Having been at this wedding planning thing for about 7 months and with the big day drawing closer, there are some things I've learned about wedding planning that no one really prepares you for. So for all my future brides out there, here are some tidbits I want to share with you.
- Weddings are expensive. $1000 is pocket change for a good photographer and at the very mention of wedding, vendors will up their prices by about 20%.
- The dress you thought you wanted, might not be the dress you end up with. I was adamant about having a clean, white dress. But like many other brides who've gone before me, what I thought I wanted was not necessarily the best fit for me. Be open to trying other colors, styles, etc. You might be surprised!
- Your guest list will start to look like the devil incarnate. It has legitimately taken me a solid 3-4 months to arrive at a guest list, and we'll still probably have a few last-minute invites. There's always someone on the fringes of your life whose feelings have to be taken into consideration.
- Be prepared to negotiate. The truth is weddings are big business, so never assume that the price you're quoted is what you'll actually pay. Nine times out of ten, vendors want your business and will be willing to work with you to create something that's within your budget.
- You make the decisions. Don't get me wrong, my hubby-to-be is probably even more excited about our nuptials than I am, but as a bride, I'm the one everyone expects to call the shots. No one is asking Chuck what he thinks the bridesmaid dresses should look like. He'll contribute an opinion, but like it or not, I have to make the final call.
- The wedding isn't actually about you. This is one of the most interesting things I've learned. You and your spouse have the rest of your wonderful life together to celebrate your union. Your family and friends on the other hand, have one day. This wedding is for your loved ones to celebrate, so make sure they're a part of it.
- Don't bite off more than you can chew. Chances are, there are a ton of people in your life who want to help make your day one to remember. Let them! I don't know what I would do without the help of my Mommy and future Mom-in-Law. I'd be pulling my hair out by now!
- Manage your time. Time flies when you're having
funa wedding. Respond to family, friends and vendors ASAP. A lack of communication will catch up with you, so make sure you're not rushing around at the last minute!
- Pool your resources. We plan to have our ceremony on a friend's farm, Chuck's former employer/friend is taking care of our entire reception, we have friends who are photographer extraordinaires. Access the talent you have in your life and ask around. You may know someone or know someone who knows someone that would be willing to help make your day great!
- Enjoy it! As someone not exactly adept in dealing with stress, I've repeatedly caught myself completely overwhelmed and making the celebration of my marriage into a chore. When I've taken a step back to see what a blessing it is that I've found the love of my life and am preparing to commit my life to him, it makes the whole process much more enjoyable!
With 5+ months to go, something tells me, this is only the beginning of my wedding planning wisdom, but the most important thing I've learned is not to stress the small stuff.
I found love and on September 2, 2012, in rain, sleet, wind, or sun, I plan to marry his ass!