12/12/11

The Awkward Girls Guide to Enjoying Your Wedding: Part I

This is a post that has been swirling around in my brain for quite some time.  Planning my wedding was an interesting roller coaster for me.  I'm kind of unpredictable emotionally so I really wasn't sure how it would turn out.  I've always stomped my foot and said that I was either eloping or having a teeny tiny something or other, mainly to avoid the headache that I figured would come along with the planning.  However, when it came down to it, I couldn't imagine not sharing this day with the people that I love. 


So.  The planning of the Country Christmas Weddin' began.  I learned a lot that will for sure come in handy as I plan my next wedding (KIDDING, this is forever), hopefully this knowledge will help you as well.  Or maybe it wont.  Maybe you'll just enjoy laughing at my awkwardness.  Either way.....enjoy.  Part I will cover the pre-planning part of the party.


1.  Get yourself a wedding planning checklist.  I used this list from Real Simple.  I use the term "used" loosely.  I lost it a few times and kind of wound up ignoring most of their suggestions.  However, it was nice to have a guide.  And It helped me to make all of my lists.  Lord, I love a list. 


2.  Make a plan to organize. And then change it completely.  Right after we got engaged I wend out a bought myself a fancy white 3 ring binder and a pack of dividers to go along with it.  Then I realized that I do everything on the world wide web AND I don't have access to a color printer.  And wedding mags are expensive and contain lots of things that are kind of tacky (sorry). Out the window went my binder and my tabs.  Thank goodness that I decided to.....


3.  Join pinterest. It's the modern girls version of the wedding binder.  Here's my weddin' board.  It totally simplified things.  If i saw a favor, a flower, or a font that I liked, I was able to "pin" it and remember it.  I got most of my inspiration from wedding blogs.  Some of my favorite wedding blogs were: Green Wedding Shoes, Style Me Pretty, and Wedding RowEtsy was quite helpful, too.  And I swear Pinterest doesn't pay me to talk about them, I just love them and like to talk up the things that I love.  Which is why I talk about my crock pot as much as I do. 


4.  Decide what's important to you. This one is pretty obvious.  Everyone has different things that are important to me.  My list was pretty random but it was mine and that's what matters. And obviously, the most important thing of planning a wedding is the nurturing of the relationship so I'm not even going to go into that.  This post is more about the stuff, not the relationship.  The top of my list was photography, followed closely by save the date cards (strange, i know), getting married in my church, feeling calm,  and the music.  The photographer, Will Jacks, was my first choice and I'm so glad that I was able to use him.  He made me feel extremely comfortable and I'm blown away every time I look at his work.  I am also blown away by how wonderful my church was during this time.  I was not raised an Episcopalian, nor was I raised in Greenwood.  The members at Nativity were extremely helpful and I am so grateful.  I am also grateful for the talent of the designer of my Save the Date cards.  She was a friend of a friend and was a delight to work with.  Contact me for her info!  And contact me for the info regarding our band.  Swing de Paris was recommended to me by a friend and are based in Jackson.  They were easy to work with added a special touch to the reception.  And as for feeling calm, I have no idea.  It was touch and go at times but I tend to be a bit over dramatic.  Just go with it.


5.  Find the talented people in your life and use them.  I've got bakers , party planners, and paper people.  You've got people, too.  Just have to smoke them out. 


6.  Know the laws in your state.  As in like what it takes to get your marriage license and stuff like that.  Obtaining our marriage license was also a little touch and go, PTL all's well that ends well.  Thank goodness we didn't show up at the court house acting insane.  


7.  Be sure to volunteer and sign up for lots of extra activities.  Like head up a committee, volunteer for a lot of sewing projects, take an online class.  At first I was saying this sarcastically but now I'm actually glad I had other stuff going on.  It helped me to stay realistic and remember that planning a wedding really isn't a full time job.  It is what you make of it. 


8.  Conserve your PTO  hours at work.  I'm glad I was able to take off time before and after the wedding.  Having to wake up the Monday after the wedding would have made me cry. 


9.  Save save save save your money.  I was lucky enough to have my parents carry most of the financial burden of this shin-dig. However, things pop up and i kind of felt like I was spending money like a drunken sailor towards the end.  A cushion was helpful. 


10.  Talk about your honeymoon.  This was a suggestion given to me and Brandon by our friend Mary Margaret.  It was fun to discuss a time when we would get to relax and celebrate together.  But if you are afraid of flying then don't talk about the fact that you will have to get on an airplane.  I've just about convinced myself that I will just magically appear in Napa. 


11.  Use your support. I have amazing family and friends. Amazing.  I mean, my ragtag bunch of peeps really came together on this one.  Despite everything that my friends and family had going on in their lives, they made me and Brandon feel so special and celebrated during this time.  I had people I could squeal with, people that laughed at me when I was talking crazy, I had people that I could complain to, I had people that helped me to stay focused and organized.  Thank you, thank you, thank you. 


12.  Do the pre-marital counseling.  Brandon and I met with our priest several times. It was pretty intense at times; the first meeting I left crying and Brandon left saying he was "exhausted." However, it ended up being such a blessing to our relationship.  Do it, don't be scared.


13.  Be yourself.  Good, bad, and ugly.  If you're not being yourself and your future mister isn't being himself then it's not going to be y'alls deal.  And that's not cool.


14.  Remember, all that matters is that you actually get married.  Chances are, that will happen as long as you, your betrothed, and the officiant are there.  Nothing else really matters!
Here we are at our Stock the Bar Party.  If you are getting married anytime soon, or have any other life events you'd like to celebrate, have yourself a stock the bar party.  B-L-A-S-T.  But don't face plant on the porch of the Blue Biscuit while trying to find your friends.  Because that would be awkward. 

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