It has been far too long since I posted here! These last few months leading up to my wedding have been incredibly busy. When I said "yes" to Josh in October I had no idea that wedding planning would become my second full time job - not that I regret it of course, but I think until you experience it for yourself, it is hard to understand how much work goes into planning a wedding. Overall I enjoyed the process, it is a lot of fun perusing through Pinterest and coming up with decor ideas. I enjoyed designing my Save the Dates, Invitations, Menu, and Programs - although I must admit it was a pretty big undertaking to do it all myself, I felt like I was my own (worst) client. The most stressful part was dealing with all the small details, family pressures, the guest list, and keeping up with all the paperwork and payments.
Luckily I had my mom helping me a lot, and we had a month-of wedding coordinator Vera that was a tremendous help in those last few weeks. Really - if you can afford it - hire a day-of coordinator, it was one of the best things we did. Vera helped so much in creating clear timelines, leading our wedding rehearsal, and taking care of everything on the big day. My mom and I were able to relax and know that everything was taken care of, and we could just enjoy getting ready before the ceremony, hanging with our friends and family, and dancing the night away.
Seeing all the plans come to life is a really amazing feeling - and I can now understand why people enjoy event planning, there is a high to seeing all of your work come together for this short but incredibly joyous occasion. It is almost like a short-term art installation.
The planning was a big stress in my life and I do feel relief that it is over, however I am now feeling a bit of withdrawl. There is so much excitement and sense of purpose leading up to the wedding day, that now that it is all over I am feeling a bit depressed. I wonder if other brides feel this way. I know it will pass though, and I am already looking forward to having the extra time back again. I would really like to blog more regularly again and take on some exciting freelance projects (I had to turn so many people away when I was in the heat of planning).
so without further ado, my quick list with tips for making it through wedding planning.
9 tips for wedding planning:
Stay organized: Use a site like weddingwire.com or google docs to keep all of your Guests, Gifts, and table seating diagrams in one place that everyone in your family can access and edit.
Start planning your ceremony early: we did not do this - and while it turned out well it was an extra stress towards the end.
Put down the Pinterest: In the beginning spend time on Pinterest and pick a theme, but then start spending less time looking at new stuff so you don't change your mind too much or get overwhelmed by so many options.
Ask for help: assign specific tasks to friends and family (I had trouble doing this, but when I did it made so much of a difference)
Learn to make clear decisions: I struggled with this a lot, but I had to eventually make clear decisions so as to not confuse my vendors or make them crazy when I couldn't decide what I wanted.
Hire a wedding coordinator: believe me, you will not regret it.
Hire people you like working with: It is so important to like the people you hire, you end up spending a lot of time talking to them. One of our biggest mistakes was that we immediately went with one catering company - and while their food was good and were very professional, they were not fun to work with.
Choose your battles: Planning a wedding is stressful and there are a lot of family pressures that come up with this kind of big lifetime event. You will be faced with lots of awkward and hard conversations around religion, guest lists, family issues, and more. Fight for the things that mean the most to you, and let go of the rest, it is important that your wedding is a joyful event for everyone, and not contentious.
Don't forget your fiance: After all the whole point of getting married is to celebrate embarking on a lifetime of love with your partner. During the planning process it is easy to get lost in the details and forget about the big picture. Spend time talking with your fiance about the future and having conversations about some of those difficult but necessary questions about how you would like your life to be post-marriage. Oh and don't forget to kiss a lot and go on dates and do normal things where you don't talk about flower arrangements (I regret not doing more of this).
Hope this is of some help to brides-to-be, feel free to reach out if you have any questions! I will be writing another post soon about my wedding day!
Photo by my wonderful cousin Joelle, taken on my wedding day when I was a bit nervous right before the ceremony.