When Logan and I were first engaged, it was August of 2017. Everything was unicorns, butterflies and rainbows. Until.
I made an account on The Knot.
Inundated with outlandish deadlines, details, and what felt like death sentences on some vendors’ prices, I was immediately overwhelmed. I love to plan – I mean it! I LOVE TO PLAN! However…my job isn’t exactly one that’s 9-5. Teaching is all day, every day, sometimes 7 days a week. So, when these deadlines that The Knot set for me on my agenda page started rolling in, my mind went crazy.
I want to help you! So, here’s what you can do if you’re newly engaged to stop you from acting like how I did:
- Still make an account on The Knot – it’s VERY helpful. They tell you to do things that you may have not even heard of or thought about doing.
- Sit down with your soon to be hubby FIRST and YOU GUYS plan out what’s most important to you – just like my husband and I did…when he told me that all that was important to him was alcohol and toilet paper. (; In all seriousness, we prioritized the vendors that were important to us. From there, we started crossing things off the list.
- Pick your dress NOW. Like…call your friends, mother-in-law (if you want), mom, and whoever else and say “I’m going this weekend to find a dress. Whoever can come, fine! If not, it’s all good.” I waited two months to find a dress, and when I told that to people they thought I adopted like 18 kids or something. Their looks had truth behind them: your dress is THE DRESS. You can’t rush this decision. Start ASAP so that you’re not pressured to find something the weekend everyone drives/flies in to be with you in this special moment. Do I regret my dress? NO!! However, there was pressure to find something. You should’ve seen the lady’s reaction to me in front of the special family and friends that came with me at the bridal boutique when I told her this was my first time to try on a dress in OCTOBER and my wedding was IN JUNE. Her response: “Well…if it comes in on time…” [Enter scary Jaws movie music] Bottom line: start looking for a dress NOW. It’s one of the best parts, and why limit that fun to just one weekend?!
- Don’t stress about The Knot’s timeline. Sometimes, I was in ballpark range, and other times, I did things EXTREMELY out of order, and albeit, last minute. Aside from the painter (I wanted someone to paint us at our wedding ceremony, but couldn’t ever seem to find anyone!) and cake topper that I wanted, everything worked out! (: Do things in the order that are important to YOU.
- Make a Google spreadsheet. I am not a math person, but I am very visual. Getting prices out on a spreadsheet helped me SO MUCH. I could compare vendors’ pricing, and I kept us (sort of) in line when it came to the budget. (; Save EVERY receipt, even if it’s just $10 or under! Know where your money is going. I had a column for vendors names and a column for pricing. I also had sections of what my parents were paying for and sections of what Logan and I were paying for. DO THIS!
- Don’t always trust The Knot’s ratings. I’m SERIOUS on this one. We taste-tested a caterer who was “5 stars” in our area, and they were awkward, the food was cold, they were very unprofessional, and Logan said he would never hire a caterer who had as bad of breath as this guy did. LOL! Looking back on their reviews, it almost seemed as if their friends wrote them as a favor for them. Test, test, test is all I can say! The same goes for hair & makeup. They are expensive and cost a fortune, but I would save up for multiple trials. I picked one, and we had fun and everything, but my makeup just looked “odd” at the end of the night…and my hair didn’t stay curled. My hair ALWAYS keeps a curl – this is a petty little thing that still makes me sad when I look at photos. LOL. My hair and makeup girl also acted like we were BFFs, but then only contacted me looking for a review and pictures to share on her site – that’s the other thing: don’t feel pressured to write a 5-star review. If they didn’t blow you away, you are not required to do that. She also demanded all payments up front, even before the wedding MONTH. If I knew better, I would have said “no”. Ask all of these questions before you book someone.
- Make a list of every. little. detail. that you’ll need for the big day and events before hand. Start saving NOW. There’s no need to go into debt for one day, and honestly, the details you’re freaking out about are going to be things no one will EVER remember or thank you for again! (;
- Just know that the guest list is going to be one of (if not the most) stressful parts of wedding planning. However. This is not your parents’ wedding. This is not The Greatest Family Reunion of All Time. This is YOUR wedding. This is your HUSBAND’s wedding. You guys pick your list of people and do. not. budge. on the number! Everything will fall in line, but you need to be firm on that. It took a lot of convincing my mother that certain people we never see needn’t attend our special night, but eventually, she saw my point…especially when those vendor bills started rolling in. (;
- Embrace the difficulties or little things that feel like a setback. For example, my mother and I were on our way to go cake test. Logan couldn’t even come with us! So, I was upset about that, and then secondly, when we got to the place, ALL the lights were off. No one was at the business. Enraged, frustrated, and ANGRY (after all, I’m a teacher and had SO MUCH to grade/plan/do!), I called the business over and over. I left a “crazy lady stressed out” voicemail, and wouldn’t you know it…not a minute later, the owner called me back. Y’all. This woman had SO MANY positive reviews on The Knot and in our community. I was so confused!!!! But when I heard her voice, peace came back to me. She was so. upset. Like…appauled. Apparently what happened was that she hired a new assistant. I spoke to the assistant to make my appointment; however, she didn’t communicate that with the owner. 🙁 OOPS. Someone probably didn’t have a job the next day!!!!! The owner literally had NO IDEA about our appointment. So…she wanted to make it up to us. She got us in maybe(?) that same week, if not soon after. Logan was able to tag along this time…AND she gave us a 20% discount AND free delivery on the cakes (Logan had his own!). How awesome is that?! So…embrace the OOPS! moments along the way. You’ll never know what can happen out of them. And, that cake was the best damn thing I’ve ever had. They both turned out BEAUTIFULLY, and I can’t wait to show them to you!
So, cheers to you! You’re going to have so much fun. Embrace every moment – even the stressful ones. I miss it! It goes by so so fast. However, ultimately: remember why you’re having a wedding in the first place: you GET to marry the love of your life. Someone loves you enough to spend every waking day with you for the rest of their life. Someone loves you enough to accept your flaws and setbacks. Someone is vowing themselves to you for the rest of their life.
Peace, blessings, and wedding planning bliss,