Post # 1
So, I’ve been engaged for all of a month, and I’m still learning all the ropes to creating and planning our wedding.
Despite the fact that I’m 37, I never had ideas in my head of how I wanted a wedding to be. Now that C. and I are starting to plan, I’m realizing that this whole thing creates strong desires around "stuff" and weirdness. I’m not used to that kind of ties with material things…
We wanted a certain venue and we made it happen. Then we both decided that we wanted a certain photographer. We talked to her and found out she was booked for our date. Instead of looking for someone else, we ended up changing our date to a week earlier. At what point do you say, "OK, we’re going to look for a new photographer"?
I know that a certain point, you have to be flexible and let things go, and I’m definitely not the type of person who wants to form strong attachments to things that ultimately don’t mean much… but then since I’ve waited so long to find the right guy to share my life with, I also want the day to be a wonderful celebration reflective of our personalities.
So how do you keep balance? How do you not get tied to things? Do you feel guilty when you get things exactly the way you want?
Post # 3
I might not be the best person to give advice, because I got called a self-rightous elitist by someone on the board for stating my (admittedly not in the norm, certainly for this site) views on weddings. 🙂 BUT with that caveat, I think it’s really fun to indulge in wedding porn, as long as you step back every once in awhile and think about who you are and what a wedding/marriage means to you. I think you responded to my post re: not registering, but a couple weekends ago my fiance and I were talking about where to register, and what we wanted, and the list just kept getting longer and longer and then pretty much at the same time we said, this just isn’t us. It’s pretty easy to get sucked in.
Being a little older, you probaly know yourself and your values pretty well. Just stick with that. Ignore websites (and posters on websites) that tell you anything differently.
Offbeat bride is a really good website to look at as well.
Post # 4
The thing that’s kept me sane through this process can be summed up in one word…
It is hard to not get wedding brain but if you and your Fi make a list of prioties and figure out what you want to spend, it may make it easier. Also getting an honest opinion doesn’t hurt either (my Future Mother-In-Law is great for that)
Hang in there, its supposed to be fun!
Post # 5
I found items that were really important to me – the photographer for one. Thats all you have left of that day to remember it by, it’s what will trickle down through the ages telling the story of your marriage to generations after you – I would have switched my date for a photogorapher in a heart beat if there was one I had to have (and there was!)
My venue, also terribly important to me – it the tone and mood for your whole reception. Even with decorations.
I think you will find as you plan more that things won’t be SO desperatly needed and can be substatuted. For instance I HAD TO have a photobooth, money restrictions woulnd’t allow it. I got over it but it was sad to me at first.
Hang in there – it will ease up I promise 🙂 And it’s your day, everything should be important and sentiment attached to things. You’ll find a balance, each bride is different 🙂
Post # 6
I really recommend the indiebride forums. I have found out that it is really easy to get an inflated perspective of the importance of certain things that when put in perspective are not so important to you at all.
As an example, I have never though about about the whole kids at weddings things one way or another. But by reading a long and really heated thread on the weddingbee forums I really started freaking out about a baby crying ‘ruining’ my ceremony.
Then I went to the indiebride forums and read about people dealing with alcoholic family members and homophobia in their families and realized how lucky I am, and that a baby crying would have never really bothered me before and it will only ‘ruin’ my ceremony if I let it. I am not putting on a production, and whatever wedding photos I have I will display max three at my apartment (if that).
It is critically important to me to not have anyone mad at me, and to not get into a fight with my fiance about anything wedding related. I have an opinion on music, food, location but none of those will ‘ruin’ my wedding.
People on these boards seem to empower each other to ‘stand up’ to friends and family members, but I feel so lucky and humbled that these people want to be there and celebrate with me at considerable expense (airfare) that I would much rather ‘give in’ and be a ‘pushover’ than create a bad feeling between myself and people I care about over a party.
I am having an elegant black tie reception in my dream venue, but if it were to get flooded, we would have a polka party at the local German brewhaus and it wouldn’t ‘ruin’ my day. Getting your way is not a bad thing at all and nothing to feel guilty over, as long as you don’t let it upset you when things don’t go exaclty as you imagine or plan.
I suggest determining what your real priorities are and not letting anything else gain too much importance.
Post # 7
It’s actually kind of difficult (unless you’re planning over a year out) to line up all the vendors you want. For us, the venue and the photographer and the band were all very important – and all are somewhat unique. We actually chose a block of time (about 4 weekends) that would work for us as far as dates, and then picked the one that lined up best for all our vendors. I wouldn’t go changing your date for small things, but if you’ve decided that a few things are quite important, then adjusting other things to make it all work out is reasonable.
You should find that everything else you want (cake, flowers, catering) is easier to schedule than the photographer and venue.
And no way should you feel guilty for getting what you want. The key is deciding what really is important to you. There are things that I’m not going to get excited about, or not even going to have, that are fairly standard wedding accoutrements. But I have had people express some astonishment at the musicians I have lined up, or the wine we are serving, and I don’t feel guilty at all. As long as you’re not going all bridezilla about every little detail, you don’t have to feel like you’re somehow out of line for wanting something specific and working to get it.
Post # 8
TallBride is right, make your buget rule your day, set your priorities, and stick to it.
One way that I try to keep things in perspective is looking at my wedding with the comfort of my guests in mind. This may work more or less depending on the circles in which your guests travel, but in my crowd no one will give a hoot if I’m wearing a 10K designer gown (no matter how breathtaking I find it to be), they will be just as content with a standard bar (as long as it is open) than with a martini bar carved out of ice, won’t pay a whole lot of attention to my bouquet or centeripieces (so long as they don’t block the view and impede conversation)… so on and so on. Focusing on what will actually make a difference to the people who are making an effort to celebrate with us and less on "I want this" or "I think this is soooo beautiful" goes a long way.
Post # 9
As an imminent bride, I’ve lost all perspective, so I can’t give you any advice on that part. But as for vendors, I really advise not to get too attached to any one vendor. For you, it’s love, but for them, it’s just a job, so there’s always the chance they’ll drop you for some reason. We almost booked with a photog who later decided that he wasn’t sure if he was going to continue with his business. So, I wouldn’t change any more plans for a vendor; you’ll be very upset if they cancel on you later. In this market, there is always another vendor just as good if you look.
Post # 10
Thank you guys so much!!! Very good advice all around.
As I said this is all new to me and I’m just finding my way. You are all helping me do that!
I know there will be times that I lose balance, but I want to maintain it as much as possible. I was surprised how much this stuff all takes a hold of you!!!
Rzbina- I’m taking that advice to heart. I hadn’t thought of it that way. "For me, it’s love, bur for them its just a job." *makes new mantra
Tallbride-I think if we make the budget more explicit, I’ll feel better… Right now we’re still in the nebulous stage.
Suzanno-thanks for saying I shouldn’t feel guilty. Sometimes I forget that I deserve good and beautiful times too. (Having been the bridesmaid frequently!)
and Livvie-I think you get it 😉
Post # 11
I’m right with Tallbride: Budget is the number one way to keep you on track. I listed the things that are important to me and found ways to put them in the budget, those that are not important to me (but may be important to my mom, fmil, etc..) don’t get thrown out completly, but are only fit in if the budget allows.
For example, cake. I really could not care less about cake, but my mom and fmil almost had heart attacks when they found out that I think it is a waste. So, compromise: I found a cute cake for 75 people (about half the number we expect) for $180.
Veil — why would I pay $200 for something I am going to wear for maybe 30 minutes? Solution: Buy tulle on ebay for $8.00/yd (need 2 yards) and make myself.
I’ve found that you can have the wedding you want, at a price you can afford, just don’t let all the magazines, tv shows, and (dare I say it) some of the "bees" get to you. I refused to buy any bridal magazines — however my moh bought me a ton, so I ended up cutting out the stuff I liked and made my own book.
Post # 12
I think one of the best things Fiance and I did was right after we got engaged, we each sat down and (separately) made a list of the 5 most important things that we wanted out of the wedding in order. Then we compared our list and had a really great idea of what our priorities are and where we want to spend our money. For example, food was number one on both of our lists, so we’ve worked really hard to find a caterer that we like and have mutually decided that we will sacrifice other elements to be able to afford what we want. Stationery didn’t make either of our lists so we bought some of the print it yourself invitation sets at Michaels. It’s really easy to make decisions like that once you know what the priorities are for both of you!
Post # 13
Great idea prettykatie!
Calicoteach-I’m with you on the bridal magazines. My mom tried to buy me a subscription, I told her to save the cash. I’ve got everything I need right here on line!