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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

After I Do: Lessons Learned while Wedding Planning

The Señor and I had a six month engagement. We were engaged in Paris, at the cafe above, in November of 2011, and married in May of 2012. Serendipitously, our wedding date was on our five year anniversary. 

I considered myself to be a fairly laid-back bride in the midst of bridezilla culture, and that helped. Like Carrie Bradshaw, I seemed to be missing the bride gene, but it worked to my advantage because everything about it was lovely, even the planning. 

We had a perfect day. 

Here's why. 

Trust the professionals. 
We had some ideas about what we wanted, but in truth, we wanted simple. We wanted a day that reflected our life together and the dreams we had for our future. We didn't want to overspend and a tight budget and a vision for our married life, beyond our wedding day, kept everything in check.

I remember my meeting with the florist, who pulled out multiple books of arrangements and hundreds of possibilities for our bouquets and centerpieces. Overwhelmed with options, I pleaded with her. 

"Just make it pretty," I said, and she did. 

We hire professionals for their expertise. Having handled hundreds, or even thousands of events, these experts, with a little guidance from us, will deliver quality; otherwise we would't have hired them. Trust the professionals to do what they do best and treat them how you would like to be treated. Kindness counts.  

Make it personal. 

One of the most important, and most fun things about our wedding was personalizing it to reflect who we were as individuals and as a couple. Think about what makes you uniquely you and celebrate that. It really is about you, and you're surrounded by people who you love and who love you. Your guests will enjoy learning more about who you are as a couple. Have fun with this. 

Keep your routines. 
In the weeks before the wedding, it's important to keep the routines that bring you peace and peace of mind. Keep your workout schedule, eat well, stay hydrated, and get enough sleep. Make time for date night and enjoy the milestones that accompany this time in your life. 

Seriously...don't sweat the small stuff. 
You plan for months, but it goes by so quickly...just like everyone says. You wear the dress for a few hours, your first dance slips away in what seems like only a few precious moments; the entire day flashes by in an instant. In the weeks leading up to the wedding, people may say or do strange things; shake it off. Last minute changes and meltdowns within your inner circle can be frustrating, but keep sight of the big picture and who you want to see in that big picture long after thank you cards are sent. 

On your wedding day, spend time with each other. 
There are a lot of people to see and photos to take, and the day passes in what seems like a blink of an eye. Before the wedding, agree and commit to what time you will spend together at your event. Consider a sweetheart table and eat the meal that you meticulously planned. Dance with each other, beyond your first dance. Create memories outside of the blur that is a typical wedding day. 

What is the most important lesson you learned in planning a major life event, like a wedding? What advice would you offer someone?


  1. I couldn't agree more! My husband and I were married on a beach in Key West almost 10 years ago now and I was definitely a very laid back bride who is also missing that gene!! Of course not everything went as planned and there were mishaps but, at the end of the day, I was marrying the man of my dreams (corny but true!) surrounded by everyone I loved in a gorgeous place where we spent DAYS celebrating and eventually had a simple ceremony. I wouldn't have changed a thing and everything worked out as it should. Great advice here and I can only hope more women follow it!!

  2. Great advice! My husband and I spent a lot of time dancing together at our wedding and we had a ball!

  3. I don't get people who go into massive debt for a one-day celebration. Weddings are about the community coming together to share in the joining of a couple. It's important, but not the securing of a monarchy's succession, for crying out loud.

  4. Hi Kelly, what a lovely touching post, with lots of good ideas and words of advise. Nowadays it seems that many couples are choosing unique sites too vs. country club, expensive restaurants, etc. A couple years back we went to a wedding at a small art gallery in the city, it was the best wedding ever and so much fun! Fancy, expensive places can also be sometimes so formal that they become plain out dull. The perfect choice is focusing on the couple and the community coming together in celebration.

  5. Great lessons! ;) I would love to hear more about that engagement at the café... :D sounds very romantic!

  6. I 100% agree with all of your tips for a stress free wedding!! Hiring professionals was key and I'm glad you have that on there since I am an event planner lol! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston