The wedding planner played bride this March, and it was quite the experience. Note: this is a very long blog. If you’re here for the pictures, I won’t be offended.
Yes, weddings make people crazy. I am a prime example of that. It’s funny though, because when I plan other people’s weddings, I am very calm and collected. When it comes to planning your own wedding, all sanity goes out the window. If you are a bride and you haven’t gone crazy yet, you are a superhuman.
I got engaged March 2017 and recently got married on March 10, 2018. A full year of engagement. A full year to absolutely lose my mind planning my own wedding! I’m probably being dramatic. My now husband would tell you I wasn’t that bad. Internally, I felt like I was overthinking everything. Although everything was planned and prepared, I still felt overwhelming anxiety and stress.
What I learned is that weddings are stressful for many reasons and not the reasons you’d expect. Here are a few that stressed me out and kept me up at night:
- the idea I would become someone’s WIFE
- the idea of me (an introvert) being the center of attention at a big event
- and the idea that I would not be in control of my own event (letting go)
I have a newfound love and respect for all my couples, because I realized firsthand how absolutely stressful the planning process is. Yes, colors, linens, escort cards, and cakes are overwhelming – but you also factor in family politics (someone doesn’t want to sit next to someone else) or accidentally offending some random friend that didn’t get invited. Weddings bring so much pressure to the couple.
The reason for this post is to shed some light on wedding pressures and stress. If you’re getting married and you feel like you’re losing your mind, this post is for you! Here are a couple things I learned as a Wedding Planner planning her own wedding:
1. Understand the stress.
When I got engaged, Tyler and I decided to take a break from wedding planning for the first month of our engagement. We wanted to enjoy being engaged before the craziness begun. It was such a great decision, because we didn’t have to think about venues or caterers. I was able to enjoy being his fiancé without any of the other pressures.
Once the month was over, it was like a tsunami hit. Finding a venue was the hardest task. I found myself google-ing, instagram-ing, and facebook-ing every possible venue. Things were either out of our budget or not what we were looking for. Dates in March were filling up and I thought we were out of luck. Then we found Modern Farm, and it all made sense. After we booked our venue, everything else fell into place.
Accept that planning a wedding is stressful, but ask for help. Don’t let yourself get consumed by the internet full of options. Accept that you will find a venue. There are so many to choose from. If your favorite photographer is booked, I promise there will be another great one out there. My biggest advice is to understand that this stress does pass and it will get easier.
2. Be present in every single moment.
This advice was actually a tip from Blake Nolan, aka Blake Patricia, wedding guru. She told me that when she got married last October, she loved that she was able to place herself in every single moment at her wedding.
I loved this advice so much. I made sure I didn’t get too tipsy during my wedding, so I was able to catch up with my friends from Indiana and appreciate the bar magician we hired (best decision really). I was able to appreciate all the decorations that I spent hours thinking about. I was able to be absolutely present and that was the best gift I could give myself.
3. Stop letting people tell you what to do with your wedding.
Oh goodness, even as a Wedding Planner, I had family members, friends, and randoms giving me their two cents. This is not acceptable. Do not be this person. Unless a bride/groom is asking for your advice, do not feel like you need to insert it.
As a bride, let this stuff roll of your shoulder. People have to give their opinion. Stay true to what you want for your wedding. If you are passionate about something, don’t let someone change your mind. This is something that Tyler and I had to fight for. Your wedding is your day.
4. Trust your vendors.
I hired the best group of people in the entire world. Just to give them a shoutout: Desert Whim, The Confetti Studio, Ryann Lindsey Photography, Cass & Co Films, Petals and Greens Floral, Pearl’s Beauty Make Up Design, DJ Traviste, Dessert First by Veronica, Uptown Bridal, Modern Farm.
These people were absolute rockstars on my wedding day. I felt like they were all on MY team. They wanted what was best for me, and I cannot thank them enough. They are the sole reason why I was able to relax at my wedding. Hire a team that takes all your stress away.
5. Remember WHY you’re getting married.
Towards the end of my engagement, I was so uncontrollably stressed out that I questioned everything. I even questioned why I was getting married. This had nothing to do with Tyler as a partner. It had everything to do with my own insecurities. I was afraid of a chapter of my life coming to an end. I would no longer live with my roommate. I would have to think about someone else’s life, not just my own. It was terrifying. These doubts made me cry constantly. I felt like there was something wrong with me. This topic was one that I opened up about to maybe 2 or 3 people. I asked my friends who were already married, and they told me it was 100% normal. They had the same fears and doubts, even when their husbands were completely confident in the decision to get married.
That’s when I realized this is not talked about enough. We need to shed some light on the fact that it’s ok to be afraid about marriage. It’s ok to mourn your life before marriage. It’s ok to cry uncontrollably before your wedding. If you’re reading this and need someone to talk to, feel free to message me privately. I want to tell you how completely normal you are. My friends reminded me that I was having anxiety about a new chapter, but I was not having doubts about my wonderful, hot, and smart man.
6. Rely on your partner for help.
Tyler let me take the reins on wedding planning for the most part. It made sense. I do this for a living, so I have the most knowledge between the two of us on this topic. What I learned is how much I needed him during the planning process.
It started to feel like work.
I felt like I was planning someone else’s wedding without getting paid for it! If anything, the money was coming out of our pockets! I told Tyler I needed more help and he was always happy to help. My advice is for you to ask for help. It is common for the bride to plan a lot of the wedding, but it’s a full time job (I know). Ask for help with certain tasks or research. Your partner will hopefully jump to the occasion to help!
7. If you’re an introvert like me, find a place (maybe your bridal suite) where you can go and take breaks from the crowd.
This one saved me. Not kidding. I escaped to my bridal suite about 7 times during my actual wedding. I’m such an introvert, guys. There was one moment where I was saying ‘Hi’ to a friend and all of a sudden there was a receiving line of people waiting to talk to me. I was starting to panic, so I made up an excuse to go. I ran straight for my bridal suite and took a moment to refresh. I needed this, and if you know you’re an introvert, keep this piece of advice in mind.
8. The best bridesmaids gifts are not gifts at all.
My bridesmaids were godsends. I can’t tell you how much they saved me on this day. If I needed anything from getting me a drink or moving a farm table, my bridesmaids were all over it. Choose good people. It will change your wedding experience.
I wanted to get them a gift that showed them how much I loved them, but a monogram robe just wasn’t doing it for me. I remembered the gifts I’ve received as a bridesmaid and I thought about the gift that I still think about today. It was a letter. A letter that told me how much the bride loved me and how much I’ve impacted her life. I wrote all four of my bridesmaids letters and we were all sobbing. We had just gotten our make up done, so my advice to you is to do things like this BEFORE make up. #LessonLearned
9. Accept that shit does happen.
Excuse the language, but shit happens. I thought as a wedding planner, I would have everything planned, under control, and locked down. I anticipated what emotions I would feel during each moment, because I have watched so many brides experience every emotion known to man.
I watched the weather forecast for a whole month. During the week of my wedding, it says 78 degrees and sunny. As days approached, it said cloudy. Then on the mother-freaking day of my wedding it started raining. It didn’t even have a percentage of rain, yet it was raining. **Insert every curse word**
My friends and vendors tried to keep me calm by telling me ALL THE THINGS I SAY TO BRIDES.
- “It’s good luck when it rains”
- “It’s only sprinkling”
- “It probably going to stop soon”
I had my first look in the rain. I was literally standing with little sprinkles falling on my head. Then I realized I forgot my veil and ran back inside (see image below). I’m sure Tyler was very confused. The moral of this story: Shit goes wrong and you have to roll with the punches.
My first look was so sweet, and I barely cared that it was raining. I just wanted to see Tyler, hug him, and wear my veil while doing so (lol).
I hope you learn from my mistakes. Planning a wedding is a tough job! I hope you stay true to what you want and remember why you are having a wedding in the first place. Choose good people in your life, whether that is your spouse, your bridal party, or your vendors. They will make all the difference.
Final credits! The best vendor team in the world:
Photography | Ryann Lindsey Photography
Videography | Cass & Co Films
Coordination | Desert Whim
Rentals & Design | The Confetti Studio
Floral | Petals and Greens Floral
Hair & Make Up | Pearl’s Beauty Make Up Design
Entertainment | DJ Traviste
Cake | Dessert First by Veronica
Dress & Veil | Uptown Bridal
Venue| Modern Farm
Suits | Nick’s Menswear
Bridesmaids Dresses | Lulu’s
Bartender | Bar Magic
Caterer | JC’s Steakhouse
Laser Cut Monogram | Deco Ink Designs