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Everything I Learned While Planning My Wedding

Updated: Apr 16

As I sit here in an airstream along the coast of Northern California, starting the celebrations of my one year wedding anniversary, I decided this would be a great time to chat about all of the things I learned while planning my wedding.


I've mentioned before that wedding planning was not as magical as I had always envisioned it to be, but that doesn't mean that it wasn't an amazing wedding. Now that we're a year later, I see so much more clearly just how wonderful and magical of a day it was.


I learned so much during my bride-to-be era, and I want to share as much of that knowledge as I can with you. I will be doing more videos on this topic over on Patreon and sharing more photos from our day, so head over there for more bridal content.

 

It's Not That Deep


Let's get this out of the way...This might be a hot take, but now that I'm a year past our day, I can't help but feel like so much of what I worried about just simply wasn't that deep. Yes, your wedding day is important, but it's not the most important part of your relationship. As long as you're happy with who you're marrying, nothing else really matters all that much. There was so much at my wedding that wasn't "perfect" in my eyes, but in the end, it truly didn't matter. It didn't matter that the cake looked nothing like the inspo pic I provided and my DJ went rogue and barely played what I asked her to. What mattered was that we were surrounded by people we loved and who loved us. The little things seem so big in the moment, but when you step back and look at them later on, a lot of it isn't a big deal.


Click here to watch my video on the things I learned during the wedding planning process and what I would do differently.



Stick to Your Budget


When I used to hear people talking about weddings and how expensive they are, I don't think I truly understood what they meant. Because there is no real way to conceptualize just how much people charge for their wedding services. You don't inquire about flowers for your wedding day thinking you're going to get a quote back for $8,000. Until you do.


Any price you might have in your head, you can go ahead and double or triple it. Because of this, it can be so easy to get off of your budget, and start paying more simply because you feel like you have no other option. But the truth is, you DO have options. We all have options. And if a price point is outside of what you and your fiance have agreed upon, move on to the next vendor. Keep searching until you find the right person for you and your wallet.


Plan a Mini Moon


I mentioned in this video on Patreon, how our mini moon the weekend after the wedding was the best part of our wedding weekend. Of course, getting married was great too - but the mini-moon was amazing. We booked an Airbnb for the night of our wedding and the weekend after and it was so nice to decompress together, far away from everyone and everything. It was just the two of us, and we had a chance to connect, chat about the wedding, and celebrate being newlyweds in a really low-key way.


There was no way that I would've been calm enough to go from getting married to jumping on a plane to go straight to our full on honeymoon. So the mini-moon was a great way to have that little R&R before going back to normal life. The only thing we both regret, is that we didn't book a longer stay!




You Do Need a Wedding Planner


Because weddings are so expensive, people try to cut corners wherever they can. One of those places being wedding planners and coordinators. Many of us go in to the wedding thinking we can pull it off on our own, and I'm here to tell you, that if you can... get the wedding planner.


Everyone I've talked to about planning a wedding has said the same thing; without the planner, things would've been a lot crazier, and much more stressful. Wedding planners have so much information that you don't even know you need to have. They read your contracts with each vendor, they'll tell you exactly what time you need to be in and out of your venue, and help with noise ordinances with the city you're getting married in, etc.


Our wedding planner was for the month before the wedding, and she had every minute accounted for so that we didn't miss anything and everything made sense in the schedule. Without our planner, I don't know if things would've gone so smoothly and I am so thankful we got her!



Create Your Own Playlist


While it's not the end of the world if your DJ doesn't play exactly what you want them to, it's definitely a bummer. My advice: create your own playlist and tell them to just play what's on the playlist. I don't know what it is about DJ's, but they think your wedding is their own personal concert! Mixing and mashing songs you never even requested. Make a playlist and be very specific with your DJ by telling them to only play what's on the list. Additionally, make sure all song suggestions during the party are run by you first. One random song suggestion can throw off the flow and vibe of the whole evening.


If you want to be even crazier, scrap the DJ altogether! The most fun I ever had at a wedding, was one where there was no DJ and the bride and groom just played the playlist they made through speakers they rented. Everyone was on the dance floor and a DJ was not missed one bit.



Start Planning Early


I gave myself a year to plan our wedding, and that felt tight! Wedding planning can be such an undertaking and if you don't have a specific theme or idea in mind, it might take even longer to plan and pull off. I suggest starting the planning process as soon as you get engaged, to get all the information you need upfront. What venues are available? How much does the photographer you want charge? What date works for you and your fiance? Getting into planning early ensures that you're on the right path and it helps you feel like you're moving towards a finish line.





Spend Wisely on Things That Matter


One thing I kept saying to my husband as he hemmed and hawed about the price of our photographer was, "This is our WEDDING, there is nothing more important than the photos. They will go down in our family's history books!" But seriously, some things are more important than others in terms of what you will want to spend on. You just have to decide what those things are for you. For me, it was photography and flowers. And I do not regret it for a second. You might not care to spend thousands of dollars on your dress or food. You might prefer to spend less on your venue and more on your food. Whatever it is, if you're working within a specific budget, choose wisely where you want your money to go.



Limit the Wedding Content


This can be extremely hard when you're planning a wedding, because once you like or comment on one wedding video or picture on Instagram, that's ALL your algorithm will feed you. But I think it's probably a good idea to limit the amount of wedding inspo or content that you're taking in during the planning process. Simply because everything is so beautiful, and you can't do or have it all. Once you see how one person's photos looked, you'll want to change your photographer. Or once you see how someone else's bridal shower looked, you'll feel bad about how un-Pinterest worthy yours was. It's just so easy to get trapped in comparison when it comes to weddings, and the more content you take in, the more you'll want to shift or change what you're doing. It's okay to get inspiration or advice from watching videos or reading blog posts like this one, but keep it to a minimum and do what feels right for you.



Say No to Cell Phones!


I did not even think about this while I was planning the wedding, but I highly suggest not allowing cell phones at your wedding. Some of my favorite photos were ruined because someone had their phone out and were taking a photo in front of the photographers. If you are paying for a photographer, kindly tell your guests to keep phones away as much as possible or during certain moments of the day. Ideally, no phones out during the ceremony, speeches, first dance and other special moments.


You Don't Always Need a Registry


Since my husband and I had been together for quite a few years before getting married and were not exactly fresh out of college, I opted out of a registry. The history of a wedding registry is that it was meant to help couples get a jump start on life with things that they didn't already have. Nice utensils, bedding, dinnerware, etc. But when you've been living together, joined finances and are hosting dinner parties for your friends on a monthly basis, it doesn't exactly make sense to ask your guests to buy the $400 linen bedding.


We decided not to do a registry and instead gave guests the option to donate to one of a few nonprofits that we chose. Some people donated, some people wrote checks, but if you don't need a registry, you don't have to have one.



HAVE FUN


This one is obvious, but try to have fun! Wedding planning is not supposed to be this stressful! We're not supposed to be freaking out over table settings and seating charts. This is supposed to be an enjoyable time where you can get excited about a new journey that you're about to embark on with someone you truly love. So relax, have fun, and enjoy every second!


 

That's it for this post! Remember that your wedding day is just one day in the lifetime that you'll be spending with your beloved. Enjoy it, revel in it, but know that there are many more beautiful days awaiting you.


For more bridal content, head to Patreon to watch my exclusive videos. If you enjoyed this post, leave a comment with your best wedding planning advice for all the brides out there!


xo,

F.






4 Comments


Such a nice read,loved it💝

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Thank you for reading Caroline!

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A Beautiful Read! I'm saving this for the future when I'm planning my wedding 💖

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Yay! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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Just a California girl who believes in a good cup of tea, a fresh bouquet of peonies, page turning novels & romanticizing everyday life.

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