as a guest in attendance! One of our biggest pet peeves (and I am not judging if you did this, I GET IT) is a big break in between the ceremony and reception. As a guest, it's kind of awkward, what do you do? Where do you go? There is this lull so that the wedding party can take pictures or some even go bar hopping! M and I decided that was not for us. Our reception is literally 30 minutes after the ceremony, and we are having the ceremony, cocktail hour (for guest to attend during that lull), and reception in one place. Easy peasy! Guests will attend the ceremony, get a drink, and then hit the reception. When are we taking pictures you ask? M and I are taking family pictures in that 30 minutes and then we scheduled a separate day to do our photos just the two of us. This way we get some photos of us inside our wedding venue, but can also get photos of just the two of us outside without making our guests wait.
One thing you need to know right out of the gate when you start planning a wedding (that I am guilty of doing, but didn't realize until it happened to me) is friends and family want to know what their role is. Some people will take initiative and ask what they can help with, and others need you to ask for help, don't just assume everyone will be crawling out of the wood work to help you. Be prepared for QUESTIONS! They will ask why you are doing what you are doing, where they fit in, when you are sending invites, if their is assigned seating... etc. (Makes you want to elope doesn't it?) Your friends and family have the most positive of intentions, and they don't know what you have planned or what details you have already considered, so just take the time to communicate. If you need to delegate tasks DO IT. People want to help but won't know what they can help with unless you tell them.
Take advantage of your vendors.
Our photographers are AMAZING and they have so many connections! Instead of me doing all the research on vendors I wish I would have waited. When we booked our photographers they send us an amazing package and they included a list of vendors that they have worked with. They have done this before and they know what is best. Kelsy has been incredibly helpful and open to all my questions. I basically want to talk about the wedding 24/7, but I know that my friends and family don't want to hear about it constantly, (Poor M has had to deal with obsession). Your vendors work weddings for a living they love to talk about it! Talk to them, get their professional opinions, and know that a good vendor will go out of their way to help you make the day perfect!
Let go of expectations
When I was growing up (before I knew the man I was going to marry) I pictured sitting with my sisters and best friends sipping mimosas and planning out the wedding. (In this particular fantasy we were making a binder). Pretty picture isn't? This has yet to happen. It's nobody's fault, but we don't live in the same town any more and we are all living our live's! People's lives don't slow down while you are planning a wedding. Don't go into planning your wedding with any expectations or fantasies. You don't want to be disappointed! (not to be a total downer!) Go in with no expectations and you will be pleasantly surprised! It's been so wonderful to see those that have pitched in, completely unexpectedly! Know that it's a lot of work and you may get overwhelmed, but again delegate. People want to help, but will assume you have it under control if you don't ask for help. To be honest it's probably a good thing, if you plan a wedding with others you have all of those opinions and expectations added on to your own.
The big day hasn't come yet, but I do have MAJOR anxiety that it's not going to turn out EXACTLY how I have planned it. I have been obsessing over every little detail and just want everything to be PERFECT. (Think Monica Geller planner her wedding.) I have a picture in my head of exactly what I want it to look like (this makes me a great planner!) I need to let go of some of that expectation. What I have heard from other's that have gotten married is that the day will come and things will go wrong, but no matter what it will be amazing. Don't obsess over the details and don't expect perfection! It's not worth the wasted energy. Similar to How to Let Go Of Worry, you shouldn't worry about anything beyond your control. So do your due diligence planning (or letting someone plan it for you), but then let it go. Let the day happen and enjoy it!
Don't lose perspective on why you are getting married.
When planning a wedding there are SO MANY things to consider. It can be daunting and overwhelming, and if you are like me, it's really easy to completely obsess. You are only engaged once (potentially!) so ENJOY IT. Take a break from planning and enjoy this time with your soon to be husband/wife. Remember what this night is really about. It's about merging to lives together and that's what is truly important. My sister (who is married) reminded me of this, she told me that this is the last time that it's just about the two of you. Take this time to tell your partner why you want to marry them, let them know you love them, and don't let planning the wedding, and the worry about the day being perfect get in the way of what truly matters.
For those of you planning a wedding or who have been married do you have any advice for those who are not yet married, but plan to get married some day? Leave comments below!
Photos by (The McCartney's Photography)