(A little while back, I had asked my beautiful bride-turned-friend, Amanda if she’d be interested in writing an installment for the Confessions of a Former Bride series. I’m so happy she said yes because the post she’s sharing with us today is something I can really relate to myself! I know a lot of you will relate to it too! Also, as a little editor’s note, Amanda is starting a wedding and event styling business very soon! If you are interested, contact her through her blog! We had a wedding stylist help us with our ceremony decor and her help was invaluable!)
Katie’s Confessions were always great to read as a bride-to-be. It was nice to know that through all of the paper cuts, hot glue-burned fingers and stress crying there is a light at the end of the DIY wedding tunnel. Now, as a Former Bride myself (six month-iversary, what!) I am here to help!
THE most stressful thing that I encountered while wedding planning was completely self-inflicted. I am, what you might call “particular” about things and I had a HELL of a time making decisions. Like, any decision. At all. Wedding colors? Took me six months. Invitations? Fuggedaboutit.
I really wanted to make the “best” choices possible for our wedding- things that would be thrifty, things that would show off my DIY skillz, things that wouldn’t LOOK cheap even though we were on a budget. Want to know a secret? Your wedding day is going to be one of THE best days of your life, regardless of whether or not your invitations were more “royal blue” than “navy.”
I’m going to give you a couple pieces of (unsolicited) advice. Well, I suppose it isn’t entirely unsolicited since you are willingly reading this, eh?
1. When you make up your mind, STOP LOOKING.
Seriously. Make a decision and move on. It is not helpful to dwell on things for months at a time. You’ve got A LOT to do, so don’t harp on the small stuff. I know that is much easier said than done, but you will realize it’s true.
My mom would tell me, ”just make up your mind! Don’t stress yourself more than necessary!” but the Little Engine That Couldn’t Stop inside of me kept chugging on. I’d browse Etsy and wedding blogs until I felt cross-eyed looking for things that I’d thought I had already picked out.
2. Ask for help.
Maybe you’ve decided that all of your invitations need to tied together with navy blue twine, adorned with a tag you’ve punched yourself and personally addressed. Maybe you’ve decided that you want to serve desserts that are family recipes at your reception and that you can totally make them yourself a day or two before your wedding. Maybe you’ve also decided that you want to DIY all of your centerpieces (all 40 of them) the afternoon before your wedding.
Hi, I’m Amanda Burnette, and I like to take on too many projects. I decided that I was going to do all of the above, and ended up asking for help with ALL of the above.
We had friends help assemble our invitations (over wine) and my angel mother addressed all of our invitations. My mom, mom-in-law, family BFF, and aunt-in-law helped with arrangements, and I outsourced all but one dessert.
It’s really hard to ask for help, but YOU REALLY NEED IT. Which leads me to my next point… which is not very different from this one.
3. Accept help when it is offered.
Sometimes it’s best to put all of your stubbornness aside and accept the real, genuine desire your friends and family have to help. Even if you CAN do it by yourself, isn’t it a bit more fun with a gal pal or two and a bottle of wine? The answer is ALWAYS yes.
4. Just roll with it
There comes a point (mine was the day before our wedding) where the inevitable snafu will happen. Despite all of your planning, hastily scribbled notes and diagrams, and well-labeled boxes, there will be something that doesn’t go exactly as planned.
We got married on a Saturday, and after checking the forecast after a rainy day Friday, I had to come to terms with a rainy wedding day and an outdoor reception. I allowed myself five minutes of ugly crying on Friday, a handful of distraught text messages to my bridesmaids, and then sucked it up and proceeded with plan B.
It ended up raining the morning of our wedding, but it didn’t wash us out. My hair may have been a little flat for my taste after a few sprinkle showers, but the lighting for our portraits was REALLY GOOD. There is always a silver lining! I will not always remember weeping in my in-laws bathroom, but I WILL have my gorgeous photos and my handsome husband forever… which is pretty cool.
I WILL say, I wish we had invested in a day-of Coordinator. Because it was rainy on our wedding day, our timeline got a little funky and there were definitely some stressful moments for everyone. Fortunately, we have really great friends and family that helped us pull everything off with our guests being none the wiser.
We wanted our wedding to be super fun for our families, our guests AND ourselves. You are only going to be a bride once, your parents are going to get to see their daughter walk down the aisle once- so why not make it a good ride for everyone?
Good luck, you guys! I know you’re going to be great! I can only hope you experience as much joy, receive as many hugs, and drink as much champagne as we did on our wedding day!