As a bride who has been there these are some words of advice that I would pass on to other brides beginning that adventure called wedding planning.
- Choose your favorite colors for your wedding. Even if you have to change the shade depending on the season. The whole experience of putting my wedding together was enriched that much more as I shopped for everything in my fav color PINK! Pretty Pink flowers, pretty Pink dresses, pretty Pink party favors....you get the idea. It is so much fun to watch your wedding come to life in your favorite color. If your groom doesn't like the color too bad. We already know who's doing all the work so he'll just have to get over it.
- Don't sweat the small stuff because they really don't matter. Trust me, I know. I am the bride after all who discovered her cake was the wrong color as she waltzed triumphantly into her reception venue. Did it ruin my night? Heck no! I didn't even try on my shoes or my jewelry with my dress before hand and it was just fine. You may not believe it at the moment as you toil over yet another project or laboriously search for just the right shade of pink for your name cards but at the end of the day or night you will remember the moment you said I do or how wonderful you felt in your dress more then you will remember if you had napkins with your names on them or not. Get what you can afford and if it's not in your budget forget about it. You probably don't really need it anyways and it's not likely to make or break your wedding. Of course you have to fret a little. You are a bride after all and this is important but don't feel bad about things you can't afford, obsess over mundane details or overburden yourself with projects that you don't really need. My only DIY project incidentally was my centerpieces. If you are just crafty and enjoy it great. Pick and choose what's important. If that still means a zillion projects on your to do list then so be it but don't say I didn't warn you.
- Don't wait until the last minute on anything. You might think you have time but you don't. Your wedding will sneak up on you like a thief in the night and you won't know what hit you. Luckily, I didn't do this but I can only imagine how stressful that would be. I saved links to all my research so when the time came to act on something I had only to go back to it and didn't have to start from scratch to make decisions or move forward. I planned ahead and did a little bit here and there even if it felt "too early" so by the time the wedding rolled around I was not totally overwhelmed.
- Utilize a day of planner. If you can't pay for one hire a friend. I rolled my eyes at that one. I certainly don't need a planner. My wedding is simple. What would I possibly need a day of planner for? But simple turned into me rushing from the moment I got up and barely being able to take a breath until just before our ceremony started. Even if I had a friend who was in the know on my simple centerpiece set up that would have helped a lot. If I had it to do over again I would still not budget for one but I would have a friend be responsible for day of details instead of trying to do everything myself.
- Don't take pictures right before your wedding. I take that back do it. So, I guess this is just a word of advice that it can really press you for time AND that it's really cool to have that private moment where you see each other for the first time. It doesn't have to be at the end of the aisle with all eyes on you to be special. I cried when I saw Mj outside our hotel before we went for pictures. We didn't do engagement photos and it's not like we are ever going to wear those outfits again so I'm glad we did but it sure was difficult to squeeze in. What limited time I had prior to the ceremony was now cut that much shorter while we were at the park. I guess that's where #4 hire a friend planner idea would have come in handy.
- Make time to relax the day of. See #3 & 4 above to assist you with this. One of my bridesmaids who couldn't make it to the rehearsal dinner drove in and out of town just for that one day. So busy was I setting up, getting made up and taking pictures that I didn't even have a chance to sit down and chat with her. I would have loved to enjoy a leisurely glass of wine and chat with my bridesmaids and my sisters that day. There was no leisurely shared girly moments of anticipation. Instead, I was a whirlwind. I got an early start but still it was go, go, go and the reception was more of the same so I really missed out on just getting to BE and take my time in the moments leading up to the ceremony.
- Wear comfy shoes. We've all partied the night away with a huge smile plastered on our face and an extra awkward bounce in our step as we try desperately to disguise the limp resulting from those hot shoes rubbing a hole in the heel of our right foot. Just don't do it on your wedding night. If your dress is big enough your shoes will hardly be noticeable at all and it's one less thing to worry about. I wore a pair of cute silver gladiator flats that I found at Macy's and my feet were not a source of discomfort at any point during the night. Granted, I might have been too tipsy and happy to really notice if they did hurt but still.
- Stick to your budget. As much as I LOVED my wedding I don't want to associate that day with financial burden and debt. If you start to feel a longing sense of sadness as you peruse wedding magazines filled with pictures of things you can't afford see #2 above, turn the page and get on with planning YOUR wedding.
From My Blog: Because Everybody Has A Story