Real Life Wedding Planning (Pt. 1 of 4)
2 tips from my wedding that will help you plan for your big day
April is gone and May is here, which means wedding bells are ringing pretty much everywhere! If you’re not getting married this season, you probably know someone who’s just about to tie the knot!
Just a lil’ side note: I agonized over when I was actually going to get married in life. I know not all girls are like me, but I always found myself comparing every guy to my 7th grade flame. Thankfully, his love for me burned strong too, and I ended up marrying my junior high school sweetheart. (More on this a little later!)
All that to say, wedding planning is tons more fun when you’ve got a really good catch by your side. The first piece (and, if you think about it) the only real advice you need for planning the best wedding is:
Make sure you marry your best friend. Everything else is a bonus.
Admittedly, there were times where I forgot that everything else was actually a bonus. I’d love to say that selecting a color pallet is essential, or picking out the perfect flowers is key, but that’s just not real life. Real life, successful wedding planning means making sure you have enough emotional energy to build into your relationship without over drafting. It means you have gas in your tank, food on your table, and you can actually afford all the pins you’re saving to Pinterest, and all the vendors you’re giddily Googling.
Reflecting on our wedding planning, we wish we would have created a more modest budget and created a larger margin for mishap. Please note: This may be the happiest day of your life, but it might not be the most perfect. Someone will break the 4x6ft glass seating chart (and hey, that person might be the bride, you never know) or one of your vendors may get sick and you might need to pay for extra helpers last minute to deliver 300 Mexican popsicles. Accidents and unforeseen issues will arise. Creating a margin in your overall budget can save you a lot of stress when you’re trying to attach those fakes lashes in the car ride over to the venue.
TIP #1: Create a realistic budget, with a margin. Stick to it (like super glue).
It may not sound like the most romantic story, but Ricky and I started wedding planning two years before I even had a ring. It was hard to think about waiting two years to be together, but we had to consider real factors. Moving across the country, and paying for a lot on our own seemed daunting because, well, it was.
If I could provide one piece of real life advice, it would be to create a realistic budget based on you and your partner. This will free you up to make decisions based on your preferences, not anyone else’s. You won’t feel pressured to please later on. (That’s for another post). “A realistic budget” means you don’t stop living so you can afford a DJ. You will go insane and your relationship will suffer. Instead, this means you may have to cut some of your family members who can’t remember how to spell your first name off the guest list. Or, this might mean you might need to get a second job and look at that pile of cash you’ve stashed before you set an official date and start looking at venues.
We counted our pennies for over a year.
And some people thought we were crazy for getting our venue before I even got my ring! I shared that little piece of excitement with a couple of friends, and it was hard when I got some pained faces instead of understanding and encouragement.
Rick drove by the perfect venue on his way home from work one day, and called me in a tizzy. I could hardly make out what he was saying he was talking so fast. He was in Phoenix, and I was just about to fall asleep in Philly. “We havvve to make the payment now. There’s only a couple of dates open! This venue –it’s perfect, but there are only three days left next year! – April 20th, May 13th, or May 20th!”
I laughed as I thought about what he was saying, and pictured myself possibly getting married on marijuana day or Friday the 13th. We booked the venue, and then Rick proposed. Now, I don’t recommend that for everyone. However, with that venue being new and jumping on the last date, we saved a bunch with the venue’s opening promotion, and it was exactly what we wanted. It was unconventional, but it worked for us.
Even before we were engaged, Rick and I knew the flavor we wanted for our wedding. And by flavor, I mean tacos. Yeah, the good part about our heritage is that it gave us the best type of wedding catering anyone ever could ask for: a taco food truck!
It was common knowledge – a Mexican fiesta was in the works.
After all, how could we celebrate without rice and beans? From the beginning Rick and I knew we wanted to have a party that celebrated not only our love, but the people and places, food and memories that shaped us both.
So TIP #2: Choose 2.
You might not be able to do everything or have everything you want. Between the both of you, decide what top 2 things are most important and focus on that before you build upon the rest of the wedding. Follow TIP #1 first, of course. For us, the venue was our #1. Tacos #2.
Wish you all could have tasted this! Shout out to our awesome photographer and friend, Daniel, who blocked a couple of family members from our sweetheart table so we could enjoy the food we worked so hard to pay for!
I’m sorry if I made you drool. If you are currently planning for the big day, and want any more free advice, ask away!