Ok, so maybe I haven’t made a ton of mistakes, BUT I have made SOME. And so I thought I would share…because sharing is caring.
So, my fiance, Steven, and I are getting married in June. When we got engaged, we had approximately 14 months until our wedding day. Which seemed like a lifetime to wait. But, here we are, less than three months out, and I’m feeling…way behind schedule.
Mistake #1: WAITING TOO LONG TO CHOOSE/ORDER MY DRESS
Now, this one was a little out of our control. We had to reschedule our “shopping date” two different times due to Long Covid, but I thought that eight months would have been sufficient enough time to make a dress…boy, was I wrong.
Let’s just say that my dress isn’t going to be ready until about 10 days before our wedding…in New York.
So yes, I will have to fly to NYC less than two weeks before the wedding to pick up the dress…let’s pray that nothing goes wrong between now and then, and that they actually get it finished on time! AND THAT IT FITS!
MISTAKE #2: WAITING TOO LONG TO ORDER THE CAKE
Yep — it turns out, that cake shops can’t just snap their fingers and have a wedding cake appear at a moment’s notice. Turns out…you have to get on their calendar. DUH, CARALYN!
Well, June is, of course, a popular month to get married, and surprise surprise, our two top cake shops were unavailable our weekend, because they already had other weddings booked. So don’t wait until 3 months before the wedding!
MISTAKE #3: WAITING TOO LONG TO MAKE/GET THE INVITATIONS OUT
Are you noticing a theme here? Yep – after I booked the venue and had the dress, I kind of sat on my haunches and got too comfortable. And now, here we are, less than three months out and we’re still waiting to on our invitation proofs to approve them, print and mail them out!
MISTAKE #4: NOT WRITING DOWN LITTLE DETAILS
Okay, you would think that this is a no-brainer. But…yes, I can be disorganized when it comes to delegation. Who’s supplying what? Who did we ask to do this or that, and have we asked them yet to do it? Little things that are able to slip the mind…do!
OK — so thankfully, all those mistakes are not huge, make-or-break “uh-oh’s.”
Now, onto the extra helpful part:
WHAT I’VE LEARNED ALONG THE WAY!
1.) Don’t sleep on the “little rocks.”
So you’ve got your “BIG ROCKS” — aka: the venue, the dress, marriage prep, the photographer, the videographer, Save the Dates, the music, the flowers. The little rocks are everything else: transportation, the cake, party favors, invitations, seating charts, menu cards, booking your hair and makeup, bachelorette party, choosing the food for your reception. These are little rocks and are precisely the things that can sneak up on you and bite you in the tushie if you wait too long! So don’t leave them until the last minute like I did. Book them early!
2.) Everything costs way more that you expected.
Yeah…be ready for sticker shock.
3.) Dress Shopping “DO’S!”
When you go dress shopping with your shopping buddy (mine was my mom)…have them take lots of pictures! FROM EVERY ANGLE! This is so important. Not only so you can go back and look at them to help you decide, BUT you can only see the dress from head-on in the mirror. Everyone else sees it from every which way. Seeing my two dress contenders side by side in photos from the back is what ultimately made me decide on the one I chose! Also – some dresses photograph way differently than they look on. AND, some dresses look way different ON than they do on the rack!
Next, try on dress styles that you never would expect to like!
I went in thinking I knew exactly which dress style was going to be it. I thought I would try on one style and be done with it! This style is what everyone thought I was going to choose, it’s very “on par” with the way I always dress. But it turns out, when I tried it on, I thought …This looks like something I would wear on any old night out on the town. So surprise yourself!
4) Be sure to include your fiance in all the decisions!
This one I am just throwing in there for anyone who needs to hear it. I think Steven and I really did an excellent job on this one: we both feel complete ownership on the decisions we made. We did everything together…except the dress! Wedding planning is a fun thing to do together! Even when it comes to little details you may think are boring to a guy…like what the invitations look like…you’ll be surprised that they want to be included! It’s their “big day” too! So make these little tasks a date! 🙂
5) Wedding Planners don’t actually plan the wedding for you.
This, I was extremely shocked at…you mean they’re not going to do everything for me? Nope. They’ll keep you on track and your timeline up to snuff, but when it comes to making the phone calls and doing the dirty work, that’s on you, sis. They’ll be a life saver on the Big Day as your day-of-coordinator, but in the planning phase, they’ll just give you recommendations on which vendors they like to work with, and what you need to do next.
6.) HONEYMOON SUITES BOOK UP FAST …
Yep, they go fast, and are expensive. So, especially if you’re going to a popular place like we are, book them early!
One other honeymoon tip: use your credit card travel points for flights/hotels! Every little bit helps! We were able to book all of our airfare using travel credit card points. So if you’re engaged, or near-engagement…save up those points so you can use them when and where it counts!
7.) KEEP EVERYTHING IN PERSPECTIVE
Lastly, and most importantly…remember why you’re doing this! All the stress and planning and deadlines and this and that…it’s just one day. An important day, yes: it’s the first day of your marriage. But that’s what all this excitement is really about: your marriage — spending the rest of your life with your partner. I am so excited to share my life with Steven, and this period of engagement has been so huge for us to learn about each other, and prepare our hearts and our souls for this journey we’re about take take together. The wedding day is exciting, and we’re so pumped to throw the party of our lives for everyone we love, but the real excitement is for the day after the wedding. And the day after that, and the day after that and on and on for the rest of our lives.
On that note, it’s time for me to go and spend some quality time with my man. It’s now after 5, we’re both off work, and I can’t wait to sit down to a nice meal together!
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