The One With the Wedding Planning Do’s and Don’ts

As my circle of wedding planning life begins to come to a close (this time next week I’ll be a wife!), I wanted to share a few pearls of wisdom I’ve picked up along the way with those that may be just beginning (or about to – shout out to my almost engaged readers!) their planning process. 

DO:

1. Encourage your partner to participate. Sure, a lot of guys could care less, but you’d be surprised what your fiance actually cares about with regards to the wedding. With Cam it was five things: food, bar, cake, his groomsmen attire, and burying a bottle of bourbon to stave off rain. Who am I to interfere with his priorities?

2. Do your research. I know this has been blogged about time and time again, but the wedding industry is a rip off. Big time. Buying flowers for a birthday party? Sure, that’s $5 per centerpiece. Same flowers for an order entitled The Camera Wedding – $20 markup. Know that it does not have to be this way and there are honest vendors out there that are willing to work with you if you take the time to look. And don’t forget to negotiate! 

3. Budget. Another popular topic, it is arguably the most important. Know. Your. Budget. When you start planning this soiree, this should be the first thing you do. Sit down, decide who will be contributing to the cause, determine a total budget and, here comes the hard part, stick to it. You’ll be much happier, less stressed and you won’t start your marriage with debt. 

4. Prioritize. Once you’ve done your budget, prioritize what is important. You’ll just die if you can’t have your wedding at the only on the water venue in town? Have to have that ice sculpture of the swans with their necks intertwined? You’ll need to budget a little less for the chair covers. Figure out what your important aspects are, and make it happen!

DON’T:

1. DIY everything. Sure, you had the best intentions. We all did. But sometimes, it’s not cheaper to DIY projects. It’s much, much more expensive, stressful and time consuming. Plan ahead for these items and decide if it’s worth doing yourself, or if it’s time to leave it to the professionals. 

2. Become a bridezilla. This is difficult. It happens to the best of us. You can say you won’t, even believe you won’t, but in the end, we all do at one point or another. My bridezilla moment was around the 6 week mark. It was deep into summer, I was feeling overwhelmed with wedding planning while still trying to maintain a normal life and working in a crazy, understaffed Emergency Department. I flipped out on Cam because he told me he had our bridal party transportation booked, but that actually he hadn’t ever signed a contract and the guy jacked the price up by an extra $300. After a brief screaming spell and a lot of “WHY DIDN’T YOU SIGN A CONTRACT!?”, I had an out-of-body experience and realized what was happening. Then I asked Cam if it was too late to apply to be on Bridezillas. I’ve tried hard not to let that happen again.

3. Feel like you have to have the perfect Pinterest wedding. Chances are if you’re a female and even remotely close to getting engaged, you have a Pinterest board (public or secret) entitled “Someday,” “My Future Wedding,” or “If He Ever Asks” filled to the brim with idealistic wedding venues, perfect photo opportunities, and millions of little details. Sift through them and decide what you actually want versus what you thought you wanted when you pinned it. You probably won’t have time to do absolutely everything on there, and guess what – no one will know but you. 

4. Forget what you’re planning – it’s a party to celebrate your marriage. The party lasts 6 hours. The marriage (hopefully) lasts the rest of your life. Don’t get sucked into the trivial things the wedding industry would lead you to believe are important. If you find yourself fighting with your fiance over personalized napkins, they’re probably not that important.

Sure it’s a short list, but it’s what I’ve had to remind myself over the last 11 months, and I think it’s finally sunk in – I’m getting MARRIED this weekend, and I can’t wait. 

Image

Blurry iPhone photo from dinner last night. These are our “We’re getting married in a week” faces.

 

Happy Wedding Planning, hive!

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