The the girl planning a wedding….
Take it all in.
I know, barf right. You’ve heard that before. But I mean it.
Because when it’s over you will feel empty. There will be a big black hole hanging over your head for at least the first week and you won’t be sure how to handle it or what to do with yourself.
- Take in the joy of getting to choose your perfect venue and your perfect dress.
- Take in the stress of dealing with changes, vendors that might back out, miscommunication, and whatever else can go wrong.
- Take it in when all of your loved ones gather in one city for YOU
- Take it all in because it will all go away.
16 months of planning. That’s how long it was for me. 16 months of planning for what?
A damn good time I’ll tell you that!
Your wedding day will be here before you know it. Trust me. It might seem like it is light years away at this point, but just like anything else in life, time moves quickly. And this is no exception. You will only get this experience one time in your life (or at least my hope for your marriage is that you only get to experience this one time). So think about that. How many other things in your life do you get to experience truly only ONCE? Not many.
Now I’m not going to sit here and tell you how to do this or how to do that, or which vendors to choose or any of that. There are plenty of self help pages for that on Pinterest or the Knot. But I do have TWO major tips for you that were so so SO beneficial to me:
- Hobby Lobby: know that shit, use that shit. Did you know that Hobby Lobby ALWAYS has 50% off deals? And they rotate. For example, if I went to the store for flowers and they weren’t half off, I’d come back the NEXT WEEK because then they would be! Same went for some pieces of furniture I got for the wedding, and utilizing their wedding section. If you are there for anything DON’T BUY IT ON THE SPOT IF IT IS NOT 50% OFF. It will be next week, TRUST ME! (except for furniture, that is always 30% off and doesn’t rotate).
- Hire a day of coordinator. I only did because our venue required and holy shit balls it was hands down the BEST forced decision I had ever made. Do it. Trust me. That is all.
And now, for the most important thing you should hear:
This day is about you. And if I’m being honest, the only true stresses that I got out of my wedding planning stemmed from the opinions of others. Sure it’s nice to have others there to support your decision making, but if an opinion comes without first being prompted by you, then brush it off. This is your day.
Make it your goal from the start to not be bridezilla. That was my goal and I have to say besides getting pissed that my family wasn’t on time for pictures and therefore we had to wait and I was hot as a mother from being outside so long only to take a few pictures inside, I’d say that I wasn’t a bridezilla at all. (holy run-on sentence!) And with not being a bridezilla comes with not having unrealistic expectations in your head, which could totally kill the vibe of your day if they don’t play out exactly as you imagined.
I picked out my dress in 45 minutes and with only 6 try ons because I wasn’t looking for something so specific, so overly specific that I couldn’t even design it myself. I wasn’t looking for specific, I let the dress find me.
We looked at 3 venues and ended up picking the FIRST one that I saw online. It was meant to be. I let my bridesmaid pick out their jewelry and shoes and their style of dresses. I let Alex pick out his groomsman accessory (i.e. socks, tie clips, etc.) I got my flower girl dresses online from Macy’s to not spend a fortune and I made nearly 90% of our wedding decor. I let our wedding coordinator display the decor in the venue how SHE thought was best because well, she had done it a time or two before 😉
But above that…
Don’t feel like you have to please everyone. Don’t feel like you have to invite everyone. Think about your big day and who do you picture there? Those are the people who should be invited. Not people who you only met when you were 3 years old and wouldn’t recognize them in person. Not the people who were once a part of your life but aren’t anymore, but you feel like you need to invite them to save feelings from being hurt. This is your day. YOUR DAY.
Know that vendors will try to screw you over. Learn how to be a negotiator. I got a discount from every. single. one. of my vendors because I didn’t accept the first price point given (except for maybe my photographer because we love her). I didn’t do my hair trial because why in the effing world would I pay $75 for a hair style that I AM going to take out as soon as I get home? So I didn’t do it and guess what, they still did my hair. Oh and keep good records, because chances are one or more vendors will come to you the week of the wedding saying you owe more just because they didn’t record it correctly.
If you want traditional stuff done at your wedding then great, go for it! But if you’re like us, then you just wanted to party. And I am so so glad that we didn’t do an hour worth of specific dances (i.e. dollar dance, etc) or that we didn’t make people sit there and watch us try to horridly perform a pre-coreographed dance. Instead, we got the “stuff” done and everyone headed to the dance floor. Where it was packed for the whole night.
Oh and speaking of partying. Let me be the first to recommend having your rehearsal TWO nights prior. Because by the way all of us were feeling the morning after our rehearsal dinner, none of us would’ve been comfortable if it were the wedding day 😀
Know that you set the tone for the wedding. If you’re stressed, it will show. And people will either try to comfort you (which might piss you off more) or they will walk on egg shells. I can gladly say that I had only one 10-minute stressed out freak out moment and was OVER it. For the entire day.
If people ask you questions that are not relevant to YOU. Or they want direction on wedding related stuff (i.e. what to wear) I suggest delegating someone to answer that! If you don’t have any specifics in mind, then don’t stress out trying to come up with the answer. We directed these tasks to other people and I must say that all questions were taken care of by people other than us, and everyone looked rather dashing at the wedding.
If you want specific pictures then MAKE A LIST. I wish I would have made a specific list, but I have to say that my photographer did GREAT. The only picture I knew I wanted FOR SURE was one with my dogs. Were my dogs brats that day? Yep. Did we get a picture? Yep. And if your wedding is outside. Take charge when you are hot. Don’t ask to go inside, say that you are going inside.
It’s okay to go outside the box. And if you’re looking for permission to well then let me tell you some things that we did that were out of the ordinary:
- My bridal party dresses were not the same style, nor were they all the same color
- We did not exchange our own personal vows at the alter and rather did a private exchange
- We did not know our pastor personally before the day of the wedding
- We didn’t do pre-marital counseling
- We didn’t take dance classes
- We didn’t pre choreograph a stupid dance
- We booked our cake and cupcakes without even sampling first. The reviews were good enough
- We didn’t use real flowers. Not even my bouquet
- I didn’t give 2 shits what people other than my wedding party wore on the day of the wedding
- We didn’t save the top layer of our cake. Our freezer is small and we eat healthy so that thing would sit and sit and sit
- We did not do the garter dance, just the garter toss
- We did not do the dollar dance (put your money elsewhere people)
- We did not go on a honeymoon right after the wedding. We’re waiting a whole year
- We lived together for 3 years prior to the wedding
- I didn’t do a hair trial
- We did our own make up
- We had our rehearsal two days before the wedding
- I didn’t invite everyone that I had ever interacted with in my life
And some things that I wouldn’t have done, had I not been talked into it by important people in my life
- A bridal shower
- A gift registry
I just had a really hard time asking people for gifts just because I found my soul mate. Still is a weird concept to me- like hey I found love, now give me gifts!- always will be.
At the end of the day. Enjoy it. Take it in. Both the planning process and the actual wedding. Because people tell you that it goes by so quickly, but what no one told me was that it goes by so quickly that it turns into one big blur. I’m still finding that I’m like OH yeah that DID happen! And wishing that we had taken more pictures on our personal phones to show behind the scenes. A total blur. But one hell of a partying, rowdy, fun-loving, fairytale type of blur.
Last tip? Get a go-pro, and let that shit do it’s own thang.
The new Mrs. Buehler
And if you’re a guest of the wedding, someone in the wedding party, or family. Here is my note to you
BE ON TIME AND DO WHAT YOU’RE ASKED! The bride and groom have a million things to do and are being pulled in a million different directions. They do not need to wait on YOU. Be respectful.
That is all I have for you