If you’re reading this, congratulations! You’re likely engaged, or at least heading toward a wedding. It will be the most incredible, beautiful day of your life. You’ll probably deal with at least some stress beforehand, but when all is said and done, you’ll get to spend a wonderful life with your partner.
That being said, here are a few things I learned along the way to help YOU relieve stress and enjoy your special day!
It’s your wedding, not anyone else’s. It’s easy to feel pressure from friends, parents, etc. They’re all likely well-meaning, but it’s your wedding day, not theirs. It’s up to you how much input you want to let others have on things like your wedding dress (Say Yes to the Dress, anyone?), food, etc. We’ve all seen that list circulating the Internet about “stupid wedding trends” or whatever, but my thought is this: DO WHAT YOU WANT. WHATEVER YOU WANT. Seriously. Whoever you want in your bridal party, invite them; and whoever you don’t, don’t. Whatever band you want to hire, go for it! Same goes for the food, the venue, the dress, and all that jazz.
The day will fly by. Time flies when you’re having fun. I got married in the late afternoon, which gave us the morning to take care of hair, makeup, getting dressed, etc. Before I knew it, we were at the church, then dinner, then dancing, and then the night was over! It goes by in such a blur, but you have to enjoy it too!
… but the ceremony itself might drag. I remember a few things distinctly about my wedding ceremony. I remember not crying until RIGHT when the wedding march started; I remember seeing my to-be husband’s face at the other end of the aisle and wanting to run to him. And I remember feeling like the whole thing was taking FOREVER. Like GOD DAMN, I just want to be his wife already…. but no, we’ve got another reading and then a song. The whole thing literally only lasted 20 minutes, but it felt like hours.
There ARE ways to save money. Weddings don’t have to be ridiculously expensive, so look for ways to cut costs! Some ways to do this: fake flowers for the bouquets in lieu of real ones (SO much cheaper); finding a reception venue that also takes care of the food; finding a food package that includes alcohol rather than having to buy a separate package.
Pick some little details to focus on – but don’t drive yourself crazy. It’s easy to get stressed thinking about every last detail, so decide what you want to focus on and go from there. I didn’t worry about the centerpieces – we used the ones the venue had. Same goes for the napkins, which are apparently a thing you have to think about. One of the details we focused on: music – we hired a DJ service that performed live sax during cocktail hour and dinner! It was such a special feature that people still rave about to this day.
Favors are cool, if you want to give them. If not, it’s okay! Wedding favors can be a cute gesture, but you don’t necessarily need them. When I was planning my wedding, I couldn’t decide what to do. Favors can get expensive quickly, especially if you have a larger wedding and you’re trying to limit costs. Every option I considered, I thought: would people actually use this after the day of the wedding, or would it sit on a shelf and collect dust? In the end, we skipped favors and made donations to local charities instead.
Think about transportation post-wedding. Many couples use limos for transportation to the ceremony/reception/etc. Packages can get expensive & vary based on number of hours, but consider your transportation for after the wedding, too. How are you and your new husband/wife/etc. going to get home/to your hotel/wherever you’re going? (PS: If you’re planning on drinking, please don’t drive.) Consider asking a family member to assist you, or do what we did: order a town car to pick you up.
When buying a wedding dress, think about it. Consider all the things you will have to do in that dress, and make sure it’s comfortable! You’ll be wearing it for hours; you don’t want to be constantly adjusting shoulder straps or itching from a scratchy material. You’ve also probably got to be able to sit, stand, walk and dance in it. And don’t forget about having to use the restroom. (Easier said than done sometimes.)
It’s exhausting. Your wedding day is going to be a long day, so be prepared to be tired at the end of it. For me, it was a long day: I woke up at 6 AM because I was too excited to sleep. Breakfast, hair, makeup, getting dressed, waiting at the church, the ceremony, photographs, the reception. It was non-stop, and I enjoyed every minute of it – but when it was done, I was EXHAUSTED.
It will be the most incredible day of your life. Every minute of planning, every bit of stress, will all be worth it when you get to say that you’re married to your best friend at the end of the day. Enjoy the process, enjoy the day, HAVE FUN and know that the day is just the beginning of amazing things to come.