Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Presenting... Kelly's Wedding Advice

Since I began this blog when I was already engaged, there have been a lot of wedding related posts from wedding meltdowns, my bachelorette party and of course the wedding itself (actually that was more like several posts!). After I got married, I really wanted to write a post on my wedding advice. But frankly, I needed a massive break from thinking about weddings at all. It's now been over 8 months so I feel calm :) Also, wedding related events are creeping back into my life... besides Amber's exciting engagement, Eric and I both have cousins getting married this September and a few of Eric's friends getting married next summer. In a few weeks I have to multiply myself yet again because Eric's cousin's shower is the same night as one of Eric's friend's engagement parties. I'm sure you can imagine which one I'd rather attend but due to me being lucky enough to be female, I'm representing at the shower (first at least).

So here is some of my 8 months out advice for those planning weddings...

1. Decide on an engagement length that is best for you. There was really no other option for us than a long engagement because things book up fast at the Cape and we had to do a summer wedding because I was not getting married during the school year. However, the year and a half engagement nearly killed me. I am a get everything done ahead of time person and in wedding planning that is nearly impossible, so having that hang over my head for such a long time might have been a bit much for me. If you do have a long engagement, I highly recommend spending a lot of time in the middle of it trying not to think about the planning aspects.

2. Prioritize your opinions. When it comes to wedding planning you will quickly learn that many people have opinions. Decide early what you will not compromise on and what you will. For example, Eric and I seriously considered getting married at a church even though neither of us are particularly religious. In hindsight I am so happy we did not do this. On the other hand, I like flowers but I really don't know anything about them. My mom really likes the high vases- I thought I didn't but I decided to just let her do the flowers because she knows what she is doing and I don't. This was a brilliant decision because the flowers were amazing and I was very wrong about high vases.


3. If you don't get married in a religious place, have someone you know do it and write the script yourself. This may have been the biggest risk that Eric and I took in our wedding, at least according to others... even our coordinator at Wychmere was like... "you trust this guy right?" I kept thinking... I trust him more than some random guy I would pay to do it! After the wedding I think everyone agreed with us! Writing the script myself was also kind of scary, but I just went to the internet (like I do whenever I have a problem haha) and I was able to personalize it for us. The only major mistake I made was not telling Mike to give both of us the rings, but hey- I think it added character to the ceremony :) (and in my defense, many people read over the script and didn't see the problem).


4. It's all in the details. I'll admit, I am NEVER going to put on my resume, "detail-oriented." I hate details. I am the definition of a big picture person. However, with weddings details really are important. All I can say is delegate them. Now is not the time to be a control freak. Someone who actually cares about how the napkins are folded or about the place cards is going to do a way better job than you (even if you do care, I'm serious- it's important to not do it all yourself).

5. Make it "you." My favorite thing about our wedding was that it was just 100% us. Our favors were donations to a charity we really care about. Our table names were places we have been. Our ceremony was short, a little funny and very much us. Our location was a place we love.


6. When it comes to family, be inclusive. I really debated a lot about bridal party. I was sure about my sister (obviously), my best friend Katie, college roommate Ash and middle/school high school friend Tiff. From there, I couldn't decide. Should I include more family, 2 of my younger cousins? Should I include more friends? I ended up deciding to include two of my cousins and I think that was the right choice. I didn't include any more friends and I think that was okay too (though I don't think it necessarily would've been bad if I did). I have one friend in particular that I've been friends with most of my life, but I knew she had a lot of bad experiences being in weddings before and although I knew mine would (hopefully) not be annoying, I decided she knew I loved her anyway, and I think she does. I also think it's important to be inclusive of each other's family, however you can do that. I think with family it can be hard because in life you are going to be closer at some points with some people than others, based on age differences and locations and whatever else. When it comes to family I don't think you have to be the absolute closest right this second, it can also be about past closeness and possibility of future closeness. Just my opinion. Also, your sides don't have to match, I promise pictures will still look fine.


7. Avoid wedding meltdowns. That is all.


That's all I can think of for now. Now it's your turn in the comments, what is your advice on wedding planning? (and yes, being in a lot of weddings qualifies you to give advice out).


  1. Great advice! I say keep the engagement short, if you can (less time for making decisions and it narrows your options) and maintain a time (we did weekly) that works for you and your partner that is completely wedding FREE!

  2. Have a drink before the ceremony. Smile and ignore your mother/future mil when you absolutely want something to go a certain way. Don't go with a cheap photographer.

  3. Ya. This long engagement thing is already killing me. Gah.

    I still stand by the fact that hiring the wedding planner was the best decision EVER. Currently she is phoning all the resorts and getting available dates/prices and making a pro/con list. What am I doing? Staring at my ring (that I just got back today!) and painting/moving. On Sunday we have a phone call planned where she will share all of our hard work with us and then Eric and I pick a venue/date based on her advice/lists/costs etc. BUT I didn't have to do all that research. Wonderful!

    Yup. Best decision ever :D

    Oh, and I'm sure I'll be recruiting your help on this script writing business as we are also not very religious and I would LOVE to have someone we know do the ceremony. (I don't have to start planning that yet, right.... right...?!?!) ;)

  4. I always tried to bear in mind that a wedding day is just a day. I tried not to stress over decisions and I know I could have researched more or thought more about certain decisions, yet when I found something I liked, I stuck with it and that worked out well. I think I was a pretty chill bride, but I did make sure to get in good shape for my big day because that was important to me.

    We didn't get married in a church either and had a family friend do the ceremony and that was a good choice for us.

  5. Well, I am not married, so I obviously don't have first hand advice. But, I have been to countless wedding, I've been a bridesmaid 8 times, and I have witnessed some wedding meltdowns here and there... so my advice would be this... Think back on the weddings you attended and what you remember from these weddings. Chances are you will remember the memories you made that day/night - not how the napkins were folded or what color the chair covers were. I am a details person and I am a total control freak, but you have to draw the line somewhere and realize that some of that stuff just really doesn't matter at the end of the day. And it's probably not worth getting into a fight with your MIL about or spending more money that you really don't have to spend...

    Hopefully that comment comes off ok. It's not like i don't remember the details from people's weddings. I totally do - when they are relevant and really made the event 'unique' or reflected the personality of the couple... But getting caught up in every single detail seems like a melt down waiting to happen!

  6. Great advice Kelly! I was happy that Jared and I chose a fall wedding, otherwise we would have had to wait until late spring/early summer of 2012 and I didn't want more than a year to plan a wedding!

  7. I think the only other thing I did was prioritize things because we were on a budget. I also tried to remember that while it was an important day, it was still only a day.

    Unlike you, I really enjoyed planning and I kind of miss it. Oh well! Now some of my friends just need to get hitched so I can help them. :-)

  8. LOL Isn't it awesome to have it over with and be able to look back with calm!?!? I'm kind of loving this point in my life! :oP

  9. Great post! I always wanted to do a post similar to this -- but, like you, I was "weddinged-out" for a while after the big day!

    My biggest pieces of advice I learned from that day is to NOT let the little details upset you that day. Because in one year, looking back -- it doesn't matter!!! The big stuff you're going to remember are the amazing people around you, the best friend you married, and the joy you experienced.! I had an apple for breakfast and then didn't eat until dinner!! Not smart. I felt a little woozy by 7 pm!!

  10. Definitely marking this one for future reference! Nick and I have already talked about a lot of this stuff, which is good (I'm a planner like you!) but I love that you said you are happy about your decision not to get married in a church. Nick and I talk about that a lot. I don't think we are either....
    Your wedding was gorgeous!! Just thought I'd say that again :)