9 Things I learned While Wedding Planning

Photography: Jennifer Sosa 

It's hard to believe that it's been a month since Matthew and I got married! Looking back on the day truly feels so bittersweet especially since it felt like our wedding day came and went in a blink of an eye. If there are any brides reading this post, people will tell you "savor the day it goes by so quickly" and you will more than likely roll your eyes. However, trust me it really does goes by FAST! It took one year and three months to get to our wedding day and in less than twenty four hours it was over and done. I remember the next morning being a roller coaster of emotions. I was so happy and couldn't believe we did it, but I also couldn't believe it was over. The reality of the wedding planning process ending set in and It was tougher to let go than I expected. Looking back, I wouldn't change a single thing about my wedding, because I'm a lucky lady to be married to my very best friend (cliche but so true)!

As I'm sitting here reflecting, I wanted to share with you my experience with wedding planning and hope that I can shed some light on how I approached the process! Any future brides, past brides, maid of honors, bridesmaids, and grooms share your experience with friends going through this process. In hindsight, I really wish I had reached out to my girlfriends more for wedding planning advice. It's always nice to hear words of encouragement from someone who's recently been there, so here are my words of encouragement for you!

1. Give yourself time
You may feel like a year (or more) is a LONG time to plan one single day. Trust me when I tell you that I fell into that way of thinking and I put myself in easily avoidable situations. It takes time to plan a wedding and certain milestones should be reached at certain times, there is no way around that. You don't want to be scrambling for a wedding dress or bridesmaids dresses during the few months leading up to your day! I used a simple checklist that I found on pinterest to help me stay on track. Nothing fancy but it did the job!

2. Be honest about what you want your day to look like
Let me tell you, pinterest, wedding blogs, and wedding magazines are a black hole that can really get you spinning into the abyss of wedding planning. I tried my best to keep pinterest and wedding magazines at a safe distance. Once you think you have an idea, along comes a beautiful photo of a wedding and then you're completely knocked off track. Take a deep breath and try your hardest not to succumb to feeling overwhelmed. I couldn't for the life of me picture every aspect of our wedding day and as a creative that was tough. I only could only think of a few things, the color burgundy, long tables, and some kind of vintage estate. Literally that was it. However, I stuck to those three ideas until the end and never wavered. So my advice to you is think of three things you really want and build your inspiration around it! 

3. Remember your values
My photographer told me something that really stuck with me early on in my planning process (I'm not even sure that she knows that this really impacted me). I couldn't decide on how many photographers I wanted or where to shoot photos or what way I wanted the photos to be shot, essentially I was ALL over the map. She told me to really think about my values. I was like um what? It took me a moment to comprehend but essentially she was asking me "what really matters the most to you?" Your values make you who you are and everything else is just fluff. Did I want a beautiful rolls royce to take my parents and I to church on my wedding day, yes. However, what I valued more was the special moment I spent with my parents heading to church together. It didn't matter what kind of car I was in and frankly no one cared but during the process of planning it's so hard to let go of certain ideas even if it means placing a burden on yourself. This mindset really helped me make sound decisions especially when family and friends we're at their most influential.  

4. Drown out the noise
There will be a lot of people asking you questions and putting in their two cents about your wedding planning decisions. There will be a lot of "oh you're doing this, well I did that" too. Find a way to filter out the noise. This process is YOUR own and no matter what it's up to you and your fiancé to make the final decisions on your wedding!

5. Keep a few details to yourself
This might be a hard one for some people, but for me I had to keep a few wedding details to myself. When you start to plan your wedding everyone feels the need to ask you a gazillion questions about what the day will look like, what your dress looks like, what your colors are and it's completely overwhelming. I remember deciding to not show anyone my dress except my mother and sister who helped me pick it out! It wasn't that I felt like my dress was something over the top spectacular that everyone had to wait to see, but I really just didn't want anyone's reaction to disrupt the decision that I finally made after so many bridal appointments. Everyone's opinions are so impactful during your planning process, so keeping a few details to yourself helps you feel that you're still in charge and leaves some things to the imagination.

6. Hire a day of coordinator
Let me tell you, we had zero room in our budget for a day of coordinator...zero. I didn't even want to bring it up to Matthew at the time because I knew it was a stretch. However, I listed out the pros and cons and pleaded my case. When you have a large wedding guest list you have to be extremely realistic about the capabilities of your bridal party and parents the day of your wedding. I knew that I wanted everyone to have a stress free day (including myself) and the last people on earth I wanted to be frustrated with would be one of our parents or members of our bridal party. I planned every aspect of my wedding but was so happy to pass the torch over to our coordinator the weeks leading up to the day. Besides being the most professional, organized, caring, and incredible person our coordinator played a HUGE part in making our wedding day such a success. It was the BEST money we spent.

7. Speaking of budget....
Anyone who knows me knows that I take money extremely seriously and I do believe in creating a wedding budget. I created this huge budget spreadsheet for our wedding making sure that we were on track with what we could spend. However, I really didn't account for the random things that come up during the last month of your wedding. Make sure you give yourself a little extra wiggle room in your budget for these little thing that you don't expect! 

8. Don't be afraid to ask for help
I never realized I had slight control freak tendencies until planing my wedding. I held onto every aspect with a death grip and anyone who asked me if I needed help I'd respond " Nope! I got it, everything is good!" I couldn't let go of anything and it was kind of paralyzing. I finally started slowly but surely letting things go and not even realizing I was doing it. I was just so utterly exhausted that I couldn't fight anyone that asked me if they could help. Don't do what I did, no matter how organized and on top of it you are you're going to need help. It's okay to let go of certain things because honestly you can't do it all! 

9. No matter what, everything will work itself out. 
Yes, we've boiled this blog post down to the most cliche phrase of all time. However, it's the gods honest truth. Everything will work itself out. Leading up to the big day you'll be excited, nervous, anxious, happy, and feeling 10,000 more emotions. I remember vividly feeling all of these emotions but ironically enough the day of my wedding I was so incredibly calm that my sister was shocked. I just knew that everything I planned so diligently was no longer in my hands. I had the option of either feeling all of my emotions and letting it take over or surrendering to the fact that everything will itself work out. I decided to choose the latter and I'm so thankful I did because I was able to really be present in the moment. Sure there were times during the day where I felt a bit stressed. However, I took a deep breath and remembered that this was our wedding day and our loved ones were all in one space celebrating our love for each other. We made it to the finish line!

I hope you enjoyed this post, stayed tuned for wedding photos! In the meantime, share this post and leave comment with a piece of advice for future brides!