Thursday, July 7, 2011

We Got Married!

Shocking, I know. Like anyone who reads this blog didn't already know that I was getting married, or that wedding planning consumed my life (in a good way) for the past year! It was well worth it, though. I could not have been happier with the way that the ceremony and the reception went. Of course, I was high off of endorphins and happiness after getting married to my bestie, John!

Isn't he cute? He was playing poker, mind you...not contemplating his future....maybe.
I was the most hardcore wedding planning psycho bride ever (again, in a good way). My Google Reader was filled with blog upon blog of wedding planning ideas, engagement portrait sessions, cakes, favors, name it. I probably saw wedding pictures from over 1,000 different weddings over the past year. They actually started repeating themselves on different blogs; "Oh, Simons-McCarthy wedding...stalked it last week." Needless to say, became a little obsessed with the whole wedding planning thing.

These were picked after much deliberation and wedding stalking, I mean, research.
I am SO happy with the way that everything turned out for the wedding, but I did learn that I stressed over a number of things that I ended up not even noticing over the weekend. So, here is a list of things that I learned about the wedding planning process over the past year:

1) Budgeting Is Your Friend

We knew our budget from early on a stuck pretty close to it. The Knot has a really excellent budgeting tool that was quite helpful. We also created spreadsheets for everyone involved in the planning process to keep track of how much was being spent where by whom.

2) Scheduling Is Also Your Friend

We made a "Wedding Weekend Information Packet" about a week before the wedding and emailed it out to the wedding party and families. It had schedules for the day before and day of, contact information, directions, packing lists, and a list of responsibilities for the wedding party. It was super helpful when things got crazy and I couldn't keep track of who was supposed to be where when, and (I hope) made the wedding party more confident in knowing what they were supposed to be doing!

3) Trust Your Vendors

I guess, first, I would say "Choose vendors you can trust". Our photographer and DJ were both friends from college, and I had seen both of their work before, so I knew that I could trust them. I got to know our florist, cake baker, dressmaker and reception site coordinator pretty well, and felt like I could trust them as well. The big thing here is that you just cannot control every little thing that everyone does, and it alleviates so much stress is you can just point your vendors in a general direction and then let them use their expertise to decide on the rest. I have a feel that we avoided a number of headaches by not deciding every single song that would be played or by letting the chef just choose whatever vegetable was freshest the day of the wedding.
Josh, our amazing photographer!

Jeremy, DJ extraordinaire!
4) Roll With The Punches

This, really, is not that hard. I was so happy and having so much fun that I hardly had time to notice anything that might have gone wrong! Sure, maybe my train broke and, ok, maybe I didn't get to eat...but really, it just didn't matter!
 We were too busy dancing ALL NIGHT LONG to even notice anything that may or may not have gone the way I had planned. Which brings me to my next point:

5) Don't Sweat The Small Stuff

 Here is what I consider to be small stuff: favors, napkin colors, chair covers, ceremony programs, ribbons, candles, hair staying curled, anything to do with the cake, people switching seats, sparklers, rain washing off the car decorations, guest books...pretty much anything that isn't the actual act of you getting married and then celebrating!

This is, really, the only thing I thought about all night.Not cupcake liners, surprisingly.
So, I hope that this might help anyone who is going through wedding planning stress. It was such a fun year, but as soon as I got home I unsubscribed from every wedding planning blog, newsletter and website that I have been studying for the past 13 months. Am I now addicted to HGTV? Yes. But that's another post...

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