Hey y’all! It’s been awhile – if you read my last personal update then you know we’ve had yet another whirlwind summer. We’re staying positive, continuing to grind and most importantly (to me)
PLANNING THESE DANG NUPTIALS.
We’re officially 235 days out and the planning has been pretty seamless! I have made a few “uh oh’s” though – and I wanted to share them with my fellow brides-to-be to hopefully save you a few mistakes and bottles of wine.
1. Bridesmaids on a Budget
So, as a bridal blogger, this is kind of embarrassing – but I HATE bridesmaids dresses! DESPISE ‘EM. Don’t act like muted pastels in floor length form looks good on anyone. Y’all look like Jordan Almonds. Alas, we accept this notion when we scream “YES I’LL BE YOUR BRIDESMAID!!!!” to our hopeful besties turned brides. Allow me to hurt you with the truth: no, you’ll never wear that dress again and yes, it does look like a bridesmaid dress. To avoid my distaste for such a vital part of the wedding planning process, I told my bridesmaids:
“You’re wearing navy jumpsuits. You’re welcome.”
In addition to being generally unappealing, I really hate the cost of a bridesmaids dress. Most of my wardrobe is from Old Navy. Most of my money goes towards student loans. You do the math.
We all know the price of a dress is worth the sacrifice of being a bridesmaid, but I wanted to avoid it at all costs by finding cheap options. My favorite boutique (Vici Dolls) released a gorg navy jumpsuit for $45! I jumped at the opportunity to say yes to the dress whoot whoot to the jumpsuit. My sister ordered one and when it arrived (wrinkly as ever) I was disappointed. Was it great for a seaside brunch or night out on the vegas strip? Hell yeah! Was it aisle walking worthy? Not in the slightest. I’m so glad the girls held off on ordering those as THE outfit. Oh and 2 of my 4 gal pals decided to expand their families (I’ll trade a chic little cinched waist jumpsuit for two prospective nieces or nephews any day) so to better suit my ‘maids, we went with affordable empire waist halter silhouettes that I don’t hate…much.
LESSON LEARNED: Quality > convenience. Skimp on silly things like RSVP cards or colored napkins – NOT bridesmaids dresses.
2. One Hundred & Twenty, Too Many
Guys. I got a little wrapped up in save the dates. I was overwhelmed. I finally picked out our STD’s (what an unfortunate abbreviation) and a seasonal sale at Minted knocked the price down just enough that I felt we were ready to purchase. I quadruple checked the date and my new last name (even asked Gehrig to come into my office and review the order to make absolute sure that’s EXACTLY how he spells his last name) and ordered. 205.
Two hundred and five. You know how many people are invited to the wedding? 175. Do you know how many save-the-dates actually went out? 85. In my moment of anxiously ordering, my brain forgot that couples exist and assumed that each guest coming to our wedding is single. So we have 120 leftovers… I’m considering crossing out “Save the Date” and reusing them as Christmas cards.
LESSON LEARNED: Use your brain. # of guests ≠ # of save-the-dates, invites or anything else besides seats and favors.
3. Letting Go
You know how long I’ve been waiting to plan my wedding? Since the moment I met Gehrig! Seriously – I knew. So you’d think this past year has been a dream come true (and it has been, sort of.) But I began avoiding anything related to planning because I was starting to get unbelievably stressed out. With the wedding in my hometown of CLE, I’m making decisions hundreds of miles away in KC. I couldn’t picture how the ceremony space would look to approve a design by my florist because the last time I saw the venue it was coated in a blanket of snow, in December. I couldn’t start table numbers because I have yet to see how the tables will be set up. Who was going to transport my bulldogs to their doggy daycare post-ceremony? All these goofy little straws broke the camel’s back. I LITERALLY started having nightmares of my wedding day unfolding, pure madness – my bridesmaids walked around aimlessly in robes because they didn’t have dresses, my flowers were crumped up kleenex. I was bald. Truly a nightmare.
I realized that even though I have a set vision and consider myself to be a fully capable wedding professional, I’ve never done this before. I need help with the minor decisions to ensure my dream wedding comes together – so I hired my wedding planner! Oak & Honey Events will be perfecting my big day and I couldn’t be happier to finally exhale. Brides – whether you’re planning long distance nuptials, work a hectic job, just had a baby, simply can’t make a decision if your life depended on it: forgo the stress of doing it all on your own. Hire a planner. Don’t let the idea of spending a sliver of your budget keep you from committing.
LESSON LEARNED: Let the professionals handle the planning. ENJOY this short time!
The moment my white gold pave oval diamond slid onto my ring finger, I was head over ankle boots in love with it. It was everything I’ve ever dreamed of (and pinned to my Pinterest boards.) It was probably a month after my perfect proposal that I realized it may have been a little too big. I didn’t think much of it, I’ve got big knuckles – thanks Mom. The diamond was top heavy so it would slide around CONSTANTLY. Anytime someone excitedly asked to see the ring, I’d have to adjust it and straighten it out to show them. It would snag sweaters and catch on hand towels. I didn’t think much of it until I decided to have my ring finger sized when we went to pick out wedding bands. Surely enough, the saleswoman suggested going down a whole size.
I cautiously handed her my ring and worried for 5 days straight, positive that something was going to happen to my beloved little diamond. Shane Co. did a wonderful job and cleaned it so well that I received countless compliments on it for the next two weeks! And this time, when people asked to see it, I could simply (and dramatically) throw my hand in their face and wail “this old thing?!” No adjustments necessary. It’s SO much more comfortable. Before, I couldn’t wait to take it off after work because I was so overly cautious about it all day long. Now, I have to try to remember to take it off before cleaning because it’s so comfortable that I forget that it’s there. Until someone raves about it (*wine glass clink*)
LESSON LEARNED: Is your ring just a tiny bit loose? Don’t wait – get it sized so it fits just right.
5. Cold Feet?
You know what they say when you feel sick or develop a random knot in your neck muscle: DO NOT GOOGLE IT. Well y’all, I’m advising the same thing. It all started with this thread on AskReddit which asked users: “Divorcees, what sign did you ignore that ultimately lead to your divorce?” I was HOOKED.
Rude to waiters
Wasn’t jazzed about having kids
Hung up on ex gf
Didn’t want to merge finances
Had a drug problem
Etc. etc. I was enthralled with combing through these responses, analyzing my own fiancé in each circumstance. The good thing is: he’s a great tipper, he desperately wants his own football team of children, the last person he dated was during high school and the dude won’t even drink a beer. Finance is a topic we haven’t discussed much because we’ve paid our own bills separately up until this point. I decided that this was suddenly a stark sign that our relationship was doomed. How could we be committed committed if we didn’t have a joint bank account already? Were we even in love? …yeah, I went off the deep end. Suddenly, I was obsessed with finding divorce stats, pie charts and surveys of prenuptial contracts, considering pre-marital counseling in addition to classes with my pastor, I was freaking out – why was I freaking out!? Was my intuition trying to tell me this wasn’t my soul mate?!
Then my fiancé said “chill out you maniac” in a much more polite way and I stopped researching. He asked me if I was getting cold feet – me, the bride-to-be, the lover of weddings, the biggest supporter of the sanctity of marriage. I felt awful that he’d even need to ask that. I took a breath, stopped googling and I stepped away from the wild world wide web. I realized that there ARE a lot of divorces and that’s a very real outcome for every single engaged couple on this earth, but I also know that what we have, between the two of us, is very much everything I’ve ever prayed for. And it’s worked perfectly.
also, if I don’t marry Gehrig then I will surely die alone with fourteen French bulldogs so it’s you know what or get off the pot, you feel?
LESSON LEARNED: Avoid Google, Reddit and manic episodes.
8 months to go, then a whole lifetime. Tuck these tips in the back of your cross-body bag and remember that while wedding planning may never be perfect, it will be worth it when you walk down that aisle.
. . .