Hindsight is 20/20. When it comes to planning a wedding, you can find yourself overwhelmed with suggestions and options. From napkin colors to DJ’s to invitations, and let’s not even mention the wedding dress, there are more options than you could possibly wade through during your engagement. It can be difficult to figure out what to prioritize and how to make the right decisions. And if you’re like me, making decisions can be really difficult. I can never even decide where to go for dinner, much less what to serve my guests at a wedding.
But never fear. Your trusty Amative Creative Blogger Katie (that’s me) is here to help you save the day as you wedding plan. Our very own Andrea is planning a vow renewal and I took a break from watching Love is Blind to sit down with her (virtually) to ask what she learned from her first experience planning a wedding, almost 10 years ago, and what she plans to change/prioritize for this vow renewal. I also compiled some research from Southern Living and Rachael Ray (I mean… can you go wrong here?) to help you as you plan your wedding.
Don’t feel like you have to do it all yourself. Spending part of your wedding budget on a wedding planner who can help you keep organized may be the best thing you can do for your stress level. And, if you’re on a tight budget, ask a close friend or family member to help. Use the resources you have within your circle.
Andrea said her biggest regret (and biggest irony) from her wedding nearly 10 years ago was not having a videographer. Considering she now shoots video as well as photo, it’s almost poetic irony that she didn’t even think about video back then! Now that time has passed, it’s difficult to remember particular moments of the day. And her biggest wish, to be able to go back in time and have her vows recorded. Andrea said this is definitely an area of the wedding she’d spend money on if she had it to do over again.
Andrea suggests opting for real flowers rather than fake ones. While there are some great fakes out there, they just can’t beat the beauty of a real flower. Sadly, fake flowers look… fake. If you don’t like the idea of wasting fresh florals, check out Floralanthropy which donates blooms to local nursing homes.
Another alternative is going all out and owning the fake. Consider wooden or paper flower bouquets instead of fabric florals.
And if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option for real flowers, be sure to check out Irvington Spring Farm in Boonsboro, Virginia. We wrote a blog with all of Maggie’s best tips for DIY’ing your wedding bouquet.
Not surprisingly, a photographer is going to prioritize photos at her wedding (in this case, vow renewal). Andrea says, “Make your time for bride/groom portraits uncompromisable. Don’t let your timeline dictate whether you get those portraits! Doing a first look can ensure you have amazing photos before the timeline gets out of hand.”
If you read our Tips for Taking the Best Family Photos at your Wedding blog, you already know the importance of scheduling out your family photos. One suggestion in that blog was to not give the best light of the day to your family photos (golden hour). Make sure that time is reserved for your photos with your new spouse.
And one last reminder about family photos. Mom & Grandma may want you to get pictures with every 3rd and 4th cousin at the wedding. But only take time to take the photos that you know you’ll want to print and put up in your living room. If you don’t need a photo with 3rd cousin Ray hanging over your fireplace, don’t include it in the schedule for the wedding day.
Wedding gifts can be a great way to help a new couple establish a home together. But, if you find yourself in a position where you’re already established and don’t need housewarming gifts, consider alternatives. Guests can contribute toward your honeymoon. OR (and even better) consider asking your guests to make a donation to one of your favorite charities. Greatnonprofits.org has a list of charities in your area that may be great wedding gift options for your guests.
Rachael Ray wedding expert Jove Meyer says that right now couples are opting for fun at their wedding. He says we can throw out the stuffy and replace it with personality. As part of this shift in wedding culture, don’t be afraid to add color to your ceremony or reception. After all, a wedding is a celebration!
We love a good DIY (if you haven’t already, check out our Upcycled wedding blog). But one great tip from Andrea is to leave yourself plenty of time for these crafty elements for your wedding day. She says if a project can’t be completed a month before your wedding, don’t even attempt it (outsource). Leave the week of your wedding for celebrating your wedding, don’t DIY.
Remember it’s your day and your vision. So, make decisions that are important to you (not necessarily Mom, Grandma, or Cousin Suzy). Southern Living reminds brides (and parents of the bride and groom) to take time for themselves in the wedding planning process. It can be go-go-go all the time. If you get so caught up in the planning that you forget to breathe, you could miss out on the best moments. So, take time for yourself, and take time for your relationship. After all, it’s all about you.
It’s important that you decide what you want to invest in and what you don’t want to invest in. Making a list of priorities that matter to you and sticking to it can be really helpful when Cousin Suzy tries to convince you that you want the 10-foot circumference ball gown at the bridal store.
Rachael Ray wedding expert Jove Meyer suggested sitting down with your partner and separately ranking all categories of vendors in priority. Make a 1 the very top priority. Then, reveal your lists to each other and see where you line up.
Andrea’s biggest suggestion is to prioritize the items from the wedding that have longevity (i.e. photos over invitations).
So, let Andrea’s hindsight be your 20/20 vision as you plan your wedding. And, if you’re looking for a photographer or videographer, we’re here to help. We’d love to be part of your special day.
Congrats to Andrea and Aaron on their 10 year anniversary and best of luck with your vow renewal!
Now, back to watching Love is Blind. I don’t even think those couples get to plan their own weddings.