3 Keys to Planning a Wedding When Life Won't Slow Down for You
The funny thing about getting engaged is that life doesn’t stop and grant you sufficient time to plan a huge event, workout for the dress, go through pre-marital counseling, get engagement pictures done, etc. Nope, life moves forward at a relentless pace, continuing to require your time and energy per the usual. For me, this meant planning a wedding on top of finishing my degree, working full-time and commuting from Nashville to Dallas and back to Nashville each week. Yikes.
After landing my first full-time-big-girl job (YAY!) that led to the aforementioned commute, I remember chatting with my roommate, the lovely Ally Willis, and telling her how torn I felt.
“I have so many real-life responsibilities right now, but I’m supposed to be spending all my time with my fiancé, Googling floral arrangements, and planning my dream honeymoon. I thought life would give me some time to peruse Pinterest while frolicking in a field of daisies for an engagement photo shoot!”
But it didn’t—the reality was that I barely had time to shave my legs, let alone plan a wedding. And this (TMI) point is what brings me to my first piece of advice:
1. DO NOT create expectations of what your engagement or wedding should be like based on anyone else’s experience, or social media, or The Knot. This will only lead to disappointment and unattainable #goals.
Every engagement is different because every relationship, person, and day-to-day life is different. Allow your engagement and wedding to be uniquely YOURS. Your wedding will be beautiful simply because it’s celebrating the love of two unique people creating a world together. It’s impossible to copy someone else’s experience when you’re not them and they’re not you. It’s a waste and causes you to miss out on an experience that only you can create. But just because your engagement and wedding will be one-of-a-kind does NOT mean you shouldn’t ask for help. In fact, please:
2. ASK FOR HELP.
I know you’re probably capable, creative, and have a lifetime of ideas, but please know that you will be miserable if you think you can do this on your own. In fact, I’d argue that your experience will be all the more beautiful because of the many loving hands who will step in, up, and over and beyond for you. The people you love will want to show their support by pouring into your experience. Let them, for your sake and for theirs.
Once I was at peace about my engagement requiring a little more adult-ing and a little less Pinteresting than I imagined, I actually began to enjoy the process. My perspective on what was important shifted, and I welcomed the help and support of my family and friends (there is zero way I could have done this without them). I spent time reading marriage books, enjoying the weekly drive with my fiancé to the airport, and the unexpected time at home with my family in Dallas each week.
The time, energy, and support from our family and friends continue to be the greatest gifts of our wedding season (and now marriage). My favorite part about our wedding day was the overflowing gratitude I felt seeing how so many loving hands worked together to create the most special day that reflected my fiancé and me so well. This leads me to my final tip:
3. Your marriage is so much more important than your wedding. Invest time in pre-marital counseling, ask the people you look up to for their marriage advice, and place loving and learning more about your fiancé at the top of your to-do list. A marriage is between two people but is mostly about how they love God and in return love those around them.
Happy wedding (and marriage) planning, brides-to-be! Keep perspective and embrace YOUR experience that will be messy, beautiful, and uniquely yours.
[Photo by Juliette Kibodeaux.]