Top 5 Moments of Heartburn While Planning Our Wedding
There's nothing simple or easy about planning an event, ESPECIALLY a wedding, which is why there are professions in this area, designed to alleviate a lot of the pressure. Everything from the venue down to the color of the napkins warrants a decision. There are so many details that I always think I am forgetting something important. Despite the inherent heartburn of planning a wedding, I chose to take the reins of planning, mainly because I have perfectionismitis.
The disease of trying to achieve perfection in everything you do, even though you know that perfection does not exist.
With this condition, I decided that I wanted to lead most of the planning for our wedding to help us save money and to be in control, to ensure the best experience for us both and for our guests. Though I know I probably bit off more than I can chew, I honestly wouldn't have it any other way. It has been pretty chill up until this point, with all the major budget busters being accounted for, but we are on the brink of minor detail mayhem, with less than 3 months until the big day.
Knowing that there are so many future brides out there preparing to plan for their big day, I wanted to share some of the general areas of wedding planning that have been hardest to overcome, so that you all can have a heads up and prepare yourself or avoid them altogether. There are probably millions of blog posts you could read on this very topic and some may even express pure joy in the planning of these areas, but I'm just here to share from my own perspective and encourage you to do your own research or reach out to me one-on-one with specific questions. With that, here are my top 5 moments of heartburn while planning our wedding!
5. Getting In Shape
Yeah trivial, right? Some will say this isn't a big deal, and that's fair. For me, I saw myself looking a certain way for my man when I walk down the aisle and can't let that vision go. I was slightly smaller when Al and I started dating and admittedly gained weight throughout the course of our relationship. I BLAME HIM! No JK, but really he's part to blame. I'll say, "Look at all this new fat! Where did it come from?!?" He'll follow up with "You're beautiful just the way you are!" I mentioned this in my fitness blog post here.
Anyways, I love food! I'm a self-described foodie and enjoy delicious flavors and trying new things. This makes it extremely difficult for me to strike some balance between what I eat and how much. Knowing this, I have someone I work out with regularly and talk a lot about eating healthy and meal prepping. It's helped get me on track (I'm not perfect but have made a lot of progress since deciding to get in shape and drop some pounds) and stay focused on the end goal.
I didn't want to spend the money on a personal trainer but if you have the funds, go for it! Even better if they provide meal plans as well. If you're trying to be frugal like myself, perhaps try getting a temporary gym pass or pick up some fun workout classes that make you feel like you're not working out at all. Also, track your progress, not obsessively but take a look maybe once a month to see how far you've come. Weigh yourself, take pictures, whatever helps you to assess how close you are to meeting your goal.
4. Proper Time Management
Why does it seem like suddenly there are less hours in the day? Like the days are shorter and you went from a year and some change for planning to being down to the wire on some very important decisions that could make or break the experience? Working a demanding full-time job, being an active member of church, co-founding a blog, and a dedicated fiancé who ensures her man is fed and the house is in order, is no small task. Set deadlines for everything you're working on and try to stick to it (don't get down to the wire or risk not having what you need because you're a procrastinator).
Though you may be planning your wedding, hear me when I say this...you cannot do it alone! Delegate to family and close friends you can trust and depend on to follow through. I also believe that the groom should have some skin in the game. Al is taking care of the groomsmen and making sure they are doing what they need to do for their attire and other necessities for the day. He's also owning the honeymoon planning, entertainment, transportation, and picking up any other tasks he can when he sees I'm overwhelmed. His favorite moments of course include cake and food tasting!
Also, leverage whatever free planning tools there are available out there on the internet. I have enjoyed the help of TheKnot.com and WeddingWire.com when it comes to keeping on task with important decisions. Once you have an outline of your wedding, put your plans together with all details. Almost everything may be TBD but you'll at least know what's ahead.
3. Budget Process
First and foremost, after you say yes, SET A BUDGET! I feel like our budget just kind of came together after we selected our venue, but in hindsight, we could have done a lot more research up front to weigh the options of our venue against other options. Truthfully speaking, I fell in love with our venue after our tour and nothing was going to measure up to it, so we were pretty much stuck.
You can start your budget by first deciding what kind of wedding you want and doing some research on what it will take to accomplish the look you're going for on your big day. Venue can be the biggest budget buster, depending on what all is included. For us, the reception venue also includes ceremony and food, which is why it is the biggest line item. We like that all the essentials are available through our venue. Other places provide venues for rent and allow outside caterers. I imagine this adds an extra layer of complexity but could also help in saving funds. Aside from venue, think ahead to the experience. What are you going for? Are flowers necessary? I can't see a wedding without entertainment, so are you thinking DJ? Live band? What about the photography and videography, two of the top things people regret not investing more money into? Any extra wow factors? The goal is to get the biggest areas of your budget settled so that if all else goes wrong (in your mind), at least people will have fun celebrating with you.
2. Maintaining the Relationship
This could easily be #1 for many and is probably more of a tie for us. We've had our fair share of arguments regarding the wedding and just regular relationship stuff you get into, as life and the idea of forever starts to set in. As important as the wedding planning is in the grand scheme of getting married, it can be a distraction to your relationship if you let it. It's not hard to get so completely consumed with life around you that you set into auto-pilot when it comes to the relationship. Don't do this! Keep your relationship aflame. Tell him/her how much you love them and can’t wait to spend the rest of your lives together. Keep reminding each other why you love one another and want to be life partners, so that when you do get on each other’s nerve during the stress of wedding planning, you know it’s nothing major.
One piece of advice that will stick with me a lifetime is that the dating never stops, even after marriage, if you want a healthy relationship that continues to grow. With this in mind, we're on a quest to falling in love with each other all over again constantly, consistently ALL THE TIME! Sure there are things we don't care for about one another but the good far outweighs the imperfect and we've made a commitment to keeping the lines of communication open, being each other's best friend, and ensuring that the passion that brought us together never dies. Don't allow all of the planning to be for nothing because you lost focus of the real purpose of marriage.
1. Guest List
And my #1 moment of complete and utter stress...The guest list! This is the topic that sadly has kept me up at night on many occasions, why? Because I hate feeling like I'm hurting someone's feelings. Yes, people should be understanding because weddings aren't cheap but that doesn't mean that you won't lose acquaintances (I say acquaintances because honestly my close friend group is small and everyone made the cut) or upset some distant family. The irony in it all is that the very reason we decided not to elope or have a destination wedding is the same reason we kind of wished we would have just went to the courthouse and taken some time off to travel. At this point though, look at it as a gift from God that some may drop out of your life over the lack of an invite. I'll bet they'd be doing you a favor if that's all it took.
Let’s take our wedding for example. Our planned guest list is 200, but we would ideally like 170-180 max, when it's all said and done. We each had 100 guests each to start with. I have a large family on both my mother and father's sides. Family was easy but also hard at the same time. You have to play it fair to keep unreasonable comparisons from occurring (why did this one get invited or this one get a plus one but not me?). At the end of the day, I figured that family is family. After family, I added in my close friends who I couldn't picture celebrating our union without, people who have not only provided me with unconditional support but those who have fully embraced Al and have formed their own friendships with him. Finally, I took a look at people who made a lasting impression on my life. There have been some who have lifted me up at my lowest moments and been there to cheer for me when I'm at my best. People who have taken me under their wing and care, and I knew it was nothing but God. This comes in the form of some of my church members, my support system while in Miami for 2 years, and co-workers who feel more like family and make work not so bad.
Not everyone you choose to invite will be able to make it, so have a B list. It’s not rude or inconsiderate, just a way to pick additional people you wanted to invite to share in your special day, if they find it offensive, move on to the next person!
My loves, it's not all bad! Though stressful, I am overly excited to see everything come together. We want everyone to have a good time, but ultimately this day is about us. As long is Al is happy and I am happy, nothing else really matters. I hope those of you in the throes of wedding planning or getting prepared find this helpful. Hey married folks, what was your experience like? Let us know in the comments!