Planning a wedding? 5 lessons learned

While this post isn’t about food or travel, it’s approaching wedding season and having just been through the planning process ourselves, I wanted to share some lessons learned.

We had a year and a half after we got engaged to prepare for the big day and it was the ideal length of time to enjoy calling each other “fiancé/ée” while having the right amount of preparation time. Aside from creating Pinterest boards and reading magazines, here are five general pieces of advice anyone planning their special day could glean insight from.

Note: all photos in this post by Stacey Kinkaid Photography
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Our beautiful tablescape featuring DIY tinted Mason jar, handmade favours and place cards

1. Get as many personal referrals as possible. This goes especially for weddings happening in another city, like ours. I was lucky to know someone who also got married in the same area as we did, who was kind enough to share helpful suggestions for vendors, as well as tips and tricks. As they say, word-of-mouth is the best advertising and getting referrals from someone whose opinion you value will save you a lot of time, effort and stress.

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Entrance to our celebration; chalkboard sign made by my cousin with my calligraphy

2. When you’ve done enough research, make that decision! If you’re anywhere near as research-obsessed as me, you’ll know that planning something as big as a wedding is overwhelming with choice and possibility. From photographers to florists to DJs and bakers, landing on the perfect pick can seem daunting. Do your due diligence when it comes to research — reviews, phone calls, in-person meets, pro/cons lists, what have you — but you’ll reach a certain point where it’s unrealistic to continue debating over one element. Go with your gut and choose, and then move on to the next item on the to-do list. After all, if it’s a vendor you’re toiling over who’s good at what they do, waiting will just mean they could get booked in the meantime.

3. When you see something you need, get it. Don’t wait; it won’t be there! This is in a similar strain to the previous tip. So many times I’d see an item on sale while shopping that would be something I need for one of my DIY wedding projects, but the big day seemed so far off in advance that I’d just “get it another time.” When I finally went back to grab those things, more often than not, they’d either be more expensive or no longer available! Whether it’s burlap or ribbon, your ring or shoes, don’t wait if you come across exactly what you want but not necessarily when you’d planned to get it.

4. Prioritize what to spend money on. In the wonderful era of Pinterest and Etsy, getting ideas for weddings has become so much easier and more accessible, but it also means there are so many more ideas out there for you to consider. Monogrammed napkins? Themed drinking straws? Gold-foiled cake toppers? There are a ton of beautiful and creative options out there, but you can’t do or have everything. Splurge on what’s important to you and save on what’s not.

These beautifully crafted rustic flagstick table numbers from Etsy fit our theme to a tee!
These beautifully crafted rustic flagstick table numbers from Etsy fit our theme to a TEE and showed off the gorgeous floral arrangements!

5. Don’t be afraid to speak up; it’s your day, after all. Everyone you and your fiancé work with will have their own thoughts for your celebration, but it’s yours that matter most. You have a vision and you’re paying for it, so ask for what you want!

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Our picturesque venue at Clublink’s King Valley Golf Club
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