Welcome to my first wedding blog post from after our wedding!! Now that we have successfully planned and executed our perfect wedding (seriously, everything was perfect), I’m really excited to write about all the planning after the fact, what worked and what didn’t, and all the stuff I just didn’t have time to tell you before. Even though I wrote about a lot of it along the way, there’s still a TON of stuff I didn’t touch on so I wanted to jump right in! I decided to start here – what I wish I would have known about planning our wedding.
The alternative title for this post was the things no one tells you about wedding planning. Except I am going to tell you. So that wouldn’t have made sense after you read the post!
Anyway! I figured the easiest way to do this was in list form. There are SO many resources out there for planning a wedding obviously, but here’s the stuff I WISH I would have known going into it:
Try to have SOME idea of what you want.
I thought going into wedding planning with a completely clean slate would make things easy and I was so wrong!!! It’s good to have an open mind but I SO wish I had gone in with at least some idea of what I was looking for. If I had had a clear vision in mind, it would have been much easier to articulate it and explain to others. A good example of this was when I went dress shopping. If I had had even some inkling of what I wanted I could’ve narrowed it down and found my dress much more quickly!
Pick ONE organizational method to keep your thoughts together.
It might seem helpful to have Pinterest boards, a paper planner, Google docs, Evernote, and pieces of paper everywhere – but I found it very difficult to keep everything the same across all those platforms, and it was just too confusing. You’ll drive yourself crazy trying to keep track of all of it! This also goes for the wedding planning websites like The Knot or Wedding Wire – I used both (along with a few others) for a while before I decided on Wedding Wire. I ended up using Google sheets for 90% of our planning (since spreadsheets are a passion in my life) along with a huge paper file to put all our confirmation pages and other papers in. It worked out really well! I especially loved Google sheets because I could easily access it across all our devices and share everything with Chris or our families.
Once you find something you like, stop looking!
This was so important for me when planning to stay confident in decisions I had already made. As soon as I found my dress, I immediately stopped looking at other dresses. When we picked our venue, I closed all the tabs I had open with other ones and emailed others to let them know we were no longer interested. Once we had chosen a guest book, I removed all other guest book options from my Etsy wishlist. Don’t risk regretting your choices – you have enough other things to stress about!!
Spread out your spending – and pay in full when you can.
Something we could have done a lot better was spreading out all our spending. We were engaged for over a year and a half, but we waited too long to buy a lot of stuff and we ended up spending a LOT toward the end – it was difficult! Not to mention the fact that most of our vendors of course had their final payments due about a week before the wedding. A blessing was that we paid a few of our vendors in full at the time of booking, so that was one less thing we had to pay the week before. It felt like a lot to pay the full amount so far out from the big day but that was hundreds of dollars we didn’t have to worry about later! Sometimes vendors will even offer a discount for paying in full when you book, so if you’re able to it might be a good option to consider.
Don’t wait to DIY!
I didn’t think we were doing THAT much DIY for our wedding until I realized that my parents and I DIYed all the centerpieces, the flowers, the table and escort cards, programs, coloring books, signs, and a ton of other little things! It was fun but it became pretty stressful to do all of it because we kinda put it off for a while. We were literally still putting together bouquets the day before the wedding!! If you know you’re going to make stuff for your wedding, try to get it done along the way so it doesn’t pile up later!
Wedding “rules” are meant to be broken.
During your planning I’m sure you’ll come across lots of people and sources telling you that you MUST do something or you HAVE to have this thing at your wedding – you don’t!!!!!!!!!! You really don’t. Most wedding traditions are rooted in really old, outdated, and sometimes weird stories and you really don’t have to follow any of them. It was so liberating when I realized that I can pretty much do whatever I want because it’s our wedding! Obviously depending on who’s paying for your wedding, you may need to make some compromises. Just keep in mind that whatever rule you wanna break has probably been broken before!
There is SO MUCH MORE to plan than you expect.
Seriously – I don’t think anything anybody could have told me would prepare me for just HOW MUCH there is to plan. It felt like the lists just kept going on of things you need and it’s EXTREMELY overwhelming. Oh, also, EVERYTHING IS EXPENSIVE. The average cost of a wedding in central Florida (where we live) is almost $40,000 which is INSANE!!!!!!!!!! Luckily ours came in much lower than that, but just be aware – things are expensive. Sometimes just because you put the word “wedding” in front of something the price gets higher!
…but try not to get too caught up in everything.
All of this being said – you don’t have to get caught up in all the fancy, expensive, or personalized things. Speaking from experience, it’s so easy to get wrapped up in all the planning and think things like, “my wedding won’t be perfect unless we have personalized tags on each sparkler for our sparkler exit”. But guess what? My wedding was perfect without sparkler tags!!!
Don’t feel like you HAVE to buy something just because people tell you that you have to, or you see it in someone else’s wedding. My Etsy list of wedding items was astronomically long but over time I realized a lot of it was unnecessary. As we got closer to the big day I started to realize more and more that all those things were not going to make or break the wedding. It’s important to remember that all the extra things are just that – extra. Of course – it’s not wrong to have all of these fun little things – just don’t think that you need them to get married. You’re not going to be any more or less married if you have all those extras. The only things you NEED on your wedding day are your partner, your marriage license, and probably someone to marry you. Everything else is just a bonus!
And don’t forget to enjoy being engaged!
Finally, I really think it’s important to cherish the time between engagement and the actual wedding. Being engaged is a special and different time and obviously you don’t get to experience it for very long. Take time to talk about things NOT about the wedding, especially when you get closer to the big day. You have the rest of your life to be happily married so why not enjoy being happily engaged while you can?
That’s all I have for right now – just a few things I would have found helpful going into this, or that I figured out along the way! I hope if you’re planning a wedding you found this helpful, or if you know someone who is that you’ll pass it along to them 🙂 thank you for reading as always! I have all my wedding posts so far here, plus many more coming, as well as a few non-wedding things just to break it up a bit 🙂 until next time!!