1. Mere seconds after you get engaged, the questions start pouring in.
When’s the wedding? Where’s it going to be? What wedding planner are you using?
My recommendation is to avoid announcing it right after getting engaged, so instead you can enjoy a little bit of the magic and happiness before you end up getting bombarded with questions that you don’t yet have the answers for.
2. Everyone has an opinion.
It’s better to do it during the daytime because of kids. It’s better to do it at night so we can have a drink or three. Open bar. Catering. Music.
It’s almost always coming from a place of love, without realizing that the two who really should be deciding these things are you and your fiancé.
3. It’s important to get on the same page as your families before planning anything.
Details that might seem obvious, like who’s paying for it, what the budget will be, and what the priorities are.
4. Yes, it’s YOUR day, but it’s also important to your whole family.
Don’t be like me. When I started the planning process, I was fighting for stuff that was only important to me, and it ended rather unpleasantly, sometimes even with tears. I understand that the day is a dream come true not just for me, but also for my parents, so if we need to have a religious ceremony in order for them to be happy, we might be able to come to a happy medium.
5. Planning books are a great place to start.
I don’t know about you, but I had no idea how to plan this whole thing. A work friend recommended the book A Practical Wedding and that put a TON of things into perspective for me. I ended up with a ton of ideas after binge reading the book.
6. It’s typical for prices to be inflated because companies know that they can get away with it for weddings.
A lot of times, there’s a big difference between the price for a wedding and the price for any other event. It’s sad, yes, but I promise you now is not the time to try and change the rules of the game, all while trying to juggle 1,500 other things at the same time. If you’re trying to change the whole world, maybe wait until after your wedding and I promise I’ll even give you a hand ;)
7. You’re going to have some conflicts with your fiancé.
To you, the song you pick for your first dance is super important. For him, it’s all about what’s going to be served at the open bar. World War III is about to break out over your dinner table.
Take a deep breath and just remember that you’re both under intense pressure trying to plan the perfect day, and that you’re always going to be different people with different priorities. Talk about everything, explain why you’re passionate about certain things, and maybe take a whole day with each other to just hang out and forget about the wedding so you can enjoy each other’s company instead. It sounds like a self-help book, but I promise that it works.
8. Picking a dress can be a total nightmare.
And it can be a nightmare because, contrary to popular belief, no dress is going to fit you like cinderella’s slipper right out of the box. There are a number of designs and designers you’ll love, so don’t worry.
I, for example, almost bought the dress in this photo. Later on, I made a mental list of the things I had said I didn’t want: it’s strapless and too smooth. Obviously I felt beautiful and was ready to say yes to the dress, but instead I chose to go for something more comfortable and more my style. On top of that, once I bought my dress I racked my brain over whether or not I had made the right choice, mostly because I saw a million other dresses on Instagram that I hadn’t been able to try on. IT’S TOTALLY NORMAL TO FEEL THIS WAY.
9. Wedding planners are your best friends.
It’s an extra cost that will eat up your budget, BUT they have done this a million times before, so by giving them the reigns you can actually enjoy your own wedding. I was very pleased to have hired people to manage timing, amount of alcohol per person, and negotiations with the florist and every one else.
10. Most of the weddings you see on Pinterest aren’t real.
Yes, I know, I also wanted a farmhouse wedding with party lights and a perfect sunset with 500 of my closest friends and family dressed to the nines. BUT, most of the photos you see are actually professional photography shoots by companies selling wedding services. Boo.
12. Some guests are a headache.
The majority of people understand the unwritten rules and know that they have to RSVP on time. Others are going to tell you last minute that they can’t make it, making you end up footing the food and drink bill. It happens at every wedding. It’s normal to get stressed and frustrated, but, like they say in Frozen, “let it gooooo, let it gooooo.”
13. You don’t have to buy everything.
I was hoping something more eco-friendly than rice would get thrown at the end of the ceremony. We got a quote for flower petals that ended up being ex-pen-sive and seemed like an unnecessary cost. So, I set out in search of other options and ended up finding bags that I could fill with biodegradable confetti. My mom, my fiancé, and I spent the morning filling the bags, which was a great pre-wedding exercise.
If you have anyone in your family who’s good with DIY projects, enlist their help!
14. We all have a problematic relative.
You’re not alone. An uncle is going to drink too much or a cousin’s girlfriend is going to wear white on your big day. It happens to all of us. Don’t worry about it. Unless they’re causing a scene during dinner, no one is going to notice.
15. It’s fine to break with tradition.
We didn’t have any religious readings at the ceremony; instead, we chose to have our friends write speeches and poems and have them read those instead.
Our first dance wasn’t a waltz.
We didn’t have a wedding cake because no one eats it and it never turns out right anyway.
At the end of the party, a friend told us the best thing we could have heard all day: “Are you trying to shake up the wedding industry here? Because you did it exactly how you wanted and it was the best party I’ve ever been to in my life.”
16. Ask the catering service to assign someone to follow you around.
Everyone told me that I was going to be too busy to eat or drink on my wedding day because I was going to be running around at the reception. I was prepared for that, when all of a sudden a guy approached me and told me he would be with me all night. He made sure that I had a plate of food with me during the cocktail hour and that I always had a drink in my hand during the party. At the end of the night, he got me enough water so I could avoid waking up with a hangover. To be honest, it was one of the best parts of the day LOL.
17. No one pays attention to the gift registry.
We asked for money for our honeymoon, which is pretty typical in Argentina. Nevertheless, plenty of people gifted us dinnerware, which we can’t travel with. It’s a nice thought because we will have it forever, but it’s not going to pay the hotel bill.
19. ENJOY YOURSELF.
It’s true that the day is going to fly by, but it’s really going to fly by if you’re not having fun. Don’t worry about it if someone doesn’t look comfortable or if your cousin is having a fight with his girlfriend. Enjoy your party because it goes fast.
20. What’s truly important is the fact that you’re marrying the love of your life.
It may sound cliché and cheesy, but the day is all about celebrating your union and your love. And that – only that – is what’s important.
This post was translated from Spanish.
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