Reflections on Wedding Planning (Part One)

One thing I learned very quickly after MT and I got engaged in January of last year was that "wedding planning" when you aren't planning your actual wedding but rather fantasizing about one in your head is absolutely nothing like the real thing. How many of you have--or have friends who have--a Pinterest wedding board (or several) but aren't looking for a serious relationship/engaged/planning a wedding? I did too! And it was loads of fun. But honestly once MT and I were engaged, I never looked at the thing again.

I can honestly say that for 99% of the time that we were planning, both MT and I maintained our sanity and even enjoyed ourselves. There are a few key reasons why.

1. We sat down and created a budget before we decided on anything else. We looked at our savings, our monthly incomes, and decided what we could afford to save each month to pay for the wedding. We guessed what each element of the wedding would cost and then added an extra 10% for unexpected costs. And then we stuck to the budget.

2. We decided what was most important to us and focused on those aspects a majority of the time. For us, those elements were writing an intimate, personal ceremony, making sure we had excellent food and wine, creating a fun party atmosphere, and building a sense of community amongst our guests. The flowers? Not so important to us. The cake? Not so important either. Did we have beautiful flowers and cake? Yes, but we let the professionals do their jobs and we didn't try to micromanage the process.

3. We took our family's input in stride and we remained a unit. Both of our moms at various times pissed us off or rubbed us the wrong way over some detail of the wedding. My mom, for instance, insisted that MT and his groomsman wear identical khaki tuxedos, to which we said, "OH HELL NO." MT's mother, on the other hand, insisted that the Embassy Suites across from our venue--a five-star hotel--was a much better options for guests because--get this--it has an indoor pool. I should also mention that we offered up our house to her for the wedding weekend to save on costs. But, even when those little inevitable moments of differing opinions came up, we stayed a unit, laughed at our moms, and never made it a conflict between the two of us.

4. More for me than for MT: I did not read wedding porn, aka wedding blogs, wedding magazines, etc. We would occasionally watch Four Weddings from time to time for ideas, but all of the rest of the TLC wedding franchise was swiftly deleted from the DVR. I didn't want to second guess every decision we'd made. The one exception re: wedding blogs was that I devoured A Practical Wedding because it affirmed that we could plan a wedding and maintain our sanity. And they are right!

5. We took what we wanted from traditions and said to hell with the rest. I walked myself down the aisle. We didn't do a bouquet toss or garter toss. MT and I spent the night before the wedding together and had a lovely wedding morning eating breakfast in bed and enjoying each other's company. You have to do what feels right to you, even if other people don't understand. If you are out to please everyone, you will please no one, especially yourselves. Sure, you want your guests to be comfortable and enjoy themselves, but that doesn't mean you must give into their every whim and expectation. Just make sure the booze is a'flowin' and people will quickly forget that you didn't read that awful passage from 1 Corinthians or take your new husband's name.

I have a feeling I'm going to have a lot to say on this topic. Stay tuned!


  1. We didn't do the tosses either! Cake was important to us and so was my brother walking me down the aisle. We did what we wanted and loved it =) I think it helps, for me anyway, that we used all of our own money so most people didn't push their wants on us.

  2. The number one thing I learned from my first wedding was not to listen to anyone else aside from the groom. When we started planning I had all these ideas... that were swiftly thrown away when I let other people's opinions influence me. By the wedding day there was barely anything that I wanted.

    I told Izzy that when we get married that we're doing it our way and no one else's. I want it to be for US.

  3. What a great post! It laughed about the pinterest board -- I'm like that with the "things I want for my house someday" board (like I will ever have a built-in wall unit window box with recessed lighting overlooking the ocean). *snerk*

    It sounds like one of the most relaxing, peaceful and enjoyable weddings I've ever read about, can't wait to hear more!

  4. Oh, I’m excited to read more about this series! I have to say, I am SO not looking forward to planning my future wedding from what I’ve read about wedding planning so far. It just seems really hectic and stressy and crazy! I can’t wait to read more about how you guys planned – seems to be very practical and more my pace. Wedding blogs scares the living crap out of me. Don’t even get me started on the wedding boards on Pinterest. Eek! ;)