If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t. Our wedding day was the best day of my entire life. It was beyond perfect and we are so blessed to have the wedding we did, but there are a few things I want to share with you because if you’re engaged or know someone who is, this will probably help a lot.
It was tough for me because I’m young so a lot of my friends aren’t married yet, honestly probably 2% are married and everyone in my family has been married for a long time now. It was for sure a learning experience.
Here are my tips for you:
1) ENJOY BEING ENGAGED
If I could do it again I’d wait 1-2 months before planning the wedding.
I focused waaaay too much on the wedding and not enough on my, at the time, fiancé. We didn’t enjoy it as much as we should have. Don’t get me wrong, it was wonderful, but the entire year we were engaged I don’t remember talking about much besides the wedding. I’m probably being dramatic but it seemed like everything we did in that year was for the wedding. Now that it’s all over, I wish we would’ve went on more date nights and enjoyed the little things more than we did. It didn’t help that we were long distance for 6 months out of that year and the last 6 months were the months right before the wedding and we went straight into a wedding shower, bach parties, etc.
Just remember being engaged is a small chapter in your life that doesn’t last very long at all.
2) MAKE YOUR GUEST LIST BEFORE ALL ELSE
IDK why I didn’t do this! Or no one told me! You can’t pick a venue if you don’t know how many people are going?! You can’t know how many people are going until you make a guest list. Ours changed until the day before, so I know it’s not going to be set in stone, but you do need to sketch one out for a head count. You don’t want to look into venues if you don’t know how much space you’ll need.
Also, more guests means more money. Let’s get into money.
P.S., Guest lists are tricky, but we’ll talk about that in tip #4.
3) MAKE A BUDGET
Yes, every blog says this (like almost every blog, I know), but seriously. Get your numbers together. Cut back on things you don’t need, like shopping at Sephora every month, or going to dinner 2x a week.
Once you see how much money you can save from the time you start planning up until about two months before the wedding (everything is usually paid for a month before the wedding at the latest), you need to price things out. See how much you need to save to have the wedding you want. We went over our budget and the only reason why is because we didn’t expect things to be so darn expensive. We weren’t totally clueless, we knew it wouldn’t be cheap, but we didn’t know it would be THAT much.
I mean we spent over $10k on just the photographer, cake, decorations, bridesmaid/groomsmen gift, wedding singer, hair, makeup, accessories, honeymoon.
That isn’t including the band, the dj, the dress, and most importantly a venue.
We couldn’t afford a videographer because we went over budget and we really wish we would have gotten one. Those cost about $2k-$4K. YEAH, CRAZY.
So before you do any type of planning, make a budget. It’ll make choosing a venue a lot easier since you know you can look for venues that offer certain things like, alcohol, wedding planner, etc.
4) DONT FEEL BAD FOR WHO YOU DONT INVITE
People are going to get mad or upset regardless. Even if you invite everyone you want and everyone who “wants” to go, there will still be people upset they weren’t invited. We have friends we haven’t talked to in yeeeears, some hadn’t even met my guy and vice versa with Justin’s friends and they expected an invite. I would def invite the entire world if I could and if weddings were not ridiculously expensive. But truth is, they are expensive and you can’t invite just anyone.
We cut our guest list down a lot and towards the end it was nice cutting people off the list because at the end of the day it wasn’t who “should” be invited or who “wants to go”, but we made ours with happy hearts when we finalized our list based off these two questions, “would they be happy to share this day with us because they’re happy for us or because they want to party?” and “would we be sad if they weren’t there?” Because at the end of the day that’s all that matters. Don’t go crazy and cut your grandma and crazy aunt off the list though, try to be realistic when it comes to immediate family. In the end, it’s your special day.
5. ASK FOR HELP
People don’t want to make waves during your wedding planning process because if they’ve been there they know how hectic it can get for the bride. So, people are usually more than happy to help but that doesn’t always mean to pay.
Ask your bridesmaids to help decorate for your shower. Ask your aunts to send you ideas for decor. Ask your mom to be honest with you when things don’t look good/seem like a good idea for your wedding. And most importantly, ask your future spouse for help. I totally underestimated my husband when we went through the wedding planning process. I put so much stress on myself because I figured, he’s a guy, he doesn’t care about this. When in reality, he cared so much. Once I started asking him for help and advice on wedding stuff, it got fun and way less stressful. And remember, it’s his day too!
6. GET A VIDEOGRAPHER
My biggest regret was not getting one. I’m still pissed about it, lowkey. Because, we didn’t budget properly and add it into the mix. I’m telling you, it goes by SO QUICK. I remember bits and pieces and some of it is such a blur because it happened so quick and we were having so much fun. Pictures are amazing, but I wish we could relive that day a little better. I know it’s a lot of money, but if you can get a videographer please get one. You will regret it more if you don’t than if you do.
7. MOST IMPORTANTLY, RELAX
YES, relax. This only happens once in your life (if you’re lucky), so enjoy it all because it will fly by. Before you know it you’ll be married and celebrating your two year anniversary before you can even grasp the fact that one of the most important days of your lives is over. I mean I’m still not over it.
I was a bride, I’ve been there and done that. If you have any questions about weddings or planning them, do not hesitate to ask.