This week our blog was taken over by Janelle (Smith) Cohn. Not only is she a dear friend, but a wedding cake decorator in Pennsylvania and it just so happens that she got married last summer. She has some advice that she would like to share about what she would or would not do over again…
- Delegate and don’t micro-manage! I’m a slight control freak and really struggled with this in the beginning. But think about it! You have so many people who not only love and support you, but are ready, willing, and eager to help you! Use them!
*One of my best wedding planning memories is sitting at my kitchen table
with a couple of my bridesmaids and their boyfriends (these guys got
major brownie points that night). I had them cutting and tying ribbon into
teeny tiny bows for the programs. Let’s just say large, man fingers and
small, intricate bow tying don’t exactly go together.*
Also, your vendors are experts in their field/trade, let them do their job. Follow their recommendations/suggestions.
- Decide and commit! And don’t overthink! You will be making so many decisions. SO MANY DECISIONS. If you’re like me, someone who is very methodical, likes to look at and consider all of her options, and think deeply about the outcome/results of all of those options, STOP! *At my lowest I had changed my color palate 5 times and it took me a full week and 4 trips to Micheal’s to pick out a basket for the programs. A week and 4 trips that I could’ve been doing something much more productive and important.* Oh, and once you decide, stop Googling, Pinteresting, blogging, etc about that particular thing. Cross it off your list and move on! Which takes me to my next piece of wisdom…
- Make Lists for EVERYTHING! Not only did this prove to be helpful for me, but for other people involved in the wedding as well. I started a “Wedding Mastersheet” Excel document. Anytime I had an idea, concern, thought, etc, I put it in my Mastersheet. It helped me feel organized and on top of everything knowing everything was in one place. I think I had close to 20 tabs…
- Wedding Guest List
- Shower Guest List
- Vendors (name, contact info, financial info, setup/pick up details, etc)
- Bridesmaids (dress info, hair/makeup, assigned responsibilities, gifts, etc)
- Groomsmen (attire info, assigned responsibilities, gifts, etc)
- Gifts (who got you what and thank-you status)
- Ceremony details
- Timelines (day before and day of)
- Music (ceremony, reception – do and don’t play list)
- And so many more, but you get the idea
Don’t get rid of this when the wedding is over! I’ve recently been able to share parts of it with my bridesmaids who have recently got engaged. Plus think of all the times/occasions you can refer to your guest list/addresses…Holiday cards, birthdays, baby showers J
- Gifts & Thank Yous
- Do have a bridesmaid write down (in detail!!!) who gave you what.
- Do have guests at showers write their own name and address on thank yous – I had no idea how much I would appreciate this. One of my very creative bridesmaids was standing at the door of my bridal shower with a stack of envelopes and pens. As guests walked in, she prompted them to quickly name and address an envelope. Quick and easy for them, time saving and stress-less for dme!
- *Use return labels/stamps – your hand will thank you!*
- Don’t procrastinate! Wedding etiquette says you have an entire year after your wedding to get your thank yous out, but for your own sake, send them ASAP!
- Make it your own!
Don’t feel like you have to do something just because it’s “tradition”. It was so important to us that our wedding day was a celebration of OUR love. We decided we weren’t going to do or say anything that we didn’t feel comfortable with. As a result, here are few of the things we did or didn’t do that weren’t exactly “traditional”:
- *First Look* – I highly, HIGHLY, recommend this! It’s one of my favorite memories. It was so intimate and full of love. I was so much more relaxed and excited for the rest of the day afterwards.
- Maid/Matron of Honor – I didn’t have one. I just couldn’t decide, simple as that. And I’d do it the same all over again.
- Reception Traditions – Garter, Bouquet toss, dollar dance – We didn’t do them.
- Other things we did to make it our own – *DIY Photobooth, I wrote our entire ceremony, monogrammed cookie favors, floating lantern well wishes, DIY decor*
- Honeymoon Delay
If time permits, hold off a day or two before jet setting to your honeymoon. You will be sleep deprived and emotionally AND physically exhausted. After our flight landed, we had a 2 hour drive to our honeymoon destination *(Lake Louise, Alberta Canada, which I HIGHLY recommend you add to your bucket list)*. About a half hour into our drive I remember us contemplating whether or not we should pull over for a catnap for fear of falling asleep while driving. We also had big plans our first day/night that we had to bag because we just couldn’t bring ourselves to get out of bed 😉
Most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy your time as a bride/groom-to-be. You only get to do it once, and the end result of all your hard work and planning is so incredibly wonderful and worth it. For even more details of our day, visit, http://www.weddingchicks.com/2014/11/26/romantic-pink-and-gold-wedding/
*See pictures for details*