Three Dos and Don'ts to Planning Your Wedding
I’m engaged! Now what?
It’s time to plan your dream wedding! When Alan and I got engaged in December of 2018, we were filled with so many emotions: excitement, nerves, nostalgia, inquisitive. If you’re anything like us, we prayed for many years over the engagement season. Some days, we wondered if it would ever come to pass, but now that we’re here with a wedding just around the corner, we find ourselves incredibly grateful to be here. The tears, the ups, the downs...all brought us to this moment. The minute after we got engaged, I remember feeling so ready to plan this wedding.
We flew down from Philadelphia and came home to two engagement parties with close friends and family members. It still felt surreal to us that we were actually starting to plan our lives together.
But let’s not beat around the bush either. Planning a wedding can be challenging! While you’re experiencing so many heart-gushing moments with your fiancé, there will be moments within the process that can cause unnecessary anxiety or stress.
First off...take a deep breath. Second, pretend I can give you a big hug through this computer screen right now to let you know: “Everything is going to be okay!” You’re now joining a global community of women who get your frustrations and the little joys that come with planning such an epic event, too.
Grab your Starbucks go-to and your sense of humor. There will be times where you don’t know whether to laugh or to cry in the process. Choose joy and laugh with me because, girl, you are not alone!
Here are some practical dos and don’ts to help you plan this wedding like the boss you are, miss bride-to-be.
Don’t invite someone to your wedding because you feel pressured to.
I hope this statement liberates you. Ha! Be prepared to be bombarded by this question more than one: “Am I invited to the wedding?” Oh, and don’t forget this one: “Can I bring someone to the wedding?” Take a deep breath, my friend! People love a good wedding because hello...who wouldn’t love to be invited to the party?
The dancing, the delicious food, the front row seat to your tear-jerking vows...Everyone would love to show up and experience this special day with you. However, for my wedding, I took advice from my hero, Lauren Conrad, who said: “If we haven’t sat down and had a meal together in the past two years, you’re probably not going to be invited.”
Do invite the people that matter the most to you.
From friends to family members, invite the people who have showed conditional love, support and affirmation to you. These people are your ride-or-die crew who will show up to your wedding day ready to make it about YOU and your love. You need people in your corner who are going to bring out the best within your day––not the worst.
Avoid the drama-provokers. This can at times be inevitable with certain family members. Over-communicate the importance of everyone remaining relaxed and supportive on the day of the wedding because remember...it’s okay to be selfish on YOUR wedding day. This day needs to be whatever you and your spouse-to-be want it to be like.
Don’t stress the little things.
Towards the beginning of our wedding planning, I was getting so caught up in decor details. Then I attended a beautiful wedding in the spring and realized––the couple getting married didn’t even have all the elements of decor I was stressing over at their wedding. And guess what? It didn’t take away from the overall experience one bit. Incorporate decor elements that genuinely represent you and your love. People will appreciate authenticity over Pinterest-perfection any day. If you’re stressed about budget, try to go low cost on items that don’t really matter––like napkins, silverware, cups, etc. I’ve been to several weddings where they used disposable over real dishes, and it was still a great wedding.
Do determine what matters most to you and our groom/bride.
Close your eyes for a second. It’s your wedding day. You’re ready for this. What’s around you? What does the room look like? Who’s the photographer? What about the videographer? What details stand out to you? For us, we wanted an amazing photographer. We also wanted a great venue that could be comfortable and reliable in case of the Florida rainy weather.
We splurged on these things to create an experience we will both love and enjoy. Oh, and a really amazing honeymoon! For everything else, determine what will provide the most bang for your buck. Research prices online to see if you could DIY things so you can find ways to save money. You’ll never regret splurging on yourselves. Maybe you and the groom/bride have real dishes while the rest of the guests have disposable. Compromise and find ways to create the wedding experience you are wanting without breaking the bank.
Don’t go into debt over your wedding.
When we got engaged, Alan had saved quite a bit of money to get a head start with booking our venue/vendors. Saving money was an incredibly effective way for us to pay things off for our wedding. We used our credit cards occasionally, but almost always paid off the balances after the transactions were made because we were determined to not go into debt.
Try to pay everything up front in cash. We had a year long engagement and set ourselves up to pay things off a little bit at a time. We respected our overall wedding budget because Alan and I both paid everything together, and we wanted to be smart with our investment. The wedding day flies by so quickly that you want to make sure you’re not going into debt over one day.
We started doing side work to make extra income in order to come up with the extra funds. We didn’t want to start our first year of marriage with a bunch of unnecessary debt. So we have worked so hard to pay things off upfront so by the time our wedding rolls around, we owe no one, and we don’t have to stress paying anything off. Find ways to save and to honor your budget so you and your love can enjoy life AFTER the wedding.
Do hire a wedding coordinator.
This is one area I wish I could have splurged more in because having a wedding coordinator has been worth every penny. Because we can take on so much when it comes to the wedding, we need to be able to hand off and delegate the wedding days details to someone who loves taking charge and executing your vision. On your wedding day, you want to be able to let go, relax and enjoy without having to lift a finger.
Instead of having to set tables up yourself, hiring a wedding coordinator can help getting this done and then some. Your coordinator’s job should be to make sure you are happy with the end of day wedding result. You deserve to enjoy your wedding day to the fullest. Let other people handle the responsibilities for the day. Do everything you can to focus on what really matters––getting married to the man of your dreams!
Remember, this wedding day only happens once (for the most part). Be fully immersed into the moment. These are beautiful memories that will last a lifetime when they’re spent the right way. What is the right way? Whatever you and your fiancé have envisioned for your ideal dream wedding. You got this.
It’s actually a blast when you push aside the logistics and just see it for what it is...an amazing milestone in your journey. A chance to create a home and a family of your own.