Planning a wedding should be one of the most joyous moments in your life. But, it comes along with many pitfalls of its own. Here are the 5 things nobody tells you when planning a wedding!
Pinterest can be an amazing tool when planning a wedding! It can also quickly suck the air out of the fun and excitement you initially felt in the very early stages of your engagement. Remember the moment right after you said yes? You were probably filled with the joy of sharing the news with your friends & family. From there, you were left with a feeling of excitement at the idea of planning a wedding with the love of your life. Maybe the wedding day ideas were already beginning to swirl around in your mind.
Pinterest is a great place to start, a great place to get fresh ideas, and a wonderful way to bring out creativity when planning a wedding!
However, it’s also an amazing place to start second-guessing yourself and losing your mind. Before you know it you’ve fallen down a Pinterest rabbit hole of color palettes. Suddenly, you’re left with decision fatigue at the thought of choosing a tone for your cloth napkins. This exact scenario, the decision fatigue, the endless Pins of countless ideas, happens to everyone!
Searching Pinterest is a great starting point when planning a wedding. It’s also an amazing tool to use to have fun coming up with something completely unique for your wedding day. But when you think of your wedding day, what is the absolute first thing that comes to mind? Is it a photo of what your dinner menu, chargers, and cloth napkins looked like before your guests sat down? Or does your mind’s eye produce an image of you getting glammed in your wedding day suite with your bridal party by your side?
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Maybe the “take your breath away moment” that you’re picturing is reciting your vows to the love of your life with your friends and family looking on. Or, you immediately conjure up an image of yourself on the dance floor, in your gown (or tux!) dancing the night away as the sound of Whitney Houston’s “I wanna dance with somebody” fills the air. Doesn’t the thought of dancing until your feet hurt fill you with more joy? Versus getting swept up in the layout of your table setting?
It’s so easy to get lost in the “inspiration” by creating board after board of your dream wedding. And it’s happened to all of us who have planned a wedding since the dawn of Pinterest!
But it’s even more important to remember what your wedding day is really about!
Trust us, nobody ever left a wedding and talked about the pretty napkins that were laid out. When guests remember a wedding, it’s often for the experience they were left with. Guests often recount how special and fun the couple made everything. They’ll talk about the amazing food you served, and the unique entertainment you delighted your guests with! And for that, you don’t need a Pinterest board!
Dealing With Unsolicited Opinions
Dress shopping has to be one of the most exciting and important experiences! When planning a wedding, typically, the first thing that you and your fiance will do is set a budget. From there you’ll book your venue, and photographer, and purchase your dress. Not necessarily in that order, but those are usually the top 3! After that, you’ll be inundated with choices. So many endless choices that you didn’t even know existed. And while you and your fiance are busy doing battle with these choices, everybody you know will suddenly have a strong opinion. And they’ll be more than willing to voice it.
Back to dress shopping for a minute though! Slipping into that first dress, or jumpsuit, or tux (even if it’s not “the one”) makes it all feel so real. The excitement of your upcoming wedding day comes right to the surface as you get ready to walk out of the dressing room and show it off to the friends & family who accompanied you to your appointment. Do you see where we are going with this one yet?
Many bridal shops have a limit on how many guests you can bring when shopping or going to a fitting, and that is for a very specific reason. Everyone has an opinion. And suddenly the voices of 5 different people are in your head making you second guess how you felt before you walked out of that dressing room door. Which can quickly sour your dress shopping experience. Hence the limit.
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The unsolicited opinions, only really start with the wedding day attire. It’ll continue on to the dinner you’ve selected, your theme, your color palette, and on and on. Those around you will be more than willing to share their opinions with you, even when you haven’t asked for them. So being prepared with go-to phrases and setting healthy boundaries is the best way to deal with their opinions while still enjoying the wedding planning process.
While it’s important to be prepared to deal with these opinions you have to find a way to do it that will not take away the joy of planning your wedding. If it helps, have a phrase ready to deal with unsolicited opinions. Something like, “Thanks, I’ll take that into consideration”. Or, “We haven’t gotten to that yet, but I already have some ideas in mind” And from there, the conversation can respectfully move on. Because the truth is, the only opinions that matter the most when planning a wedding are you and your finance’s. If you have parents or relatives that are financially contributing to the wedding, then yes, their opinions will matter from time to time as well.
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Don’t Lose Sight of the Big Picture
You’re having a wedding to bring everyone together, right? Because if your goal wasn’t to bring everyone together then you would’ve just run off to city hall. Is there anything wrong with a city hall wedding? No, not at all. But it serves a different purpose than planning a formal wedding ceremony and reception with a full bridal party and guests in attendance. And with that, a formal wedding is not just for you as the couple, it’s for your friends and family too! It can be very easy to lose sight of the big picture of bringing everyone together when you are in the weeds of planning a wedding.
This could be the very first time that your friends and family are meeting each other face to face. How exciting is that?!
Can you imagine your college friends meeting your Grandma for the first time? Amazing! To ease some of the first-time meet and greets and to make sure your guests spend the night actually having fun instead of just running around getting the formal introductions out of the way, the first thing you’ll want to do is set up your Guestie account. That way everyone can say a great big virtual hello and have a way to put a face to the name once the big day arrives! The formal introductions will be out of the way and you and your now husband or wife won’t have to spend the night bouncing around from table to table. Because it’ll already be done ahead of time!
When you start the process of planning a wedding, it’s important not to lose sight of the big picture. Your wedding day is bringing everyone together. And your wedding day is just as exciting for your family and friends, as it is for you! Minus the nerves and butterflies though!
The love that you and your fiance share, is what is bringing everyone together on your wedding day. And ultimately, it’s what will now seal them all together as one big community to support you both.
If you do Find Yourself Feeling Overwhelmed
I’m not sure that I’ve ever met a couple planning a wedding who didn’t feel overwhelmed at some point. Seriously! You might be saying to yourself, but we plan to hire a wedding planner. And to that, I say, amazing! Because a wedding planner will help you budget and timeline and plan, and when I say plan, I mean to a degree. Ultimately the decisions of what it is they are planning will be up to you, so you will still need to be involved up to a point.
When you feel yourself hitting the point where the overwhelm has set in, it’s important to recognize it. But more importantly, it’s time to stop. Yes, stop planning your wedding. This is not a scenario where team “no days off” will get you the best result. This is a scenario where you will quickly burn out before your wedding day arrives. How awful would it feel to be completely numb to your wedding day when it arrives because you were so overwhelmed throughout the planning process? Nobody wants to think of their wedding day as the final chore on their to-do list.
Here’s how you can help prevent or quell some of the wedding planning burnout!
Take some time (a night, a week, days, it’s up to you) from talking about or planning the wedding. Spend some time reconnecting with your partner. Chances are between work and the hectic task of planning a wedding, you haven’t had a good old fashion date night in a while! If you think that just going out to dinner alone isn’t enough to put a full stop to the wedding planning overwhelm for a night then find a fun, or quiet activity to do to pass the time! Anything that you find joy in that will help distract you.
On the same token, plan some fun activities with your bridal party, and let them in on the “no talking about wedding planning” rule. If you have a larger group for your bridal party plan a spa day or some mani/pedi pampering. If your group is more on the active side, then hit the driving range, a yoga class, or a hiking trail. Something, anything, to have some good old fashion fun! This group of people that you adore so much are all assembled at this very important milestone in your life, take advantage of this time together!
If those ideas don’t work and you feel that you’ve exhausted every option to help alleviate the overwhelm of planning a wedding, this is where you should ask for help.
Your partner, the wedding planner you hired, your bridal party, your parents, and that super close aunt or uncle. Reach out to them and ask for their assistance! You’ll be surprised to see how many people show up for you when you need them the most. But only if you give them the chance to! Let your bridal party and your friends and family help make the wedding planning process smooth and enjoyable.
Experienced Based Celebrations are the new Normal
The way that we celebrate weddings has completely changed! It almost feels like the way we celebrated life events pre-pandemic were wrong in a sense, you know? Maybe not wrong, but we’ve found a way to do it better! When we couldn’t have Birthday Parties, we put banners and balloons on our lawn instead. But when we couldn’t have weddings, they just kind of stopped. Sure a few couples opted to have a micro wedding while waiting for the day of their “bigger” wedding.. But there was no way to get around recreating the experience of a wedding day celebration.
Now that weddings are back, are they bigger than ever?
Not necessarily bigger, but they are different!
They are more connection and experienced-based. And more importantly, weddings are about everybody coming together as one. But, above all, weddings have become about cherishing those moments as a memorable experience for everyone in attendance. It’s about putting down your phone and dancing like nobody is watching. It’s about losing track of time because you’re having so much fun. It’s about enjoying that second slice of wedding cake, because, why not?! And it’s about glancing over and catching a view of grandma being served up a shot while standing side by side with the groomsmen at the bar! It’s about surprising your guests with delicious late-night bites from local favorites (and yes, In-N-Out will come to your wedding!) and it’s about everyone leaving your wedding and talking about what a great celebration it truly was, for years to come!
Photography by: Theresa Kelly Photography