My mama and I
Photo by Jessica Fairchild
Do not let bridal magazines, wedding websites or ads pressure you. There's so much emphasis on having the "perfect wedding," you must look perfect, everything must go perfectly and it has to be the most perfect day, you have to buy this and buy that and have this and have that and if you don't your guests will definitely notice and be disappointed and this means you will have FAILED and your wedding will not be featured on a wedding blog or magazine and how horrible will that be?!! Stop right there. The wedding industry is a billion-dollar industry, these people want you to make irrational purchases and compete with other brides. Don't give in to the pressure. You don't have to spend $3000.00 on a wedding cake or even have a cake at your reception, engagement photos are not mandatory despite what you see on Facebook, you don't need to wear fancy Jimmy Choo shoes to go with your dress if you don't want to (really, who's going to see them any way?!)You don't need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on items you think you should have at your wedding because so-and-so had them at their wedding. Throw tradition out the window and make it your own! Instead of looking at magazines, I searched Pinterest and Etsy for cute wedding ideas/D.I.Y.'s and found affordable options, without the pressure to buy.
Pinterest inspiration on the left, and my center piece on the right
Listen to your fiance and ask what he wants. He has a say in your wedding plans, too! Sure, he may not be the best at/doesn't care for picking out floral center pieces or napkin colors but that doesn't mean he should be sitting on the sidelines when decisions are being made. Get your fiance involved. It's not just YOUR special day, there are two of you! My husband did a great job at picking out the DJ, helping me with our EPIC candy bar ; ) and assisting with other little details which I really appreciated.
Try not to cram everything you have to do to get ready for the wedding in the last three months before your big day. Do a little bit here, a little bit there throughout the year (or years depending on how long your engagement is) so that you don't get too overwhelmed. When I was planning our wedding, I wrote down what I needed to get done at the beginning of each month and would check things off my list once the tasks were completed. Spreading things out helped keep me sane during a very busy time ; ). Speaking of spreading, spreadsheets are your best friends when planning a wedding, ladies!
On a budget? (Do I even have to ask that question? Wedding are EX$PENSIVE!) Ask your creative and talented friends for help, as a wedding gift to you. My sister-in-law did my hair and my bridesmaids up-do's (twice), I asked my cousin to do my make-up and our friend Kosi performed our marriage ceremony. This saved us a lot of money and we were grateful to everyone. Don't be afraid to ask for help - from your family, friends and anyone else who volunteers. Most people would be happy to be a part of your memorable day : ).
My bridesmaids were such a great support for me before, during and after our
wedding and helped me not fall on my face walking down these steps ; )
Make sure you budget for after the wedding. You will need to get your dress dry cleaned ($$). Maybe even twice (like I had to.) If you you want to have your photos retouched and printed and put in a photo album, that will cost you, too. ($$$) Don't forget the thank you cards for wedding gifts ($) and postage to mail said thank you cards ($).
Well I hope my advice has helped you lovely brides-to-be! If anyone else has any other words of wisdom please feel free to share in the comment section below! Good luck with the wedding planning!