If I had to plan my wedding again...

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A few weeks ago, I read a post by Helene from Helene in Between titled "If I Had To Plan My Wedding Again" and before I even clicked on the link, I felt like I already had a lot to say about the topic. I wanted to write my own version of the post, so here goes... Thanks for the idea Helene!

First of all, let me say this: our wedding day was one of the absolute happiest days of my life. We got everything we wanted and then some and could not have been more blessed to have everyone there to celebrate with us. Our focus for that day was not on creating a big show or having the most incredible food or playing the best music to keep people dancing until their legs fell off. Instead, we wanted the day to be focused around our guests and the union of two families. We wanted a casual and relaxed environment that didn't force everyone to sit in the same room for five hours where dancing was the only activity. We wanted everyone (vendors included) to have a good time and really feel like they were a part of our celebration whether they had known us for twenty years or they had known us for five minutes. Based on the comments from our attendees I'd like to say we achieved our goal.

Here comes the but...

While our day was absolutely incredible and appeared to be totally "easy and breezy," it did not come about miraculously without a mountain of stress and a TON of tears.

Now, it's possible that this was amplified by the fact that Mike and I were going through a lot of transition at the time and this added to the pressure and chaos of planning such a big event. We were house hunting, trying to organize multiple budgets, managing job changes, moving, and trying keep everyone happy in the process. But I do honestly believe that our wedding day could have been planned and organized with fewer breakdowns had we done a few things differently.

I know the minute every bride slips on that sparkly ring, she thinks to herself, "There's no way wedding planning has to be as stressful as everyone makes it seem. This is going to be a fun process and I won't let any of the drama get in my way of planning the perfect day." At least that's what I thought to myself the day Mike proposed. It's just not the truth.

Everyone wants their day to be perfect but no matter how many hours you spend slaving away over colors, centerpieces, schedules, and seating charts, there are always bound to be a few bumps in the road.

So here are a few things that I would do differently if I could press rewind...

1. Sit down and define a budget with everyone that wants to be a part of the wedding. It's much more helpful to have an exact number in your head when you start looking at venues, caterers, dresses, and vendors. It's tough to get an idea of what you can afford when you don't have a clear picture of how much money you're working with from the start.

2. ENLIST THE HELP OF FRIENDS AND FAMILY! I did not do this NEARLY as much as I should have. I'm a control freak - it's no secret. I tend to think that I can handle everything on my own because I like to have the final say. I feel the need to know what's going on with every step of the process so that nothing goes wrong. While this seems like a nice idea, weddings are a lot of work and virtually impossible for one person to plan. There is a lot to keep track of and you simply cannot do it all on your own. Take advantage of those offering to chip in! You won't regret it!

3. Choose your wedding party very carefully. You want people beside you that are going to have your best interest at heart and not try to push their own agenda or shift the focus to themselves. You don't need that kind of drama and that's all I'm going to say about that.

4. Possibly enlist the help of a wedding planner or coordinator - or find a friend that can act as one for you. There's a good chance that if I could do it all over again, I would have at least investigated the costs of a wedding or event planner. It's nice to have someone that allows you to choose how involved you want to be in the process and takes away the responsibilities you don't want to deal with. From what I've seen, the couples I know that have used a wedding planner (or even just a team of creative friends) to keep them on track have had a much more enjoyable planning process overall. Having someone who coordinates everything for you takes a lot of weight off of your shoulders. While it may cost a little more in the end, it may be worth the investment.

5. NO ONE WILL CARE IF THE FONT ON YOUR FAVORS MATCHES THE FONT ON YOUR INVITATIONS. Or if the color of your linens is the exact same shade as the bridesmaids dresses. Or if your hair looks funny in that one engagement photo your mom chose to frame for the guest book table. Or any of those other ridiculous details that you spend weeks and months stressing over. All people will remember when it's all said and done is the happy bride and groom and how much fun they had celebrating your love. So, don't sweat the small stuff. (Seriously, don't.)

6. Things will go wrong. Learn to accept it and breathe through it. Vendors you love may accidentally double book you and cancel, your dream venue may close shop, your florist may suddenly stop contacting you a month before your wedding, your photographer may lose half of your photos - something (or sometimes multiple things) will get screwed up and cause you to panic. I wish I could say that this wasn't true but I have never met a bride that hasn't gone through something like this. The key is learning to roll with the punches and understanding that you have no control over these things. Just remember to focus on why you are getting married in the first place and that it (probably) won't matter even a year from now.

Is there anything you would do differently from your wedding? Or, if you're not married, is there any advice you would give to new brides-to-be? I'd love to know! Feel free to share in the comments below!


  1. I feel like you and I have a lot in common. :) I didn't want to depend too much on my friends/family so I did pretty much everything alone - from invitations to table settings, to place cards, you name it, I probably did it. I knew I could count on my bridesmaids, but sometimes I like to work on my own schedule and make sure everything is to my liking - ocd, maybe?)
    But I definitely agree with maybe looking into hiring a day of coordinator, at least. We were lucky one of our closest friends stepped up to be ushers, and to coordinate everything with the dj. They saved the day! :)

    1. That's awesome! It's so nice to have friends who can help out. Fortunately for us we had an awesme caterer that stepped in to coordinate everything on the day. And I hear ya! I am definitely a little ocd when it comes to the important stuff like this!

  2. haha to #5. I'm sure no one noticed but you :)