photo by Jake Wood Photography
Where I left off, I wanted to share the wedding planning journey that Anthony and I embarked on last spring. The thing about wedding planning is that it isn't all cake tasting, picking flowers and sunshine/rainbows/unicorns. If you're bound and determined to plan this thing yourself, and I can see why people hire planners now, it can be a second job. Making phone calls (what happened to the hotel block?!) and clarifying your vision, if in fact you even have a vision (no mauve! no mauve anywhere!) and sticking up for the choices you've made, even if they're unpopular with friends, family, and strangers who think it's their business. Along the way, I think I've learned a few valuable lessons that are worth passing on:
1. Nail down the guest list early on. The first question wedding vendors will ask you is: "what's your guest list?" You need this number to determine what size venue you'll choose, how big your wedding band should be, and even how many centerpieces you'll need. It's all about the number.
2. Write down your wedding budget, then triple it. Maybe I went into this thing naively, but I honestly thought $10,000 would be the ideal wedding budget...and it would have been...if we were inviting 50 people. Nothing against small weddings! In another life we would have eloped to a castle in Ireland with our nearest and dearest, but we both come from large families and it was very important for us to share our day with them. The more guests you have, the more the cost of the wedding adds up.
Checking out wedding venues in New Orleans
3. Step away from the Pinterest! (on occasion). I considered hanging a "Wedding brought to you by Pinterest" banner behind our cake table. It's true. I got tons of ideas browsing, and I was able to save my ideas on a secret board (so I wouldn't give everything away) and keep everything organized. However! It is really easy to get carried away by the wealth of inspiration on the site. It's a double edged sword, it can help you focus your vision, but it can also make you question it. If you're starting to doubt your choices, give yourself a break.
4. Your groom wants to help. I knew going in that Anthony would have opinions. As is his right, it's his wedding too! He's actually been to a lot more weddings than I have, and has a great idea of what will work and what won't. At the height of my frenzy to get a lot of wedding tasks done, he stepped in and asked me to, "lay it on him." I wrote down a pretty extensive list, and we've been working through it together.
5. You don't "have to" anything. You will get caught up in all the accouterments that supposedly must accompany a wedding. But the truth is, you don't have to do anything you don't want to do. Wedding welcome bags at the hotel? No one will miss them. Wedding favors upon wedding favors? No one cares. Custom napkins? People will spit their gum out in them or throw them away. At the end of the day, put your budget towards things people will actually enjoy: food, drinks, and live music, and prioritize the things that you love and will make you happy.
Despite the to-do list a mile long and stressing out over the details, we're really happy and excited to be planning a wedding for our families to come together!