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11 Things I’ve Learned Planning Our Wedding

WE’RE GETTING MARRIED THIS SATURDAY!!!!!

The day is finally here. Andrew and I will be saying our I do’s this weekend and I can’t be more excited. I’ll be taking a break from the blog to focus on last minute wedding stuff and our honeymoon (South Africa!!) which we leave for next week.

However I did spend some time last night taking it all in and looked back on what I’ve learned from the last year and a half of planning:

 

1. Take engagement photos
I thought engagement photos were narcisstic until our photographer talked us into it. Now I totally get it because (1) you’ll get use to being in front of the camera which is a must for those who are camera shy, (2) you’ll get use to working with your photographer, (3) you might find out your photographer is not a good fit (better to find this out now than after your wedding day), and (4) you’ll have professional photos to use for your invitations and wedding website.

2. Creating a seating chart is hard
Everyone tells you it’s hard. But it’s actually SO. DAMN. HARD.

3. Purge your Pinterest
Pinning nice stuff is fun but then you need to focus on what you’re actually going to do. I have different boards for centrepieces, stationary, wedding hair, wedding dresses, etc. and went pin-crazy when I first started. After I got a good assortment going, I would comb through each board and saved the pictures of the ones that consistently stuck out to me to a folder on my laptop. This helps shuffle through a lot of the Pinterest noise and lets you hone in on the things you really love and will actually action on when the time comes.

4. Book the people you absolutely have to have, right away
If you 100% know you want that officiant that performed your cousin’s ceremony five years ago, then book him today. Right now. Wedding vendors are use to early inquiries (2, 3+ years in advance) so get in touch with your must-have’s to avoid disappointment.

5. Be realistic about how much you can do
Pinterest turns everyone into a DIY-pro but between everything else you have to do, there’s just not enough time in your day to tackle everything. I handwrote our wedding envelopes and no joke it took me almost 8 hours and two evenings worth of everything else more fun to do than handwriting envelopes. If you can, outsource to friends, family, or a professional. If you really couldn’t be fussed, skip the idea altogether.

6. To-do lists will be your best friend
I will need to give Evernote a shoutout during our thank you speech because without it we’d be a disorganized mess. This system worked for us: I copied and pasted The Knot’s wedding checklist to an Evernote, removed anything that wasn’t relevant to us, and added things that were. Each to-do fell under a month and at the 1st of that month, we’d go through and assign each task to either Andrew, myself, or both. Then it was up to the two of us to complete our list of items before the end of that month. It kept us super organized and provided a clear snapshot of everything coming down the pipeline.

7. Walk through how your day will run…multiple times
This is the time when those pesky little details pop up that you never thought of before. Who’s going to hold the microphone during the ceremony or will you have a mic stand? Who’s taking out the recycling and garbage at the end of the night? Will your escort cards on the dinner table withstand an outdoor reception on a windy day? Go through everything, over and over again. You’ll find something new every time.

8. Hire a day-of-coordinator
I once witnessed a bride setting up the toiletry basket in the washroom during her own wedding cocktail hour. As a bride, putting out packs of gum and dental floss for your guests on your wedding day is NOT something you should be doing. Whatever your budget is, please hire someone to take the little things off your chest. It’s a small price to pay for your sanity.

9. Give yourself some leeway between the wedding and honeymoon
We’re leaving for our honeymoon the Tuesday after we get married and I honestly think that is the minimum amount of time anyone should take. My brain has been so focused on the wedding that I haven’t done squat to prepare for our trip and it will likely stay that way until Sunday post-wedding hangover.

10. Focus on why you’re getting married in the first place
I belong to a Toronto wedding group on Facebook and cannot believe the things people will find to bitch about their fiancé over. The other week a bride was in tears, calling her fiancé an idiot because he didn’t double check addresses and three invitations were returned to them. Sorry but we’re talking about the guy you’re marrying, right? Over three measly stamps? I know, planning a wedding can be stressful but try not to lose sight of why you’re getting married to begin with. Hint: it’s not about the stamps.

11. You only have so many fucks to give
This tip comes from a lovely book I recently read called The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck. You have soooo many other things to actually give a fuck about like looking fabulous, dancing up a storm with your new wife or hubby, and having an overall fantastic day. So don’t waste time stressing about the little things. Remember, your wedding is actually about the destination and not the journey.

 

See you guys in 3 weeks xx!

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3 Comments

  • Reply The Luxe Strategist July 13, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    I’m recently married and a day-of coordinator is a must! I’m super Type A so I planned and scheduled everything, but she really made my life a million times easier the day of.

    Also, #7 was so key for us. There were so many small details we thought through ahead of time that made the day much smoother. Like, um, what do I do with my bouquet once I get up to the aisle?

    I didn’t do an engagement session because we wanted to cut down on costs. I was worried our pictures might end up being awkward since we didn’t have that practice session, but I think it ended up being fine. I haven’t seen the pictures yet, but we’ll have to see!
    The Luxe Strategist recently posted…I Don’t Have an Engagement Ring and I’m Not a LoserMy Profile

  • Reply GYM July 17, 2017 at 1:56 am

    Congratulations! South Africa for a honeymoon, how amazing! Wedding planning is certainly tough, I’m glad it was over when the wedding happened (9 months ago) and at the end of the day, whatever happens will happen and there’s only so much control you can exert. I deleted Pinterest once the wedding was over and was glad to get rid of it. I didn’t hire a day of coordinator but had a friend volunteer (or voluntold hah) to do it, but yes, agree that it’s important.

  • Reply Kristine Soliman August 10, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    Congratulation! I hope everything went well and was everything you wanted on the day. Reading through this list, I did some head nodding. I wish we hired or organized someone we trusted to coordinate our wedding ceremony as it did not go as expected. We were lucky that our reception venue and our MC on the night were amazing and controlled everything for the second half of the day. I am a big to do lists, Pinterest and DIY addict that I probably took on too much and your advice is definitely one that future brides should take on.

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