DON’T LISTEN TO ANYONE ELSE. No, I’m only half-serious, but really, I can’t tell you the number of times people would try to make unsolicited “suggestions.” They would tell us all the things they would do differently, [what to] not waste money on, etc. It’s easy to Monday-morning- quarterback it when it’s over, but when it’s your wedding and you’re in the middle of planning it, only you know what little details are going to be the most meaningful and what you can live without. Also, and I think this applies to all weddings but especially large ones such as ours, if at all possible, try to find room in your budget for a coordinator. Whether you only do a day-of package or you have someone helping you from day one, it really makes a difference. I have a lot of experience planning work events and I definitely knew better than to think I could do it all.
One thing I learned was to enjoy and cherish every minute of your wedding because it definitely went by in a flash for us!
Sometimes at your wedding it can be hard to go around to every single one of your guests and talk with them one on one. “Take a moment to thank your guests for coming to celebrate. Wes and I did this right after the toasts and right before our cake cutting so that everyone was there and could hear. It meant a lot to our guests and now that I think about it, it made up for not being able to get around to each and every person.”
We highly recommend doing your research on photography and videography and budgeting more money towards those vendors because those individuals are the ones who will capture everything about your special day. There is a lot that goes on during the wedding and there is a lot you won’t remember that day, but at least you will have great photos and videos to reflect upon and enjoy many years down the road.
Everyone knows that weddings are stressful, even if you say mine won’t be like that – but it turns out it will be. You’ll always have those people that criticize your flowers, your venue, your cake, etc….but who cares! AS long as YOU and your spouse have fun, that’s all that matters. Make your event the way that you want it to be. Stock up on food, snacks, booze and have yourself a good ol’ grand time. My husband and I were late to our reception by 2 hours when leaving the church…our getaway car broke down. I started to panic but then I realized I didn’t care – the people that wanted to stay at our venue and welcome us in are the ones that really cared about us, and needless to say we had a packed house of 250+ guests. Do something as a couple, to make the night memorable. My husband and I love latin music, and we are known for dancing. We had a mix of English and Spanish speakers at our wedding so our first dance was a Bachata song that has both languages in it. So when the song started we did a simple sway to the English words and when the Spanish part came on we went into the bachata movements and everyone LOVED it. Not only are we going to remember it but everyone else will as well. Just have fun and forget everyone else
Plan your budget early! Don’t procrastinate. You want to focus on en-joying your big day without big invoices looming over your head.
• Everyone said to take it all in on the big day, and I will echo that: Stay by yourself the night before, take a bath, exfoliate, moisturize, relax, soak it all in. Pay attention to everything happening around you and enjoy this time. It goes by so quickly!
• If you’re planning on seeing an aesthetician for a facial, do it a week out from the big day so your skin has time to purge. Your skin will thank you.
• Though we had hoped to go on an extravagant honeymoon, it just wasn’t in our budget. Still, we learned that there are so many affordable options out there and all that really matters is your time together and getting a good rest. You don’t realize how much stress you’re under until it’s all over and your body just wants to sleep for a few days. Unwind and relax.
My biggest advice is to understand that in the end, it’s YOUR day. You can spend the entire engagement worried about who you’re going to upset by having this or that, who’s going to be mad they’re not invited, etc… or you can decide early on that you want your day to embody who you are as a couple. Clayton and I decided early on that although we were receiving help from family, and we were so thankful, in the end our wedding was a representation of US. We wanted people to walk in and say “Wow! I can totally see why they picked this!” Or, “That looks just like something Jackie/Clayton would love!” Also, take A LOT of pictures! Walk in front of cameras and pose for pictures, grab your photographer and make her take your picture. In the end, it will literally all be a blur! I can’t remember so many things about my wedding but the photos tell me the story all over again and I am forever grateful for my awesome photographer! Worth every penny! And lastly, branch out! Try something fun! During our fake walk-out, we used glow sticks. My husband busted one on the way out and it got on his tux. I was a little jealous he looked so cool in the dark and he asked if I wanted it on my dress. Without hesitation I said “YES!” and we have such a fun memory of that now. And the pictures turned out AWESOME! One professional cleaning later and the dress is as perfect as the day we bought it!
Get to know your photographer before your wedding day! Theo shot our engagement session and in the months leading up to our wedding he suggested we meet a few times before the wedding to get to know each other and talk a little about wedding details etc. We met for coffee a few times and decided to have brunch one day as well. I’m so glad we did! We felt so comfort-able working with him on our wedding day and the pictures definitely illustrate that. He did such an amazing job. We really couldn’t have asked for a more thoughtful, talented photographer.
• Make descriptive signs to show guests what to do and where to do it. Some-thing like a “Date Night Jar” is very simple, but if they’ve never seen or heard of a date night jar before it might not be so cut and dry. If guests aren’t sure exactly what you want, they’ll be hesitant to participate.
• I wore Jimmy Choo wedges under my wedding dress instead
of fancy wedding heels so I could dance the night away in total comfort.
Highly recommended instead of spending money on uncomfortable shoes.
• Take pictures before the ceremony! We didn’t want to miss any part of
our wedding, so Tres and I decided to do a first look photo session and
take all our group shots beforehand. I’m so happy I did because it was
much more stressful than I thought it would be. Also now we have our
first look photos, which to me, are more meaningful.
• I think it is important to always remember that there is a wedding and a
reception – and keep your focus on actually getting married and starting
your lives together – rather than about the “party”. A wedding is about
starting your marriage first and foremost, and then the celebration is just
Wedding planning is stressful, but it is imperative to stay true to what you both want on your big day. Focus on what is important, and don’t let anyone else’s opinion sway you at the end of the day.
• Also, take a few minutes for yourselves. Don’t let the night go by without really taking in the moment. It all happens so fast, so don’t forget to take a second to kiss underneath the stars.