When John and I decided to get married, we agreed we didn’t want to have a huge traditional wedding. We wanted to save money and keep things more intimate with a small ceremony. Besides agreeing on that, we had a difficult time planning what was a good fit for us. Should we elope? Should we “elope” but include our parents? Where would we go? What about our siblings and grandparents? And we can’t leave out our friends.
So we compromised. A casual and intimate ceremony with only our family present. Later this year we’ll also have a party to celebrate our marriage with our friends. Two different events. It sounded perfect.
Once we had the ideas in place, it was time to plan! Here’s what I learned:
1. Keep a To-Do list, and accomplish something small every single day. My list started with just a few items, then I realized just how many details it takes to make a wedding happen. Add every little thing you can think of to your list and you’ll feel so productive and badass when you mark something off, DONE. Even if it was just buying stamps, or sending an email. You won’t feel like you’re procrastinating if you are consistently working on small and necessary things.
2. Ask for help. When I felt like I had no idea what I was doing, I got through some stressful times by turning to some of the already-married ladies in my life. They’ve done this before, remember! They had some great words of advice, and helped me work my way through some of the specifics. Ask them, “What would you have done differently at your wedding?”
3. Gather inspiration from everywhere. Inspiration is not just found on Pinterest (although HECK YEAH I pinned stuff like crazy). Here’s proof. What I mean is, gather ideas from your everyday life. Do you love the decor at a certain restaurant? Take notes! How about that time you played bocce ball with your friends and had a great time? Get some backyard games going at the wedding. Figure out what you like, what might be fun for your guests, and how you can incorporate those things into your big day.
4. Be yourself. You don’t have to do the chicken dance at your wedding if you don’t want to. Some things just didn’t fit our personality, so we left them out. There’s nothing wrong with traditional weddings, but don’t feel like you have to do every single thing that movies and magazines drill into your brain. You might save yourself some money and some stress.
5. When the big day arrives, have fun! You’ve planned a million things, and some of them just won’t work out like you planned. It’s gonna be ok. Just relax, get your hair did, and when your flower arrangements (that took you hours to put together!) start falling over because of the wind, don’t freak out! Just pick ’em up, shake it off, and don’t turn into a bridezilla. No one will care if your bouquet isn’t PERFECT or a strand of your hair falls out of your updo, so don’t get all crazy. Your loved ones will thank you for it and everything will be fine!
Planning a wedding doesn’t have to be a huge ordeal. It can even be kind of fun! What’s your best wedding planning tip?
>> wedding photos are by Joel + Sam Photography <<