I’m up late again. The last two weeks night after night I can’t seem to make it to bed earlier then 11:30. When I was working my daily schedule was consistent. In bed by 8:30 and up the next day at 5:00 to workout before heading to the office. Some nights I’d stay up till 10:00 and I always regretted that decision when peeling myself out if bed the next day. Since leaving my job, I have more time yet have a busier schedule and nothing is consistent. I stay up late to finish tasks and sleep in. I work out in the middle of the day in between tasks. I take my time in the morning instead of shoving food down my pipe and rushing out the front door. So, there have been some trade offs. Did I mention that I am also planning my wedding? That word should say it all right there. If you’ve gotten married it’s a good chance you understand what an undertaking the planning can be for this one day. Yes, one day, that’s all you get. I couldn’t have understood until I was in it myself. I tried to educate myself with books on how to do. I never finished them. There has been so much planning and organizing and decisions to be made. Some moments I’ve wanted to pull my hair out, I’ve cried out of frustration and dreamt about all tasks that have to get done. I consider myself to be an organized person and a planner and some of the time the process hasn’t gone to plan. After I got engaged, I gave myself three months to really enjoy my engagement. During this time I was also living in Europe and living with my fiancé. However, I knew that once I moved back to the states the planning would be in full swing. There would be many late night to come. I wanted to share with you what I’ve learned so far in planning my wedding day. This is just my experience as yours can be different.
Enjoy the engagement:
Becoming engaged is an exciting moment. You and your partner are announcing to the world that you are choosing each other. All your family and all of your friends are excited for you both and want to share in the excitement. There may be engagement parties, lunches, and bridal showers. I got engaged and then moved with my fiancé to Europe. Living over seas together and traveling around was very magical. We set up a home there, grew vegetables on the patio, made our own beer, bought patio furniture, cooked meals in a foreign kitchen, entertained friends and family who visited. I look back at pictures and can still feel what it felt like to be there at that time. I have wonderful memories of a simpler existence. I really did enjoy this time of my engagement when I lived in Europe. Upon returning to the states I immediately started working and began to plan our wedding by myself. At times it has felt overwhelming and I didn’t enjoy being engaged or planning my wedding. A lot of late night phone calls with my fiancé discussing plans and making decisions. Some decisions that would later change, completely. In these moments it was harder for me to enjoy the engagement. I made it a point to continue to celebrate with friends even as my life became more hectic.
Choosing whom you want to stand beside you, help you on your big day and help you through the planning process is a big deal. I took some time to really think about those ladies that have been excited for me from day one. You can have as little or as many attendees as you wish.
Finding the dress:
Be open. Your mind may change from what you think you wanted to what you actually buy. Try on all the styles, even the ones you think you’d never wear. Besides, its fun to put on the Cinderella ball gown. I knew that I wanted my dress to have lace and I wanted elegance. On Pinterest I saw pictures of beautiful lace bodices and long sleeve lace that ran to your finger tip. The dress I chose did have lace and it has no long sleeves. Invite your bridesmaids, your mother, your mother-in-law etc. Celebrate the moment. Expect to have all eyes on you. And when you cry that is “the dress.”Trust you intuition. I liked a lot of the styles. The one design that I ended up choosing I cried as soon as I looked at myself in the mirror. I knew it, I felt it. So, that was my choice. You don’t have to purchase your dress in store. Do your research, most times it can be found online for a fraction of the price and be new and in good condition.
When help is offered, take it:
I’ve learned that people want to help. In planning this wedding by myself I took on a lot of the decision making. My fiancé was deployed and there were times that I couldn’t talk to him. Thank fully my family and his jumped in to help, offer suggestions and let me know that they were around if I needed them. You can’t do it by yourself, especially as it gets closer to the date.
Be honest with yourself and your budget:
I initially chose a venue because I didn’t want to be bothered with the stress of setting up and breaking down. I wanted a venue that would do it all. With this being said I didn’t realize that it would cost us more. An all inclusive venue with different packages to suit your budget sounds awesome and if you have the means to go that route then go for it. I didn’t understand at first that what we would be paying for is the food, tax and gratuity. It was a bit outrageous. Make up a comparison chart to see the breakdown of where the majority of you money is going. Call around, do research.
Decide on how much DIY you are willing to do and start early:
I am a creative person and I love to make things. Naturally with the wedding planning, I did a lot of the decor myself and I started early on. I chose a theme and feel of how I wanted my ceremony and reception to be and I went to work. Be flexible to your ideas changing. I did purchase some of the decor items at vintage markets and second had stores, made frequent trips to craft stores too. One of the projects I started early was flags for the guests to wave the moment we say “I do.” This idea changed many times and I ended up spray painting sticks in our colors and attaching ribbon and bells to the end. I thought sewing the fabric for the flags would take too long and in reality the new idea took just as long to make. I’m so glad I started early. Be realistic with your time and energy and wallet. Don’t forget the wine.
Make a list of all that needs to get done:
Trying to remember on your own is not going to work. Even if you have the best memory. There is too much to do and as the day get closer you will be bombarded with all the planning and executing. A large wall calendar helps too.
Take care of yourself:
Eat well, get plenty of rest, exercise. Oh, and don’t forget to laugh. It’s a great stress reliever.
When it gets hectic, remember why you are choosing to get married. I am constantly reminding myself of this. I have 10 days to go until our big day. I am busier then ever and getting excited. I’ve decided that three days prior to the wedding day I will stop stressing. What ever happens, is going to happen. Until then, there will be plenty more late nights as I wrap up the planning. It’s going to be a wonderful wedding and beautiful weather.