If you've been engaged for at least 24 hours, you would have received a slew of congratulations, questions, and....advice.
When you have a big life event (engaged, marriage, baby.. etc) anyone an everyone is wanting and willing to give you their advice on the matter. Friends, Family, STRANGERS, and even people that are not married. There's a lot coming at you with having to plan for your wedding... and then you get a boat load of information from those around you. Its stressful. I get it.
But don't worry, we can get through this together! Here's some. not-advice, advice.
1. Be grateful
I can't tell you how many strangers feel the need to critique my wedding or give me their piece of advice about it. At first, this was really draining to me, and honestly, it was upsetting. I was getting pretty angry about the audacity someone has to speak to my life when they don't know me one bit. Like, dude, I just got engaged, I don't know what I'm doing! After processing, this was obviously not the right way of thinking about it.
What I've learned is: People are willing and wanting to give you advice. You don't have to use it, but you have to take it. Be thankful. Someone is taking the time to tell their story or explain something that they truly think is advice that you need to hear. Be grateful for that. If someone gives you their "2 cents" you are going to have 2 cents more than you did before.
2. Enjoy it
Planning your wedding is fun, and it's also stressful. Even if you are a master planner, or you have perfect vision, things will get complicated and things will get stressful. In those moments, take time to do stuff you love to do. Cool off, do something life-giving, do some dreaming. Anything that makes you feel less stressed.
Someone said this to me once: "at the end of the day you are going to be married". Yes the details matter, but you're marrying the person you are vowing to love for the rest of your life...be excited! The stress of the details in your wedding shouldn't be more than your love for your future spouse.
3. Remember why you're getting married
In the midst of the crazy wedding planning and schedule around that, do not forget to appreciate your spouse-to-be.
Sam and I have a crazy busy schedule with me being in school full-time, and him working full time. So, finding time to just go on a nice date, or do something other than wedding planning or watching TV shows has been hard. You have to be intentional, and you have to put in the effort. I think during this time you have to focus more on your love for that person than ever. So, celebrate your love. Don't forget why you want to marry this person.
4. Own your wedding
There are a few, "off the books" things that we do not want in our wedding. One being that we do not want the traditional cake. My grandma was not too happy about that to say the least.
Being unapologetic about planning our wedding has been the hardest skill to learn. A lot of people (mainly family) will want to have a say in your wedding. You will be crushed under weight of approval if you do not act quick. Be inclusive by all means, but know that you aren't going to make everyone happy. The wedding is between you and your spouse to be, not a collection of ideas everyone wants for your wedding. Be open to listening, but do not feel bad for rejecting an idea.
You are a human being, and they only have two limbs. You are not an octopus with 8 limbs. Do not try to be one.
The best way to get things done efficiently (and to make family happy and included) give people things to do for your wedding. If you have a vision for your centerpieces, relay that to your bridesmaids or your mothers to help you create them. You will not be able to do everything by yourself, and you have people behind you waiting for you to give them something to do to help you out. Use them!
6. Be on the same page
One thing that I absolutely love about Sam is that he is totally in-sync with me on details of our wedding. He also is really invested in the details, there's never been a time where he's like, "you can just handle this". He wants to plan everything with me, which I think is amazing. I know not every guy is going to care about what color of pink you decide for your colors like mine is, but you guys should be on the same page with the details in your wedding. Do some brain storming and dreaming together. You do not necessarily have to agree on every last thing, but get a vibe going for how you want your wedding to be like. One person shouldn't carry all of the decision making for the wedding. Marriage is a joint effort, and so is planning your wedding!
7. Skimming the guest list
Besides #4 this has been probably the top hardest thing to do. I love so many people and if it were up to me I'd invite everyone I've ever known to my wedding. But, truth is I can't. Besides spacial restrictions, weddings cost money. We are ordering our save the dates soon and we still aren't sure who is all on our list! Start with family first, close friends, and then work out from there. Do not feel like you are ever obligated to invite someone. I have had people who have tried to invite themselves to our wedding (please don't be that person), and it's been so difficult. One big thing that I've always thought of when thinking about inviting people is, "Has this person influenced and supported our relationship?". If they do not even know who you are getting married to then I'm not sure about the authenticity of that relationship (was that too sassy? oops).
I'm not a wedding planning expert, but I hope that some of these were helpful to you! If you have any questions, lets chat.