It’s been almost a year and I still remember how it all felt when I planned my wedding. I only had seven months to do so. Even though it was short, I got a lot done, and was proud of that accomplishment.
Planning a wedding can be stressful, though. It’s most likely the biggest event you may host that deals with many details. No matter how big or how small the wedding may be, planning it will call for a major glass of wine and the right people around you to help.
Deciding to plan your own wedding may depend on different reasons. Maybe you are under budget or love a good DIY project. No matter the reason, time and effort are needed from you to execute this day the way you want. There were so many things I hoped for that came out differently on the day of my wedding. In hindsight, I actually wish someone had a megaphone loud enough to stop me from making some of the choices I made. Nonetheless, here are a few things I learned from the experience of planning my own wedding.
#1 THE HYPE WAS IN MY HEAD
I enjoyed my wedding day and the process of planning it. However, the fairytale Disney movie concept, where in one scene the princess gets the ring, and in the next scene she is walking down the aisle to her beau, was what I imagined of how my wedding would go. This misconception was the hype I had grown up with, in my head. When you are a little girl, you dream of having your fairy tale wedding. Then, when it finally happens, real life details need to be factored in, and it’s those factors that begin to shape how your wedding will really look. In the end, I had to be realistic of what was able to be afforded.
#2 TO BUDGET AND PLAN FOR EVERYTHING
When you get your wedding ring, you are swept off your feet at the idea that a wedding will soon be planned. However, you don’t realize that parts of your new life with someone will also need to be planned. In the early phase of planning, my fiancé and I talked about everything: where we would live, what church we would attend, how the bills would be devised, how we would afford to furnish our apartment, how much we would want to budget for our honeymoon, and on and on. There was no stone left unturned. Not only was money needed for the actual wedding, but it was also needed to maintain the marriage. When I realized this, I felt money leave my hand even quicker than I made it.
#3 TO NOT LET EMOTIONS DICTATE MY DECISIONS
I knew exactly what I wanted prior to being proposed to, but somewhere along the lines, I began changing my mind about a lot of things that I thought I was certain about. From the color scheme, to the bridal party, from the guest attendees, down to the color of my shoes -I went back-and-forth about it all. Don’t let your current feelings confuse you or lead you to make decisions that are not best for you, especially if it’s to please others.
#4 THAT THE GUEST LIST IS THE HARDEST PART
The most expensive part of the wedding is assuring you can feed the guests at the reception. I may have rewritten my guest list a dozen times. When you get engaged, everyone feels entitled to an invitation to your wedding. There is no way you will be able to have everyone you know in attendance. Therefore,you must narrow down your list, and this is where it gets quite interesting. Figuring out who is more deserving than the next person means rolling out your rolodex of family members, relatives, colleagues, and friends to compare each person for consideration.
I also had many discussions and with my parents regarding who they deemed to be crucial participants at the wedding. The guest list can be annoying and hard to handle, but edits are necessary to keep out excess guests and wedding crashers.
#5 TO NOT BE CHEAP WITH WHAT LASTS FOREVER
This part hurts, because it ties into point #3. Things that fall under the category of lasting forever may be your wedding dress, the photographs, and any video footage taken at the wedding. This was one area of planning I was certain I would get right, but point #2 made me think of the importance of sticking with a set budget. As a result, I felt conflicted. The bottom-line is don’t go the cheap route unless you are willing to live with the repercussions. Although I didn’t necessarily go the “cheap” route, I still dealt with unforeseen hiccups with my videographer that made me wish I had paid a little extra for slightly better service.
#6 THAT PEOPLE WILL DO WHAT THEY WANT
This was my motto as my wedding date got closer and closer. I became frustrated with people’s lack of decency when it came to RSVPing on time, or when a wedding party member wanted things their way. I began to just cope with the realization that people will ultimately do what they want to do. Realizing this helped me pick my battles wisely. Not everyone’s interest is what is best for you, but it’s important that you try to find the right team to support you and keep you focused on your big day.
#7 TO LIVE IN THE MOMENT
When it comes to certain things, I can be controlling about what I want and what I hope to see. I organized a lot of details for my wedding. I knew exactly how I wanted everything. The problem I ran into was that I was still organizing things up until the day of the event. Even with coordinators and ushers helping the day of, I was still trying to control everything. I lost moments of just completely experiencing my wedding day, rather than organizing it to make sure everything came together. I recommend all brides to at least get a coordinator for the actual day -someone who knows how everything should be set up and who has a good sense of how you like to do things. Take the time to soak in every moment of your wedding, even if some things don’t go as planned, because it’s all a part of making your story with your fiancé.
#8 THAT I CAN’T PLEASE EVERYONE
The most tiring job of planning a wedding was trying to make others happy. You don’t want to end up showing up as a guest at your own wedding. It can be devastating to look up and realize you don’t see anything you actually want at your own wedding. You may have managed to keep peace among everyone involved, but what about peace for yourself? My fiancé and maid of honor continually had to push me so that I wouldn’t let everyone’s entitlement to the wedding dictate my emotions. People will always have something to say, whether good or bad, but the only opinions that truly matter are yours and your fiancé’s.
Once the smoke clears, it will only be the two of you, anyway.
Can you identify with any of these lessons?
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