As a wedding planner and invitation designer, I work with brides on most areas of planning but there are a few things they tackle on their own for the most part. Being a bride has given me more insight into there areas and shown me more ways I can help my clients as well as TWS readers. First up?
When you get engaged, the pressure is almost immediate.
Wow! Now I know why my brides are relieved to have someone to pass the stress onto. This is probably one of the things I love most about my job, hearing a bride or MOB say they felt there shoulders lightened the second they left our first meeting. Luckily for me, I am not under quite that type of stress. I know what the steps are, have vendors I trust and ideas of what to do. HOWEVER, the stress to pull together something that will blow minds (Let’s be honest, I am wedding planner. Expectations are high.) was instant. Time to step back and remember why this is happening in the first place.
When I first opened the doors of the Opera House and realized Tyler was proposing, I walked slowly toward to the stage. It’s like I was telling myself “Soak it in, soak it in!” I was proud of myself for practicing exactly what I preach to my brides. We took the entire day in. Enjoyed the day with friends and family and talked a few (very few) details about the wedding. At the end of the day with friends and family, we just sat and talked and shared our excitement. I don’t feel like it went by in the blink of an eye. I am hoping and praying I will keep that same attitude throughout this process and the wedding day and just enjoy every moment.
It’s just one day.
It doesn’t take long to find something that just isn’t going to go the way you had planned. That’s when I have to remind myself, it is the start not the end. It’s the beginning of a very happy life I will share with my husband, not just a fun party.
Have a designated time to talk about the wedding.
I am still working on this one, but I think it is really important to designate times or days to discuss wedding stuff with Tyler and my parents. In my experience during an engagement even the most perfect mother-daughter duos will butt heads. Avoiding daily disagreements or weekly meltdowns to keep my sanity? Yes please!
Remember I am not the center of the universe.
It’s too easy to jump into “everything is about MEEEE!” mode. I mean, everyone is genuinely excited and interested in hearing all about our wedding. I feel it creep up and the best way to keep this in check is by making sure I’m enjoying everyday life with people. Don’t forget to ask about how other’s people lives are going. They may be going through just as big of changes (i.e. like buying their first home, having their first child, etc.)
Will you be my bridesmaid?
I always knew I wanted to ask my bridesmaids to be a part of my wedding in a special way. I am a big believer in wanting this entire experience to be enjoyable for not only me and Tyler but also the other people we are sharing it with. So how could I make them feel honored to be a bridesmaid?
I sent each a special note to ask them. Handwritten notes go a long way, but I thought it would be fun to get them printed and “official” looking. The response I got back was overwhelming! I am so glad I got to make them feel as special as they have made me feel. I’ve even decided to throw this lagniappe (Cajun for “a little something extra”) service into my full-service package so other brides can do the same for their bridesmaids.
Crunching the numbers
First thing I learned? Having a small wedding makes creating a guest list much simpler. Isn’t that backwards? Nope. If you plan a small wedding, you won’t agonize over whether someone should be invited. Or rack your brain trying to think of every single people you know in fear of forgetting them. They’re either close to you or more of an acquaintance. People are a bit more sensitive when they are left off a guest list of 300 instead of 75.
The 2010 way to create a guest list
Tyler and I tackled our portion of the guest list in an 1 1/2 hours. How? I looked through my facebook, Twitter, phone contacts, etc. and added the guests to the new google doc guest list template by Style Me Pretty and Michelle Rago. (It’s super easy to use and you can even share the list with parents!!) After I finished my portion, I got on skype with Tyler and went through each of his contacts and added them to the list. We’re adding a few other guests here and there, but for the most part, but this system was a great way to take care of the bulk of our list.
What did you learn as bride that you’d like to share with new brides-to-be?
Tuesday’s post will be devoted to sharing with you about my experience as a new bride-to-be! In the few short weeks I have been engaged, I’ve already learned so much that may not have been part of my job description to tell, but will be helpful to brides none the less.
I have to say, I am so excited for the opportunity to get to plan my own wedding because it almost didn’t happen…
I will soon marry the most wonderful man I know on Sept 25, 2010. He is hilarious, driven and definitely an out of the box thinker. Before I tell you how Tyler proposed to me, I’ll tell you his ideas.
He knew he’d have a tough job trying to surprise me. I have a journalist’s heart: curious with LOTS of questions. So he came up with the mother of all surprises! Here’s the plan: he’d have someone contact me about planning their wedding. They would tell me they can’t be involved in the details but loved my style and would give me full reign to do what I would do for my own. When I would show up the morning of the wedding, I would find out…”SURPRISE, it’s our wedding day!!”
Although this is a super creative idea and would probably go off without a hitch in some romantic comedy, real life is a bit trickier. Who would my bridesmaids be? Who would be invited? Logistics? What about that toning up I planned to do once engaged? Or my ghost white skin?
My sister quickly listed several of these reasons, dashing his dreams of giving the GREAT PROPOSAL EVER!
So back to the drawing board for Tyler.
Ok. This is the idea! It’s perfect! We had planned to go see my FAVORITE band in concert. Tyler planned to make up a contest to basically get us both on stage to pop the question. He had an in with band manager and they agreed!! The plan was set.
While this was going on behind the scenes, I thought I had figured out exactly when would happen when he told me several days before this that he wanted to take a day trip to New Orleans…two Saturdays from now. Hmm…Tyler is not a planner. He’s spontaneous. On top of that, the day just happened to be a special date for the two of us. Eeek!! It was happening. Then the tears came. Thinking I had just ruined his proposal, I called him crying telling him I knew when it was happening and was sorry for spoiling everything. He told me not to worry, probably smiling.
It was the day before the concert and I got a call from my favorite venue, the one I said I’d love to get married at, that she had a bride that wanted to book me. She told me the bride was from out of town but would be there the next day for a meeting.
I got to my meeting the next day and she rushed me into the auditorium to meet the couple…and there was TYLER ON STAGE. My first thought was honestly, “What is Tyler doing at my meeting?” It didn’t register what he was doing until I saw the candles and he said “You here to plan a wedding?”
I walked down the aisle (that I will get to walk down on my wedding day too!) to meet him on stage and thought the whole time “soak this moment in.” (This is something I tell my brides on their wedding day.)
We spent the day calling or visiting family and friends to tell them the great news and headed to Baton Rouge for dinner with some of my closest friends before the concert.
The manager ended up emailing Tyler the Friday before to say it wouldn’t work out. I am so glad the way things ended up. I was completely surprised and loved sharing that intimate moment with him…and my sis and a camera.
Hope you enjoyed the pics! Check Jason’s blog for more, including one super cute pic of my sister crying (she really loves me!!) And in case you didn’t know, I am not a cute-Meg Ryan type of crier. : )
Check back next Tuesday to find out what I’ve learned about bridesmaids, guest lists and perspective.