What I know now- a Bride’s reflection

I feel compelled to write this article for all the future brides out there. I was fully enthralled in the wedding planning and the stress that comes with it. There were things that I wish I had known during the planning stages that I had to learn the hard way. I have compiled a list of tips that I think all future brides should know.

Tip 1: View a variety of venues before selecting the one for your wedding. 

This one may sound like a no brainer but actually, when my hubby and I were looking at places we only had 3 or 4 selected. Why do I recommend expanding and looking at a few more? This gives you the opportunity to see the things that are deal breakers for you and the things you absolutely want at your wedding. I compare this to when you see a pretty dress on the clothing rack. It looks great on the mannequin but does it look great on you? Sometimes seeing something in person helps you decide. Not every venue offers the things you want, and some venues offer things you know you don’t need. Case in point, extended hours for me. Most of my family is older and a majority of our guests were not the party all night crowd. If your venue has an extended hour package they offer and its something you know you won’t need for your guests consider that when making decisions. Another thing I would say about venues is don’t assume the date you want is offseason. We thought selecting a date at the end of the fall season would guarantee us a venue. We were shocked and surprised to discover that a majority of the venues were already booked up from a year ago.

Tip 2: You will fight about money. 

Sorry kids, but no matter who is funding your wedding it will be a topic of heated debate in some respects. Why? Because funding you will find makes the wedding business go round. The trick is to know how to handle heated conversations like this. Understand that the main driving force behind it is stress before you say something you don’t mean to your parents or your soon to be spouse. In our case, we were in a significantly tight spot, as right in the middle of our wedding planning my hubby was laid off. We had to buckle down and decide what were the things we wanted to spend our money on? What was important to us? Those conversations are so important. It not only allows you to better know your soon to be future spouse, but it also helps you prioritize your funds. The two big things for us were photographer and food. Yours may be something different, but you will never know until you have that conversation.

Tip 3: Your family and friends unwillingly will stress you out. 

They don’t mean to do this but you will find that it will happen. The key to success with this is to realize that it is coming from a place of concern or sincere thoughtfulness. In my case we were often asked have you picked out this or that yet? My hubby and I were trying to balance getting our finances back on track plus living day to day. Often times, our answer was no but we are looking into it. You will discover that when you are researching venues for flowers, DJ, linens, or officiant that using websites like The Knot, or Wedding Wire are helpful. They provide you will a list you can read through and select from. However, I wouldn’t just read one review and pick the person then. Go and meet with them and see how they fit with the two of you. Worded a different way; select the tribe that vibes with you.

Tip 4: Don’t let the stress of the planning ruin the small moments. 

This is a tough one. But, it is very important to enjoy the small moments leading up to the wedding as much as possible. The actual wedding day will go by so fast. Try and make the best of the moments you have planning with your girlfriends, sisters, and or your mom. My mom and I did the majority of the meetings with the venues. This allowed us more time to bond and also gave us time to talk about a variety of different things. I learned more about my mom during those times, then when I was living with her. She threw my bridal shower and it was amazing. I had an Alice in Wonderland theme. Those are the moments that I cherish. Take stock of those moments as much as possible as they are the ones that are worth remembering.

Tip 5: Don’t let the vendors dictate your day. 

They are there to assist and provide a service for you and your guests. They are not there to rule your day. A funny story that comes to mind around this topic is my linen lady. She was a preferred vendor from my venue. Which means that she is used often by the venue and in some respects, she offers better deals when you use her. I went with a romantic fall theme. My colors will light blushes, neutral tones, bright pops of color like burgundy, and white pumpkins. So naturally, I wanted my linens to have lace. We met the lady on Mother’s Day weekend at the venue. She wasn’t dressed professionally and she made us wait. Then as I was explaining what I wanted she cut me off, and said to tell the venue to not put lemons in the water. The yellow in the water she exclaimed: “ruins the whole color palette.” The purpose of the meeting was not to talk about lemons in water it was, in fact, selecting linens from her. This is one example of why it’s important to stay classy but also be your own advocate about what you want on your day. I had lace on my tables with blush napkins, and I kept the lemons in my water.

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