The knee, the ring, the question - followed by a tear filled, "YES," and the first official kiss as fiancés. Take some time to live in engagement bliss before you stress about all of the details. The overwhelming feeling of "where do I start?" is completely normal.
So let's make it simple. Here are my top 3 suggestions for every bride.
1. Something on your BIG day will go "wrong," but it's still going to be beautiful
Every Bride has envisioned their wedding day after countless hours of planning. It’s a dangerous line to flirt with when it creates an unrealistic expectation on what is often referred to as, "the perfect day." The truth is, there is no perfect, but there is perfect for you and your significant other. Whatever goes "wrong," only you, as the bride who planned this entire day will know, which makes it not wrong, just different than your daydreams. I've been to weddings where the groomsmen locked his knees and passed out. The officiant’s microphone was cutting in and out. Or my personal favorite, the drunk Best Man giving a speech full of so much slurring that the Mother of the Groom has to cut him off. Those moments may seem like the end of the world to some brides, but they are usually the best memories to look back on and laugh (except maybe the passing out, which he recovered quickly and danced away at the reception!)
The day of my wedding it was as if Storm from X-men was up in the clouds forcing gusts of wind to come through our venue. In fact, it wasn't until weeks after our wedding that I found out the Bar Menu that I spent hours making (a large mirror with vinyl letters,) fell face first on the concrete. My crew of planners stood around terrified to lift the mirror to find it in pieces, but the rest of the X-men team was on my side. It wasn't broken, but that amount of wind meant it would have to stay on the ground propped up instead of on the beautiful, engraved gold easel I had prepared for it. It doesn't sound like a big deal, and most of you reading may say who cares, but that's my point. NO ONE will know except you, and my beautiful sign still did its job.
2. Make the day about the two of you
From influencers to Pinterest to the blog you are reading right now; everywhere you look you'll find a plethora of ideas for your wedding day. There are thousands of vendors to choose from, multiple cakes to taste and far too many appointments (which I highly recommend doing all the tastings you can while wedding planning for a cheap date night), but the amount of decisions that need to be made to plan a wedding is overwhelming and sometimes scary. Try your best to focus on what makes the day about the two of you. If you want traditional, put in as many traditions as you can. If you want casual, write it on the invite under “Attire”.
If you've seen 27 dresses, you've watched the "always bridesmaid" with zero complaints about the couples’ choices. Instead, you see a friend recognizing the couples she was standing by created a day exemplifying them. For us, we wanted simple, but elegant. I still wore the fancy dress, and my darling husband was handsome in his cobalt suit. However, we did wood-fired pizza and had my uncle (AKA Uncy Rick), bake our favorite desserts. We used my Father's Volkswagen bus for pictures, made s'mores and took shots at the bar. We had a guest sing karaoke! Our attendees left with the feedback that everything they saw reminded them of us.
3. Take in the moments, breathe in and slow down
If you've been engaged for a week or a year or five, someone has told you to take in the moments on your Wedding Day, but how? Everything goes so fast - so it's true what they say, "time flies when you are having fun!"
I spent 1.5 years planning for a day to start at 7:00am with a 10:00pm send-off. Countless late nights of crafting, stress pimples, extra workouts, dance lessons and of course, the dollar bills spent to make it all happen (worth it,) all over in a blink. While some of it remains a blur, I found multiple times throughout my wedding day to stop. Slow down. Deep breath. I looked around the room and enjoyed looking out at my WEDDING DAY. Take those brief seconds to be completely in the moment. It's those quick pauses you'll remember (also, hire a videographer so you can relive the moments over and over again! I watched our highlight video every day for weeks!)
Good luck on planning the best day of your life with your person. Nothing else matters after you say, "I do," to forever.