Wedding Planning: Lessons Learned

Having survived planning and executing my wedding, I feel that it is time to share some of the wisdom I have gained through the process.

Do

1) Hire awesome vendors — don’t waste your time or money on vendors who are wishy-washy or ignore your wishes. We were told by one vendor that they couldn’t make a vegan tiered cake–it just couldn’t be done! Instead of giving up, we found another vendor that said, “Of course we can do that!”, much to my joy and admiration. (I may have had a crush on that particular vendor. She always gave me the best news.) It turned out to be an amazing cake! It was so amazing that I am mostly looking forward to our first anniversary for the cake.

As you can see, the cake is tiered. (Photo by Julia, my new sister-in-law)

As you can see, the cake is tiered. (Photo by Julia, my new sister-in-law)

2) Go in with a clear idea of what you want — this stems from the previous item. We did sign on with a flower place, and I was very uncomfortable with our conversations up to that point. It felt like I was being ignored. But the truth is, we’d gone in there expecting someone to bring our dreams to life…without telling them what those dreams were. The next time we met, we had a better conversation where we were more firm in what we wanted and envisioned. The end result was totally amazing.

3) Don’t DIY just to save money — take it from someone who spent a LOT of time making things for our wedding. I made those things because I wanted to, and while there were a few moments of “why would we buy this when we could make it?”, the majority of it was a labour of love. In the end, I’m not entirely sure how much money we really saved–I doubt it was enough to cover the loss of sanity if you weren’t doing it out of want.

4) Make a schedule — if you have an event planner managing everything for you, then you can ignore this one. But if you’re doing this yourself, definitely, definitely make a big ol’ spreadsheet with a schedule. One sheet per day, as long as before and after it is relevant. Our wedding was on a Sunday and we had sheets for the Thursday – Monday. The key points are “When”, “What”, and “Who”. On the actual day of, you want those “when” boxes to all be filled in–so that the person who is managing the schedule for you understands what is supposed to be going on. (Don’t do it yourself!) If you can do this, then it actually becomes possible to let go on the day of.

5) Become A Practical Bride, and ignore all the other wedding related media — the wedding industry is a big money trap. It will try to convince you that you need various things to have a “real” wedding. The truth is, you don’t. Once I stopped reading all those other blogs, I became much more in tune with what I wanted for the wedding. And a lot less panicked about what I didn’t have yet.

Don’t

1) Get caught in the DIY trap — there were a couple projects that I had planned on doing and eventually realized it wasn’t worth the sanity loss. At this point, I can’t even remember what they were, so you can tell how important they were to the overall day of.

2) Expect people to change just for your wedding day — this is an important one. You must embrace people as they are, no matter what day it is. I definitely lost a bit of sleep when I realized that, no, my wedding day was not going to be the magical day of exception. Eventually, you get over it. But it’s really better to just go into things understanding that.

3) Get attached to any one thing — the only thing that really has to happen on your wedding day is to get married. Everything else is just gravy.

4) Skip the honeymoon — it’s a pretty big event, and even just giving yourselves 3 or 4 days afterwards to take everything in is a really good idea. After our wedding wrapped up at around 5 pm, we spent the rest of the evening just going over and revelling in everything that happened. (And eating more cake.) It also took me at least 4 days into the honeymoon to stop freaking out about little things.

That’s it! But I’m sure there’s lots of other awesome advice out there, so…

What’s the best advice you would give, after your wedding? If you’re not married, does any of this advice seem particularly helpful to you?

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6 thoughts on “Wedding Planning: Lessons Learned

  1. I totally agree on everything! I was one anxious bride until the reception! That was when I decided to just have fun! and I wrote about it here in case you want to read it 😀

    http://thevanillahousewife.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/how-to-be-a-graceful-bride/

  2. A couple of things I have figured out on my own, after attending a few weddings (including yours). And we all know the wedding industry is full of crap and there are things you don’t really need to make a wedding special haha. Your wedding was quite special, by the way. 🙂
    I’m glad you posted this. I’ll bookmark it for future reference, if I manage to get to that point in life!

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