I can’t believe it has already been one month since the best day of my life! My wedding day truly felt perfect, and even though it took a lot of time and effort to make it happen, every second was totally worth it.
As I look back and remember the wonderful time I had planning and then attending my own wedding, I’m also reflecting on the process itself—what worked, what I could have done better, and what I wish I had known going into it.
I’ve wielded this down to four key things that I think it’s important to remember when planning a wedding. There are a lot of other things to consider, but keep these in mind to help take your wedding to the next level.
Do your homework
There are so many decisions to make when you start planning your wedding—where to have it, when to have it, what type of entertainment to include for the party…it’s a lot to think about, and going in blind can make the process even more complicated.
Before you meet with any vendors or commit to anything, compare your options online. Look at reviews written by other couples (The Knot and Wedding Wire have tons), and try to get price estimates (Wedding Spot has a calculator you can use that was pretty on par with the venues we actually got quotes from).
I would suggest doing a lot of your research online/by speaking with others rather than meeting in person with a lot of vendors up front.
Narrow it down to a few favorites and go see those in person—this will save you a lot of time and make your decision a little easier in the long run, because you’ll eliminate several before you even start setting up meetings.
Don’t be afraid to take suggestions from coworkers, friends, or family members (trust me, you will get a LOT of them). In the end, make your own decisions, but use the experience and advice of others to help guide you.
Make it personal
My husband and I really wanted our wedding to reflect who we are, both as individuals and as a couple. We tried to find fun little ways to incorporate our interests and passions into our wedding.
We got pretty into it and ended up adding a LOT of little details, but our guests thoroughly enjoyed them and my brother even saw it as a challenge to find all of the little “Easter eggs” hidden throughout the day.
Some of my favorite things we added that may spark ideas for you:
• Bitmoji cake topper
• Horror-themed hashtag/snapchat filter (#TheHillHaveIDos :P)
• Handmade book flowers (I surprised all of my bridesmaids with their favorite book/song lyrics for this!)
These things weren’t too expensive or difficult to add, and they really personalized the wedding for us. I definitely recommend integrating parts of yourself/your relationship into your wedding decor to truly make it your own.
Prioritize your spending
Ok, so you had to know something cost-related would be included in here. Throwing a wedding is so expensive, even for a discount shopping expert like myself.
Everyone’s budget and means are different, so you really have to talk with your s/o and anyone else who is helping pay for your wedding and set realistic expectations.
Once your budget is set, a tip for ensuring you don’t go overboard is to prioritize.
What can you absolutely not live without?
Where can you potentially cut back a little or go with something cheaper without sacrificing the vision you have for your big day?
My husband and I picked a few key things that we wanted to splurge on, and then found ways to make up the cost elsewhere.
We splurged on our photographer/videographer because we felt that it was really important to have the beautiful memories of the day captured, and once we found our company we knew no one else could do a better job for us.
We also chose to add a fireworks display offered by our venue, which we didn’t tell any of our guests about beforehand and definitely added a huge wow factor.
We got lucky with flowers; I wanted mainly book flowers for the bridesmaids, and since we got married 10 days before Christmas our church was already beautifully decorated.
We kept it simple with some pew bows and went with winter greens, pine cones, and Christmas lights for our reception centerpieces, which turned out beautifully and saved us a lot of money.
We put together our Christmas ornament favors ourselves to save a bit there, decided we could do without church programs, and I did a lot of cute DIY-type things for my bridesmaid gifts. I found a lot of great ideas and tutorials on Pinterest, so definitely look there if you’re going the DIY route.
Overall, we probably spent what the average couple does these days on a wedding, but felt that our experience and ambiance were well above average.
I’m so glad we decided to save money in certain areas in order to splurge on others, and definitely see it as an effective way of getting more bang for your buck.
Let go and enjoy it
When it comes to your wedding day, the only that actually matters is that you have fun. I repeat, the ONLY thing that matters on your wedding day is that you and your s/o have a good time. Seriously, things will go wrong.
My beautiful wedding gown actually ripped during our reception (you can see it in some of the pictures) but even as I heard the unmistakable tear of fabric as a guest stepped on my train for the 45394th time, I took a deep breath, smiled, and decided that I would worry about t later.
I was still fully covered, every part my dress was intact, and it certainly wasn’t preventing me from walking around or dancing, so…oh well!
I know it sounds crazy for me to be so aloof about a dress I spent a lot of money on and months getting fitted for, but the reality is, there was nothing I could do in that moment and I wasn’t going to let one little mishap be the thing to define the biggest day of my life.
I should add a disclaimer here that I am normally not this cool about things going wrong AT ALL. I’m a lifelong perfectionist who obsesses about every detail and I definitely tend to overreact when things don’t go as planned.
So, how did I let go and stay cool the day of?
In the months leading up to my wedding, I heard so many stories from friends, family members, and colleagues about things that had gone wrong at their weddings.
My one college buddy’s cake fell over onto the floor before it was brought out at the reception (honestly, I was at this wedding and had no idea the cake was missing…trust me, your guests don’t notice nearly as much as you think they will…) and her mom immediately started breaking down.
My friend, the bride, assured her mom it was fine, stayed calm, and asked the wait staff to cut up the remaining part of the cake that hadn’t fallen and serve it to the guests. The
night went on without anyone knowing what had happened and without my friend feeling disappointed on her big day.
Stories like this one helped me mentally prepare for the fact that things would inevitably get messed up on my wedding day.
Therefore, I decided in advance that I was not going to worry about things I couldn’t control when the day finally came.
Weeks before my wedding I started reciting to myself things like “the day will be perfect no matter what happens,” and “if I can’t control it I’m not going to worry about it.”
These became mantras that I would repeat to myself daily, sometimes even multiple times a day, and it worked like a charm.
The mindset almost became second nature, and by the time my wedding day rolled around I really was able to ignore all of the nonsense and just have a great time.
I cannot stress enough how big of a difference this made for me and how glad I am that I mentally prepared myself to make my own feelings and enjoyment the highest priority on my wedding day.
The big bonus was that so many of my guests told me afterwards that the thing they enjoyed most at the wedding was seeing how incredibly happy my husband and I looked the entire time.
There will always be another time to stress, to worry, or to get upset over plans gone astray. Your wedding day is the one time to take a break from all of that and simply be happy.
Planning a wedding is not easy. I gets really stressful and frustrating, and since a lot of us these days are planning on our own dimes and with plenty of other time-consuming priorities to work around, it can seem like an impossible feat.
But there are SO many resources and tools to help you plan the perfect wedding for you and your spouse.
The key thing to focus on is how you can make the day best represent the two of you, and how you can make it the most fun for yourselves.
With all of the craziness going on in the world lately, just finding someone you truly love and who loves you back is rare—I personally consider it a miracle. And that is the whole reason for having a wedding.
As long as you view your wedding as a celebration of your love and the start of a wonderful life for you and your s/o, you’ll be just fine.
And I am always happy to answer questions or offer up advice! Leave a comment bellow or send me a message on Instagram.
You can also leave a comment if you have some additional wedding advice you want to share with others.
Thanks so much for visiting this post and I hope to see you on my blog again! ❤
All photos courtesy of MPW Media Group