With the blossoming of Spring and blooming of beautiful flowers, wedding season is officially in full force. If you’re planning a wedding this year, I feel your pain. Lord, do I feel your pain.
Being engaged has been amazing. So amazing, in fact, that I have been engaged for almost two whole years. On August 8, 2015, my best friend asked me to marry him, and I said yes. This man is willing to brave a storm for the rest of his life, of course I said yes. For weeks I just starred at my left hand and the beautiful rock that had been placed upon it, I felt absolutely blissful, and I still do!
But one thing that came as a complete shock to me was the pressure I felt upon announcing I was engaged. Literally, two hours after I got engaged people were asking me what my date was. I thought, ‘What? I haven’t even been engaged for a full 24 hours. I haven’t thought that far ahead’. Much less did I have a venue picked out!
I was still in school, trying to graduate college. There was literally no time for planning. So our original date was moved from October 15, 2016, to May 20, 2017. Best decision I ever did make. There is much more behind the story of our decision to move the wedding back, and those details will be included in my next blog.
Now that college is over and we’ve both got decent paying jobs, planning a wedding has become 10x’s easier. Most people aren’t aware of this, but I am paying for my own wedding, which is why I am taking a different approach to planning it. First of all, I’m not a planner. I would have hired one if I could afford it, but I simply can’t, but I’m cool with that. I don’t know if I’d feel comfortable with an outside party involved. My friends and family know me well, and they’re all excellent planners. I’d be lost without them, and so far, they’ve charged me nothing! Second of all, I am the farthest thing from high maintenance that there is. Yes, I love for things to look nice, but I don’t need name brand decor. I am ballin’ on a budget, so Hobby Lobby and Amazon Prime have been my saving grace. I can get the same stuff for a fraction of the cost, and it will look just as beautiful! Third, I am not about to stress over the tiny details for a one-day ordeal. Everyone says it’s suppose to be the “most perfect day of your life”, and it will be, rain or shine, because I am marrying my best friend.
The high expectations some people tend put on the presentation of weddings is a bit pretentious, in my opinion. I’ve seen some gorgeous weddings, enormous weddings, formal weddings, basic weddings, I’ve been to them all. The bride still marry’s the groom, the bouquet still gets thrown, the guests still eat the cake, the groomsmen still get too drunk, and the bridesmaids still dance while someone’s snotty aunt rolls their eyes at everyone bumpin’ and grindin’ like a bunch of sinners. Whether you spend $100,000 or $500, things still happen in the same order. I could do the big, extravagant, over-the-top wedding, but it wouldn’t fit me. I probably wouldn’t be happy with it. I would be happier getting married in a wheat field and having a bonfire for a reception, to be quite honest, just because that’s more of “my style”. Nevertheless, the wedding and reception will be more formal than that, don’t worry.
Truth be told, I was never the little girl who dreamed about her wedding day. I never had planned what kind of dress I wanted, nor who my bridesmaids would be, etc. etc. All of that is subject to change in a matter of days in my world. I went from having six bridesmaids to four, for certain reasons that had nothing to do with “cutting” anyone from the team. More like dress issues and family matters. But I can’t tell ya’ll how happy I am to have a small bridal party. It had nothing to do with money or excluding people that I truly love, it just had everything to do with keeping it simple. Not over-complicating it. I love every single one of my original bridesmaids, and I wish they all could still be in it, but the way I see it, no harm, no foul, no stress (this also had to do with me changing the date…to be continued).
I would be in a world of hurt if I compared my wedding and expectations to everyone else’s wedding. It just isn’t possible for me to have extravagant bouquets on every table and pew, or to rent a venue that’s gonna cost twice as much as my dress, or provide catering at $20 a plate for half of Texas. I just can’t do it, but I also don’t want to. I will say this: we do have a fairly large guest list. But we aren’t expecting all 300 of them to show up, and if they do- great! I want any and everyone to be part of this special day. It would mean the world to me if everyone on our guest list showed up, but I am trying to be realistic about traveling and spur of the moment circumstances.
So far, we have the following done and done: wedding dress is being altered, wedding party has their suits and dresses, rehearsal dinner catering, save the dates sent (to most, I added a lot of people to the list that probably did not get a save the date. I’m not stressing because they’ll get an invitation and that’s all that matters), venue and church ready to go, tables and chairs meeting scheduled, reception provisions planned, contacted the band/DJ, discussing decorations and centerpieces for tables, and all we really have to do is figure out catering for the reception and hotels for guests. Lucky for us, most of our guest won’t need rooms at all. Little things like that make a huge difference.
I am blessed beyond words to have the amazing help of my maid of honor, mother, and future mother and sister-in-law. Their willingness to pitch in wherever they can has helped beyond words. There is so much to still be done, but most of it can’t be done until the week of the wedding. My biggest worry is decorations, because anyone who knows me knows that I am the farthest thing from a decorator that there ever was. Again, my mom, aunts, and a few good friends are helping me out with all of that, and I know I can trust their judgement.
If there is anything that I have learned from planning my own wedding so far, it is that money is most definitely required, but can be distributed according to what you want most. My wedding, all in all, will not be insanely expensive. The reason for this is because I’d rather have an amazing honeymoon destination, and I also get to treat my girls to a fun bachelorette stay in Vegas. It’s things like that that I don’t mind spending money on, because that’s where the memories are made. I may not remember what centerpieces I used on my table 20 years from now, but I’ll never forget the time I got to spend Cinco de Mayo in Las Vegas with my best girlfriends, or cliff diving in St. Lucia with my new husband.
The wedding is going to be beautiful and enchanting, because I am not counting on the perfect day. I am counting on a fun day. A day that will be emotional and exciting. A day that I will get to see all of my friends gathered in one place again. A day that will reunite families that haven’t seen each other in months or even years. I am so excited for my wedding day. Planning is hard, I will say that. It’s easy to overlook small things like rehearsal dinner stuff and bridesmaids gift, etc. But at the end of the day, the cake still gets eaten, the rice is still thrown, and I am still going to be bound to my best friend by way of our vows for years and years to come. I am sure that the best days are only ahead of me.