Wednesday, March 12

Making the Most of Wedding Planning

All Photos by Arden Prucha Photography

This time last year I started feeling the pressure. It was four months until our wedding, and I felt like, although I had been planning for a year, there was still SO.MUCH.TO.DO. 

Although I deplored "wedding advice" at the time, I needed it!! Here are few of my thoughts on wedding planning, in no particular order, just one year later.

1) Delegate and stop worrying about it, or just do it yourself. I chose the later. When it came to wedding planning I was totally selfish, and wanted to enjoy every little aspect myself. We spent several weekends making jam for hostess gifts, tying twine around our invitation packs, and stuffing mini-envelopes with wildflower seeds for our save-the-dates. Those times and memories, I know we will cherish.

2) Make sure you start scheduling plenty of sleep - yes scheduling. Even naps. There is nothing better than sleep when it comes to looking and feeling your best. Of course, If you haven't already, make sure you're exercising regularly, drinking plenty of water, and eating right. Plus, I started taking these vitamins for my hair/skin by Perricone MD. 10-minute meditations were a lifesaver for me, too. If you aren't one for meditating, I suggest you try the Headspace App during the 10 days leading up to your wedding. Headspace keeps you grounded and helps alleviate anxiety.  [Headspace Link]

Arden Prucha Photography

3) Be flexible and try not to get caught up on little things. For me, those little things became the fact that the table number holders kept falling over, we did not have enough confetti, and of course....the bow ties that came in the Monday after the wedding. The big adjustment really effected our plans for supper. Dinner was supposed to be served to guests while seated, but we ended up having almost 40 guests say they were attending the week of the wedding whose RSVP card we never received. At the last minute, we scrabbled trying to get more duck for the gumbo and more quail for the salad, but there was just no way (if it was going to be local, anyway). We ended up ditching both the gumbo and the salad (saving on the tableware), and switched from a sit-down-dinner to plates being served buffet style. It was such a good decision in the end! Even though I had been dead-set on our guest being served this fancy meal, I was just so happy to have everyone there in the end.

4) You really can't worry about others when it comes to your guest lists, attendants, even your wedding party. Your family will still be family even if they choose to not attend your wedding, and give your friend's some slack if they aren't going to be able to make it. Just because your life is revolving around this wedding doesn't mean everyone else has to be. Only you and your husband are truly required. Not worrying about what might happen with everyone else will allow you to spend your energy worrying about the aspects of your day you do have control of like music, paper goods, and decorations - the fun stuff! 

Arden Prucha Photography - the best wedding decision ever made!

5) Do something with your fiance that feels dorky, but makes your closer. Starting these habits early on in your engagement helps them to continue throughout your first year of marriage. Sam and I read the book Happiness for Two, [click title for link] and I still read him love poems from Pablo Neurda in this little book.

6) Don't confuse your everyday priorities when it comes to your wedding priorities. If you aren't really a flower person, you are probably going to regret spending thousands on bouquets and center pieces. If you are quite the fashionista, you probably won't regret whatever you dropped on your gown, shoes, and/or accessories. For us, it was food, photography, and paper-goods -- and we spent accordingly.

7) One of my favorite things about our wedding day was the "first look" session we did at sunrise. It was just me, Sam, my mom, and our photographers. Although at first there was some anxiety, it turned out to be the perfect way to start our wedding day. So brides, cancel your bridal portraits and reschedule for a sunrise session on your wedding day!

Arden Prucha Photography

8) Although, I am rarely a traditionalist, I really didn't want my wedding to be too trendy (as much as I loved putting together my board on Pinterest, tying the knot). Sometimes it really helped me to NOT look at wedding inspiration specifically. Instead I started looking around our home and through old photos. I really recommend paying attention to what colors you gravitate towards on a regular basis, spend some time discovering what is YOUR style. I had an old black and white picture of a family picnic that conveyed the southern style supper I wanted in my heart. When working with different vendors I think it is very important to have a good mood board or my case a binder to help convey what's in your head. (Email me if you are interested in seeing what we created).

9) Make sure to take pictures throughout wedding planning, during your showers and parties, and even throughout your wedding weekend. I didn't take any at my first shower, the rehearsal, or rehearsal dinner because I felt funny taking pictures at our own events. This is my only big regret... I would have loved to have had more photos from those times with friends and families.

10) Last but of course not least, DO NOT let anything get to you on your day. There is no such thing as perfect, surprise! Only you are in charge of your thoughts and feelings (says the therapist in me), and blaming others for the way you are feeling is just childish. Yes, your family may try to make it all about their issues with each other. Yes, your wedding planner may add green food coloring to the mason jars "so the water doesn't look cloudy," but in the end you're getting married to the love of your life -- and who really freaking cares about the colored flower water? You'll have your husband to laugh with you about it for the rest of your life. 

Our night ended with the most gorgeous sunset - we could have never planned that!
All photos in this post were taken by our beloved wedding photographer, Arden Jenkins, of Arden Prucha Photography.