Ah, the sweet smell of wedding season. Wedding dress trunk shows, bridal hair ideas blowing up my Pinterest feed, booming florist businesses, BHLDN sales, all the great stuff. The wedding planning process is such an exciting time, but sometimes it seems like we can get so sucked into the prep that we stress ourselves out and forget a few key things. As a newlywed, I hope that some of these tips I wish I knew and followed will be helpful to those of you in the midst of planning your best day ever!
1. ENLIST SOME HELP
Whether it means hiring a wedding planner or a few close friends or family, don’t plan this shindig alone. There’s so much scheduling, budgeting, and processing to be done and it’s nearly impossible to do it by yourself and retain your sanity! We tried that route with David and I’s wedding, and about seven months into our 10 month-long engagement, I finally gave up and found Taylor, AKA the greatest, sweetest wedding planner ever. Taylor helped organize all my frantic, messy planning I had attempted to do and gave me tons of advice herself as a new wife. If you don’t live in the Atlanta area and can’t hire Taylor, or if you don’t currently have a team surrounding you in this planning process, please do yourself a huge favor and get help – at least have a day-of coordinator to be there to help things run smoothly! You won’t regret it!
2. PREP FOR EMERGENCIES
Put together a day-of emergency kit. Very important. Prepare a bag full of things you’re most likely to forget in the excitement of your upcoming big day – bobby pins, your phone charger, deodorant, tissues, etc. The night before our wedding, I realized I forgot all of my shower needs – shampoo, conditioner, bar soap, the works. Luckily, I stayed in a hotel that night, and my husband didn’t seem to mind that my hair smelled like cheap hotel shampoo on our wedding day. Unless you want to end up like me, definitely pack your bag of extras at least three days before your big day, and keep a checklist inside the bag so that you can be sure not to forget anything! Here is a super cute checklist printable that’s perfect for the big day!
3. DON’T SKIMP ON PHOTOGRAPHY TO SAVE MONEY
Okay, I already knew this one, but I’m so glad we didn’t – our wedding photos turned out AMAZING (biggest props ever to Michaella) and I’ll probably feature a post on here soon showcasing my favorites!
4. CHILL OUT
During our entire engagement, a lot of the advice I received from new and old brides was that the entire day will go too fast to stress over, so spare yourself that stress during the planning. Totally wish I listened to them, because they were so right. Most of our wedding planning process (and unfortunately our engagement) was some of the most stressful months of my life. I was a wreck up until our wedding date, then I realized how I should have listened to all of the wise women who told me how much it wasn’t worth it. It’s true, your wedding goes by in a blink and all the things you spent hours, days, and weeks stressing over will be there and gone before you know it. You’re also more likely to get sick the week of your wedding because of all that stressing (I definitely did), so load up on Vitamin C and listen to the folks who have had weddings of their own and take their advice – chill.
5. CUT THE UNNECESSARY, AKA YOU PROBABLY DON’T NEED WEDDING FAVORS (OR OTHER THINGS YOUR GUESTS WON’T MISS)
While planning our wedding, I constantly had to stop and ask myself, “who actually cares?” If the answer was about 4 people, half the time I would trash the idea. And if I realized I was only planning something because “it’s just what you do at a wedding,” I probably trashed that idea, too (can we be real for a second and say that some wedding traditions are just plain dumb?!). Such was the case with wedding favors. Unless you have some seriously awesome and useful ideas and a budget for it, probably no one will miss your wedding favors. Especially if they have great food and music, they won’t notice that there’s no monogrammed matchboxes at their seats to take home and never use. Also, individual wedding programs – seven people will keep them. Four of those people are your parents and grandparents, and the other three guests will find them at the bottom of their junk drawer two years later and then throw them away. Just save your money.
6. DON’T FORGET TO EAT
This is much easier to forget than it sounds, especially in the morning when you have the wedding day jitters! Have someone in your wedding party bring you breakfast the morning of, and keep a few non-messy snacks on hand before the ceremony. The morning of my wedding, my sweet sister brought me breakfast because I definitely forgot about eating! Also, ask whoever is planning your wedding (day-of coordinator, close family/friend) to make sure you eat after the ceremony and before the reception – you may plan on eating at your reception, but there’s a good chance you won’t either due to excitement or due to everyone wanting to congratulate you and your groom!
7. WORK ON YOUR UPCOMING MARRIAGE MORE THAN YOUR UPCOMING WEDDING
The wedding is just one day, yet we seem to spend more time and energy making that day perfect and we forget about that little part called marriage that follows. It’s much more important to make sure that your life together is a thriving one. Invest in your soon-to-be husband/wife. Go to premarital counseling. Don’t get so caught up in planning that you forget to go on dates. And on those dates, don’t discuss the wedding. Your engagement is a sweet time in your life, so cherish it! No matter what, your engagement and wedding day will still feel like it flew by – just do your best not to rush it even more. If you focus more on your marriage and less on your wedding, when you return from your honeymoon, all the wedding day craziness is over, and life hits, you’ll be prepared to take it on together!
Here’s an extra tip: Before you leave your wedding reception, make sure you have your keys if you’re heading back to your house… David and I definitely got back to our apartment and realized that our house keys were nowhere to be found, so we sat in our wedding attire until my sister could bring us our keys! It made for a sweet and funny memory, but if you can help it, definitely make sure you bring your keys with you!
Do you have any tips for upcoming brides and grooms on their wedding day? Any crazy wedding planning/wedding day stories you want to share? Post it in the comments below!