I read every advice post I could find. I knew what should be in my emergency kit, and I was completely on top of all to-do lists. I had thought about all the things brides forget about, and I had thorough Pinterest boards done by category. I even had my DIY projects planned well in advance.
Despite how excited I was (and am) about my marriage, despite how awesome our loved ones are, and despite how much I love projects — I HATED planning our wedding. I almost called it off several times (elopement please!), and thought for sure the day would NOT be worth all the stress, and all the fights.
I believe my experience would have been a bit different if I had read this advice first…
When choosing your wedding party
They tell you how to pick your wedding party and what their responsibilities are, but they don't equip you for what follows. These are the people who will be beside you leading up to, and on, your wedding day — them AND their personalities, strengths AND weaknesses. Choose them wisely, or at least be prepared to handle situations in which their personality might conflict. Be sure to surround yourself with only, or at least enough, positive people, who are good in “a crisis,” who can support and keep focused on the vision for the day, and whom you can love even if (or when) they unknowingly hurt you.
When choosing your bachelorette party guests
Although it is a GREAT excuse to get out and have fun, you do not have to invite everyone to your bachelorette party. Keep it to the people who respect you, your preferences, your marriage, and who know what YOU want in order to have a good time. For girls like me, we tend to get lost in what others want (“please can we stay at the dance club another hour?!”) instead of doing what we had originally wanted all along (to return to the hotel for interactive games before early work schedules sent girls home).
When something is worrying you
If something is worrying you, address it directly. Worried it will rain? Come up with a back-up plan you also love. (Even if you don't love it just as much and even if it means somehow coming up with an extra $900 you don't REALLY have for a tent). Dreading your DIY bouquet? Trust in your crafty bridesmaid. Your custom wedding dress falls through a month before the wedding? Go out and find a ready-to-wear back-up.
When you're gung-ho for DIY
I am a project girl all the way, and I don't mind repetitive tasks. I thought DIY was perfect for me and would save us so much money. What I was NOT prepared for was having the storage for all of the projects. We were constantly surrounded by 100 decorated wine bottles, 300 coffee filter flowers (over 1500 coffee filters btw), our giant chalkboard program, seating chart, and schedule, all the dinner plates, all the cake plates, all the wrapped silverware, all the rehearsal dinner needs, floating scissors, paint pens, twine, candles, centerpieces, DIY place card settings, guest book components, the 800 paper butterflies I folded and strung… Trust me when I say, it will overwhelm you, even if you love it. Even if you're organized.
When dress shopping
I read all the posts on wedding dresses too. I knew not to put too much weight on the “ah-ha THE ONE” moment. I knew which sites to stay away from, and which to check out. I thought I wanted one style but tried on another anyway. What I could never have read anywhere was how I, myself, make a decision about a dress I had never shopped for before, for an event I had never experienced before. Listen to your own heart and your own desires. If you can't hear them, take time to yourself to listen before buying anything.
When eating on your wedding day
All the blogs say “eat eat eat.” But if you're anything like me, my nerves allowed zero food to go near my mouth without my stomach turning. What worked for me — take a shot (or two depending on you), then utilize those drunk munchies to get something down. And make sure to eat at all other times — as soon as you wake up in the morning (before all the excitement), and save a plate for late at night (when you're still awake and now, all of a sudden, you're RAVENOUS).
When you should delegate
They say “delegate, delegate, delegate” in all the advice blogs too, but I'm specifically talking about delegate on the day of your wedding. The wedding day is packed full of things that need your attention, and the 800 folded butterflies you made won't be a priority for you. So much will go on behind the scenes while you get ready and enjoy your beautiful day. Those butterflies will fall into a growing pile of “fuck its” (rightfully) IF they're not delegated.
When all of that being said and done…
No matter how stressed you are, no matter how ready you are for it to be over, no matter how many different emotions you have going on about everything and everyone… hang in there. It WILL more-than-likely be worth it in the end. And if it isn't… share your story, and laugh about it in the years to come.
Ready to share YOUR story? Leave a comment with the lessons you learned (or are still learning!)