It’s that time of year again! Proposal season is among us. (Did you know that 40% of engagements happen between November and February?!)
Our social feeds are soon going to be littered with engagement announcements, girls taking pictures of themselves driving or drinking coffee with their new rings, etc (Not hating, pretty sure I did this.).
Since I am a seasoned professional (by “seasoned professional” I mean that I’ve been engaged before), I figured I would share some valuable insight, things I wish someone had told me when I was engaged. Enjoy!
1. It’s okay to hire alllll the help, or ask for alllll the help.
In true perfectionist fashion, I was certain I could do it all. In hindsight, this was an insane idea. I was in graduate school, my fiancé was deployed, and I was living alone in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, my wedding venue, family, and most of my bridesmaids were in Northern California. Oh, and did I mention we only had 8 months to plan our wedding?
Hiring a wedding planner crossed my mind, of course, but my perfectionista self said, “No way. Women do this all the time on their own! I can totally do it!”
This was a mistake. I’m not the type to haggle with people, be pushy, be persistent with vendors, etc.; basically all of the things you need to plan an event, get the cheapest price, and have everything run smoothly. I am an alpha female in any situation that doesn’t involve ME. If this was my best friend’s wedding? WATCH OUT B*TCHES she is getting EVERYTHING she wants and I won’t stop until the job is finished.
Now, this isn’t to say my wedding was a nightmare. It actually turned out really beautiful and was an amazing day. HOWEVER, the amount of stress I was cowering under for six months was really unnecessary. It didn’t feel fun and exciting to plan a wedding…it felt like a chore.
**This tip won’t apply to everyone. I know some women who LOVED planning their wedding and wouldn’t have wanted anyone else to be in charge, that just wasn’t the case for me!
2. It’s not going to look like Instagram.
Let me say that again, “IT IS NOT GOING TO LOOK LIKE INSTAGRAM.”
The reason it is not going to look like Instagram is simple. In order to do so, you would need:
- The same camera used to take the picture
- The same photographer
- The same angles
- The same venue
- The same decor
- The same lighting
- The same season
- The same editor for the pictures
Get where I’m going with this? Remind yourself while you’re getting *inspriation* from Pinterest and Instagram that it may not end up looking like the fairy tale expectation that’s building in your mind.
The photo you’re looking at on Instagram or Pinterest didn’t even look like that in real life! Photos are curated, life is not.
3. Steal little moments with your soon to be husband/wife as much as you can.
This may sound crazy, but I really didn’t spend that much time with my future husband in the days leading up to our wedding.
The day before the wedding, all of the boys golfed then came directly to our rehearsal. From there, we went our separate ways and got ready, then met at the rehearsal dinner. The rehearsal dinner is amazing because you get to see all your friends and family for the first time. However, you’re so busy with other people that you really don’t have alone time. Once the night is over (if you follow tradition, which not everyone does!) you sleep apart from one another.
And the day of your actual wedding? It’s basically DEFCON 1.
Your bridal party is transformed into the Secret Service, sneaking around and making sure you and your future spouse don’t cross paths. I was sequestered into our “getting ready area” for most of the day (which was fine because it literally takes 5 hours for everyone to get ready).
The takeaway here is: I wish we would have snuck away at some point and just….sat. Just checked in. Had a drink…alone. This day is about the two of you, make sure you feel connected even if you’re not with one another the whole time.
4. Take as many pictures before the wedding as you can.
Once the ceremony is over, your bridal party’s focus will narrow to the point where it is very difficult to lasso them all back in.
I imagine the feeling they have after the ceremony is synonymous to the feeling you have once you take a final in college: you want to throw your papers and pencils in the air and run to the nearest bar. The bridal party has been rehearsing and prepping for literally months, and now their job is over. From here on out, their only job is to have fun…and they would like to start that as SOON as possible.
I honestly don’t blame them. But I will say, trying to keep their attention to snap photos while they can see the rest of the wedding downing champagne and attacking charcuterie boards is VERY difficult.
5. The little things TRULY don’t matter.
I added that “truly” in there because you will hear this sentiment many times from former brides. Each time I did, I had the tendency to say, “Yeah, yeah. Now, WHAT am I going to do about the color of these cheese markers!??”
Please listen to these brides. The little things truly don’t matter. I’m angry at myself for spending so much time trying to find a damn pair of shoes, and shoes are somewhat important! I wore them for the ceremony and barely any of the wedding, then promptly switched them out for Target sandals. No one saw any of my shoes that evening…because I was wearing a GOWN.
I think the reason I spent so much time worrying about the small things was because I was too worried about other people. I was worried about the guests, my bridal party, my parents…way too much.
I won’t say you shouldn’t care about your guests, after all they did travel and spend quite a bit of money to come and celebrate you. Just remember the only thing they care about is having fun. If they are fed and there is alcohol, you’re pretty much good to go. I’ve been to weddings where the food was less than stellar, but I didn’t care. I had free wine for a night, ate seven pigs-in-a-blanket and danced like I was in high school again.