About two months after we were married Jon and I went to the beach with my extended family, most of whom had been in attendance at the wedding. One day my aunt Chris asked me what advice I would give brides-to-be, because another niece of hers was getting married soon. The best tip I had to offer her, and that I will offer y’all, is that you should surround yourself with good people. I really believe it’s as simple as that.
You don’t have to be paying them thousands upon thousands of dollars; heck, you don’t have to be paying them at all. Even if it’s your friends helping you pull together an all-DIY shindig, if you are working with good, conscientious people, you will be able to relax and enjoy your wedding day. I knew I didn’t have a thing to worry about on the day of the wedding (aside from not tripping up the steps to the altar) because I had the best coordinator (Ashley Baber Weddings), the best organist, the best bridesmaids, the best wedding guild volunteers, the best jazz quartet and the best photographers (Our Labor of Love), and I trusted them all completely to hold up their respective ends of the deal. To the extent that it’s possible, hire reliable and trustworthy vendors and be in contact with them before the wedding day arrives. I really can’t think of one thing that went awry on my wedding day, and I owe it all to our incredible vendors, many of whom have since become my friends.
Unfortunately, even if you have recruited the best team of wedding pros, I don’t think there’s any way to avoid the unique stresses of the planning process. For me, the meltdowns happened around the guest list. Having to qualify and rank my relationships or justify inviting one person from high school or college over another was not easy, especially for a people-pleasing social butterfly like myself. If I could do it again, there’s at least one more invitation I’d send, guest count be damned!
(This leads me to my top tip for the newly engaged: be aware of what you say about your wedding to people beyond your inner circle until you know how large of a guest list you’re looking at. If you imply that an invitation might be extended or inadvertently invite someone in a fit of giddy enthusiasm, and that person ranks at about 250 on your list that can only accommodate 200 people, you’re in for some self-inflicted guilt and agonizing. Surely I’m not the only one who spoke too soon on a couple occasions…)
Planning a wedding isn’t exactly great resume fodder (sadly), but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel a great sense of accomplishment and pride about the wedding we pulled together. It is hard work, y’all! Much credit is due to my parents, who graciously paid for most things, as well as my ever patient family, bridesmaids and now-husband and in-laws who all listened and opined and celebrated at countless points along the way. I’m especially grateful that Jon and I were allowed to fashion a wedding that genuinely reflected the couple that we are; it’s a luxury not everyone has.
Thanks to Ami and all y’all for letting me stop by EAD this week. I hope you’ve enjoyed my recaps! If you want to keep tabs on me or read more about my wedding, you can find me here; if you have any other questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you!