Three months ago, my then-boyfriend got down on one knee in our backyard on a sunny Friday afternoon to become my now-fiancé. We had been together for several years already, so I knew that when he popped the question I would say “Yes”. Even still, I sobbed with happiness over what the proposal meant — a wedding in the future and a wonderful life ahead. Oddly enough, despite the years together, details about My Wedding had never crossed my mind before that day. Like, at all. So after saying “Yes” I realized I was in for a boat load of work, every detail needed to be developed from scratch, from the ground up, soup to nuts. For that reason, I decided to take it slow, to not panic. I would go one detail at a time. It’s a blast to join the ranks of others who have planned their wedding day, be it a traditional wedding or not. In no way am I an expert at this (our wedding is still eight months away), but I’m in the throes of the planning. I’m told planning starts off intense, cools down for a bit, and then picks up at break-neck speed just before your wedding. I’m in the cool down phase right now – at least I think I am – and so I’m reflecting on what the last few months have been like. Slowly, we’re chipping away at all the pieces. For me, it literally started with a flower. I love hydrangeas, mostly because the blue-toned ones are so gorgeous, and so shades of blue are my color and hydrangeas it is for my main flower. For an indecisive person like me, that decision was pretty easy, and having my colors and flowers chosen has helped guide many other elements and bring everything together. So I’ve learned the process is less overwhelming if you go with your gut. At the same time, at least for some aspects of the wedding, don’t rule everything out. I knew I didn’t want a strapless gown, but I tried one on anyways. There, that’s my advice. Go with your gut and be open to ideas. But I’m cautious not to give too much “advice”. It will come from those you didn’t ask. I wish I could ramble on here about odd, rude, and stupid things people have said since a ring appeared on my left hand – even before I started the planning process! Let me just say, if you hear the following, hold your chin up high and block out the noise:
- You don’t look like a “June bride” (good thing I’m getting married in September!)
- If you plan to get married in the next 12 months, you’re already behind
- It’s good you’re not holding it off for too long. Why would you want to since you’ve been together for years and are getting close to 30?
- What’s it with everyone getting married this year? I already have three weddings to go to this summer
The best advice for planning a wedding is don’t listen to dumb comments or unsolicited advice; the advice that is designed to scare you. I believe that’s how Bridezillas come to be. It is not about anybody else except you and your future spouse. This should be a super exciting time. If all goes well, you’ll only plan a wedding once in your life. The process is actually quite fun and creative, and if you’re organized and detailed, you’ll momentarily think you could quit your job and pursue wedding planning as a new career. But seriously, I am baffled by the input from others. Avoid the mistake of listening to those who think they can give advice because they’ve been through it. Unless of course you want it. The only advice that didn’t confuse or hurt me thus far has been the advice that I personally sought out. For instance, “how many vendors did you meet with before making a decision?” If you listen closely anyways, all of these so-called experts have different “rules” of going about this. One says to get the venue and the photographer first, another says you’d be crazy if you didn’t first secure a florist and officiant. Hmmm. Who is right? It doesn’t matter. As long as in the end we exchange the vows, I’d call it a success. And for the record I chose my florist and officiant last, and so far it hasn’t mattered. So please, I promise you, do what works for you and go at your own speed. There are crazy people who are trying to stress you out because they probably were when they were in your shoes. There are a million books, blogs, websites, magazines, and other resources out there for brides-to-be, and they are packed with different ways to go about the same thing. Get yourself a magazine or two, and rip out the pages with checklists. Good luck, but above all, have fun!