i feel like at the end of the day getting married is a piece of cake (or at least it should feel like it!) and planning a wedding is the hard part. no matter how big or small you go it is always stressful to throw a party, especially such an important one. at the beginning i wasn't completely sold on the big traditional wedding (i have a very big family, so small was really out of the question) and it was actually Bryan that really wanted the big day. in the end, i am glad that we did it and i'm also really glad it's all over ;)
so even though you didn't ask, i thought i would share a little of what i learned...
there is no right way to get married. aside from ensuring that you become legally married at some point (these rules vary from state to state, country to country), there is no actual script that any wedding has to follow. i remember being given a few etiquette books and wedding guides from well meaning friends and then promptly forgot about them and put them on the shelf. for me it was too stressful, we just wanted to do things our own way and not worry about making sure we were doing it the "right" way. it sounds simple, but it made me feel so much better to not feel constrained by rules or guidelines.
spend money on what matters to you. save on the rest. yeah, weddings can be expensive. if you want a particular venue, have your eye on a designer dress, or need to have a certain band you will probably have to pay, but that's ok. focus on what you can't live without and spend the money there. for us, it was photography and the venue. i could have cared less about flowers and didn't even hire a florist in the end (and they still turned out great in my opinion). i also got my dress at J. Crew, had a family friend do my make-up and a family member bake our wedding cake. so you can make it work. go get those designer shoes of your dreams, i mean you only get married once (unless you are a reality tv star).
something will go wrong. it won't be a big deal. it seems like no matter how hard you plan and how well organized you think you are, something will happen (ask anyone). a problem will arise, it will be fixed and you will move on. accept this beforehand and be prepared to calmly address the issue and still enjoy your day. of course this happened to us and it was totally fine, no bridezilla moment here.
consider hiring help. the thought of a wedding planner used to sound so bizarre and unnecessary to me. i can assure you it is neither. we had wedding coordinators that helped us the month before and the day of the wedding. after spending so much time making a lot of the decor and focusing on little touches (in between both of us working crazy hours a week), it was great to have people dedicated to making sure everything was in its place and everything happened when it should. they are not a big expense, but i can tell you it was worth every penny.
and that's all i've got (for now at least). weddings are fun, crazy, wonderful days. enjoy the whole process and make sure you keep in mind the bigger picture: you are marrying the best person ever.
(oh and plan a great honeymoon, whoever came up with that idea is a GENIUS)
photos from our great wedding photographers: sanderson images
i'll be sharing more photos and wedding ideas once i get the rest of the photos back ;)