- 3 years ago
- Wedding: November 2013
I am four weeks out from my wedding, and would like to share some of my much learned planning-a-wedding wisdom with you all! feel free to add your own, and hopefully with this will help any up and coming brides!
a little background; Hubby and i were engaged for three years and never did we do one wedding related thing. We were getting married “in the far future”, and then one day (much like how we decided to get engaged) we woke up, and felt that it was ‘time’. We told our parents we were getting married in a year, then a month later moved that date forward by 6 months because we didnt want to wait.
We are having a 90 people home wedding on 25 acres of property. The only vendors we have are the cake, photography, and celebrant. EVERYTHING ELSE (yes catering too!) is being done by us, or friends and family. (waitresses are work collegues of the mother of the bride, bridal party is doing all the cooking for the catering, everything else is hired, bought, borrowed etc)
So, four weeks out, this is what i have learned ( I think ill follow this up with a day-of edition! lol)
1. Murphys law; Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
The first few months of the seven month planning process went quite well.
Then four months out my celebrant (family friend) moved to the other side of the country, and could no longer be our celebrant. So we went about the search for a new one, and thankfully found one. If any of you bees are located in NSW Australia go for Samantha Dawson. She is ah-mazing and worth her weight in gold!
After this, out photographer (family friend) could no longer be our photographer (due to the fact that four weeks out from the wedding, he hadnt even seen out locations yet, and was uncontactable).
Aswell as this my bridal shoes broke, and didnt fit, three bridesmaids were MIA for the entire planning process (and havent even seen their dresses yet), another bridesmaid had major surgery and is only allowed out of bed two days before the wedding (talk about cutting it close!), things that were ordered online didnt show up, or when they did some broke in the post!
My point is, be prepared (just like in boy scounts!).
2. You will not have a complete idea of how much a wedding really costs, until your half way through planning. (and should have back up money!)
We set a budget, went to all our local wedding venues, cut our guest list down from 90 to 65 to accomodate our budget, then promptly realised it was not doable.
Instead of having a catered wedding at a traditional venue, we had a home wedding, and did it all ourselves. I always wanted a different wedding, and since there are a total of 5 wedding venues in my area, i am glad this will look different, and be exciting for my guests.
In saying that, the little things add up (to atleast a few extra thousand dollars) if your not prepared for them. Things like favours (if your DIY every little thing used to make those favours costs money, and time), shipping for EVERYTHING (im not in a city, so anything i wanted had to be shipped if it was special or different at all from the norm), every-little-decoration, batteries for anything that needs them, your bridal emergency bag etc. I didnt take any of this into account, and since its a home wedding things like tables need to be hired.
3. You will get caught in the wedding ‘spending’ trap if your not careful (and very restrained)
Speaking of money, did you know theres so many wedding related things that you JUST HAVE TO HAVE? (because you only get one wedding, and THIS ONE needs to be special!).
I blame pininterest for this (not entirely), because no gal can have everything at her wedding. But BOY, once you see these weddings, you want all of it.
I ended up with things like this (that i didnt know i wanted until I started planning); A victorias secret ‘bride to be’ jumper, a ‘bride to be’ tshirt, a ‘Hens night’ outfit, a ‘going away’ outfit, a ‘honeymoon’ outfit, every decoration under the sun!
And once youve bought something that you know you will never wear other than during/in the lead up to your wedding, its an endless cycle. There is just too many wedding related things, and it sends brides-to-be in a crazy spending spree! aaaaand theres that budget again, creeping up.
4. You will forget things.
Spending nights lying awake and making lists of things you have forgotten for your wedding? Yup. Guess what? Youve forgotten something. A month away from my wedding (a few days ago to be exact) a realised that hubby didnt have a wedding ring yet. Yikes! how do you forget that?
I’ve made about two-zillion lists, and have dropped a few things off the lists along the way, because there just too small to care about, or you just forget.
Think about things like your guestbook pens etc (if your guestbook doesnt come with one), what if that one runs out? get a spare. Get duct tape (beacuse you can do virtually anything with it), out reception is outdoor, so we bought a wedding marquee, and then we bought pegs to hold it down, and then we bought tape to be sure that there were no holes. We bought sand to weight anything in a vase down incase it got windy, we bought a bug zapper and about a thousand citronella candles, and then incase theres a total fireban that day (common in my area) we bought battery operated candles for every candle that had a flame! see where im going with this? The more ways you leave yourself open to possibility (outdoor wedding, summer wedding, winter wedding, any time of year when it will rain, any time of year when it might be hot, or using friends and family for special jobs (photographer, mc, dj etc)) you will have to think about everything that could go wrong with that possibility and plan accordingly. and. it. sucks.
5. No-one will quite ‘get it’.
I am the first of my group of girls to get married, and they just dont get it. They dont understand how i could possibly be spending every day doing wedding related things, or why Its difficult sticking to a budget, or why I have to make appointments with them three weeks in advance, when normally ring the day of.
Even my maid of Honor didnt get it. She asked me how i could be spending so much time doing wedding stuff, and “what is there possibly left on your list with four weeks to go!?”.
My reply “well, we have to pick up more battery candles beacuse if theres a total fire ban we wont have any candles”. to which she said “but are you really going to care if you dont have any candles on the day of your wedding when your marrying the love of your life?”.
Well, yes i am otherwise i wouldnt have got them in the first place.
expect to have lots of those conversations.
6. You will have to stage-manage everybody (if friends and family are helping), and they may not come through for you as much as you thought.
Ive made lists for every bridesmaid and groomsmen, dj, mc, and significant helper for the week before, the day of and (if theyre helping to clean up) the day after too. And i have spares.
Expect them to forget things, loose things, not show up on time (or at all) for meetings, lunches, and any other event, and to not ask about the wedding untl the day before.
Exect to have to continually catch people up on everything (if they do ask), and expect that they will not neccesarily listen to the answer.
Do not expect everyone to care about your wedding as much as you do, and to not realise how special it is.
I am the first girl in my circle to get married, and three of my bridesmaids arent showing up to my bachelorette party (one because she just ‘doesnt want to’), and only three have done any sort of significant helping for the planning process (i have six all up), and one hasnt even seen her bridesmaids dress yet. I hate to say it, but dont set your hopes too high, and your will be surprised, rather than letdown.
This goes for groomy too. a week ago hubby asked me what time our ceremony started. the wedding is in four weeks.
Dont expect him to fully understand your vision until it all comes together on the day.