A Year In Review

Now that the wedding is only ten days away and we’ve been planning this for a year, it’s time to reflect on the entire process. Rather than listing out positive and negative experiences, I’m going to give my feedback in the form of advice to new bride-to-bes.

In no particular order:

  1. From the get-go, do some researching on costs of all the different types of vendors in your area. Before you buy a single thing, develop a basic budget, but make sure it’s realistic.
  2. Make a list together of every traditional and non-traditional aspect of a wedding. Rate each aspect as either something you cannot live without, semi-important, you don’t need, or you’d rather die than have at your wedding. There will be things that you both disagree on and that’s okay. However, if you cannot live without having a photo booth at your wedding and your fiancé would rather slowly rip off his toenails, you both may have some compromising to do.
  3. Have a serious, sit-down talk with your immediate family members. Ask them things they did at their wedding, if there is anything they would like you to include, and anything that could potentially offend them. In the end, this is your wedding and you are not required to take their advice. Keep in mind that it’s always nice to avoid any familial unrest.
  4. Try not to take everything as a personal attack. Everyone is going to have their own opinions on what you should be doing for your big day. Try, try, try not to let these opinions bother you. For months I felt like I had to constantly explain my decisions and I got pretty defensive. After Alex had a little chat with me, I calmed down a bit. Though I feel this problem could have been nipped in the butt so much earlier.
  5. Make sure you don’t bite off more than you can chew. Chances are you are not William and Kate and cannot afford to get married at Buckingham Palace. It’s better to have an affordable wedding then not being able to pay your bills.
  6. Relax.
  7. Take your mom out from time to time. Chances are she’s doing a lot to help you. She’s raised you. She’s loved you. Pay for her dinner. Take her out to lunch. Buy her some wine. You’ll be happy you did.
  8. Make sure you have people around that can help you with all the random odds and ends. You can’t do it all yourself. When you choose your bridal party make sure that they are going to be available to help you when you need it. They shouldn’t be there just to look pretty and stand next to you. If they don’t have the time, you may want to see if other people do.
  9. When you start to decide on vendors and start paying your deposits ask them, “Now that you have my deposit, you know that I am committing to you being my insert service here, how do I know that you will be there that day? I need some reassurance that you are not going to quit your job, book other events, or anything like that.” Make sure they are committing to you as well. Ask about contingency plans.
  10. It’s easy to get lost in the stress. Every week sit down with your fiancé and remember why you are doing all this work. Talk about what you’re excited about, if there’s anything you’re nervous for, and tell each other why you love each other.
  11. When you are really stressed out, talk to other couples who have been married for a long time. I’ve been talking with Alex’s mom a lot recently. His parents have been married for over forty years! She reassured me that everything we’re going through is normal. That having stupid arguments is a part of loving someone and it’s okay! Ask them, “with divorce being so prevalent in our society, what’s made your relationship work.” You’ll be surprised with what you find out.
  12. See number 6.
  13. Be prepared that out of your whole engagement, the last few weeks leading up to the wedding will be the most stressful. There’s nothing you can do about that. Take a deep breath and then see number 6.
  14. Remember that sometimes it’s okay to say no to things. You don’t have to host everyone, you don’t have to take each person up on their offer for help if you don’t need it, and it’s okay if you’re busy and can’t plan dates with your friends all the time.
  15. Take some time for yourself. Be alone for a while. A couple weeks before the wedding, reflect on what emotions you are experiencing. Think about why. It’s okay if you can’t communicate them right away, but eventually let others in to your thoughts.

Are you married? What advice would you give a new bride-to-be?

Need more advice? What questions do you have?


Almost there….

Freshly Engaged


PS – I just found out that no posts were going to Facebook and I just tried to update that. If you wandered here from Facebook, please let me know that it worked!

PPS — WordPress guru? Why are my comments automatically turned off? I keep trying to turn them back on — no luck! What the heck!