Am I an organized person? Yes. Do I enjoy planning (cough cough, micromanaging) tasks? Yes, again. However, with wedding planning, there are quite a few small intricacies that no one tells you beforehand.
The process overall is a lot of fun and a great way to bond with your soon-to-be spouse, so don’t let this overwhelm you. Instead, look to it as a friendly companion in the planning process.
For all the strange traditions, tricky decisions, and family opinions that are ahead, we’re in this together — I’ve got some tips for you! So come along and take notes because I’m laying out the 10 things that nobody told me before jumping into wedding planning!
Photo Credit: Unsplash
What Nobody Tells You
1. The Importance of a Planning Timeline
Not only does everything ride on picking your wedding date, but you then have to Tetris your desired vendors to accommodate the same timeline. A good rule of thumb, if you’re planning a wedding with multiple vendors,** is to plan for a date at least a year to a year and a half out. **
Wondering what steps to take in the meantime? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Check out this wedding planning checklist. Looking for a more streamlined and hands-off approach to managing your wedding timeline? This leads to my next point.
2. The Importance of Hiring a Wedding Planner
As a notorious ‘do it myself’ girl, I quickly shot down the idea of hiring a wedding planner. I cited cost as a big factor, though I quickly realized that the cost of my sanity was a bit higher. Hiring a wedding planner not only eases personal stress, but also has a wide array of benefits that may not initially be considered. They can take control and keep track of important items such as:
- Payment schedules
- Vendor details
If you find yourself wondering “Do I need a wedding planner?” Listen up. Wedding planning services take care of the most minuscule details that you might forget on your wedding day, like a bobby pin or a mint! On the big day, your wedding planner will provide the comfort of having everything under control. The only thing you should have to worry about is being present in the moment and having a good time!
3. There Are a Lot of Classic Wedding Traditions (Not All Great)
I didn’t realize how many wedding traditions exist until sitting down with my family and being bombarded on all sides with questions about how I was going to do X, Y, and Z. From groom's cakes to garter tosses, I was a little overwhelmed thinking of all of the elements of our wedding that didn’t feel like us. I mean, is it really necessary to splurge on TWO cakes?
Learning about the various long-standing wedding traditions made me realize one very important thing: You don’t have to do things just because they are traditional.
4. It’s OK to Make New Traditions
While some of my family was shocked to hear we wouldn’t be doing a garter toss or having a groom's cake, they were excited about our new tradition of a ‘last dance’ between my spouse and I before closing out the night. Not every wedding tradition makes sense in the context of your wedding or even your relationship and that is okay.
A beautiful thing I’m learning through this planning process is that there is no rule book, and how we go about our wedding is entirely up to us. Will our dog make an appearance walking down the aisle? Probably. Do I want a fire pit so my guests can make s’mores? Absolutely!
The point is — this is YOUR day, so don’t be afraid to divert from the norm and make it what you and your partner want. New traditions for your wedding doesn’t have to mean a “non traditional” wedding.
5. Whether You Mean To or Not, Talking About Your Wedding Will Become Part of Your Personality
I wasn’t expecting to be as wedding-crazy as I’ve become, yet here we are. I've been guilty of talking to absolutely everyone about the nitty-gritty details of wedding planning, including (but not limited to):
- My boss
- The cashier at the grocery store
- My pizza delivery guy
If this also happens to you — embrace it! You are in an exciting and unique season of your life. There are a lot of fun ‘firsts’ and bonding moments with your fiancé that can come during this time.** Typically the engagement season isn’t very long and goes by quick, so savor it and remember to be present.**
6. People Don’t Care About Your Wedding Favors as Much as You Think
When planning our theme and reception decor, we came upon the subject of wedding favors. This is an area of your wedding that you could get creative with! We’ve considered swapping traditional favors to get fast-food style ‘midnight snack’ boxes for our guests or omitting favors altogether and instead donating to a meaningful charity on behalf of our friends and family. There’s no right or wrong when planning favors, just don’t let it be a source of stress!
7. There Are a LOT of Hidden Costs
One thing I was blown away by is the wide variety of hidden costs when planning a wedding. There are additional fees for cleanup, wedding insurance, postage for invites, and the most surprising one of all — a cake-cutting fee! That’s just scratching the surface.
8. You Will Likely Burst Into Tears at Least ONCE During the Planning Process
Trust me with this one, I just had a tearful moment recently. Our venue had quoted us for the wrong date, leading to the price tripling (yes you read that right) upon correction. Getting emotional at times is a very normal response to what can be an intense planning process.
Let yourself feel any feelings that come up along the way. Just remember that no matter what happens, or how many times you need to pivot along the way, you ultimately get to marry the love of your life!
9. Everyone Will Have an Opinion
I adore my friends and family members, and I am always grateful for loving guidance and encouragement. However, I was quickly feeling overwhelmed with competing opinions and feelings about how my fiancé and I should go about our wedding planning! Some didn’t like the style of venue we were going for, others disagreed about the best type of food to serve, and a handful even chimed in with the style of wedding dress that would be most flattering on my figure (cringe).
I learned to filter out the noise and respectfully set some boundaries while planning, and I highly encourage you to do the same. There will always be someone who doesn’t like the way you’re doing things, but you have to remember that this is your special day and the opinions that matter most are yours and your fiancé’s!
10. It’s Ok if Things Don’t Go Exactly as Planned on the Big Day
At the end of the day, your wedding is a chance for friends and family to celebrate a happy new chapter in your lives. Don’t let yourself get too overwhelmed with planning! Do the best you can, stick up for what you want, and try not to sweat the small stuff. Just remember that sometimes the moments left unplanned end up making the best memories!
Photo Credit: Unsplash
Just Have Fun With It
Although it can feel overwhelming to plan a wedding, just remember that ultimately this special day is entirely up to you. So many people will have input and thoughts on how you should do things, and there are many opinions to consider.
Visualize what would make you happiest on your wedding day and try to stay aligned with that throughout the planning process. We hope you’ve found a little guidance and preparation in the above musings and are rooting you on as you embark on this exciting chapter! Don’t worry — you’ve got this!