How did you handle differing of opinions between your parents and in-laws throughout the process?
The only person who I really differed in opinion with was my mom, and it was only on a few, minimal details. She is more traditional in her thinking of a wedding – all white, fancy, traditional. I was not that way. It took a little coaxing and convincing on some points, but at the end of the day, she wanted what I wanted, so it all worked out! It can be a delicate situation, though. Emotions are elevated – it’s an important day with a lot of expectation, so it can be easy to be super sensitive. Communicating and being patient are really important things.
Anything you wish you would’ve done, but didn’t?
I wish I’d had more time to greet and chat with everyone who attended! The day went by so quickly and there was so much going on that I didn’t get to talk with everyone. Other than that, there isn’t anything that I felt like we were missing!
Any ways to save money?
There’s a ton of ways to save money when planning a wedding! The best thing you can do is go through a list of all of the things that you think of when attending/planning a wedding – venue, food, drinks, dessert, favors, DJ, videographer, etc. Rank them by importance and determine which of them you can do without. Once you have your narrowed down list, go through and brainstorm ideas to DIY it — do you know someone who is an amateur photographer and will shoot your wedding for a discount? Do you know someone who is super organized that can help you with the planning so you don’t need to hire a planner? Things like that can make a huge difference in the final bill. Try not to get sucked into all of the traditional expectations of what should
be at a wedding. It’s your and your husband-to-be’s day – it should reflect you guys and be true to who you are.
Did you do wedding favors?
We did not. Pretty early on in the process, I knew that was something that we would likely skip. It used to be expected to have favors, but it’s shifted more to being a personal decision. About halfway through the planning process, I wanted to take on the task of making everyone a candle to take home with them – one that had the scents of the day – but quickly realized that was a task that I just couldn’t take on. So, we didn’t do favors!
How much was Mike involved?
I would say mike was pretty involved. He and I had talked a lot about what was important to us, what we pictured for the day, etc. I made sure to get his opinion on what was most important to him and also find out what he didn’t care about at all, so that I could make those decisions in meetings. The only meetings he attended were the tasting and with our DJ to select music. All other meetings were with my mom because she was helping me with all of the design for the day. He was always willing to share his opinion when I asked about specific details and was really good at keeping things in perspective for me when I got overwhelmed. I’d say we were a good team throughout the process!
How did you know what dress you wanted? Did you go in your comfort zone or branch out?
The dress I ended up wearing for our ceremony and dinner was the first one that I saw online and the first one that I tried on at Bhldn. So, it was meant to be! I loved that it was a bit traditional, but also a bit different. It was comfortable, fit like a glove, and I knew that Mike would love it. It was a no brainer really. But then, I tried on my second dress and couldn’t decide! The second one (which is what I ended up wearing for our dancing) was super comfortable and a bit more relaxed – something that would be really easy to dance in, which is what I was planning on doing during our entire reception. It was classified as a “party dress”, which meant that it was a fraction of the price of a “gown”. Once my mom and sister saw it on me, they convinced me that I should get both and wear them both! The chance to wear two dresses that I absolutely loved on my wedding day? Yeah, I’ll take it.
Do you have any tips for staying present on your day?
Oh gosh, this is so important! I don’t know that I have many tips, though, because as hard as I tried, there’s still things I don’t really remember! If possible, try to make a schedule for the day that allows you to have some time to breath and take it all in. Our first look wasn’t until the early afternoon, so I was allowed the entire morning to have breakfast and get ready with my bridesmaids – that was precious time! It was good for me to relax a bit before it all started and I was able to have fun with my girls. Having time with just Mike during our first look was wonderful. We got to really soak in the moment and the day with each other for a little bit. If you can, just keep reminding yourself to stay focused on what is right in front of you! If you get easily caught up in things, ask your maid of honor or bridesmaid to remind you to take it all in every once in awhile!
Something else that really helps to stay present is to have the right perspective and expectations of the day. For me, the most important thing was the Mike and I were becoming husband and wife. Obviously, I wanted everything to go as planned, since we spent so much time and money planning the day. But, I knew in my heart that, even if everything went wrong, it would still be one of the best days of our lives.
How did you and Mike focus on Christ and a lifetime or marriage, not just the day itself?
Neither of us are particularly emotional, so we didn’t really get caught up in all the hype of “it’s our wedding day”. Obviously, we were both very much looking forward to the day and saw it as an important day, but we were also very outspoken about the fact that it is just one day
. At the end of it, no matter what happened, we would be married and that was what was important. Did I get caught up in the tiny details of the day and get overwhelmed? Of course. It’s bound to happen. But, I would always check myself and remind myself that the single most important thing happening that day was the commitment that he and I were making to each other – everything else was just details.
We went through a pre-marital class with our church, which was beneficial! It can be very easy to get caught up in the details, stress, and pressure of planning your wedding day and forget what that day actually represents. We talked through important things like roles in our household, what it means for him and I to be a family, how our immediate family shape our expectations for marriage, etc. It was really good for us to have conversations about and focus on our marriage versus our wedding.
What role did the groom’s parents play in planning?
Mike’s dad’s girlfriend was a great help to me! She completely took over the rehearsal dinner and helped in planning and organizing my bridal shower on his side of the family. She and his dad are both relaxed, laid back people, so they were mostly along for the ride! Looking back, that was probably the most helpful thing during the whole process – having people around who were supportive and willing to help, but also without expectation and happy with anything.
What was the most important thing for Mike?
The biggest thing for him (and me) was making sure that some of the most important people in our lives were involved in our day somehow. We had my brother-in-law (who has been a big influence on me, and subsequently Mike) officiate, our dearest friends in our bridal party, Mike’s cousin do a reading, etc. We wanted our wedding to not just be about us, but also the people who have supported us and been by our sides (together and separately) throughout our journey.
What did you use for new, used, borrowed, blue?
I didn’t really do the whole new, used, borrowed, blue thing! I honestly didn’t think about it and nobody around me made a big deal of it. Thinking back on the day, I did have something that fit into each of those categories though! A bracelet from my mom, a new (and blue) undergarment 😉, my earrings, and bobby pins (not sure that actually counts, but I’m going with it).
What order should you go in when planning?
Square away the most imporntat things to you first – venue, date, vendors, officiant, etc. After that, just fill in the holes! Booking vendors and a venue are probably the toughest, especially if you’re getting married during peak wedding season, so make sure to do that as early as you can.
How did the polaroid guest book turn out?
It was okay! Some people used it, a lot didn’t, which is what I expected. We wanted to put it out for the people who are used to and enjoy writing in some sort of guestbook, but didn’t have high expectations for it. I certainly don’t regret doing it, especially since it was minimal cost, but it wasn’t an important thing for us.
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