Hi, friends! In honor of being married for a whole half year, a wedding post.
DIY is not always more affordable.
While the DIY movement is fun and creative, I thought at first that it was a way to save money. It's not necessarily that. It can be a great creative outlet and way to make the wedding your own, but DIY costs money, too. I did my fair share of thrifting for our wedding (mainly for vases), but that taught me the other thing DIY takes from you: time. Planning a wedding yourself starts to feel like a second full time job, so choose a few favorite projects and do them well. I started with a million great ideas and soon realized I would need to let many of them go.
Sometimes it's really nice to let a professional do the work while you think about what's most important: your new spouse.
If I had it to do over again, I would probably ask for more help from friends, or hire an event designer. I really loved designing our wedding, but on top of life and other jobs, it's a lot of work. It's fun work, but it taught me how valuable my time is. While I enjoyed doing it myself (John helped as much as he could!), it would also be fun to have more creative types to collaborate with.
A tight budget doesn't necessarily mean you can't have professional help, either. There are many vendors who will take your budget into account and find ways to meet your needs within that framework. Our invitation designer did this for me, which I really appreciated.
For me, this is the scariest part of planning a wedding. One simple search for "wedding band" or "florist" gets a million hits on Wedding Wire, The Knot, and the like. How do you know who's good and who's not? How do you know those reviewers weren't just going for a free print from their photographer? You don't. And there's nothing worse than paying someone to later be disappointed in their work. (This happened to me - yikes.) The only thing I can tell you is to do lots of research about the vendor you're choosing.
Style Me Pretty has a vendor guide called the Little Black Book that is highly committed to quality control. Check it for vendors in your area who have been approved by the Style Me Pretty team!
Wedding blogs are a wonderful source of inspiration.
They can also, if you're not careful, give you horrible last minute design doubts or make you feel inferior in some way. I stopped looking at blogs a couple of months before our wedding. There are too many good ideas out there, and by the time you're committed to your own design, why torture yourself with different aesthetics that you might have chosen at another time?
My friend Lauren wrote a piece about this for the Baltimore Sun. On the other hand, it's fun to keep looking, because everything is just.so.beautiful.
Compromise is always better. No one's going to remember the passed apps, anyway.
People get really silly around weddings. Suddenly stupid things seem really important, when really, you're probably just worried about making sure 150 of your closest friends have a great time all at once. John was really good at those moments (better than I was). He helped me keep the process fun and joyful, and he kept reminding me that the vows were the only thing that actually mattered. :)Happy planning!
P.S. For fun, here's the piece Megan wrote about our wedding in the Sun.