Yes, there’s a lot of wedding advice floating around the internet these days and I’m sure nothing I’m about to say is necessarily original. Nonetheless, I thought I would share my experience of being a bride and what it was like planning and being a part of such a monstrous day. And, just maybe, one of my points will resonate if you too are pulling your hair out and stressing. Not that the entire process felt that way, but at times, yes…there was some hair pulling. All in all though, planning my wedding was incredible and mostly fun and I learned A LOT in the process. The wedding itself was hands down the best day of my life and it all came together just as it should, bumps and bruises included. And after all is said and done, I’m sharing some of my biggest pieces of wedding advice for brides to be:
Choose the Right Vendors and Love Them!!
There is NO WAY our wedding day would have been what it was if it wasn’t for the vendors we hired. Story time: Ryan and I met with a wedding photographer and deep down we didn’t feel like we jived with her. I was about to make the deposit and just go with it, even though I felt slightly disappointed, when we met Kelly and everything changed. We clicked! It was like we were old friends and that connection made all the difference in the world because we felt confident and comfortable. Our day would never have been the same without him. And then there was our florist Janine, our amazing venue, our hair and makeup artists, Jacek chocolates & Rainy Days Bakery…I could go on! Every one of our vendors went above and beyond, and it only reinforced how important it is to select the right people from the get go. BIGGEST PIECE OF ADVICE LADIES!!
More Planning Time Does Not Necessarily = Better
If you have the luxury of choosing your date, I have to say that a longer engagement does not necessarily make wedding planning easier or better. Ryan and I got engaged on New Year’s of 2014 but then due to venue & vendor availability, we didn’t end up getting married until August of 2015!! That’s a long time to be thinking about a single day, people! Once you have the big stuff booked, there isn’t much to do until the wedding day gets closer anyway. So, I had this big chunk of time where all I did was let my mind wander. I started to question my decisions, over analyze things and look at Pinterest way more than a normal person should. Now, I’m sure there are brides who planned their wedding in 3 months and will completely disagree with me – but more time for me was honestly more stressful. It completely depends on the person, but something to consider when planning your day.
You Can’t Have it All
Speaking of ‘ol Pinterest and all those gorgeous wedding websites…they can be a huuuge source of inspiration but, in the same breath, they can create a lot of unrealistic expectations. Ryan and I had a pretty concrete budget and a lot of those glorious floral arrangements, designer gowns and show stopping decor I was seeing everywhere would never fit in with our financial plan. And that’s ok! We managed to prioritize where we wanted to allocate our funds and decided to opt out of some other typical wedding day stuff like a cake for instance. I learned to compromise and stop comparing my wedding to others, which leads me to my next point…
Keep It True to You
I think it’s really important to stay authentic to who you are as a couple through the whole wedding process. There can be a lot of pressure to have a day that fits everyone’s version of the perfect wedding but if it’s not a reflection of who you are then it’ll lose some of what makes it special. Ryan and I chose not to have a traditional ceremony or even a sit down meal; we didn’t want a break between the ceremony and reception, so we chose to have a first look (best idea ever!!) and get married in the evening right where our reception was held. We also wanted to look like ourselves (no crazy dress/hair/makeup for me), have our favourite music be a part of the entire evening and essentially have a big party. That was us! And because we stuck to our guns and did exactly what we wanted, it couldn’t have been more perfect. And our families and friends supported us in all our decisions, even if it wasn’t what they necessarily envisioned. I also had 10 bridesmaids…somewhat crazy yes? But that’s just me, I guess! 🙂
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Things are bound to go wrong when it comes to weddings. For instance, in the middle of the night before our wedding, it started to thunder and pour rain. Our first look was supposed to be outside in this pretty spot where we took the dogs for walks. But, after the rain continued the entire morning, our plan had to change. Was I disappointed? Sure! But I wasn’t going to let that ruin the day. I also woke up with a lovely new pimple on my cheek…and I NEVER get pimples in that area. Was I disappointed? Yup! But that’s why I have the best makeup artist on hand! Other little things went wrong too but looking back now months later, I can’t even remember what they were. Just goes to show there is no point in sweating the small stuff. Don’t add more pressure to yourself because it really is just a single day in your life. And PS – it’s supposed to be FUN!
Eat & Hydrate
This seems pretty obvious but let me tell you why this made the list. The day before the wedding, I had so much running around to do…all the little things had piled up and our massive rehearsal dinner was only hours away. I was an unstoppable machine, getting it all done!! But I literally did not stop to eat. And then at the rehearsal dinner I was so busy visiting and having fun (with a glass of wine in my hand of course), I barely ate then too. As a result, I tried to drink a ton of water before bed to make up for my slight tipsiness, and I woke up feeling so ill in the middle of the night. Thankfully, I felt better the next day after we all got ready but if I had just paused to take care of my body the day before, it would have been so much easier! Eat and drink water ladies!
Take Time for Just the Two of You
And finally…my last piece of advice is to make sure to take time away from all the craziness and focus on you & your man. At several points in the day, Ryan and I would have a moment just the two of us and it helped us to reconnect and soak it all in together. I distinctly remember looking out at all our friends and family together and feeling so overwhelmed with gratitude. It was such a tiny piece of a huge day but it was one of the most special moments for me. When will I ever have everyone I love in one room again? Probably never. So take time to just pause, look around you and appreciate – it goes by in a flash!