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10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Planning My Own Wedding

Brides and grooms everywhere are often in the same situation when they get engaged. Some have never planned a wedding, some have never been in a wedding, and some may have never even been a guest at a wedding at all. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed, not know where to start, and not know whose advice to take. Here are the 10 things I wish I knew before planning my own wedding:

1. It’s Your Wedding Day - Not Everybody Else’s

It is so important to remember that your wedding day is all about you and your soon-to-be spouse! Yes, you want to make the guests at your wedding happy. Yes, you want to honor the requests of your family, but ultimately, each decision is up to you and your fiance. If you’re making a choice that will make you unhappy on the best day of your life, it is almost always not worth it! Everybody will have different opinions and advice, but you have to do what is best for the both of you - you’ll be happy you did later! I, along with other brides I know, regret giving in to the wants of our family members and in turn, giving up our wishes for our day. You can listen to all of the advice, but you don’t have to take it!

2. Your Photographer Might Be Your Most Important Vendor

Memories fade, your wedding gown will yellow, and you might lose the necklace that you wore on your wedding day. Most of the details from your wedding will be lost over time, but your photos will last forever! Make sure your photographer is someone you love, someone you can trust, and someone who values your day just as much as you do! Your kids, grandkids, great-grandkids, etc. will thank you for it!

3. Splurge on Your Hair and Makeup

Wedding costs pile up and can cause a huge amount of stress. You might start cutting out things that don’t seem too important to you. You might think, “I can do my hair and makeup myself! I do it every other day,” and you totally can! However, your wedding day isn’t “just another day!” It’s a day to treat yourself and do things that you normally wouldn’t. Another perk of this splurge is that hairstylists and makeup artists are trained to make your hair and makeup last all day and look great in pictures!

4. You Can Invite (or Not Invite) Anyone You Want

The guest list is a huge conflict for most brides and grooms. Your old fashioned family members might tell you to invite everyone - even if you barely know them! At the same time, another family member may say you shouldn’t invite anyone but immediate family. The solution to these problems? Invite the people YOU and your fiancé want to share your big day with! If you want to invite every family member - even extremely extended family - do it! If you don’t feel the need to invite all of your great aunts who couldn’t pick your fiancé out of a crowd, don’t! It’s completely your decision and nobody else’s - see the common theme here?

5. Choose the People in Your Wedding Party Carefully

For some people, choosing a wedding party is a walk in the park. It was for me! My wedding party was all family or friends who are practically family. However, some couples need to think long and hard about who they will choose. You want to pick the people who will happily spend hours steaming dresses or going over details with you, not those who are going to look for places to cut corners when it’s time to buy a bridesmaid dress or plan your shower! You’ll want to choose those people who will hold your hand in your “bridezilla” moments and laugh it off with you later. Your wedding party shares some of your most personal and emotional moments on your wedding day - choose wisely!

6. Not Every Aspect of Your Wedding Needs to be “Pinterest Worthy”

DIY is HUGE in wedding planning right now, and I personally love DIY projects. However, some people just don’t. That’s perfectly okay, too! Just because you didn’t hand make every centerpiece doesn’t mean that it isn’t just as special. Also, if you don’t feel like you’re that crafty of a person, but really want to DIY for your wedding, go for it! Pinterest can leave us striving for perfection that only a professional with an unlimited budget could achieve. As long as you're happy with the outcome, that’s all that matters!

7. It Goes FAST

I used to hate when people told me this, especially when I was young and just wanted to be older! One day you’re engaged and then in the blink of an eye you’re married and on the road to your honeymoon. Everyone says this, but it’s so true. In the midst of all of the wedding day hustle and bustle, set aside a small amount of time to take everything in with your new husband. Stand back and really look around at the family and friends who are so happy for you and the love that’s in the room. It’s the best feeling! One of the most special memories I have from my wedding day is when we were singing during the ceremony. I looked back and saw all of my family (some who aren’t with us anymore) and friends smiling and singing and celebrating. I will never forget that moment!

8. Your Fiancé Probably Does Have an Opinion on Some Things

When it comes to weddings we often think that the bride is the decision maker, but if you ask for your fiancé for his opinion, he might have some good input! Getting a man’s perspective of weddings is helpful and can make the day enjoyable for everyone! It’s also fun to take on the process together and really live in the moment of planning the best day ever!

9. No Wedding Day is Perfect

Sometimes flower girls cry the whole way down the aisle, or your limo never shows, and sometimes it rains. Things can never go perfectly as planned and that is a-okay! It can be hard not to sweat the small stuff when you’ve worked so hard on every detail, but try to stop and look at the big picture. The important thing is having fun and enjoying your day!

10. As Long as You’re Married by the End of it, Nothing Else Really Matters

Everything else on your wedding day can go completely wrong - it won’t, but it could - and as long as you’re married at the end of the day, everything is worth it! You have a new husband and you get to start your married life together regardless of what happened on your wedding day. Just smile, laugh, and enjoy the best day of your life!

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