March 8, 2011

10 Wedding Tips

There was some talk on Weddingbee recently about wedding regrets. I don't like regrets. While there's something to be said for learning from past mistakes, focusing on what you wish you had or hadn't done gets you nowhere. I'm happy with my life, and I feel that every decision I've made, good and bad, has gotten me where I am today. I'd rather not talk about wedding regrets or even think about them. However, I would like to share 10 wedding tips that I learned from my experience.

1. Remember that you're preparing for a marriage, not just a wedding.
This might seem like an obvious one, but in the rush of planning, I constantly had to slow down and remind myself why I was doing all this work. You're entering into a covenant; that's kind of a big deal. Take the time to discuss things like how you'll handle finances, child rearing, your fiance's expectations for marriage, etc. either through premarital counseling or just through discussions with each other. You'll still have a lot of learning to do after tying the knot no matter what, but I felt like our relationship grew quite a bit during our engagement.

2. Only plan a wedding in 6 months if you're willing to make sacrifices.
We had limited options in certain areas. I didn't have time to order a dress from any place other than David's Bridal, and we had to pick a venue within the first few weeks of planning. But by getting married when we did, Nathan wasn't in class during our honeymoon, and I was able to move out of my apartment the month my lease was up. It was the best choice for us, and I definitely don't regret getting married when we did.

3. Don't be ashamed of going on an inexpensive honeymoon.
Nathan gave this an "Amen!" when I read him my list - it's the biggest one for him. Do I hate the "oh" reaction I get when I tell people we went to Cincinnati for our honeymoon? A little bit, yes. But do I wish we had spent more money? Not at all! There's no need to go to some tropical paradise to begin your marriage. I really hate the term "mini moon" and the implication that spending only a few days away is somehow not worthy of being called a honeymoon.

4. Never look at Style Me Pretty.
Okay, you can look at it, but real weddings don't look like that, at least not where I come from. I've never even seen a croquembouche. I was reading several wedding blogs when I first started planning, but Weddingbee was the only one I kept reading the last couple months of our engagement. And even some of the posts on Weddingbee can make you feel like you aren't spending enough time or money on your wedding.

5. Expect your fiancé to have opinions.
Some grooms might have a "yes dear" attitude on everything, but mine dreamed about his wedding when he was younger and didn't want me making decisions without his input. He was flexible for the most part though and decided he liked some of my dreams, like having an outdoor wedding.

6. Carefully calculate the cost savings of any DIY projects.
While I loved our cupcake tower, the supplies and ingredients ended up costing over $100. I don't know that putting in all that extra time and effort was worth the small amount of money we saved.

7. Try to say hi to all of your wedding guests.
I kind of felt like a jerk at my wedding because all these people came from miles and miles away just to see our wedding, and then I hardly even had the time to talk to them. I'm glad Nathan and I dismissed all our guests from the ceremony personally so we could at least give them a hug and thank them for coming.

8. If you're having an outdoor wedding on a hot and humid day, don't expect your hairstyle to hold up.
My hair was curled three times before the ceremony, and by the end of the reception it was wavy at best (it's naturally pin straight). I think the hairspray evaporated the instant I walked outside. Looking at the photos, I don't think it looks bad, just more natural than glamorous, which is fitting for me anyway.

9. Expect multiple things to go wrong.
Having heard that "something will go wrong," I was fully expecting a minor disaster of some sort and even wondered what that thing would be. In our case, a lot of things went wrong. But you know what? I didn't care. I was completely happy that day. As long as you don't expect to have a perfect day, you'll be fine.

10. Let people help you.
If there's an item on your to-do list that you don't need to complete personally, assign it to someone early in the planning process. People would tell me "Let me know if there's anything I can do to help!" While I appreciated this, I had difficulty coming up with tasks that others could handle for me, particularly since no one lived in town. Also, let people ask questions about your wedding - you never know how they might be able to help. A coworker asked where I was getting my hair done, which I thought was an odd question, but a few weeks later she happened to get a coupon for the salon that saved me $25!

 Bonus tip: While people might not see your feet during the ceremony, your 
shoes will be visible in photos like this! It might not hurt to have some pretty 
shoes for photos if you aren't wearing them the entire day.

What are your top wedding planning tips?

Top Ten {Tuesday}


  1. I agree, especially with #9! The day before the wedding, the color of my flowers seemed really important. The day OF my wedding...I just wanted to walk down the aisle, drive to my hotel, and fall asleep. Those things all happened, so I was happy!

  2. My favorite is #1 ... no matter what, it's not about the wedding - it's about the marriage. We had a short engagement too - just about 4 months. It was the best decision we ever made - married life is so much better than engaged life :)

    My favorite wedding planning tip - Think cheap, and creative. We made a cupcake tower out of glasses and plates we got at goodwill - we ended up spending about $10 on the whole thing!


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