The Do's and Dont's of Wedding Planning (from my p.o.v.)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hello Readers!!

My wedding planning process was 16 months long. During that process, my husband and I learned alot about ourselves and each other. It may sound dramatic to some but it really is something that is hard to understand until one finds themselves in that situation. The thing about wedding planning that causes so much stress and drama, is that it's such an EMOTIONAL event for EVERYONE involved. Meaning, not just Mom, Dad, Sisters, and Brothers BUT Pastors, friends, uncles, aunts, and neighbors. Literally everyone you meet is happy for you and everyone wants to feel included in your big day. So the hard part comes in managing what the COUPLE wants and what everyone else wants. That is where all the conflict comes from, not wanting to dissappoint, feelings of guilt, inability to take a stand, etc. These are all things I felt! Having a planner helped alot because my planner was not only a wedding planner she was a counselor, referee, mediator, and everything else in between. It was helpful and refreshing to have someone that represented us and was willing to take things OFF of our plate so that we could breathe easier at times.

I feel that my job as your wedding blogger is to inspire and educate soon-to-be brides all over the world. So my goal with this post is to simply enlighten those that are in the planning process or soon will be. As you can probably tell from a few of my previous posts and my blogging "hiatus," wedding planning is NO JOKE and it can get out of control very quickly. Here are a few do's and dont's that I personally picked up during my process that I felt an urge to share with our wonderful readers! It's probably one of my lengthiest posts but well worth the read if this is something you plan on facing in the near future!!


DO manage your expectations
   This is a HUGE one. Probably the MOST important one in my opinion. As a wedding connoisseur I got VERY carried away with my wants and my must haves. I have scores of computer files filled with pictures that I have been collecting for years, of things my wedding could not do without. You know Vera Wang, fireworks, 7 ft tall cakes, celebrity performers, etc. But when I was faced with the challenge of making all these things happen there was a LOT of disappointments along the way, because lets face it, we HAD a budget. It wasn't one of those situations where funds were unlimited and I could have it all. I don't know too many people that are that lucky, lol! So for all of you that are looking to get married and started magazine clipping and wedding blog dreaming, get realistic NOW. Do your research and try to find out how much things that you want cost, start saving like a mad person, and again I'm saying BE REALISTIC! A lot of vendors may not take you serious if you don't have a date picked, but it doesn't hurt to shop around and get a feel for how much things will cost you. It's important to have a grasp on what's out there.

DO explore different avenues for stress management
   How do you wind down? Is it a glass of wine and a chick flick? Is it a night out with friends? Exercise? Whatever you do to relieve stress, do it and ramp it up when necessary. I'm not saying turn into an alcoholic, loll! But what I am saying is do not use your fiancee' or friends as a punching bag. Don't take your anger or frustrations out on them. If you need to sign up for a kickboxing class, do so. Find ways to release your stress so that you don't transform into some ugly, nasty monster that nobody likes a.k.a. Bridezilla

DO hire a planner, and (if you do) learn to RELEASE control
   You will never hear me downplay the importance of a wedding planner. But that is not the final step when you hire a planner. Understand very clearly what services they will provide and STOP doing whatever it is you are paying them to do. If you want your planner to select your vendors, allow them to do so. You can cross check and approve but it's no need for you to be scouting DJs and bartenders when you hired someone to do that. If you already have vendors in mind for certain things that is totally okay but don't stress yourself over something you can easily hand off. I know it's hard to do this (my fellow control freaks) but I promise you'll be glad when you do.

DO respect your soon-to-be-husband's input and be a united front at all times.
   This is very important because oftentimes women forget about their other halves in this process. Some men don't wish to be involved at all which is okay (be glad! Trust me), but if your guy wants to have input DO NOT ignore him or go against his wishes. If this means hours of coercing and persuasion so be it. The last thing you need is for tension to build between the two of you. At the end of the day it's about your joyful union and you don't want any bitterness there. Also, it's MUCH easier to deal with opposition from family, friends, and others when you and your significant other are on the same page. It's like Jesus said in Matthew 12:25 "a house divided against itself can not stand". If you guys don't agree then nothing else will flow. So keep the peace at all costs!! If you can't seem to get on the same page I highly suggest marriage counseling and speaking with other married couples you trust for some insight and advice. DONT BE TOO PROUD TO ASK FOR HELP!

DO make a list of must-have's, strong wants, and "would be nice but can live without"
  What I mean by this is you simply can NOT have it all unless money is NOT a factor. If it is not, then skip this one and go to the next point. If money IS a factor continue reading. Draw a box with three columns. In one column label it must-haves, this is for things that you will NOT compromise on and will have over-arching priority over everything else. Here some people put particular venues, certain dress, photographer etc. Next column: Strong Wants. These are things that you really really want but take a backseat to the must-haves. The next column I call it "would be nice." This column consists of things that you would LOVE to have but will be the first to go when it's budget cuts time. Just be careful that you don't get attached to things in this column and push them over to the must-haves (happened to me a few times, lol.) This could be something like a dessert bar or a photo booth.

DO choose your bridal party very wisely
   Some people can guilt-trip or bully you into who to select for your bridal party. I had a big party but I don't regret for one second anybody I chose! There were ups and downs but on the day of I was surrounded by my closest friends who had my back through and through. That's what its all about! Really evaluate your friendships before selecting because it is hard to fire and re-hire when the date starts approaching. Also, manage your expectations in regards to your BP. Your friends had lives before you asked them to be apart of your wedding and their lives will continue, so be understanding of their schedules, budgets, and limitations. Don't let wedding planning ruin your friendships!

DONT'S

DON'T make it ALL about  YOU
   You'll hear EVERYBODY telling you that it's YOUR day and don't let anyone take that from you and I totally agree! BUT remember, it is a day your parents and parents-in-law waited their whole lives for as well. It's a day your friends have been looking forward to as well as every member in your family that loves and regards you. So it's all about you in the sense that you are the reason everyone will gather and everyone is there to share in your day of love. But don't let that get to your head and turn you into a horrible person. Humility and prayer will get you a LONG way in the planning process. When you humble yourself you will be SURPRISED how many people will come from all corners willing to help you with anything you need. If you are treating everyone with no respect and being a brat the entire time you will notice that on your wedding day you'll be all alone.

DON'T expect perfection
   Leading up to my wedding day, everyone is asking "so, how do you feel???" My only answer was "I just want it to be perfect." BUZZZZZZZ: Wrong answer!! Sure enough there were hiccups and things that went wrong on my day. There is no such thing as perfection, but still for some reason when you plan ONE day for a year plus it's hard to understand why it would be anything less than perfect!! But we must remember it is an event for humans, organized and arranged by humans. Humans are what?? Imperfect! So just know that no matter how much money, time, or energy put into wedding planning there will be SOMETHING that you did not plan for.

DON'T think everyone will REVOLVE their lives around YOUR wedding
   When you first get engaged it will feel like it's time for everybody that loves you to "drop everything you're doing because I'm getting married." In reality, absolutely nobody is going to do this. Except for maybe your Mom and your planner if you hire one. People will NOT come to your wedding because of prior obligations, people will NOT RSVP because they forget and people will ask you a million questions because they don't read their emails. Thinking that this day is a hallmark in everyone's lives is a total setup for disappointment. Sure your friends will be excited for you and they'll be willing to help. But if it interferes with their lives in any way you MUST be understanding. Don't get mad or be OVER expectant. Just be grateful with what help you do receive and move on!

DON'T rely on monetary gifts before receipt
   This is self-explanatory. Don't factor in money you've been promised until it reaches your hand. Don't book vendors and make obligations unless you can afford those things, in case "something comes up."

DON'T ever ever give up hope if your must-haves seem out of reach
    When you take a look at your must-have lists halfway through planning, you may notice some things that don't seem like they will happen or come through. My advice is to NEVER give up hope! That is from sheer experience. I really wanted draping for our venue and after we did some shopping around it seemed completely impossible. I was utterly devastated. As in, crying, mad, didn't feel like talking to anybody for like a week. I prayed and fasted and put it in God's hands. At the VERY last minute there was a breakthrough! To many it may sound foolish, "all that over draping" but it was THAT important to me, and God saw that! Nothing is impossible!

DON'T wait until last minute
   Although we had a long time to plan, there were plenty of things that were left till the last minute. One of them being our aisle runner, we had to settle for some flimsy version because we didn't have the 10 weeks needed to order a really nice one. Don't let the little details slip through the cracks. Be proactive and draw up a weekly to-do list to plow through day by day!

What do you think? Agree or Disagree? Did this help anybody planning?

Stay Beautiful My Loves,
Memi  

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6 comments:

LETICIA ABABIO said...

:) really nice, very detailed

Anonymous said...

Wow Memi, this is a lot for a girl to take in. But thanks for sharing, at least now I know I'm not losing my mind. The 2 hardest things are; managing the budget and my expectations, it's been an uphill battle but we are certainly getting there. And that whole united front thing is key. Again I hope everyone appreciates this as much as I do. I don't think there is enough information out there on how to really go about planning a wedding. I mean everyone highlights the importance of a wedding planner but they need to tell you the real reason you need a planner and that is so that you don't end up bald by wedding day. Lmao! Anyhow thanks again, you and the BCG team give me hope, I can do it, YES I can.

Anonymous said...

What about music for the wedding ? How should one go about handling that ? Did it take you a long time to find the perfect wedding band to play for the ceremony?

Netta said...

You pretty much hit the nail right on the head! Being a new bride and having just experienced all of this, what you've stated will definitely come in handy for future brides and grooms. Great post!

AJ said...

@Anony 1, thanks for stopping by, we are glad to continue to help brides out as they plan their big day. You are not alone and please don't go this process alone. Make sure you partner with a real advocate that would help you bring to life your vision for your wedding. Not everyone can afford a "Do Over" a la Diann Valentine or a vow renewal.
@Anony 2, music is one thing that can either make or break your event. We say you need to find a band or DJ that is attentive to what your personal music styles are and who can merge that with trending and hip music that the crowd would vibe to. That can be a challenge but there are DJ's and bands out there. Personally we love DJ Universe, he is a sound stylist and takes a consultative approach to his events. We featured him in the blog a while back, let us know if we can help you connect with him.
Thanks again for stopping by

life.love.learning.sojourns said...

AMAZING READ! Thanks Memz...

You are special! hugs!

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