You have finally reached that next step when you are getting married. Have you already started thinking about everything and imagining that BIG day? Are you confused, excited, happy, optimistic? Or you worry about how you will achieve everything?
Relax and enjoy planning the perfect wedding by first getting to know these 10 mistakes to avoid.
So here it goes:
1. Not hiring a planner sooner.
When we first got engaged, I went through a few distinct emotions before finally hiring Alison from Love and Laughter Events. The first was obviously pure joy and excitement. I couldn’t wait to become Brennan’s wife. It’s all I’d ever wanted and the thought that it was now our reality was the best kind of overwhelming excitement I’d ever felt. The next emotion that came was stress. Suddenly, I realized that getting engaged also means planning a real wedding. I learned VERY quickly that this was not a strength of mine. I wanted to work on my new-ish business, not my wedding. With that realization came my next emotion: guilt. I felt like a bad fiancé. Like I had done something wrong and was failing as the quintessential bride-to-be.
Why wasn’t I as obsessed with every minute detail as brides before me? What was wrong?
The answer: nothing was wrong. Wedding planning just wasn’t a strength of mine! I had other things I wanted to devote my time to, and the thought of adding a wedding onto that list was nearly crippling. After 4 long months of venue hunting and attempting to convince myself I could do it alone, I finally gave into the reality that I NEEDED Alison. That’s where the next emotions come in. Clarity and calmness. Alison took over and I felt like I was going to be taken care of through this process. She knew what she was doing, made everything run smoothly and efficiently from start to finish, and was truly an answered prayer.
I can not recommend getting extra help enough. Even if it is not in the budget – that was the reason I kept telling myself we couldn’t do it. Here are SO many planners out there who are willing to work on a plan that coincides with your budget and timeline. Just keep hunting for the perfect fit and I promise you it will be worth it. And don’t forget that everything is on a payment plan! It’s not all due that day – so think of it more as digestible payments every few months.
2. Establish clear communication with your fiancé from the beginning.
Admittedly this was not something I did with Brennan. Instead, I expected him to read my mind, as we do, and unfairly set him up for expectations he wasn’t even aware of. I tried to take on the tasks by myself, which lead to me feeling burnt out and as if I had no help. But whenever I told Brennan what I needed help with, he was there immediately (duh) to take care of it.
This all leads back to communication – make sure you’re always clear on your expectations with your fiancé; this will make the process run that much smoother. Just because you feel like you need to handle all the details, doesn’t mean that it’s true / the smart thing to do for your sanity! Plus, you want your wedding day to be a reflection of BOTH of you.
3. Keep calm, but keep everyone in the loop.
Another mistake I made was being almost too lax of a bride. A lot of my bridesmaids and family members were left out of the loop until the last minute, mostly because I was just not aggressively planning things. I also didn’t want to be overwhelming or wedding-obsessed, completely blind to everything else going on in the real world. BUT, in my attempt at trying to be super chill about everything, I realized that a few emails here and there to keep everyone up to date on the plans wasn’t “bridezilla” – it was just common curtesy for those who needed to make specific arrangements.
No one likes being left in the dark, so find a balance with this. Maybe create a shared google doc with all information they can easily access at any point in time when they have questions, or appoint one bridesmaid as the lead (can easily be a maid or matron of honor task) so that she can come to you for updates as needed.
4. Take your bachelorette trip earlier than later.
We did my bachelorette at the beginning of August – a solid 2 months before the wedding date. Traditionally some girls take it as you get closer to the date, but I’m SO happy we did it well in advance. Brennan, however, went on his bachelor party in the middle of September because that was his only option with his work schedule.
When he returned, he brought along a cold from traveling (partying), which inevitably got passed on to me. Thankfully it’s since subsided, but getting a cold 3 weeks before the big day is very NON IDEAL. My advice is to take both trips 2-3 months before the wedding day so you can truly rest, detox and keep yourself healthy the month leading up to the wedding.
5. Stop traveling and taking on big projects the month before.
I failed miserably at this. In hindsight, I wouldn’t change a thing because each trip was SUCH a blast. But the stress I put myself through 2 weeks out from our wedding was completely avoidable. I took 3 major trips in September, and when I got back I realized I had about 10 days to figure out everything I had been pushing aside for the wedding.
Thankfully nothing was a “too late” type of situation, but the stress, anxiety, and tension I brought into our home was not fair / healthy. You want to be as calm as possible, not blaming your partner for details left undone (especially when you didn’t communicate them in the first place) or losing sleep because of the to-do list that’s building in your mind every night.
Give yourself WELL enough time to take everything in and mentally and emotionally prepare for what’s to come.
6. Don’t hold onto any negative feelings towards family members / friends / anyone involved in the big day.
I’ve never touched on this part of my life before, but my relationship with my parents is difficult at times. I waited until the absolute last second possible to find out if my dad would be present at my wedding, which was another emotional strain I shouldn’t have put on myself. I also waited too long to let out tense feelings I wanted to address with my mom.
But once both tasks were finally done, another weight was lifted and I experienced almost immediate Peace and joy toward our upcoming interactions at the wedding. If you hold onto any unexpressed tension, it’s just going to eat you up inside and make the wedding stress feel that much more difficult. Do yourself a favor and stop carrying the weight of others.
Express how you’re feeling, and let them take the pressure off your shoulders. You can’t change anyone, but you can be honest and vulnerable. At least you know your feelings are out there to be addressed and hopefully solved.
7. Don’t stress about your shoes!
This is not necessarily a mistake I made. I didn’t give a shit from the beginning what my shoes looked like (there’s no other way to word that politely because I feel extremely passionate about this). It is SO DUMB how much emphasis we put on a pair of shoes that you most likely won’t even SEE / you will probably be taking off to enjoy yourself anyway. I paid $400 for the first pair of wedding shoes I purchased. Only to realize they were too tall and too ivory for my dress.
The vibe didn’t work, and I knew from the second I opened them that it wasn’t right. Still, I didn’t return them until my seamstress blatantly said “no, these are terrible.” (Stunning shoes, just not with my boho vibes dress). I promptly left her studio only to end up at Century City mall where I purchased a basic pair of Steve Madden ankle strap 2” block heel and a pair of clear vinyl Zara heels. Both of them cost me less than ONE of the shoes I had originally bought. I ended up going with the trust Steve Maddens and kept the acrylic heels for the rehearsal dinner.
Moral of the story:
If you aren’t going to be able to see them, then DON’T LET THIS TINY DETAIL BE A BIG THING. Unless you plan to HANG the photo of your wedding accessories somewhere (?????). Or you’re not worried about absolutely thrashing those $900 pair of heels you’ll be wearing once. Pick up a pair of the comfiest things you can find and enjoy your life at your wedding. Nobody’s got time for blisters or the confusion of who’s going to be in charge of the backup shoes you plan to change into (again, making said wedding shoes completely pointless). END RANT.
8. You can listen to everyone’s opinions, but don’t let them influence your own.
I didn’t have a ton of this happen (mostly because I unintentionally kept everyone somewhat out of the loop). But, I did notice the tension build inside of me when people would strongly suggest something that I didn’t agree with. Of course it came from the most loving of places – everyone just wants to help, which is great!
But when it comes to your day, the only opinions that matter are you and your fiancé’s. Even if parents are helping monetarily, it’s YOUR day. YOU are the one who is building your dream wedding, not their dream wedding. So do your best to put your foot down.
Whatever didn’t feel authentic to us as a couple, didn’t make it into our wedding day. There are a few traditions that we threw out. We wanted to spend more time on the dance floor with our friends and family. After all – that’s the best part of any wedding. The best feeling is to look at a day that’s 100% built around your vision as a couple.
9. Research pre-marital counseling in advance.
I’ve been dreaming about this ever since I was little. Not sure why, but it sounds so fulfilling, the idea of taking some sort of pre-marital class with my husband-to-be. It kills me to say this but I totally dropped the ball on this. I thought it would be way easier to find something that would work with our schedule and our wedding date.
The marriage course at the church I like in Santa Monica starts THE DAY after our wedding (LOL). And other options had since past when I found information on it. I even reached out to a Christian-based therapist to inquire about pre-marital counseling but never heard back. Needless to say, I should have done my homework. If this is a priority, do not save it for the end.
There’s no right or wrong time to partake. It can be right when you engage or even after the wedding (what we plan to do). But be wary of your timeline and available options.
10. Don’t make an unrealistic to-do list everyday.
Realizing lately that this is a huge downfall of mine in general. I like to get everything out of my head and onto a “to-do” list. But then at the end of the day, there are 15 things I DIDN’T DO because the list was way too damn long! I think it’s safe to say that very few humans can actually go go go ALL day long and conquer their to-do lists daily. If you do, then please call me because I need to learn your ways or hire you as my assistant.
Don’t set yourself up for failure, because then you will inevitably cause ourself distress. You’ll find yourself feeling down, thinking negative thoughts about your productivity abilities, and it will just ruin your mood. Instead, make a “dump” list everyday of things that are wracking your brain. Out of those items, pick the very most important ones that have a deadline, and tackle accordingly.
Better yet, keep 2 separate to-do lists. One for your normal life tasks, and another for wedding tasks. You can even set aside an evening each week to have a yummy date-night in with your favorite win. Devote time to talking about what’s next on the to-do list. Communication, wedding planning, and date night all in one? Boom – couple goals.
Whether you’re battling the wedding planning process by yourself (and your partner) or if you have the planner of your dreams. Just take a breath and realize that you’re not the first to go through this. You will make it!
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