We got engaged nine months ago and since then, everyone asks me, “How is wedding planning?” I get it, it’s a conversation starter. It’s a way to catch up and everything but I don’t usually give out too many details. Maybe it’s because I kind of have this small fear that I will give too much away (wrapped up into the excitement of it) or that people don’t actually care. It depends on the day, but most of the time I just simply respond, “it’s going well!” Honestly, though, I would be lying if I said my head isn’t spinning.
Don’t get me wrong, it is. It’s going (good) and I know at the end of it all, I get to do the one thing I have been dreaming of for years now— marry my best friend, my other half and my true soul mate.
However, I do have these thoughts in the back of my head every day. I mean, do you know how much everything costs? What if one thing goes wrong? What if a vendor cancels on us on the last second? Also, do you know how many strong opinions people have? What if we run out of food? Do you know how many people believe they should be invited? What if I hurt someone’s feelings? What if we run out of alcohol? What if it rains? What if we spend too much? There are sooo many things that go into this. More than I ever realized. It’s the pressure to make that day you have been dreaming of since you were a little girl, the actual–BEST DAY EVER.
So through all the overwhelming pressure to be perfect and all of the madness, here are a few tips on how I am staying sane ( even I am still struggling a little myself)—
- Plan, divide & conquer: We chose to have a semi-lengthy engagement (1 year and 3 months) on purpose. So we would have plenty of time to plan. One month at a time we focus on something new. The first month was a venue, the second was a photographer, the third was my dress, etc. This has worked so well for us so far. I also created a wedding website, some people use Wedding Wire and other alternatives but I made ours on The Knot (click here for details). It has a whole dashboard to help me keep up with everything, like vendors I booked, a daily countdown, a checklist, a guest list, a budgeter and so much more. I also keep up with all of that in my own wedding planning journal.
- Set a budget: We are very fortunate to have our parents pay for so much of our big day. As soon as we got engaged, I talked it over with my parents who told me how much they would pay for and if we wanted anything else over that budget, we would have to pay for it ourselves. Dylan’s parents have also been very generous and willing to help with major costs. We’re very blessed to have both of them take so much care of us. With that being said, just because we have them willing to help so much, that doesn’t mean we pick the most expensive vendors. I LOVE to shop, so this has been my favorite part. For most vendors, I have been getting quotes from multiple places, looking at their work, reading reviews or talking to people who have used them and deciding what the best is for the cost. I have also been weighing my options. Some vendors charge way to much yet some things are worth every penny. For example, the cake. Neither Dylan or I really care for cake, but we want a pretty cake that our guests will enjoy, without breaking the bank. So we’re probably just going to get it from Publix. Who doesn’t love Publix cake? We don’t. We have been doing everything we can to keep things in the budget.
- Talk about it (but not 24/7): This one is hard. Realllllly hard. I mean I am so excited about this day. I think about it all the time, so naturally, I want to talk about it. However, believe it or not, I refrain a lot of the time from talking about it because I realize other people aren’t as excited as I am about it. It can get annoying for others. (This is definitely still something I am working on myself.)
- Be Flexible: Not everything will be perfect. Some vendors cost too much and really aren’t worth it. Some ideas you may really like, there could be a better alternative (search Pinterest). Be flexible, be open-minded, it all works out in the end. It is going to be special, no matter what.
- Take breaks, go on dates: Dylan and I have nights were we don’t talk about wedding planning at all instead, we cook dinner and watch a movie or go out and hang out with friends. It’s okay not to let the planning consume your life. It’s refreshing even.
- Ask for help: What I mean by this, is asking for opinions. Ask others when you think it’s necessary. I think I have asked my mom for probably everything. I ask Dylan’s mom for a lot too. Occasionally I’ll ask my other close friends who have gotten married recently or who are planning too. I even ask my bridesmaids a lot. Sometimes people want to be included in the important decisions. You can’t do everything or think of everything on your own. It’s nice to have a different perspective on things.
- You don’t have to impress other people: Though you want your day to be so special, you want people to have fun and enjoy it, you want your loved ones to have this memory forever, it doesn’t really matter. At the end of the day, you don’t have to impress anyone. Make sure whatever decisions your making, they are in the best interest for you and your significant other.
Most importantly, don’t stress. The best advice I have received so far was from a family friend at church. He said, “things will go wrong, planning will be stressful and you will argue but at the end of the day you go to bed with the person you’re spending the rest of your life with and that’s all that matters”. He’s right. So right. That is the most important tip I can give. Y’all… I get to commit my life to the best person I have ever met in 194 days… I. can’t. wait!
I will post more updates through blogs during more of the wedding planning process. We are definitely still in the early stages. We still have 6 more months to go and I haven’t even sent out Saved the Dates. Stay tuned for more updates!