Thursday, August 10, 2017

4 Wedding Planning Tips that are Saving my Sanity

I am in the thick of wedding planning right now and I'm def hitting some wedding planning fatigue. It can be an overwhelming process. I used to wonder why people hired wedding planners, but now that I'm planning my own wedding, I totally get it. It's a lot to do on your own (even with input from your partner) and it can be easy to lose the fun of the process. I don't want this blog to be super heavy on the wedding talk, but it's one of my favorite things to read about (even before I was engaged). Here are a few things that have been saving my sanity in the craziness of wedding planning. 

1. Take lots of breaks 
Look, maybe it's just me but I can get really overwhelmed with wedding planning. The industry has this crazy inflated cost associated with it so while you have an idea of what you'd like, it doesn't always line up with your budget. For me it was photography. I went to school for it, I follow a lot of photographers, I know what I like. So when I started looking at prices and realized that my 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th choices were way out of our budget, it got really overwhelming and upsetting. It helps for me to step back and put a hold on all wedding planning when I recognize those feelings starting to overwhelm me and stress me out. Just closing out of Pinterest or wedding websites or emails and just breathing is my lifeline. If you look at any wedding planning lists online, I'm behind on booking vendors and planning in general, but it's fine. Don't let what is supposed to be a fun, amazing day celebrating your love turn into a thing that stresses you out and makes you cry. Take a step back as needed you beautiful starfish. 

2. Balance the fun with the tedious 
Guys, when finding vendors you are going to be sending so. many. emails. Like an insane amount of first contact emails and it's so tedious to feel like you are just non stop emailing people trying to get price lists to see if this person fits into your budget or if you have to keep looking. Not only first contact emails, but once you do find a vendor or two you want to move past the initial price list, you have a lot of back and forth emails with the vendors to decide on little details. Just typing all that felt tedious. This kind of ties in with taking breaks, but when things feel more tedious than fun, I like to work on the fun things. Bachelorette party ideas, songs you want played at the reception, honeymoon ideas, pinning all the things that catch your eye. All of those are fun things make for a nice balance to the millions of emails you will be sending while nailing down details. 

3. Think outside the box 
The biggest stressor for me so far has been finding vendors that fit into my idea of what I want at my wedding while still being within budget. The one vendor we have is the ceremony/reception venue (including the bar package the venue provides). It's an indie art gallery in a part of St. Louis that Jarrett and I spent a lot of time in when we were dating. At first, we spent a lot of time looking at traditional wedding venues and being really discouraged by the price tag attached. Most of them had really expensive bar packages and restrictions on catering options, which for me is big since I'm vegetarian and a foodie so I want some really delicious food at my reception. I randomly came across our venue on Instagram and was really surprised that it fit what I was looking for. It had an affordable bar package, which was important since we wanted to pay for an open bar for at least a few hours of the reception. It has an open catering policy, they flip the space, we have an inside space that can be decorated as we like and we don't have to worry about back up plans in case of rain. All of the vendors I have loved and clicked with have been something that wasn't listed on The Knot or Wedding Wire. They are cool people doing cool things that aren't necessarily a traditional "wedding" thing. There's an insane markup when you add "wedding" to something so looking outside of the traditional wedding box has been the best thing I've done. 

4. Wait for that gut feeling 
I've spent a lot of time looking at places that are beautiful and great. I've talked to a lot of people who are doing amazing work in photography or videography or catering. But not all of them have given me that gut feeling that this is the thing for us. So many things have been great but with our ceremony/reception venue, it was this instant gut feeling that "Yes! This is the thing!" It hit all my boxes being something that was in budget but was also not super popular. I'm from a small town and all the weddings I've been to have been basically the same. At the same local-ish winery, the same DJ, the same basic formula. While I am not trying to throw shade, I didn't want something that was the same as every one else in town. Holding out for that zing in my gut has helped me feel like I'm creating a day that perfectly celebrates our relationship without compromising. I think all anyone wants is for their day to feel like it's 100% special and reflects you as a couple. Don't settle for something because everyone is doing (or has done) it. Wait for the things that make you feel excited and like this is the exact right decision. 

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