Sharing the insight I have learned while planning my own wedding!

Hello babes! 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!

10 Lessons I've Learned Wedding Planning |

1.) …. I should have eloped.

(Jk. I had to. The two- year engagement can be rough at times, BBs.)

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!

10 Lessons I've Learned Wedding Planning |

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

10 Lessons I've Learned Wedding Planning |

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

10 Lessons I've Learned Wedding Planning |

****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.

  • Chels this is all fabulous advice. I’ve heard a lot of these from friends who went down the aisle, the number one thing was “plan for a 9 month engagement, anything longer than that is torture”

    I’ve heard “elope” a few times too 😉

    I can’t wait to see how all this planning turns out, I’m sure it will be beautiful!

    Laura @

    • Oh god yes! TRUST SOMEONE WHO KNOWS. lol

      Thanks for reading, as always, Laura! XOXO

  • Courtney

    Love this! I had a long engagement (23 months!) and even though it was hard, it certainly allowed for many lessons to be learned! Clearly, the same thing is true for you :) I love the idea of a vision board, as well as down payments early! The less you have to stress about later, the better!

    • Yeah! gah! So you agree…NO long engagement sessions!!! 😉

  • These are all awesome tips, Chelsea! My vision board was super helpful to me. I planned mine in under 7 months! Lol Agreed on taking care of your ring – it’s so important!

    • I should have went the route you did!!! haha

  • I agree with you on every single one! At the end of the day, it’s about you + Trev. No one else’s opinion can or should sway your decision-making process more than you two!

    Coming Up Roses

    • Exactly. Thanks for your love and support, babe! xo

  • These are amazing tips! I’ll definitely keep this in mind for my own wedding!

  • Awww! I totally agree with you on #3. My own engagement was probably too short for most–I was engaged 5 months…but it was plenty enough for me. We had a fairly simple wedding with about 100 guests in my family church, so that was very do-able. My sister will be engaged about a year by the time her wedding day gets her and I know she sometimes feels like the time is dragging…and sometimes goes crazy over how much stuff there still is to do!

    • Oh yes, very do-able! Sounds like a beautiful wedding <3

  • Love these! You sound like you have your head on straight during the planning process! Love the last point, it’s important to remember when everyone is putting their two cents in too!

    • Yes:) Thanks so much, lovely lady!

  • I’m not married or engaged, but I thought it would be fun to read this anyway. It’s really cool to read your thoughts. It always amazes me that people feel free to share their thoughts on something that you’re planning (#2). Just because I might do things one way and you’d do things differently doesn’t mean that either way is incorrect. It’s all about what’s best for each individual person.

    And #10… it’s so, so true! Weddings are fun and magical and beautiful, but in the end it’s all about the marriage.

    • RIght! Thanks so much for stopping by, love! You are always so kind on my blog, and I don’t take our friendship for granted!!

  • Such great tips girl!! I agree with you on booking the big things first and then the smaller things. I would hate to have someone I really wanted for a vendor book up. The whole everyone putting in their two cents…..I am a very blunt and honest person, so if someone tried to sway me,etc I would have to shut that down real quick. It’s great to have help along the way but again it’s your wedding. Thanks so much for sharing this!!!

    • I wish I was more like you! I have trouble telling people sometimes how I feel, especially when they are trying to help! Thanks for your thoughtful words! <3

  • Kelsie Kleinmeyer

    I definitely think it’s good to remember that it’s about the marriage and not the wedding! I also would agree that a shorter engagement would be easier- it would be hard to go that long for sure and the planning can take a toll on you. I bet your wedding will be so gorgeous!

    • aw thanks Kels! It’s been fun but I’m kind of excited to get it over with! haha

  • I think those are great tips! I am sure your wedding will be beautiful, but as you say, the most important part is the marriage.

    • Exactly ! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Taylor Kim

    I am recently engaged and am just barely, barely starting planning! I really enjoyed all of these tips, and definitely agree with getting your ring insured! I had one of my little diamonds fall out after only a month, and thank god we had it insured…I really enjoyed reading all of your tips, thank you for sharing!! :)

    xo, Taylor

    • Shut up, that is terrible! I’m glad to hear it was insured..thank goodness!

  • Lisa

    Great tips. I have been married for almost 12 years and sometimes I wish I had Pinterest back then but sometimes I’m kind of glad I didn’t. I think there is more pressure these days for amazing DIY wedding.

    • Seriously! I’m not doing much DIY for my wedding. I don’t like those kind of projects. I’d rather just fork out the money and have it done professionally!

  • I promise you’ll miss it when its all over! I was engaged for ummm 3-4 years? 4 I think. But now that my beautiful wedding is said and done (and I don’t plan on remarrying 😉 ) Im so sad! lol. I can’t even look at the wedding stuff on Pinterest anymore. lol!

    • aw omg! You are going through withdrawals! lol

  • YASSS! We had a 10 month engagement and sometimes I feel like that was two long. We went like 3-4 months without doing any wedding related things. I hope you enjoy the last few months of wedding planning. The last 3 months will seriously fly by!

    • That’s what I’m thinking. We are just about at the 6 months mark, thank goodness!! So excited to see your pictures, and for your big day!

  • Love what you said, its about the marriage and not the wedding! I think you are doing a fab job planning your wedding and I am sure you will make a stunning bride love.

    xx, Kusum |

    • Aw thanks Kusum. I adore you! xo

  • Jordyn Upchurch

    These are all amazing tips! I’ve been married for almost two years now and although it was a lot of stress and a lot of money…I would do it all again because I loved celebrating the most wonderful aspect of my life-my love for my husband!

    xoxo, SS

    Southern And Style

    • Right!!! That’s the thing. I don’t feel bad splurging because it’s the celebrate the most important thing in my life!!