2. It is one (albeit expensive and important) day. Yes, it's a huge deal, it's the biggest event of your life, and the start to the greatest journey, but those are the significant parts, not whether everything goes according to your finely structured schedule or if the favors are perfect. Remind yourself of the aspects of your wedding day that really matter to you. I hope that my guests have a blast, that I get to eat, and that at the end of the night, my cheeks hurt from smiling all day and I'm married to the one I love. Those are details that I care about and the things that I'll remember long after the centerpieces have wilted. Remembering this throughout the planning process has helped me stay more calm and laid back.
3. Stay organized. But more importantly, do what works for you. I don't have a wedding binder, and while I thought about getting one, almost everything I need is stored online and I've had good luck keeping spreadsheets and checklists on my computer that I can work from. I am a big fan of writing down tasks and crossing them off when they're finished, so I haven't reinvented my organizational wheel while wedding planning. Obviously, Pinterest has been a lifesaver for storing all of my ideas, but I also have a computer folder of images, links, and inspirations where I save my favorite things. I'm doing what make sense to me and so far so good!
4. Do your research. There are a lot of vendors out there, and not all of them represent themselves perfectly. I came across websites that had very little information, yet the vendor was highly recommended so I did my homework and got in touch with the right person for a great outcome. I've also found what looked like the perfect vendor, only to learn through plenty of effort that they weren't a good fit and wouldn't be a match for me. Being a few states away has meant conducting most of my research and booking by email and phone, so I've been doing a lot of instinct trusting and question asking. So far, I'm working with really nice, creative people who are great at what they do.
*Advice to vendors: Tell as much about yourself as you can through your online tools. Include contact information, sample pricing, photographs, menus, testimonials, etc. - all the things that will help busy brides learn about you and the awesome service you offer.
5. Be you. You'll get a lot of advice when you get engaged, and you'll feel pressure to appeal to everyone. Pinterest is amazing, but there trendy pieces floating around that seem to appear in lots of weddings. I want my wedding to reflect us, not what's most popular at any given time or what's traditional. I'm getting married in October, but I imagined soft pastels more than vibrant fall colors. We're getting married in a church, but having a non denominational ceremony led by my father in law. When I started to plan the little details, I realized that I liked certain decor items more than chalkboards or burlap, and there were all sorts of things that I hadn't heard of or seen before. This has been one of my favorite parts of planning - finding the things that represent us and give our day those unique touches.
6. Have fun. Jeff and I have been in hysterics talking through ideas, dancing around our house to different songs, having long conversations about our favorite kinds of cake. While wedding planning has monopolized a lot of my daydreaming lately, it's been great to bounce ideas off my parents and friends, swap options with my fellow brides, and find the perfect pins to add to my vision. This is a joyous occasion and a year of our lives we'll remember forever. If nothing else, this experience should be fun and exciting, and bring all of us closer together. In a few short months, the moment we've waiting for will be here and I want to enjoy every second.
I'll make another list of reflections after the wedding, and all you married girls can laugh when I say that it got much more stressful! But for now, I'm loving wedding planning and I'm so excited for October 5. Bring it on!
Was your wedding planning stressful, fun, or a little of both? Any advice for future brides?