I’m the last person to ever give wedding advice. I have absolutely the worst wedding etiquette you can ask anyone who received their Thank you cards 8 months after the event or how Clifton and I said our vows AFTER we were pronounced husband and wife!  Planning our wedding though taught me a few things and I had quite a few “ah, I get it now” moments from when other married couples had given advice that I originally smile and nodded at.  You too will do the same and most likely won’t listen to any of the items I’ve listed below but I’m posted it anyways because you never know!

1.  Enjoy your engagement – So you just got engaged!  Congratulations!  So exciting!  You might have thought this day would never come or you’ve been dreaming of it since you were a little girl and have a large stack of bridal magazines as proof.  Before you pick the date though take a minute and just enjoy being engaged, enjoy one another, enjoy the moment.  It’s only happening once (hopefully) and I beg you to enjoy every last bit of it!

2.  Don’t wait too long – I always thought I wanted a two year engagement and I nearly had just that.  I don’t recommend it.  Six months to one year I think is ideal.  You won’t save up all the money you think you will plus it’s not all due til the very end and you’re not going to be so productive that you’ll sit back and relax at the end because like the money that’s when all the action happens.  Also, once you are married you’ll realize there wasn’t any reason to drag it out.

3.  Weight the invites – I learned this lesson the hard way.  There are stamps made specifically for wedding invites.  Make sure you go to the Post office and have them weigh your envelop and tell you how much it’ll cost because you’ll probably need those special stamps and it’ll keep you from having to put TWO stamps on your invites because your over achiever (that’s a lie) self already stamped everything!

4.  Wedding Coordinator –  If you have the funds to have a wedding coordinator, I beg you to hire one!  It will make your life so much easier and carefree.  I was lucky enough to have one the day of the wedding but I recommend having one from start to finish!  If you don’t go to number 10.

5.  Don’t lose sight – It’s so fun to get caught up in it all!  Photo booth, wedding dress, flowers, food, etc.  Just remember what the day is TRULY about.  It’s about you and your significant other choosing to love one another for the rest of your lives and you’re sharing that with those you care about the most.

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6.  This day is about TWO people ONLY – So many people told me that my parents would want a say and I laughed because honestly I don’t have the type of parents that would ask “when are you getting married?” or anything like that.  I also knew they weren’t paying for the wedding so why would they think they had a say.  I was again wrong.  It wasn’t much and It was quickly diverted but your parents are going to want a say.  They may want to invite their friends to your day.  Gently remind them that this is YOUR wedding day and you should be allowed to have who you want there and even if you have parents who are paying or contributing and you understand how happy and proud they are of you wouldn’t they be even more happy knowing that you’re happy on YOUR day?  If neither of those work then compromise, let them plan the stuff that doesn’t matter the most to you.  weddings are different for everyone, perhaps you have a vision of your cake or the invites then make sure that’s the part you get a say in and let the parents have a say in the things that aren’t as big a deal to you.

7.  Don’t sweat it – It doesn’t matter how OCD or anal you are something is going to happen.  If you have a wedding coordinator you most likely won’t notice.  If you’ve planned out the entire wedding you’ll probably notice.  Don’t worry about it because when people talk about your wedding they won’t remember that there was no light to see when using the bathroom, ice ran out half way through the night or that your ceremony was actually suppose to be outside.  They will remember how they watched two people they love choose each other forever.

8.  Wait a day – Don’t immediately go to your honeymoon the day after your wedding.  You’ll be exhausted and then with all that travel you’ll be doubly exhausted.  Wait at least a day, maybe even a week.  You’ll appreciate that time to get things done like return tuxes, sleep in, etc.
**I actually listened to this advice when given to me

9.  Numbers – the number of guests is NOT the number of invitations you need.  I don’t want to talk about it.

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10.  Elope – Forget everything I mentioned (well most of it) above and elope or do a destination wedding.  You know when you first get married and nearly everyone comes up to you and says “elope” or “destination wedding” and you of course say something nice to them but in your head the whole time you’re thinking “I wonder why they say that.”  I’m here to tell you why.

First, please understand that I absolutely loved my wedding.  It was beautiful and we were surrounded by those we love the most.  Sure I’m still not happy that it rained on that day, the only day of rain in September and the first day of rain in 3 months.  I’m also grateful we had a back-up plan for the ceremony that didn’t cost more money and that we were still allowed to have the reception outside because the rain stopped right before I walked down the isle.

The reason I would say to elope or just do a destination is because (and your story might be completely different) I planned my wedding.  I knew every single detail about my wedding and as awesome as that sounded in the beginning because I always wanted to plan a wedding, it’s not.  It’s not because you notice when things aren’t how you wanted them to be or how you pictured them to be instead of being able to be in that moment 100% and it’s not something you can really help.

Also, weddings are expensive and trying to find ways to save money is hard, takes lots of research (which I hated) and don’t even get me started on how long it took me to get Thank you cards out to everyone because the task overwhelmed me and I still have moments thinking “did I write down who got us what correctly” “did my card convey how grateful we are for their gift?” “did they already give up on me after not getting a thank you card a month after?”  “are we still friends?”

So yes I join my fellow married couples in saying “elope or destination wedding.” unless you have a wedding coordinator from proposal to wedding day because then you just show up and THEY know the details because they’ve been there from the beginning and IT’S WHAT THEY DO.

Again, not an expert just sharing what I learned and would pass on, take it how you will.  No matter what I hope that your wedding is everything you want.

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