As I mentioned last week, I have been asked about our wedding and that whole process quite a few times. So, I launched a series called #WeddingWednesday last week, where I’ll be sharing all things wedding, wedding planning, and so on until all of your questions have been answered. I’m really excited about this series and helping future brides know more than I did going into the process of planning a wedding because no amount of hours on Pinterest fully prepares you. Last week I shared The 10 Things That Saved My Sanity When Planning My Wedding. As promised, this week I’m sharing the things I didn’t do so well when it came to planning my wedding and what I wish I would have known!
1 // Ask for help
I was so afraid to ask for help and thought I could handle it all on my own. That ended in me being extremely stressed out and had my friends feeling like I didn’t want them included. Once I embraced asking for help, the process went much smoother. I definitely think there are some things that you should experience by yourself as the bride, but don’t have the “I can do it on my own” mentality when it comes to your wedding.
2 // Practice your first dance
I cannot stress this enough. Practice your first dance, even if it’s simple. Brad and I had no clue what we were doing and I’m sure it looked fine to everyone else, but we felt so awkward. I wish we would have spent a little bit of time refining it and at least talking about what we were going to do.
3 // Don’t rush it
What do I mean by this? You only get to be engaged once (hopefully) and so don’t rush the engagement period. Enjoy it. Enjoy saying “fiance” as much as you can. Enjoy registering, the bridal showers, trying on dresses, and all that comes with this season. It’s so exciting and we are so ready to be married, which is understandable, that we can miss it. I wish I would have taken more time to enjoy the season rather than racing to the next. I posted a blog awhile back about Being Engaged: 5 Things You Should Know,where I shared some good advice about engagement and that season.
4 // Go over the ceremony more beforehand with important people
At my venue, we had our rehearsal the day of the wedding. I was getting ready while they went over it and rehearsed it because all I really do is walk down the aisle. I didn’t get to speak up for the things people didn’t understand or know. For instance, my dad hadn’t been to a wedding in awhile and he didn’t know that they would ask him “who gives this woman” and he had no idea what to say so he just said “me.” It is funny now, but I wish I would have given people, like parents, grandparents, and Brad more information about the ceremony and what would be required of them. It wasn’t a huge deal though, just something I learned from! Main point: OVER-COMMUNICATE what you want and expect.
5 // Don’t compare
I really struggled with this. I got engaged around Christmas time and married in the summer, aka the same time as everybody else. I would catch myself scrolling Pinterest and Instagram comparing the wedding I was working so hard to create to everyone else’s. It just caused insecurity and feelings of “if only”s, when my wedding turned out to be exactly what I wanted. It was a waste of energy but such an easy trap to fall into.
6 // Talk about your first look
We were SO awkward during our first look because Brad didn’t know if he could touch me, kiss me, he didn’t want to mess up my makeup, etc. So, we were surrounded by our photographer, videographer, and planner and we had no idea how to react. It still calmed my nerves seeing him beforehand, regardless of it we were awkward. If I could do it again, I’d have a conversation with him and my photographer beforehand, or with my photographer and relay the information to Brad. I have always loved first look pictures, but besides when I had my Batman mask picture over my face, ours weren’t super cute or romantic. That was no fault of my photographers but we were just weirdos.
7 // Pack up before the wedding
I was so busy leading up to our wedding that I was unable to pack before our wedding. that meant that after our honeymoon, youth camp, and a couple more days following that we had to drive an hour and a half to pack up my apartment. It was a drag and I really wished all my things were in our house once we got home considering I had to pack for youth camp and things immediately after the honeymoon. If you’re moving in with your husband after, pack up as much as possible beforehand because you’ll hate having to worry about it afterwards.
8 // Don’t forget to add tips into your budget
This was something I completely overlooked until closer to the end of our engagement. There are certain vendors that you tip and I had no idea until about a week before. We were already pretty much at budget and then we had to factor in the tips as well. We also had to plan how we would get the tips to them, who would deliver, check or cash, etc. It was something that was a small detail that ended up being much more stressful because we overlooked it. So, be mindful of tipping from the beginning and it’ll help you out so much. You can google what vendors you need to tip and make changes accordingly!
9 // Make time for you and your spouse to eat
We barely ate 2 bites before people were bombarding us. I would recommend having your coordinator bring a plate back into the room where you’re waiting to enter the reception and have you guys eat in there where there are no interruptions. We also didn’t eat any of our cake, which makes me so sad. Seriously, schedule it in and have someone designated to bringing you food.
10 // Don’t save all the little details for the last minute
I did this and it ended up being very overwhelming the last couple of weeks of our engagement because I was trying to make sure everything was in place. Things like plates, napkins, ice, lighter for candles, markers for guestbook, etc. Get these things ahead of time and have a place where you put them all, that way you’re less likely to forget something. My friend, Jordan, got me a wedding box where I stored all my wedding things. Everything from checks, contracts, memories, thank you cards, etc.
I loved planning my wedding and it turned out beautiful, but I am by no means perfect. I had stuff I missed and mistakes I made throughout the process. This is just an overview of the things I actually remember, I promise you there was more.
I want to hear from you, what did you learn post-wedding? What did you miss? What would you change? What do you wish you did better? Let’s share in hopes of helping a future bride avoid making the same mistakes!