My one year wedding anniversary is this coming Sunday. Yay!
I can't believe how fast this year has flown by. It feels like just yesterday we were welcoming all of our family and friends to Charleston for our weekend-long celebration.
With all the stress, happiness and, let's face it, pure insanity that can come with planning
a wedding, I've walked away with a few lessons that I want to pass along. Everything I experienced in being a bride has now made me a more aware, understanding and appreciative guest when being involved in others' weddings. So, hopefully, these little words of wisdom will not only do the same for you but also help you put things in perspective and enjoy the ride...
- Take Your Time Planning - Weddings are expensive and time consuming, so unless there are other circumstances that require you move the process along at a quicker pace, enjoy a longer engagement. You only get to be a bride once, so take your time researching and making decisions so you and your fiance can really revel in being engaged. There's no need to rush it and regret any of the choices you make along the way.
- Always Write Thank You Notes - I always knew that this was expected, practically required, so I'm glad my mom did her best to prepare me by making me write thank yous for birthdays, graduations, first communion, etc. growing up. While engaged, I kept up with my duties after every shower, bachelorette party and even got a handful done prior to the big day. But it was when I returned from my honeymoon that the real fun began. The list can get pretty lengthy so I suggest making it a point to stay on top of it and send them out as quickly as possible. Most importantly, make sure to reference the gift and send a personalized note. An impersonal, form letter is pretty meaningless to its recipient. Keep in mind that your guests are spending a pretty penny on, not only your present, but also attending your wedding, so the least you can do is acknowledge and thank them for it. Nowadays, I've noticed that I'm always on the lookout for a thank you note once I send a gift. Sidenote: It's been eight months since I sent one gift and still no note :( Makes me wonder if they ever or received it or even appreciated it.
- Always R.S.V.P - R.S.V.P to EVERYTHING! People put a lot of time, effort and money into organizing events, so when you receive an invitation to a wedding, rehearsal dinner or shower make it a priority to call or email back your response as soon as possible. Don't make the bride and/or host have to track you down for your answer. And, if you say you're coming, don't be a no-show. A lot of money can be wasted on not having the proper guest count. Planning for too few can result in not enough food, servers, beverages or tables among other things Think about having a seated dinner and ten extra people show up...somebody is going to have to set an extra table in the middle of the reception! Not cool. Aim to high on your guest count and you waste precious $$$ on those that didn't show up (and nobody likes that...especially not dads!).
- Always Buy a Gift - I know sometimes money can be a little tight but if you are invited and especially, if you attend, it's only appropriate to purchase a gift. After the honeymoon, it was so awesome to come home to open our gifts. It wasn't even really about actually getting presents, to me, it was more about how everything thing we opened was a small token from our guests to start our new life together. That sounded cheesy (sorry!), but every gift really did mean a lot to us. Every time I pull out a platter or pitcher or any one of our lovely wedding presents, it always reminds me of that day and who gave it to us. It's not about how much you spend on it because whatever you give will be cherished by the happy couple
- Enjoy the Evening - It goes SOOO fast. The engagement, the wedding week and the wedding day, boy, does it all go so fast. Work with your vendors to make sure everything is done in a timely manner so that the week of is as stress free as possible. Don't fret if something minor goes wrong, stay calm, be nice and figure out a solution. Try to look at the big picture...When it comes down to it, they're just flowers, it's only a cake and it's okay if you get a little tear in your dress. Stuff can and probably will go wrong. Hopefully, if you book good vendors, you won't hear about it until after the wedding but if you do, try and let it roll off your back. Because when it is all said and done, you're with the people you care most about, you've got good tunes and great food...so enjoy celebrating this once-in-a-lifetime day. This will probably be the one day that all of your favorite people will be under one roof, so make sure to stop and take it all in.