WHEW. You guys. I feel like I’ve been engaged for 10 years. Real talk.
Okay, maybe it’s been only been a year and a half, but sometimes, it feels pretty darn close to 10 years. 😉
Today, I thought I would share with you lovelies some wedding planning lessons I’ve learned along the way! We still have seven months to go until our big day (October 7th, 2017), but I have learned SO MUCH throughout this process thus far. This would be a great post for those of you who are recently engaged. Or, if you know someone who is recently engaged, please pass this post along to them!
1.) …. I should have eloped.
(Jk. I had to. This wedding planning process is seriously killing me….)
Okay, for realz…
2.) Don’t let people sway your decisions
When you get engaged, EVERYONE is going to want to give you their two cents. While this is all fine and appreciated (sometimes), remember ultimately that it’s YOUR day. You don’t have to do things just to please others! I have 9 girls in my wedding party, and everyone and their mother always tells me how INSANE I am for having such a large bridal party. But I can’t imagine these girls NOT standing by my side. At first, the comments really bothered me, but then I learned to let them go. It’s my day, and I’ll do what I want! Don’t let others influence the decisions that matter the most to you.
3.) Avoid a long engagement
Please take this piece of advice with a grain of salt. It’s all about personal preference. If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t have set a 2.5 year engagement. The reason why our engagement is so long is because we wanted to have more time to save money, but the years really ended up dragging out the planning process, to the point where sometimes it exhausts me. To be frank, some days I’m so wedding-ed out that I don’t even feel like planning! I think the money situation will work itself out. You will work within your budget and still have a beautiful day.
Of course, this is just my personal experience. Do what feels right for YOU and your fiancé!
4.) Don’t procrastinate on booking vendors
Luckily, because of my long engagement, I’ve been very proactive at getting things accomplished in a timely manner. However, this industry can be very cut-throat. Vendors fill up VERY quickly, so don’t procrastinate! Book the “big” things first, such as the wedding chapel and/or hall, a photographer, a caterer, etc. And then worry about planning the smaller details after!
5.) Go with the dress you can’t stop thinking about
In this previous blog post, I wrote a very descriptive post on how to choose the wedding dress of your dreams, but ultimately, you have to go with your gut. When I went dress shopping, I was in between two dresses, however, the choice was easy. I went with the dress that I could NOT stop thinking about. I just KNEW it was the one! I would recommend not buying your dress the same day, just so you can spend some time thinking about it. Maybe sleep on it!
6.) Start the guest list early
The guest list has been the biggest headache for me so far. Trevor and I are both from the same small town, so naturally, we know TONS of people. I’m still working on my guest list even though I started it over a year ago. I’ve had to make some tough decisions to cut people along the way, and it’s hard. Ultimately, people should understand that weddings are incredibly expensive. If someone takes offense to not being invited to your wedding, don’t take offense. That’s their stuff that they need to work through.
If you are having a large wedding like us, be mindful of the time it takes to narrow your guest list and collect addresses. It isn’t easy!
7.) Take care of your ring
Keep that sparkly baby safe! Insure your ring IMMEDIATELY and take care of it! I tend to lose things often so knowing that Trevor insured my engagement ring did wonders for my anxiety. I highly recommend Jewelers Mutual! They have been exclusively insuring jewelry for more than 100 years and offers repair or replacement coverage for all types of jewelry and watches. Coverage includes loss, theft, damage and mysterious disappearance (unexplained loss). In addition, I clean my ring often to keep it shiny! I highly recommend Jewelers Mutual’s comprehensive Cleaning and Care Guide! It provides you time-based checklists so you can keep your ring clean and cared for all year long.
8.) Have a vision board
It’s important to have some sort of a vision board to help you collect ideas and inspire your wedding planning process. Vision boards can look like a variety of things. My wedding will be very non-traditonal, so I’ve had a blast compiling my ideas on Pinterest. On the other hand, my friend likes to print her ideas out and compile them in a binder. There is no wrong way to go about this process!
9.) Try to pay as much as you can on-the-go
As weird as this sounds, I really enjoy when my vendors require down-payments because it immensely helps with the financial burden. If possible, try to pay as much as you can on-the-go. Ask your vendors if you can set up a payment plan, or if you can put 50% down when you sign the contract. Just make sure you get receipts as paid proof!
10.) Most importantly, be mindful of WHY you are planning a wedding
It’s easy to get caught up in the glitz and glamour of wedding planning. It’s important to check yourself on the reason behind the planning; to marry the love of your life! Remind yourself that the day may not go perfectly as planned, and that’s okay!
Because in the end, it’s not about the wedding. It’s about the MARRIAGE. <3
Feel free to check out my other wedding planning posts that I’ve written so far!
10 Things to Do After You Get Engaged
My #1 Choice for Save the Dates
15 Tips for Wedding Dress Shopping
What 30 Brides Would Have Done Differently on Their Wedding Day
Our Engagement Photos & Our Love Story
****I am not married yet. These pictures are featured in my previous Ice Castles Winter Wedding Styled Shoot post.
Photos by Kallidoscope Photography.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.