Your new bling blinds you occasionally and your stomach flips with giddiness when you glance at the magazine racks in checkout lines. You strategically place your left hand in every selfie or photo taken because you gotta show that thing off, ya know? You have a binder full of magazine clippings, contracts, and the beginnings of a guest list. You're so, so incredibly excited and can't stop pinning anything and everything. All the things.
I get it - I was there not too long ago. Before you dive into the wedding planning too far, I'll save you a few headaches.
I wish someone had told me these 5 things when I was in your shoes!
1. Set aside at least 15% of your budget under the category of "other"
OK. So this one's not super fun, but it's the one that would have saved me the most headaches. A majority of my wedding stress came from pushing numbers around and not having a big enough "just in case" money set aside. AKA, remember that estimate you saw for your venue? There may or may not be thousands of dollars added on for service + tax charges. Account for that. No matter how organized you are, unexpected costs will pop up. Worst case, you have a little extra fun money and can throw in some last minute details!
2. Include your mom(s) and MOH whenever you can
Your wedding day is *almost* as special for them as it is for you. If you have the opportunity to bring these ladies along to your dress shopping, fittings, cake tastings, venue visits, or bridal portraits - take that opportunity! So many sweet memories will be made. Your bridal needs are not a burden to them - they will love every second of it and will be so honored and happy to be included!
3. Yes, you definitely need a coordinator
No one told me this while I was wedding planning, but goodness - I'm SO glad my venue required a day-of coordinator. Ladies, your mind will be all over the place the day of your wedding. There are so many details that you will overlook (or frantically try to conquer last minute) if you don't hire at least a day-of coordinator. The last thing you want on your wedding day is to be constantly poked and asked questions.
Do yourself the favor of being present and enjoying your wedding day. Hire someone! (PS, I worked with Rebecca Rose Events and they saved me from pulling out all my hair countless times)
4. Your best friend's second cousin's sister won't be offended if you don't invite her
Our guest list seemed to be my kryptonite while planning. The people-pleaser in me wanted everyone to feel included. The truth I quickly learned? Less is more. Surround yourself with people you love dearly on your wedding day, and spoil the heck out of them. Cut the guest list and don't budge. Would you rather have the wedding of your dreams or DIY a whole wedding trying to make sure Becky's sister-in-law doesn't get her feelings hurt?
(Of course, this opinion could be stemming from the introvert in me. I've always been a "quality over quantity" girl - even when it comes to friends. We went the medium sized route with 150 guests - the perfect size to keep a dance floor packed without being overwhelming!)
5. Life in marriage is so much sweeter than your wedding day could ever be
In other words, stop sweating the small stuff. If you're with the right person, your wedding day is only the beginning of a life and love that only grows stronger. It sounds so incredibly cheesy, I know - but if you miss this one, you'll never truly love your wedding day.
Keep your mind focused on this truth during your planning process. Step out of your bridezilla shoes for a second and realize that the true joy of a wedding day only requires you, your groom, and a few witnesses. No matter how well you plan for a perfect wedding, something will go wrong. Keep chugging with the mindset that "if we're married at the end of the day, we're good." Because y'all - the gift of marriage is my biggest blessing thus far, and I pray it will be yours too.
With so much love,