Getting married soon, and currently spending every spare moment on Pinterest and Google scrounging the internet for ideas, dresses, decor, etc. for your Big Day?
Girl. I feel you.
That was my life not so long ago, too. Granted, not as long as the average bride, but still.
I want to write this little shebang up and contribute the things I learned as I was knee-deep in pinning and planing. I hope you can gleam something from this post, and that you close this tab feeling more knowledgeable and empowered and ready to take this on because #goals.
This is the story of how I planned my wedding fast. In 34 days, to be exact.
On May 18th, 2016, Thomas asked me to be his wife (I sobbed when he asked and couldn’t answer. After about 15 seconds he goes, “….please?” in a little squeaky voice. Poor guy. I started nodding like crazy because I was still too choked up to speak. Cute, right? Yes is the correct answer). On June 25th, 2016 — we were married.
Why so fast, you ask? Because we knew that’s what we wanted. I also happen to be the most spontaneous person I know. (Example: I was watching New Girl. I liked Jess’ bangs. I paused the show, and went and cut bangs. Then proceeded to wear them back in bobby pins for the next six months.) We began to look at every day that passed as a day that was wasted without us being married. Cheesy? Sorry. Plus, his family is from Massachusetts. Some had babies coming. Now, Mass to Tejas (that was not a typo. I’m trying to look cool and spell it in Spanish) is a long trip, y’all. It was either NOW, before the babies arrived, or a year from now, when they could make such a long trip. We chose now.
So all those baby clothes I got in my wedding gifts were not needed.
We didn’t have any wedding planning done before the engagement, except I knew the place I wanted to get married. By some stroke of luck, it was available for a weekend. We booked it. Then, we. went. ham.
Enough with the facts about my life you’re merely skimming through to be polite.
Here are my tips:
#1.) Let Go of Your Expectations:
Always wanted red roses, but they aren’t in season during the time frame you want to get married? Want a wedding gown you fell in love with on Pinterest but the store is in South Africa (my hand is raised on this one)? Want to have a 5 course dinner during your reception, but you don’t have it in your budget anymore?
Be like Elsa and let it go.
I promise, your wedding will still be beautiful, romantic, and you’ll drive away on Cloud 17 (because you’ll be far above Cloud 9).
Thankfully, this was easy for me. I had never been the girl to dream and plan her wedding. I’ve always been convinced that I was going to travel the world, and that marriage was just probably not for me. Maybe when I’m 80. Then, boom. I found myself getting married at 18, and I had to plan it fast. I took whatever was thrown my way, and because of that, I wasn’t stressed to the extent that bride’s are “supposed” to be.
I think this is the key for any bride, whether she’s planning a wedding in 34 days or 34 months.
I’m not saying you won’t be able to have the wedding of your dreams. On the contrary; my wedding far surpassed any dreams of mine that I had at all. All I’m saying is don’t sweat it if everything can’t be e-x-a-c-t-l-y how you want it. If you can’t put candles on the centerpieces, it’s okay. If you have to tulips instead of magnolias, it’s okay.
I know you’ve heard this before, but don’t you roll your eyes at me as I repeat it: You won’t remember all the little details. I pinky pinky promise. Everything happened so fast, I honestly don’t even remember all the big details, and my wedding was only six months ago.
When you go to the florist, be like “Okay dawg. I want to get married _____. My colors are _____. What can we do for $______?” And work with it.
And repeat with the bridesmaid’s dresses. And repeat with whoever else you have to talk to to plan. And you get the idea.
Your wedding will still be perfect.magical.amazing.
#2.) Use Pinterest for Inspiration – NOT as a Blueprint:
REEEAAALLLYYYYYYY love those bridesmaid dresses you saw? See some decorations that are turning you into the heart-eye emoji?
Study it. Figure out what you love about it.
The style? The color? The detailing? Maybe the hairstyle the model is wearing?
Take what you like from the picture, and use that as you’re deciding your choices.
If you can’t get that EXACT dress, or that EXACT cake topper – It’s totally fine.
Use pinterest for ideas, for DIY decorations, for hair/makeup inspo, etc.
NOT to build your entire wedding.
Trust me, girl. You will be far happier if you just implement this.
#3.) Enlist People Who Know You AND Your Style to Assist You:
I. Could. Not. Have. Done. It. Without. My. Momma.
A whole post is needed just to attempt to explain all she did for me.
For you, it may not be your mom. Maybe it’s your best friend(s). Or your soon-to-be Hubby. Or your super cool aunt. Or a wedding coordinator.
You cannot do it on your own. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Have someone go decoration shopping with you to provide a second opinion (and to buy you lunch, tbh). Have a group chat with your bridesmaids (this. is. essential.) to send screen shots of things to, or ask opinions, or just to have people to text for encouragement when you’re overwhelmed.
You’re getting ready to marry the love of your life, and remember that the wedding isn’t the end-all-be-all. You will drive away, holding hands with the man you just pledged your life and love to. And hopefully, you’ll have a bomb honeymoon awaiting you. The honeymoon was so much more fun, anyway. No, that was not an innuendo.
Take that as you will.
#4.) Book Your Dress Appointment ASAP:
I went to a bridal shop the day after I got engaged. It was a little awkward when they asked how long I was engaged for, but I lived. Tell them what you’re looking for. Save a few pics off Pinterest on your phone with styles or detailing you like. (Again, use the pics for inspiration, NOT to find an exact match!) Find one that fits pretty well off the rack, and that they can alter within your time frame.
I went to a few different shops (including David’s, although I ended up choosing my gown from a local boutique), and everyone was extremely nice, encouraging, and accommodating. Plus, I absolutely LOVED my dress, and I know you will find one you love, too.
For Bridesmaids dresses, I let them choose. For real.
I told them I wanted tangerine orange. They all decided together they wanted it to be long. Then, they chose their own shade, style, everything. I think it added a lot of uniqueness to it, and everyone was comfortable in what they chose because they chose it. It all worked together, and everyone loved it. And I loved it. And to me, it was perfect.
This could totally be something that you’re picky about, and that’s fine! You’re the bride! If having all of your bridesmaids looking uniform is important to you, then find a dress you like, designate it, and move on. Done. 🙂
Tip: Just be mindful of everyone’s budgets and style preferences.
#5.) Decide Where to Save, and Where to Splurge:
My mom’s childhood best friend had a photography business, so she did the photography. My grandma provided the food (and it was incredible). We found a lot of cool decor ideas on Pinterest, and DIYed them, instead of buying it outright. I did my own makeup, and a family friend of ours is a hairstylist, and she did my hair. My brother’s girlfriend is a phenomenal baker, and she baked all the cupcakes for me. I personally went with cupcakes instead of a traditional cake because a.) they’re cute and b.) less mess and no one has to stand and cut pieces of cake.
Do the same! Know a photographer? Florist? Caterer? Makeup artist? If you can get them to do it for you, you can probably manage a massive discount (or maybe even for free!) Work with what you have and who you know!
The sign in the back? It’s hanging above our bed. All the cute little signs we used for our wedding decor were things we wanted to use as house decor. It worked well! Here are a few more examples of that:
I saw these signs on Pinterest, and my mom DIYed them for me. We had the whole “love chapter” (1st Corinthians 13) on signs like that on the pews. Those were the only decorations we had because I wanted it to be simple and meaningful. Totally do whatever your style is, though! I’m just sharing what I did. 🙂
BONUS: #6.) Add a Bar to Make Your Wedding Even Jazzier. And Not Just An Alcoholic One:
I just remembered this little tip I did, and I wanted to add it. But saying “5 tips!” flows better, so I’m just sprinkling this in here. Now, to the tip:
What time of the year are you getting married? Take the weather/temperature into account. I’m a tea & coffee addict, and I thought it would be super cool to have a Tea & Coffee Bar at my wedding. I even ordered a sign for it off of Etsy. Then, I realized it was going to be the end of June, and for y’all that don’t know, it’s as hot as Satan’s armpit here in Texas at that time, and I thought that might not be the best idea.
The sign looks super cute over my Keurig, so all is not lost.
So, we went with a Gelato bar. I got SO.MANY.COMPLIMENTS on this. It really bumps your reception up without spending a crazy amount of money.
This is what it looked like pre-gelato.
Are you getting married when it’s cold? Have a coffee & tea bar so that I can live vicariously through you. Have an array of teas, some yummy coffee creamers, and YASSS. You’re golden. Or maybe you’re a hot chocolate person – so have a decadent hot chocolate bar. Or maybe a soup bar. Basically, anything that will be warm and cozy for your guests.
Getting married in the summer? The gelato bar was killer. But you can totally do anything that is cold to aid in cooling off your guests. Maybe a soda bar. Or a snow cone bar. Get creative!
Spring or Fall? Baked potato bar. Smores station (the S in station sounds better than the B in bar with this one. Just roll with it).
Search Pinterest for ideas! The possibilities are endless.
That’s it! Those are my top 5 (
ahem….six) tips on planning a wedding FAST! I hope you learned something from this post!
Happy wedding planning!
Have anymore tips to share that I missed? Think of any cool bar ideas? Comment them down below! 🙂