As I mentioned in last week’s post, the start to 2016 has been completely crazy for me. The start to all of the wedding planning madness has been a big part of that. I know what you’re thinking… “Your wedding is at the end of this year, WHY do you need to get planning this early?” You know what I am thinking in response to that comment?
On the bright side, I have had quite a few girlfriends get engaged in the last few months. (welcome to the club, ladies) and I know of quite a few that will be doing so in the near future. With how much I absolutely love planning events and weddings, I felt it necessary to put together a little wedding planning post for you… for inspiration, excitement, and as my lovely fiance would say, “to give you an idea of what to expect… YAY LOVE!”
So how do you summarize planning your wedding, exactly?
Planning any sort of event is not always as fun and as glamorous as it seems. Whenever I tell people that I plan fundraising events for a living I always get the response, “Oh that sounds so fun!” The event itself and seeing everyone’s faces at the end of it all? Totally fun! But the process leading up to it can be seriously grueling! Think about when you are planning ANYTHING. There is a lot to take into account and a lot of details that can be overlooked, vendors that don’t pan out, decorations that fall through, it’s all a part of the process. What advice I have to give to you on that front?
You are going to have things that don’t work out while planning your wedding. I would start right now with the “Plan B” mantra. I live it every day and if you expect that there is going to be something that goes awry, you will be much more prepared when it does. It’s OKAY and no one else at your wedding is going to notice but you, I promise.
So to prepare you (or humor you), here is what wedding planning IS (and isn’t):
What it is:
If you look at the event as a whole, it’s A LOT. Lucky for you, there are 5 million resources out there on “how to plan a wedding.” Phone apps and wedding magazines with timelines, budget spreadsheets, and physical wedding planners to help guide you through the process. If you really want the stress free route, hire a wedding planner who does this for a living to take all that stress off your plate. Can’t afford it? Get yourself a “day of” coordinator (I LOVE me a day of wedding planning gig!) and talk over your plans and ideas with them so that they will take care of everything on your special day. This can be a professional or a fancy friend that you really trust! Either way, I highly recommend having someone on site the day of your wedding. You do NOT want people coming to you as you’re getting ready saying things like “your flowers never showed up.” This is supposed to be your day and you have enough to worry about as is (like if you still plan on walking down that aisle 🙂 )
What it Isn’t:
People get this idea that once you are engaged you are going to magically have the “best time ever” planning the wedding of your dreams with your fiance. A little hint ladies, he is not going to have the same thoughts and wants as you! It’s also bound to put a damper on things if every date night you have you are quizzing him on wedding “to dos.” I will 100% tell you that I am in love with Mike more now than I was before the day he proposed. Something changes inside of you when you realize that the man that you once called your boyfriend is about to be your husband and by your side for life. I look at him differently now, in this warm and fuzzy “forever” way. However, you have to make an effort to keep the romance there! I now make sure that I have items on my wedding checklist for each month that I prioritize and that is all I am allowed to do. The rest of the time, we are scheduling date nights and making sure we find time to appreciate one another and to ENJOY the process of being engaged. People tease us all the time because we have a shared calendar, but you tell me: if you don’t schedule your date nights, do they happen?
What it Is:
I’ve found a lot of ups and downs in my emotions since the start of this wedding whirlwind. I am not usually a crier but I can tell you I have done it JUST A FEW TIMES since our engagement. I’m not always talking sad cries either. Mostly overwhelmed with emotions, and a lot of happy cries too! I can’t even listen to the song I will be walking down the aisle to without tearing up because it starts making all of this so REAL. We’ve decided to write our own vows and I am sure that step is bound to bring a few waterworks when the time comes. Remember, getting married is an emotional time and an emotional thing. Sure, your fiance might think you are a little crazy sometimes but at the end of the day they really do appreciate you and all you are doing to make this one of the best days of your lives.
What it Isn’t:
What you expect.
You know how people constantly joke with you about how you want your wedding to look exactly like your dream board on Pinterest? Well I am here to solidify that what you are “dreaming of” if not how it’s going to go! The world of social media has pumped up weddings and has girls pinning 3 carat diamond engagement rings and $20,000 floral arch arrangements for their dream wedding! It drives me insane! Do you even know how much a real diamond goes for?! It’s amazing what we expect… and it’s just setting all of us up for failure. Here is my advice to you: Enjoy every moment of your wedding planning process the best way that you possible can. Does it mean that you have to go to 4 dress shops to find the perfect dress? In my case, absolutely. Does it mean that you might get stressed over if you made the right decision a number of times? Sure! If you want to get married in your backyard followed by a BBQ instead of at the Plaza hotel, go for it! Back to what I was preaching at the beginning of this post, it’s most important to remember that everyone is different and everyone has a unique experience when it comes to getting married. That is what is so magical to me about weddings. They are all the same, and yet so different.
What it Is:
So much fun!
Seriously, what other time in your life do you get to plan a big party surrounding you and the love of your life? So many butterflies! The mantra I always go back to in times of stress is the following: “I get to marry my best friend– how freaking cool is that?!” Make sure to take it all in and keep a journal of this process that you are going through together. Imagine all of the memories you are creating and how much fun it is going to be to look back at all the fun you had being engaged and planning the best day ever! Mike and I are going to visit our venue this weekend to pick out our reception dinner, cross country ski and stay the night in the cabins that we will be staying in the night of our wedding! It’s those little memories that I am enjoying more than anything!
What it Isn’t:
A time warp.
While you may think you have time to lay around and don’t need to start making those calls, keep in mind that there are a lot of brides out there that are already reserving vendors! I just had a scare the other day when I went to call one of the DJs we were deciding between and they had already booked for our date… in 11 MONTHS. It is never too early to call and reserve. Especially in the case of a venue. Most venues are starting to book up 2 years in advance. It’s crazy but its the truth. Also remember to slow down this time as much as you possibly can because you won’t be getting it back. You are only going to be “fiances” for a short period of time, so live it up and celebrate the heck out of it.
So what exactly am I saying?!
I’m telling you that wedding planning is a lot like Christmas. You look forward to it for so long, put so much planning into it, spend a whole lot of money, cry a little (meh… maybe a lot), but come Christmas you have the best day ever and don’t regret one bit of it. Enjoy the process, soak in the memories, and go craft the day of your dreams…or get some help doing it. 🙂 Trust me, you deserve it!
Currently in our wedding planning process, Mike and I have the following checked off our list:
♥ Decor and flower Inspo
316 Days to go- Moving along and loving every minute of it!