Weddings are amazing – there are no if ands or buts about that. But what there are questions and groans about are the many things you don’t know before you delve into your wedding planning. We get brides all the time that say, I wish I would have known that before I started planning, so I thought let’s make a list! Through a combination of personal experience from all of us at the store and from clients here is our we wish we would of known list!
1) How much weddings cost – Although cost is hugely dictated by a bunch of factors (number of people, open bar or not, level of extravagance etc) you truly never realize how much everything costs until you have to open up your wallet…. They are not inexpensive. Although this may not seem shocking, you will be shocked how much things cost.
2) Guest List – SUPER TRICKY! The question is always where do you draw the line, maybe you aren’t close with one side of the family or you don’t want children from one side. Regardless the guest list, it is rarely ever easy. You want if possible both sides to be represented fairly equally, this can be challenging if one of you has a huge family. How many friends do you invite? Do you want more friends than family? Be prepared this can be a doozy.
3) Wedding consumption – It is so overwhelming when all anyone really wants to talk to you about is the wedding. It completely swallows your life, make sure you make time to do anything and everything outside of the wedding. You need that time together. If you find yourself getting annoyed with people constantly asking, just kindly say I’m a bit wedding’ed out, can we chat about the wedding later.
4) Uniqueness – If you find yourself being one of the last ones of family or friends getting married or you are just looking for something unique IT’S HARD! With Pinterest and blogs and everything else at your fingertips it is costly, time consuming, and challenging to be super unique.
5) Decisions – Oh goodness gracious this is where we want the most help. Every single thing requires a decision. What do you want for food? Where do you get your make up done? What is our budget again? I don’t like those flowers, can we get these ones? What time should our ceremony be? The list is truly never ending. I wish someone would have warned me about all the decisions that never seem to end. You are still making decisions on your wedding day – it literally never ends, sorry for the bas news.
6) Timing – Calculating the timing for your wedding can be quite a challenge. When do you start your ceremony (what kind of ceremony is it, civil? catholic? greek orthodox?) When can your guests check into their accommodations? You need two hours for pictures and if you want to mingle in cocktail hour. When do you want to eat dinner, how many courses is it and speeches? When will the reception start? Really, really, think about the flow of your days events.
7) Pictures – In order to get ample amount of quality shots (its not easy to smile that long, even though it is the best day ever) you need about two hours, especially if you want extended family shots. Sometimes depending on if you prefer the more traditional approach or are good with mixing it up you can take photos before the ceremony so you can have cocktail hour with your guests or just take a few photos instead of all of them. Additionally, research ALL of the photos you want and give your photographer a list.. you did pay for it.
8) Don’t Sweat It – Although you have worked super hard to make everything go seamlessly, your guests don’t know all the intricate details of your wedding don’t sweat if something doesn’t pan out! It will still be the best day ever and makes the day that much more memorable.
9) Weather – When having an outdoor wedding you are praying to the rain gods for no rain but you forget to pray for reasonable temperatures, instead of 36 degree weather. So pray for perfection 😉
10) Invites – Those devils are expensive! Postage is also insanely expensive, especially when you have to pay return postage as well. So what did I do, I made email invitations. I printed out hard copies for grandparents and parents, but there are so many free online tools to create online invitations – huge cost saver! However, some key information to place on your invites are: Dress code, Children or no Children, Open Bar or not.
11) Wedding Party Gifts – If you ask any of us we will say without hesitation you need to buy your wedding party members a gift. We know weddings are pricey but your wedding party between (bachelor/ette parties, attire, showers, gift, makeup, hair, nails etc) they have spent a lot of money to stand next to you on your big day and they deserve a huge thank you for all their time and effort to make this day one of your best days!
12) Time Flies – I know everyone will tell you how fast your day goes but seriously listen. You will blink and it is over! You are on such an adrenaline high, so excited with so many emotions you just fly through the day. Try to take a moment for you and your significant other – really take every moment in.
13) The Importance of Food and Water – I know you are wearing a beautiful dress and don’t want to spill anything on it or risk getting bloated but you seriously need to eat something and drink lots of water. The day takes a lot out of you and before you know it, you could be drinking too many wobbly pops or feeling light headed.
14) Thank Everyone – People travel sometimes from far and wide to be a part of your special day, make sure you thank all of your guests! It is only courteous!
15) Family Before Business – A word of caution is to leery of hiring friends or family for your wedding. You are friends and family first. Remember that. They may give you a better price but sanity and good standing relationships are invaluable.
16) Music Matters – Having people loving life on the dance floor all night makes a wedding. This is also your day, so you don’t want to hear certain things, tell them! You want your guests to dance the night away, so give them the music to do it!
17) Rehearsal Dinner – While yes this can be crucial to have everyone meet and mingle (because realistically some of your wedding party may not know each other) be careful of the time you are having it. There are lots of things to do that day and its next to impossible to remain on time – sorry just being realistic! So choose the time of dinner carefully, there is no rush, take a deep breath.
18) The Power of ‘NO’ – You are allowed to say no. Let’s practice. No… Noooooooo. Negative. Non. Nay. Nein. Ne. Ingen. Nem. Look you’re getting the hang of it. There are times for compromise, yes’s and NO’s. Know your boundaries.
19) Choose Your Wedding Party Carefully – Cannot emphasize this one enough!! Choose people who love you unconditionally, who will bend over backwards for you, who will not think selfishly, who always have YOUR best interests in order. Hate to be the bearer of bad news, sometimes this doesn’t mean family.
20) Forever Starts After Your Wedding Day – If you ask a lot of married people we answer the same. I love them more now than the day I married them. Choosing your life partner is a big deal, its someone who makes you a better person, who knows how to make you smile in the worst of times, who spending a day at work away from is too long, who if they are by your side anything is possible.
Just some things to keep in mind when preparing and planning for your big day. This day is about you and your significant other and your love for each other. It’s gathering a group of people for a celebration, so sit back and enjoy the experience!
Urban Diamond White
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