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Plan Your Dream Wedding on a Budget
By: | Posted: 07/23/2012
The countdown is officially in single digits. It's a bit surreal that in five days all the planning that's consumed my days for the better part of a year will be over, but I must say, I cannot wait to become a Mrs. (and get my free time back). I always wondered how I'd feel in this week leading up to the wedding. I've loved wedding planning. Sure, it's chaotic and crazy and I'm sure The Fiance would argue that I've been distracted for the better part of a year, but to know that this amazing day is going to come together for all the people that The Fiance and I care about most . . . it's totally worth the sleepless nights, the never-ending to-do list, and the green protein shakes. Now, let me be frank: Wedding planning has definitely had it's stressful moments. Every bride should know that no matter how excited you are and how blissful this time is, it's also jam packed with stuff to do. No matter how organized you are, and how well you plan, there's still going to be something that's on your mind or that goes wrong. (If you're wondering what mine was, check out this post about our bridesmaid dresses. And update for all you who are following: They are in Green Bay but every dress needs to be hemmed again because the new liner made them too long . . . Friday will be a busy day for one lucky seamstress!)
I have done my absolute best to accomplish any and all tasks before this week, so I can enjoy my final days as a fiance. All our attendants' gifts are wrapped, our notes are written to everyone but our parents, the ceremony programs are ready to go, the welcome bags are packed and sorted for each hotel . . . and my dress is fit and ready for the road. I know everyone's wedding planning experience is different, but I want to share with you a few little pieces of advice that I wouldn't have known otherwise.
1. Take pictures of yourself in your dress. Lots of them. I was fortunate enough to have Laura Ivanova come and photograph my first fitting (it was a surprise for my mom), and seeing myself in my dress in a picture helped me determine where it fit and where it didn't. Of course, the ladies of L'Atelier were experts at honing in on the alterations I needed, but it was good for me to see as well. I also did a more formal bridal portrait last weekend, and that was definitely a game changer for my dress. I thought it fit perfectly, but when I saw myself in pictures, I realized I didn't like how the bust was fitting, so we brought the dress back for more tweaks. It also helped for me to actually wear the dress for about two hours because I could determine what was comfortable and what needed changing.
2. Stay on top of things. As I've mentioned before, I've paid close attention to what people leave for the last minute and I tried to finish these tasks beforehand. The few items that we knew to tackle early were the ceremony programs, the notes for the wedding party and their gifts, the welcome bags, and the items for the actual ceremony. Our intercessions for the Mass have been written for months, the welcome bags were packed two weeks ago, and the wedding party gifts were packed in May. The more you stay on top of things the easier it is to look for sales. We knew we wanted flip flops for the dance floor, so we ordered them through a Black Friday sale. Sure, it was annoying to have a box of 80 flip flops lying around for eight months, but the savings were worth it.
3. Delegate. I'm terrible at delegating, so this was probably my biggest issue. Because only myself, my mom, and our wedding planner know all the details of the day, I've had a hard time letting other people help, which is probably where some of the stress has come into play. In the past few weeks, I've realized it's easier for me (and more fun) if I share some of these tasks with The Fiance, family, and friends. So over the weekend, when it came time to fold and stuff our ceremony programs and bind them . . . it became a group project (with drinks for everyone after . . . can't risk spilling on the paper goods from Paperista!). A small part of me wanted to go through them all to double check that no pages were missing, but part of delegating is trusting the people you're delegating to, so you don't have to double check anything. I won't say this is an easy recommendation, but it's advice nonetheless.
4. Enjoy it. Every now and again the magnitude of the things I had to do would overwhelm me, but it's important to stay calm (or at least pretend to stay calm). Between managing all the little details, corresponding with friends, family, and vendors who have questions, constantly working out and trying to eat healthy (who wants to eat healthy when you're stressed!), and still attempting to have a life . . . well, it's a lot. But whenever I would get stressed The Fiance would remind me . . . in XX days, we'll be married. And really, that's all that matters. Sure, I want every little detail to be perfect, but sometimes when things go wrong, they make the best stories.
Now that I'm in the homestretch of planning, I must say, it's been a whirlwind of a ride, and I truly have loved every minute of it (even the stressful ones). I'm confident that this weekend will be beautiful, rain or shine (please, cross your fingers for shine) and no matter what obstacles come our way . . . we'll be ready. And at the end of the day, nothing is going to change the fact that in five days I'll have a husband and I'll get to spend the best day of my life with the people I love most. And really, that's all the matters.
Carly is manager, Social Media and Audience Engagement at MSP-C. See her engagement story.
Vanessa is creative director and co-founder at Bow & Arrow Magazine. See her engagement story.
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