(rip, my pretty!)
i'm sure i'll come back and edit this post semi-often as i think of things... but here's a start.
this one is for all you future brides out there. or grooms. whatevs.
get a wedding planner. i know, i know. who can afford a wedding planner? and besides, wedding stuff is fun!
you see, never in a million years would i ever have even let myself entertain the thought of hiring a wedding planner. that was simply something frivolous and unnecessary. i can do all the work by myself and i want to be making all the decisions by myself anyway. also, i'm organized and on top of things. i would never need one or want one!
ya well.. i couldn't urge you enough to reconsider that, if you are a future bride. and i know you'll probably never believe me until you too are engaged and it's a week before the wedding and you are panicking despite how prepared you thought you were.
but i'm telling you now! get a wedding planner! or a personal secretary. or an incredibly devoted best friend/sibling/parent. not that my friends/siblings/parents weren't devoted, but they have their own lives and are busy and in my case far, far away. so really i think it's best to do yourself a favor and straight up hire a planner.
>>> second opinion on everything. and from someone who knows weddings.
>>> a broad knowledge of vendors and stuff. like networking. they'll know how and where to get exactly what you want, and for the best prices.
>>> for when something goes wrong at the last minute. like when i was trying to get my announcements out at the last second. it took much longer than expected, even though i started early, and towards the end, i needed a lot of help, and fast. i so wish i could have had a planner there that could really devote their time to helping me.
>>> their main priority is you. yeah, you may have eager, loving bridesmaids. but in the end, they're not getting paid to cater to your every need.
>>> behind the scenes crap. planners will think of things that need to be done that may never occur to you, or extra things that may make your day so much more special that you never would have though of otherwise. also it's nice to have someone there setting up everything for you and cleaning up afterwards without you worrying about who exactly will be doing it.
as far as wedding planner recommendations go - i would have chosen emmily. she works in northern california and utah.
p.s. i'm sure there are people out there who didn't hire a wedding planner and it worked out perfectly for them. and that's fine. but i don't think you could go wrong with a planner. they could only make it better.
get a good photographer. i've already told you this one, but i cannot stress it enough. get that dream photographer of yours. just do it. you won't regret it.
don't make food a priority. yes, everyone likes a good meal, but if there's one thing that will matter the least down the road, it's the food. and i'm not talkin' about the cake. of course that's important! cake's like up there with wedding planner, haha. but as far as the meals/snacks/treats go.. my motto is "just so long as it's not food poisoning." jk? sorta. food is food. don't get me wrong, the world revolves around food ;). but when it comes to priorities and planning on a budget... food ain't gonna last anyway, good or bad.
don't have bridesmaids. i'm not judging anyone else you ever has, does, or will have bridesmaids. this is just my advice and what worked best for me. some girls think that having a lot of bridesmaids is necessary or important because they'll be there to help on the wedding day. but for me, i knew those people would help me on the wedding day no matter what, regardless if they're wearing matching dresses. that also avoids either finding and paying for matching dresses all by yourself or making your bridesmaids do it. also it avoids the drama of so-and-so not getting picked as a bridesmaid.
now this one.. is not for everyone. but, just to let you know about what worked really well at my wedding: no reception. i know this is really important to some families. and i think that's great! i love going to other people's receptions. but for me and dallas, it really turned out great to not have a reception. no, we didn't get as many gifts. but we still got a lot. because most of those who would have cared to give us a gift still gave us a gift anyway, whether by sending it in the mail, or giving it to us at our dinner. we did have a big dinner. but what was nice about that was that we didn't have to pay for a reception venue, a caterer, and we got to turn in early. we were completely done with the day by 5! now that's what i'm talkin' about. besides, by that time we were both so exhausted from being on our feet all day, we were so ready to be done. the day was still long and hectic (though happy!), but with no reception it allowed for us to focus on the magnitude and specialness of the day even more. we loved it. and if you do decide to have a reception, may i recommend it be a couple weeks after the wedding, and also maybe just a relaxed open house sort of thing.
there. k i'm done.
peace out and happy wedding season!