Weddings. . .
Anyone else notice that most weddings happen in the Spring and Summer? Of course it makes sense! The weather is beautiful, flowers in full bloom, and so many locations to pick from! Maybe you are planning a wedding this year; or will be sometime in the future! Even if you aren’t planning but simply enjoy weddings as much as I do, hopefully you will find this post helpful!
Its no surprise to my family and friends that I adore weddings! As a matter of fact I almost became a wedding planner. Even though I haven’t gone down that path, I have been able to help with wedding prep for some family & friends and LOVED it! My sister, Sarah, was one of the first of my family and friends to tie the knot. She knew how much I love weddings (I bought BRIDES magazine monthly) and was a peach to let me “help”. Honestly she probably didn’t need any of the advice I gave her. However, Sar is a sweetie so she let me tag along and pass along random bits of advice for her big day.
Every bridal magazine is going to have lists of what needs to get done while planning your wedding. HOWEVER allot of those “to-do’s” are so unnecessary! Pinterest as well has lists and lists of things to get done that really don’t need to be a part of your wedding. All it does is add extra cost, and extra stress. So get rid of them!
This is YOUR day!
Don’t let other people tell you what to do, or make you feel bad for not incorporating different elements that your guests want. Many of them have had their own special day, and the rest will eventually. This is YOUR day! Keep that beautiful bridal head high and create the perfect day for you and your love!
So here we go! A list of “to-do’s”. . . but don’t!
1. Save the Dates
Save the Dates are sent out far before the actual invitations. Traditionally, they go out to every person on the rough draft of your guest list. Not all people will make it onto your finalized guest list, but just incase, save the date! These are an extra expense that may leave some people with their hopes high, and then crushed when they haven’t received their invitation since they were not on the final guest list. This also leaves the possibility of you getting some awkward phone calls from distant friends and random relatives wondering why they haven’t gotten their invitation yet with just a week till the wedding! If your wedding is a far ways away and you don’t have time to plan too much, but have a finalized guest list, save the dates could be a fun idea! Yet don’t stress if you leave these out of your plans!
2. Book a DJ
This is a fun addition to your wedding! Yet you can still have a party without hiring an expensive DJ! For my own wedding I chose all the music from our library on iTunes and put them in playlists titled “Ceremony”, “Dinner Music”, “Game Music”, “First Dance”, “PARTAY”, etc. All of these playlists were on my iPod and a friend made sure the right songs played during the ceremony, and then my Dad managed my iPod at the reception. This way you not only avoid a random song you HATE sneaking its way onto the music set, but you can pick all your favourites to play in the order you want! PLUS save a pretty penny!
3. Rent a Getaway Car
Right after the ceremony we gave a quick hug to our bridal party and booked it out the door for picture time! For our reception we stayed so long that by the time we left, our venue had been almost cleaned up! So we didn’t have a group of people gathered outside to wave goodbye to us and send us off! Good thing we didn’t rent a fancy car to drive away in because no one would have seen it! Just my new husband, myself, and my little teal blue ’97 Dodge Neon. If you want a big farewell at the end of your day, go ahead and rent a car! But first, try to see if a friend with a cool car wouldn’t mind loaning it to you for the day! After all, you’re buying them dinner, and renting a fancy car can cost allot.
4. Buy a Gift for your Parents
Maybe you want to be that awesome and buy your parents a little (or big) gift for your wedding! If so, GO FOR IT! But don’t sweat if you avoid this tradition. It was enough of a gift for my parents getting to see their favourite blonde daughter (my only other sister is brunette) marry her best friend and be the happiest she had ever been before. Plus when you get the photos (and video if thats what you want) back, that’s another gift for them. Im sure your parents aren’t expecting a gift. Now that I think of it, I did get my Mama some goodies. . . But that is because she was one of my bridesmaids! YOUR joy is a priceless gift for them.
5. Book and Buy Transportation, Rooms, and Gifts for “Out of Towners”
We all have someone coming from out of town to our wedding! A common act of kindness and thanks is to book transportation and hotel rooms, as well as buy them a welcome gift if you aren’t already flipping the bill for their stay. Unless the people coming from out of town are not capable for some reason to book a car or room, maybe you could delegate that task to a bridesmaid to keep your load lighter! Otherwise, let them make their own arrangements! And again, you are buying them dinner and paying for them to celebrate with you! Any extra gifts aren’t necessary unless you would like to do that for them!
6. Eat small, light meals
This is meant for the day of, but is still silly! Make sure you eat a good breakfast! My brother brought me Egg Mc Muffins! YUM! I chowed down and sipped coffee while my good friends did my hair and makeup! You may get lots of nerve jitters on your big day due to excitement and eating a good breakfast (and lunch depending on when your ceremony is) will help to prevent your wedding from winding up on Youtube in a compilation of people passing out during the wedding! Haha! The main concern in eating decent meals is that you won’t fit in your dress. Ladies, make sure that you are comfortable in your dress with food in your belly! Too often we brides forget to eat throughout the day and then hardly eat anything at dinner because we are caught up in making everyone happy and getting your “day of list” done; like greeting guests, taking pictures with friends, etc. Do NOT forget to eat! I delegated one of my bridesmaids far before the wedding to make sure I was eating on the day of. She watched to make sure I was getting a healthy amount of food in my belly, and if I wasn’t, made sure to remind me of my previous food commitments! If you don’t eat enough, you will (I guarantee you) be starving when its all over!
7. Leaving for the Honeymoon Immediately
Every single wedding movie shows the happy couple leaving for their honeymoon right from the reception. Naturally, we assume this to be a normal! It’s not. Take as much time as you want in between the wedding and honeymoon! My husband and I spent a whole two days at home to unwind and enjoy each others undivided company and attention before packing and heading off for our honeymoon. Prior to the wedding we were both so busy getting ready. For ourselves, it would have been too rushed if we went straight from our busy day to the airport and travel right after. It was great to be in our new home with our new life to relax and get past the rush of the prior week before heading for the busy airport.
Forget the norms. . .
We are told weddings MUST be done a certain way in order for them to be beautiful and grand! That’s not true. A wedding designed by you and your man in the way you want will be absolutely perfect! Perfect for you two! And that is all who actually matters on that day. Forget about the normals and traditions! Be different and bold! I got married early in the day! Did all my own planning and decorating! Had a breakfast buffet for dinner! A cheesecake to cut instead of a three tier grand cake! Donuts and brownies for dessert! We were one of the last to leave! We all deserve to have our own perfect day regardless of what other people want or expect! Make it your own.