Bride-hood (is that a word? I'm making it a word) is a scary, exciting, fun, emotional and unique time in every girl's life. But here's the truth: it's not all floral arrangements and Pinterest boards. Sometimes...there are differences in opinions, not enough hours in the day and a sense of feeling overwhelmed. Let me start by saying, this is not at all intended to be a negative post. In fact, it's quite the opposite! Speaking from experience, I've put together 5 pieces of advice that I think will help you ladies maximize every second of the process. I'm hoping it'll help you stay balanced and soak up and enjoy every single day of planning your dream wedding. So here goes...
1. Hire a wedding planner
I know a lot of you ladies out there are DIY queens or maybe a little reluctant to give up control. Let me tell you something, hiring a wedding planner will not prevent you from being or doing either of those things. A lot of you may be wondering if it's even worth the money. In my experience, your wedding planner is your right hand. They work with vendors, follow-up on the tiniest details, but most importantly...they are experienced. Think about it. Do you want a perfect wedding? Then get the help of someone who plans weddings for a living. There are so many things that will come up in the process and it's not possible to deal with it all by yourself. The last thing you want on the morning of your wedding is to be running around in your robe, curlers in your hair, trying to figure out why the florist is late, what time the caterer is getting there and where the heck Bridesmaid #3 is. If a wedding planner simply cannot be in your budget, delegate. Find one (or two or three) people who you can rely on and trust...and delegate to them things they can do to make your life easier. It doesn't make you a bridezilla; it will keep you calm. And anyone who loves you will be happy to help.
2. Don't leave your fiancé out of the planning
I would say about 90% of grooms have zero interest in picking out florals and linens. That, however, does not make it any less their wedding. Don't get so carried away with details that you forget that the wedding is about TWO people, not one. Ask their opinion on things, ask them to come to decor meetings, cake tastings, etc. They may not always want to come, but I'm sure the gesture will be appreciated. And you never know, they may have great taste (they picked you, didn't they?). Grooms often get lost in the shuffle of marriage excitement and it's your duty, as his bride, to make sure he feels special and just as important. Marriage is the start of your life together, so what better way to practice collaborating than on your wedding?
3. Budget your time
Chances are you work, go to school, or have some sort of daily routine that occupies your time throughout the day. As much as you would like, all of that will not go on pause just because you're engaged. It is super important for you to plan out your days so that you have enough time to take care of all the things you need to do. I would suggest keeping a notebook or daily planner, so you can write down all the things have to do for the day. Having a list of say, ten things, to do each day will help you maintain a work-life balance, stay organized with wedding planning and help you chip away at other tasks you may need to accomplish. I've found that having one of each helps me most. I keep a planner to write down all my to-do's and deadlines, but also keep a notebook where I can jot down any ideas I have for the wedding, or little reminders to myself. Figure out what works best for you, and get to planning!
4. What worked for someone else, may not work for you
One of the things you will find as a bride-to-be, is that people will love to give you advice or share stories and opinions of what their wedding was like/what they think your wedding should be like. Some of it will be helpful and some, unfortunately, will not. People will want to help, and that's okay. They probably have nothing but good intentions. The key is to be able to be appreciative of the advice, but be able to sort through and find what is relevant to you. Getting other point of views is great, but too many cooks in the kitchen can be confusing. Making important decisions will be very difficult if you're constantly swayed by other people's thoughts. On the flip side, don't be so closed off that you don't take the advice of anyone. Someone who has been in your position before may be able to help out more than you think. As is the case for anything in life, balance is the key. Don't change your mind every time you talk to someone new, but don't ignore 100% of the advice either.
5. Don't go crazy with the diets
There is a very big difference between getting in shape for the wedding and starving yourself to fit in a dress. The best piece of advice I can give you to just be healthy. Make smart decisions. Do you do some kind of physical activity every day? If not, try and incorporate that somehow. Maybe go for a walk in the evening, try an at-home work out video, join a gym, take a yoga class....the options are endless. Evaluate what you're eating...can you make healthier choices? Try and eliminate some of the junk food, or try to eat out less. Again.....balance is key. Every girl wants to look her best on her wedding day, so do what makes you feel good! But don't follow numbers. You don't need to drop down to one meal a day and 3 hours of cardio, JUST so you can fit in a dress. That is madness. Small, permanent changes make much more of a difference than drastic, short-term ones, especially if you want to keep those results. And this is true of every day life, not just your wedding. All in all, remember this: your groom asked you to marry him, just the way you are. You are beautiful. You will make the perfect bride. You are enough.