*Repost from Feb. because it’s wedding season again!
I started writing this post back in November but I’m just NOW finally getting around to posting it. Talk about procrastination AMIRIGHT? I started writing it because I had all these wedding thoughts swirling in my head and now I’m already forgetting everything, so I figured I better get this out in the world before I forget some great tips that might help out a new bride or groom gettin’ hitched! 😉
I wrote my first batch of unsolicited advice before the wedding but now I have the “legit” advice since it actually happened. And it’s vital that you know this information before you walk down the aisle.
Just kidding, not really, but these might be really, really helpful!
And bare with me, this post might get lengthy!
First off, here’s what I’ve learned from other weddings that I realized are crucial for guests.
The things I remember most from weddings – how much fun I had. I also remember these:
1. Did I ever go hungry?
I will never forget when someone had fun snacks later in the night. One friend had grilled cheese bites and another had Taco Inn burritos and Culvers ice cream! You just don’t forget things like that… 😉
We went with popcorn. I’m personally a popcorn FREAK, so it was natural to have popcorn with M&M’s, pretzels, and peanuts to add in. And it’s a pretty affordable option if you get massive bags of popcorn and hit up Sam’s club for the fixings.
One other thing – make sure the main food is good and remember people have different dietary restrictions. I’m pescatarian ( the only meat I eat is fish ) so I have often found myself eating random things or picking around the meat. It sucks. And I’m nice about it, but a lot of people will get instantly annoyed if they go hungry because they couldn’t eat the food.
2. Did I have fun?
This is obviously a given. But it all stems back to one thing: The DJ. When we were hiring a DJ, we took it the most seriously, because if you have a bad DJ, there’s no bouncing back from it. It’s not that DJ’s can be bad, it’s just they aren’t the style you might be looking for. When people get DJ’s they want one thing–to dance. So look for one that has done weddings like yours (for example, we knew we would have a young crowd, so we made sure they were used to keeping the party bumpin’!)
What to spend your money on
Now this is simply my opinion and it’s totally cool if you don’t agree with me ( it’s a good thing if you don’t, it makes every wedding unique ) 🙂 But I really don’t understand how some parties drop a ton of money on things that won’t last like flowers or focus on the smallest details that jump up the wedding tab like crazy. If I had a big wedding budget, I would have gone all in too, but we had a large wedding so budget needed to be allocated accordingly (you know, for the important things: booze, food, good DJ…) We wanted a fun party for both young and older people alike, so things like fancy details and precious flowers weren’t necessary.
If your wedding is more for an older crowd or a fancier bunch, then this isn’t a tip for you.
I like to think of money worth well spent on things people can actually enjoy and be a part of. Like, food, because they can taste it. Drinks, because they can enjoy it and taste. Music, they can listen to. Catch my drift? Table decor they see obviously but it’s not something they can actually taste or feel, leaving them likely to forget what it even looked like.
Use Pinterest at your own risk
This is a repeat from my last wedding blog post. Okay, but before I go any further, I do have to say something: I have seen pictures from some weddings that looked straight off of a Pinterest board and wow, it was amazing. So beautiful and hell yeah do it if you can/want to spend the woman-hours doing so. By all means, go for it girl!
It’s just not my thing. At all. I actually started to despise Pinterest once we really started planning and understanding prices/budgets. There are so many ideas and you can’t do them all, so why keep bogging yourself down with more thoughts and ideas? I found out quickly that I had to draw a line and stop searching for the perfect color, perfect table decoration, and just let the pieces fall where they may. However, this is also coming from someone who would’ve liked to have a wedding planner instead of trying to pick out things myself!
Just be real with yourself when you’re looking at Pinterest. My only tip is to remember that what you see on Pinterest is probably super expensive. You start to get a sense for what things cost once you get going. I will never forget the slap in the face that Brandon and I had when we first realized how much everything would cost. We thought we had it planned from the start – A downtown wedding, which yes, will be pricey, but we will have the ceremony and reception in the same place and keep it to 250 people with a starting price of $12,500+ for just rental space, food, and bar. Um yeah, my parents pretty much laughed in my face. To be completely transparent, we may have spent that, but at least we got a heck of a lot more out of it.
The slow times and crazy times of planning
The one thing that was nuts about “planning a wedding” is how there is like literally nothing to do for months. MONTHS! It’s actually super annoying. Because then you do everything at once. but if you have a solid year until the wedding and the places/vendors are booked. There’s really not much you can do until it gets closer. I mean you can definitely get ahead, but for me it just didn’t feel right until it was closer to my wedding. There was zero motivation because every time I sat down to try to figure out what colors I want, I would get flustered and stop and come back to it another night (or month).
The most stressful part of wedding planning
I was most surprised that this was the most stressful thing about the entire wedding planning process, but guess what it was? Invites. Damn invites.
I truly had no idea how much work they would be. This is also probably because I was extremely indecisive on colors, theme, etc. But my goodness they were hard. The Save the Dates were the easiest because those you just have to get out there and can make them super fun or really plain – there’s no right or wrong to them. Minus the part about creating the guest list, though. The first “hard” part with wedding planning is DA LIST. Because then you start factoring prices into the mix and deciding where to draw the line can get really intense.
When it came to the invites. Oh hot damn, talk about dumb traditional things that you have to do. Like, did you know that when using numbers you have to spell them out? It would’ve been easy just to work with someone professional, but then you’re shelling out so much money and we had like 350 invites to send so we were trying to use our resources. We went with a printer in town which was one of the best ideas ever (seriously, use a printer, they are so much cheaper – we had them do our programs too). Then came the design. We worked so hard and also procrastinated really bad. Brandon ended up using his minimal Photoshop and InDesign skills and whipped them up. Which was helpful because there are so many edits that having someone on hand to do them quick is the way to go. There’s another golden tip by the way: You will do a lot of invitation and program edits. If I could do it again, I would pick a design on Etsy and have them make it and get them printed here in town. That is one of the best tips I can give you!
Oh! Don’t forget about postage. So if you want to add string, extra papers, etc. it might cost more for stamps and those rack up the bill so flipping fast, it’s scary.
Oh, boy was registering fun *insert mischevious grin here* I love shopping. I used a little checklist from a wedding book on what to register for. I didn’t register for everything on it because let’s be honest, I’m not going to be using a cake stand anytime soon…
We live in an apartment, so we actually had to buy storage just to put all of our new kitchen stuff in. It’s fun to register for things, but don’t get too scanner-happy, remember to ask yourself where that pressure cooker is actually going to go. Also, I don’t know if this is how it is for other couples, but we got a TON of gift cards. So remember that if you don’t register for everything, your guests will most likely just give you money or gift cards to do with what you please. Be sure to check your lists after wedding showers too to make sure it doesn’t need to be replenished.
We also found that if you register really early, some of the items will go out of stock, so keep an eye on your registry (without spoiling your gifts to see what you’re getting)! 😉
My best tip for registering? Be aware that you are going to get lots of things that aren’t on your registry. We ended up with so many food storage things and pizza stones, which was odd but great because we love pizza! Ha! But the problem is finding a place for it all…
Most important: Don’t worry, be happy.
I can not stress this one enough. I don’t understand why some brides get all stressed and worried – you’re depriving yourself on one of the most important days of your life!! I understand that some people are more “type-A” and controlling (in a good way) than me, but you gotta let everything go and just enjoy the moments you’re living in.
There is no reason to worry, about anything. There’s a ton of people working for you and if something is wrong, someone will be on it! And if you’re worried that you can’t depend on someone to take care of things for you, hire a wedding coordinator or ask a family or friend that you can trust with the job.
Also, remember that if something does happen, like your hair isn’t as perfect as you would like, or your nail chipped – you will not remember it after your big day.
Other Random Tips
+ Use Google docs to keep you and your other half on the same page and organized!
+ Have fun!!
+ Did I mention have fun?
If you have any questions or need someone to talk to about the wedding, hit me up!