My top 5 “ah-ha!” wedding moments: Shit I’m glad I know now

Guest post by vertigo912
Ashley & Ryan01

Besides the obvious “ah-ha!” moment of “OMG I'm SO glad I found Offbeat Bride,” I wanted to share the top-five realizations I've had while planning this thing. These tidbits may not be for everyone, but if my best friend was getting married, this is what I'd tell her:

1. Get officially married before the big day

We got hitched in our living room by our friend who got ordained online. It was for insurance purposes; I wanted it to be unemotional, so we could save our feelings for the “real” day. But it was intimate and beautiful. We cried. And NO ONE knows except me, hubby, officiant, and now you guys. 😉 For all intents and purposes, our ceremony will still be our wedding — but I'll be able to walk down the aisle a little easier knowing that the sexy guy at the end of the aisle is already my secret husband.

2. Go with a short engagement

Having dealt with (only) six months of the planning stress, I can't imagine having ANOTHER six months or more of sleepless nights, fretting over Save the Dates, invites, colors, photos, details, etc. Sure, we've worked with a truncated timeline, but it means we have to work efficiently. Who doesn't work better with a little fire beneath them?

3. Consider just one attendant, or none at all

Instead, reach out to friends to fill special roles. We didn't want to play “favorites” with friends. In the end, we each chose one long-term friend from highschool to stand with us. Instead of asking my girlfriends to spend money on a bridesmaid dress, I asked them if their gift could simply be to showcase their talents. From baking the wedding cake and decorating the park bridge, to arranging our flowers and DJ-ing our tunes, our friends will make our day special not by standing with us in awkward group photos but by highlighting their awesome talents.

4. Create to-do lists on Google docs

For awhile, I was keeping a running list of to-do items as a draft message in my email. My honey suggested we create a Google doc out of it, and voila! We share just one list with eachother (instead of me emailing myself different drafts). We add tasks to our living document as we think of them. You can have the Google doc open at the same time, editing things as needed. And there's that ever-satisfying “strikethrough” text feature to cross off finished items. Almost as good as a hand-written list.

5. Sometimes you just need to step back and not give a shit

A few weeks into the process, when we were getting overwhelmed, we took a night away at a cheap farmhouse bed and breakfast. Left our laptops at home, turned off our cell phones, and stared into eachother's eyes to the tune of the thunderstorm. Its easy to get swept up in the bustle of planning. But this unplugged getaway helped us remember why we were wasting time picking out old table cloths to cut into napkins or scouring craigslist for reusable wares. In short: be the honeybadger. Honeybadger don't give a shit. (Click on it. You won't regret it.)

What are your own “ah-ha!” moments?

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Comments on My top 5 “ah-ha!” wedding moments: Shit I’m glad I know now

  1. AHA!Moment: When I realized I was freaking out over stuff that didn’t matter. To much time reading the wedding blogs (not this one – but another that shall remain unnamed) had me half convinced I was evil for not having an open bar, and wanting to wear jeans on my wedding day. Thankfully I regrouped, and stuck with what I wanted to do!

  2. Although there are a lot of stuff I agree with, one thing I have disagree with a little is the length of engagement. My fiancée and I have agreed that we’re going to wait a couple of years before getting married, for two main reasons. Number one, we’re both still pretty young and finding our feet in respective careers. Waiting gives us time to settle and time to save. Also we’re only planning on doing this once, so we have longer to enjoy being engaged and longer to enjoy the wedding planning. I’d rather wait and find things we truly want than have to settle for stuff that’s available on the date we’ve picked 🙂

    PS love the honey badger

  3. My partner and I got “married” more than a year before our actual wedding date (after already being together for 9 years). We were travelling and decided to make it official, before the Gods of Beauty and Nature, while we were in the Plitvice Natural Park in Croatia. Google it, you’ll get why we were so inspired. He surprised me with the most amazing ephemeral ring made out of a leaf while standing in front of a huge waterfall. So now that we are planning an official wedding with all our friends and family and an officiant, we feel like the pressure is somehow off for the two of us because we know that we have had our special sacred moment already, so nothing can really spoil the moment. And this time we get to have an open bar!

  4. I agree on the get legally married first to get the groom’s immigration paperwork on its way. We did that with a friend who is allowed to legally marry people. We signed all the paperwork and he brought it in for us during the week. With a small silly Klingon ceremony and immediate family only. It was fun. Religious ceremony in two weeks and glad the the immigration paperwork is all in the government’s hands. I couldn’t deal with all that and the wedding planning.

  5. OMG this is literally exactly what we are doing! Already got married, only a few friends and family knew… 5 months of total time spent planning… one attendant each… and I am organizing everything with my (secret) Husband and Mom through Google Docs!

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