Choose your wedding party carefully, and 6 more pieces of wedding advice I needed

Updated Oct 12 2015
Guest post by loopyloo
JE83
Photo by Wild About You Photography

I read every advice post I could find. I knew what should be in my emergency kit, and I was completely on top of all to-do lists. I had thought about all the things brides forget about, and I had thorough Pinterest boards done by category. I even had my DIY projects planned well in advance.

Despite how excited I was (and am) about my marriage, despite how awesome our loved ones are, and despite how much I love projects — I HATED planning our wedding. I almost called it off several times (elopement please!), and thought for sure the day would NOT be worth all the stress, and all the fights.

I believe my experience would have been a bit different if I had read this advice first…

When choosing your wedding party

They tell you how to pick your wedding party and what their responsibilities are, but they don't equip you for what follows. These are the people who will be beside you leading up to, and on, your wedding day — them AND their personalities, strengths AND weaknesses. Choose them wisely, or at least be prepared to handle situations in which their personality might conflict. Be sure to surround yourself with only, or at least enough, positive people, who are good in "a crisis," who can support and keep focused on the vision for the day, and whom you can love even if (or when) they unknowingly hurt you.

When choosing your bachelorette party guests

Although it is a GREAT excuse to get out and have fun, you do not have to invite everyone to your bachelorette party. Keep it to the people who respect you, your preferences, your marriage, and who know what YOU want in order to have a good time. For girls like me, we tend to get lost in what others want ("please can we stay at the dance club another hour?!") instead of doing what we had originally wanted all along (to return to the hotel for interactive games before early work schedules sent girls home).

When something is worrying you

If something is worrying you, address it directly. Worried it will rain? Come up with a back-up plan you also love. (Even if you don't love it just as much and even if it means somehow coming up with an extra $900 you don't REALLY have for a tent). Dreading your DIY bouquet? Trust in your crafty bridesmaid. Your custom wedding dress falls through a month before the wedding? Go out and find a ready-to-wear back-up.

When you're gung-ho for DIY

I am a project girl all the way, and I don't mind repetitive tasks. I thought DIY was perfect for me and would save us so much money. What I was NOT prepared for was having the storage for all of the projects. We were constantly surrounded by 100 decorated wine bottles, 300 coffee filter flowers (over 1500 coffee filters btw), our giant chalkboard program, seating chart, and schedule, all the dinner plates, all the cake plates, all the wrapped silverware, all the rehearsal dinner needs, floating scissors, paint pens, twine, candles, centerpieces, DIY place card settings, guest book components, the 800 paper butterflies I folded and strung… Trust me when I say, it will overwhelm you, even if you love it. Even if you're organized.

When dress shopping

I read all the posts on wedding dresses too. I knew not to put too much weight on the "ah-ha THE ONE" moment. I knew which sites to stay away from, and which to check out. I thought I wanted one style but tried on another anyway. What I could never have read anywhere was how I, myself, make a decision about a dress I had never shopped for before, for an event I had never experienced before. Listen to your own heart and your own desires. If you can't hear them, take time to yourself to listen before buying anything.

When eating on your wedding day

All the blogs say "eat eat eat." But if you're anything like me, my nerves allowed zero food to go near my mouth without my stomach turning. What worked for me — take a shot (or two depending on you), then utilize those drunk munchies to get something down. And make sure to eat at all other times — as soon as you wake up in the morning (before all the excitement), and save a plate for late at night (when you're still awake and now, all of a sudden, you're RAVENOUS).

When you should delegate

They say "delegate, delegate, delegate" in all the advice blogs too, but I'm specifically talking about delegate on the day of your wedding. The wedding day is packed full of things that need your attention, and the 800 folded butterflies you made won't be a priority for you. So much will go on behind the scenes while you get ready and enjoy your beautiful day. Those butterflies will fall into a growing pile of "fuck its" (rightfully) IF they're not delegated.

When all of that being said and done…

No matter how stressed you are, no matter how ready you are for it to be over, no matter how many different emotions you have going on about everything and everyone… hang in there. It WILL more-than-likely be worth it in the end. And if it isn't… share your story, and laugh about it in the years to come.

Ready to share YOUR story? Leave a comment with the lessons you learned (or are still learning!)

  1. Another thing I have found out is that shit happens.

    People won't be able to make it last minute because of random things [like my Maid of Honor had to buy herself a new car and the Best Man's wife has to stay at home to take care of a dog who now has seizures] and while it's sad that they aren't coming, they still love you and want to be there for you.

    Plus, with technology, you can always try to Skype people in!

    • Random thought. If you get married in a Shul, Church, Mosque, or Temple, a lot of places now broadcast services on the internet already, esp. for the homebound or people on travel who still want to go to service. When my cousins kid got Bat Mitzvahed I looked up the Shuls website when I got home and they had about 4 months worth of Friday night/Sat morning services (inc. my cousins kid Bat Mitzvah (as that is technically still a worship service)). So I am assuming depending where people get married (esp. if it is still in a building (not in a nature park for example), that some places are already set up for streaming.

  2. I greatly greatly enjoy the expression "the growing pile of fuck-its"–these come up everywhere in life and I will be using that expression. Thank you!

  3. When you should delegate

    They say "delegate, delegate, delegate" in all the advice blogs too, but I'm specifically talking about delegate on the day of your wedding. The wedding day is packed full of things that need your attention, and the 800 folded butterflies you made won't be a priority for you. So much will go on behind the scenes while you get ready and enjoy your beautiful day. Those butterflies will fall into a growing pile of "fuck its" (rightfully) IF they're not delegated.

    Totally seconding that. It saved my life the day of the wedding to be able to say "the boxes are organized by table number/theme, each tchotchi has a home at a place setting, make sure things are symmetrical, but it doesn't need to be perfect" and EVERYONE PITCHED IN. Otherwise? it never would have happened.

    I think a good piggyback would be make sure everything is organized in a way that it can be explained in 7 sentences or less. Too complicated and it won't come out to your liking if you do notice (which you may or may not). You don't want to frustrate the people helping you with something that's just way too complicated to do without living inside your brainspace.

  4. I wished I would have chosen my wedding party better! As soon as I got engaged, I didn't even think about it, I just named my best 2 mates. I should have waited and thought it through. My MOH was amazing as always, but my other bridesmaid had a reputation for being flaky (red flag!) and even though I had been planning for 2 years, she still dropped out 2 months before the wedding AND after I ordered her dress (special sizing too!). I couldn't buy another dress for another girl (sold out!) so I had to hope whoever I chose could have it altered. By random luck, my other friend I asked happened to fit the dress perfectly! But still, I should have considered all of it before choosing.

    Delegating as well! I had a general idea of what I wanted & I mapped it out, drew it out, talked it out with my mom. She was going to be the one at the lodge decorating early in the morning, so she knew what I expected. From there she delegated tasks out to those best suited, & instead of taking on a project herself, trusted others with them so she could bounce from area to area to help others get the picture right. I didn't have to do ANYTHING when I got there! It was all perfect and all I had to do was chill, which was what I really needed!

    • I'm starting to have second thoughts about a "BFF" bridesmaid too – and the other one who silently follows what she says. I love my cousin/MOH/witness to bits, and she desperately wants to help organise things, but she lives in London now so I don't want to pressure her — and we grew into very different people.

      The friend whose advice I want — who knows what I like and doesn't mind being told when I don't want one of her suggestions — would have been a much better bet. Oh well.

      "You live and learn. At any rate, you live." – Douglas Adams

  5. Thank you for saying that you hated planning your wedding! I don't think I've heard anyone say that yet! So far I am excited to get married and to enjoy my wedding day, but planning it is what I don't want to do! I think partly because of all of the decisions, mainly because of how do we pay for any of it?! I think I'd totally hire a planner if I could.

    • I hear ya! Being an offbeat bride whose seemingly offbeat bridesmaids suddenly think it's rude to wear white (even though I'm wearing red – and the least offbeat was the BM who suggested it) is challenging.
      I want to make the day about both of us, but regularly get told "Do what you like." by FH.
      I don't see the point in flowers, or bouquets, or seating plans, or top table, or speeches, or first dances, or half the crap that "YOUMUSTHAVEOMG!!", but I get looked at like I have six heads for pointing that out.
      Keeping it affordable is my biggest worry — without accepting too much money from my parents.

      In short, I want to be married and have a party with people I care about and who genuinely care about me — but without the hassle of planning things that cost too much and matter too little. So you definitely aren't alone. 🙂

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