Flash Back Friday- Final Thoughts on the Wedding- 10 Things I Learned in the Process

by - Friday, May 20, 2016

Four years later, I feel like I have slightly different thoughts about certain decisions we make (I wish the wedding made a lot less trash and we had used compostable things), but overall I think these lessons hold really true. Hope they can help you as you plan your wedding! 

 1. Make your decisions, and move on- Pick the size of wedding you actually want (and can afford) and then don't apologize for it. People will have opinions on every decision, but in general, it comes from a good place and they just want the best for you. Know what is best for you and commit to it, so when the helpful advice comes in you can smile and move on. Pick your venue, and stop looking at venues. Pick your photographers, and stop looking at other local photographers' blogs! Pick the fashion, and stop looking! New stuff will always come up, and the second you are enjoying a lull, something will emerge. So once something is done, let it be done, and you will be so much happier.

2.Nothing is a big enough deal to be worth getting mad about-  You are getting married because you want to commit your life to this person. You are throwing a wedding because you thought it would be fun. The wedding day is a blip, so if you aren't having fun planning something or crafting it, you probably should just drop it.  We kept it interesting for ourselves because pretty much every detail correlated to our history as a couple, and a lot of it we found funny. I think deep down we both kind of liked the crafting, or at the very least we love teaming up and destroying a project. Do it together- marry someone who loves your crazy ideas and thinks its fun to make them happen, and wedding planning will stay a more creative venture. If it turns out to be something you can't do together (like loading the cars, in our case), designate someone the boss and move on.

3. Enjoy all the prep time- Use it ALL as an opportunity to spend time with the people who you love. I actually really enjoyed the week before and the week of the wedding, because I was basically bouncing from house to house, seeing all my loved ones and working as a team with them. I very seriously doubt everyone was having a good time, but I especially enjoyed doing these crafts with our parents and siblings, because I think they were pretty into it. It's important to know your audience, and give people major breaks from it, but if people want to know what they can do, they mean it, so just enjoy the late nights fluffing and gossiping. 

4. Budget like 10% for stuff you aren't going to plan for, and then try to plan for everything-The little stuff adds up. The stuff you aren't thinking about (duct tape, zip ties, etc.) adds up. Something will surprise you. Just budget for it. Also, all those cute little details, even if you mostly make them on your own, will add up. I think they are worth it within reason, but try to plan for them.

5. Hire vendors who actually enjoy what they are doing and want to do it well- I have written about this a lot already, but it really is important. If you don't get a good feeling from them, or they aren't excited about your wedding, they aren't it. Vendor drama is the worst, and it's worth it to be picky (even when you are getting married somewhere like Franklin where there aren't that many options).

6. Think about your guests!Who is coming to your wedding and what will they want to do? Unless you go the small route, you won't get to have long conversations with anybody, so the best way to appreciate them is to think about how to make it more fun/ less tedious for them. Serve good food and alcohol. That is like half the battle right there. Schedule the day so they are never waiting on you for too long. Think about stuff for kids to do. The weirdest part about this is you can never be sure how well you did at this, and no one is going to tell you if you didn't, but it should always be the end goal.

7. Do a freaking beauty check! Just because you looked good at 11 AM doesn't mean you will stay super fresh- no one told me to comb my bangs, but as the wedding pictures rolled in, I was slightly horrified at how I had like 3 hair twigs on my face. Though, to be totally honest, now that I am actually finishing this stinking blog, it really doesn't bother me as much. I was done being on display, but the truth is, until all wedding stuff is over, someone is probably taking your picture, so designate a bridesmaid to tell you if things are not looking good, and you won't even have to think about it.

8. Everyone is doing you favors and You will never actually be finished thanking people- I think when you are spending so much money on one day, it can be hard to understand why people would blow it off early or skip that special brunch and so on. So what? You will only see the tip of most people's effort put in to your wedding. They had to travel and shop. Tons of people, especially your parents and bridal party, did a million things for you that you will never know or fully appreciate. Say thank you. Then, when you become more aware of what people have done (that has been the theme of our marriage so far), don't be embarrassed to thank them again. There will be people you probably can't thank enough, and if you tried you would just sound fake, but use it as a motivation to keep doing your best for others.

9.On the day, you won't get to spend enough time with anyone, so just let it go-For probably the first two or three weeks after the wedding, I really felt down that I didn't get to spend enough time with anyone at the wedding. Pictures would go up on facebook, and I would feel really sad I missed whatever moment they captured. I obsessed about the fact that I didn't get a picture with my Greene cousins, or even get to spend that much time with them, especially since some came late and some left early. I also was annoyed that i didn't get a picture of the Boy with his brothers, but I just couldn't do all of the picture taking I usually do (partially because people would take the camera from me!) I had specifically requested a song to dance with my Poppop, and they didn't play it until late in the night after he left. I also specifically requested the Cupid Shuffle, and my family who said they wanted that song left really early. I had old friends who were there that I didn't really get the chance to catch up with like I would have liked.

If you spend too much time imagining the day, and imagining dancing with your family and spending a special moment with every person, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. All you can do is your best, and you have to count on other people to meet you more than half way- some of them will, and some of them won't, but you can't put it all on yourself. As far as I know, I didn't hurt anyone's feelings, and grappling with those frustrations has kept me from retrospectively enjoying the day which at the time, I had a really good time.

10. Enjoy it while it lasts, and be willing to let it go once it is over- Life after your wedding, especially the first month or so, should be really uneventful in a good way. You have been managing a ton of life business over the previous month or so, so taking some sort of emotional break is important. At the same time, the first few weeks, it probably will come up from time to time (hopefully as in "Damn, our wedding was awesome") but like any glory moment, the sooner you let it go and start enjoying the moment you are in (and even better, planning new ones for the future from little day trips to the holidays to your next big trip) the less you have to linger in your former glory. I recognize the irony in writing a wedding blog about letting your wedding go, but if you get caught in that moment or linger in banal domesticity, that is what your marriage will be about. You have to keep growing, or you are dying.

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