Y’all, I can’t believe it’s been almost 8 months since our engagement. We’re close to the 90 day home stretch, and I am feeling the burn!!! See, what had happened was…we were off to a great start lining up the venue and the photographer, and the wedding party. Then, life happened. The summer was financially tight. Our new and growing church moved into its first location, and we were blessed to up and buy a home in the fall. Wedding planning came to screeching, grinding halt.
Meanwhile, we got news about a once-in-a-lifetime potential opportunity that would interfere with our original May date. There was only one right thing to do: move our wedding date UP. We also made the decision to move our venue (another story for another post). So at this point in reading, I’m sure you’re probably ready to intervene and send us to rehab because we must be high. LOL.
7 Things I’ve Learned While Planning Our Wedding
- Stuff can be expensive. Before I started planning a wedding, I scoffed at how much people spent on weddings. I would see people spending $10,000 or $15,000 and immediately assume they were vain and materialistic, but I was wrong. Expenses add up quickly, and the markup on the word “wedding” is RIDICULOUS. These folks are out here charging $30,000 to get hitched in a barn. Like where cows and horses live. Then there’s catering, photography, cake, decor, rings, dresses, suits…the list goes on. Now, these are the days of the DIY bride and there are hacks all over to cut corners, but ultimately, every dime you spend is multiplied by the number of guests you have. Unfortunately, the best way to cut costs is to cut people.
- You will learn more about yourself and your priorities…and subsequently, question why you are putting yourself through this in the first place. Speaking of cutting costs, after you survive the sticker shock, you really start thinking about what’s important to you, and what you can live without. For example, 50% or more of my guest list is out of town; a great number of them are coming from 500 or more miles away. It’s important to me to make sure they have a great meal, so I’m willing to give up a lot of non-essentials (or downgrade them) to make that happen. Now, Casper and I both come from sizable families, so our guest list is hovering around 150. I have had moments where I think about the bare minimum cost, and question my sanity, LOL. But there are so many special people who have been praying for this moment since the day I was born, and I can’t imagine not sharing it with them. This wedding is both the culmination and the beginning of one of my greatest testimonies, and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds.
- People in your life have a hierarchy. Yep. It’s a sad admission, but unless you have an unlimited budget for unlimited people, you will have to put a cap on the guest list. And in order to do that, you gotta rank people. It’s arguably one of the most frustrating decision trees I’ve ever gone through. Is this person a family member? Have you talked to them in the last year? How much do you really like them? Do they get along with everyone else? Do they spark joy? Am I forgetting anyone really important?!!! And then there’s the politics of people you can’t invite unless you invite everyone in the same category. I’m not sure how things were in the past, but in today’s generation, the dynamics of families are so diverse it makes navigating them very complex. At the end of the day, in most cases omissions should be charged to the wallet and not the heart. That doesn’t make it any easier, though.
- The devil is in the details. A wedding is a large scale project, and if ever there were a time to get organized, it’s in this situation. There are so many moving parts, from budget to logistics to design, it’s almost impossible not to miss something or have something go wrong. There so many resources available, be it infographics, checklists, and/or your planner (if you hire one). Take advantage. I’m using WeddingWire because it has a full engine to manage everything from planning tasks and budget to logistics pieces like RSVPs and seating charts.
- Everybody needs somebody sometime. My grandmother always says many hands make light work. Sure you can handle everything by yourself – if you have nothing else going on in your life. Or if you want a one-way trip to the looney bin. If you value your sanity, you must decide what is most important to you, then DELEGATE, DELEGATE, DELEGATE. I’ve never had more people ask if I need help than I have in the past year. And I’ve never been more inclined to say yes. I’m literally trying to find stuff for people to help me with. Everything else in my life is stressful enough; there’s no reason to add to it when there are willing hands.
- I am growing by the day. I’ve always wanted to own my own company. Although entrepreneurship is in my blood, and I’ve worked in corporate America for
waaaaylonger than I wanted, there are some skills I just haven’t had the opportunity to really stretch until this time in life. Through this process, I’m getting better at delegating and I’m learning to manage teams. My faith is growing. I’ve started to regain my confidence in my creative skills and ability to take risks. Y’all, I’m actually picking up the phone to CALL strangers (read: vendors) and ask them about stuff. When they call, I actually respond. And praise the Lord, my skin hasn’t crawled off my body yet as a result.
- Time literally flies. We got engaged in May 2018. The summer passed, Christmas was the next day, and now we are about 90 days out. That’s less than the probationary period on some jobs. I feel anxious about all we need to get done, but on the flip
sideI’m excited for the day to come…and go. LOL.
Many women grow up dreaming of their wedding day. Not me. I don’t know if I ever believed it would happen, to tell the truth, much less teach me anything about life. As much as I am putting into the process, I am gaining blessings I never could have anticipated. The best is yet to come!