The Things I Wish Someone Told Me: Wedding Do's and Dont's

All photos courtesy of our amazing photographers Flora & Fauna

A month ago last year I was a hot mess. Over thinking every single detail, wondering if I would be finished on time, hoping for the best, and praying that everything would go as planned. At the end of the day, everything DID go as planned. That's the funny part of it all, everything goes as planned, and the world keeps spinning, even if all the details don't iron out the way you thought they would. Today on my second installment of "Wedding Wednesday" I am talking about the things I wish I knew a year ago.

  • Do: Make a Schedule- I mentioned this in my previous post, but I can't stress how important it is. You plan your entire day by creating a schedule you want to work off of. This includes a schedule of the pre-wedding festivities as well as the reception and cocktail hour. I made it easy for everyone involved by emailing a list of times to stick to. I also sat down with our maître d' and spoke with her about the order of things, and how we wanted the day to pan out. I also suggest making schedules with your band, DJ, photographers, videographers, etc. All of these professionals are used to working around their clients and their schedules, so they prefer having a better idea of what you're looking for. 
  • Do: Consider venues that are not your "usual" wedding venues- Ryan and I had our reception in a dining hall. Now look at my pictures, does this look like a dining hall? Anything is possible, especially if you think outside the box. We rented trees, a lighting and sound company, a stage and other things that helped transform this room into what it was. I don't believe in picking places just because they have been used before. I believe in using your imagination and creating a space that is unique to you and what you're looking for. 
  • Don't: Forget To Eat!- This is SO important. My dad got food for all the girls while we got ready for the wedding, and then as soon as we got to the cocktail hour Ryan and I both tried to eat (In between hugging and kissing everyone hello). After having one drink at the cocktail hour I was already drunk from not eating enough throughout the day, so make sure you power up on food and drinks! It's a long day that you'll be on your feet so you want to be full of energy.
  • Don't: Stress Over Insignificant Things- This one is a big one for me. A lot was going on around the time of our wedding, whether it was just stressing in itself, or seeing the "true" side of people you thought would stay by your side through the process. Regardless of whatever it was that was bothering me at the time, I look back now and I realize how insignificant it is, and how at that moment in time it took happiness away from me and Ryan. Nothing is worth your happiness. If you're stressed about something specific that you can't seem to fix, just weigh your options and create a plan. For instance, seating was a huge issue for us because we have so many different friends and different groups of people (not to mention we did family style seating so there were tables of 12 & 16). This stressed me out till no end. I lost sleep over it, I cried, I cried some more, until I finally had it right. If it's fixable- FIX IT. If you can ask for help, ASK for it. If it's something more complicated then that, you have to handle each situation as it comes. In the process I learned a lot about the people who love us and have continued to be there for us, and the people who just remain selfish and didn't care at all. It's a sad truth, but the sooner you find things out the better, and I am happy that regardless of the pain I felt at the time, it really made realize how lucky we are to have the people in our lives that we do. Sometimes all it takes is a little perspective. 
  • Do: Your Research For Photographers & Videographers- One thing I stand by with this wedding is that I truly researched till my fingers bled every single night. I spoke to so many photographers, videographers, and everyone in between until I felt like I had found the "right fit." It's not easy to come by, and if you have a very specific aesthetic *which I do* it's even harder because you tend to be more critical. A few months before our wedding we booked a photographer who was local to NJ and we were really happy with our decision. A few days later I heard back from her that she had double booked the day and I was devastated. I couldn't believe she made such a silly mistake, but I was also back at square one. She suggested her friends (Derrek and Jenn) of Flora and Fauna and as soon as I spoke to them, I knew they were the right fit. They saw my vision, and made it a reality.  I also felt a similar vibe when I spoke to Daniel from Inzi Video. These were people who got great reviews, had amazing examples to show us, but also were easy to talk to and keep in touch with. You want people that are going to be there during the most important day of your life, so these people are just as important as your guests and your family! They are making your memories, so choose wisely!
  • Don't: Choose A Cheap Price Over Quality- This is an important one for sure. There were so many different people out there offering services that were either way too over priced, or too cheap to be good. As a bride you need to consider these prices when making a decision. I don't believe in making a decision based solely alone on someone having a "cheap price" because in most cases, you get what you pay for. I also don't think someone should charge you an arm and a leg just because they hear the word "wedding." My suggestion is to make a budget for yourself and your spouse, and let that guide you. On some things, you'll go over, and some things you'll go under, but it's important to have a sense of where you want to be as far as spending goes. We left our budget very high for photography and video because it's something that was extremely important to me. It's all about making sure you're spending your money on what is most important to you.

The most important thing you can remember is to enjoy your day. Enjoy the day that is completely about you and your significant other. This is the one day that you get to make it ALL about you and not feel bad. Don't allow anything-or anything to dull your shine on that day. Everything always works out, and even if something is out of place, or doesn't go smoothly, chances are YOU'LL BE THE ONLY ONE WHO NOTICES!