Looking back on a full year of DIYs, wedding planning, and working with the most incredible vendors out there, there are few tips/lessons that I think any bride doing their own planning could benefit from:
First and foremost, remember that your wedding is only ONE day. Even with extensive planning and organization sh*t is going to go wrong, but somehow it will still feel perfect. My dress literally ripped 6-7 times throughout the night, I kept tripping (see the photo above!), it was hotter than hades in our venue, I woke up to a big'ole pimple on my cheek, etc. but despite all the flaws, I would not change a thing. Our day truly felt perfect and that was because I married my best friend and celebrated with all our family and friends. Stay focused on what really matters and all the mistakes will become irrelevant.
Savor the Day
I heard it dozens of times before our wedding but I can't emphasize it enough: your wedding day will fly by so take the time to savor as many moments as possible. Step back, look at all your family and friends who came from across the country to celebrate with you and really take it in.
I know this sounds obvious but 2-3 weeks into planning everything feels incredibly daunting: flowers, guest lists, wedding dress, bridal party outfits, venue, dates, photographer... the list literally feels infinite and since you haven't done this before, you have no clue when you should get them done. I am a list person and this printable wedding planner that organizes by countdown to the wedding was my savior! Just focus on one piece at a time and the whole process will feel significantly less scary.
If you DIY...
Make sure to assign someone to set it all up the day of the wedding. Day-of coordinators in Seattle were way out of our budget so instead I paid my best friend's sister to set up our DIYs at the venue. Natalie executed everything perfectly and knowing that someone else was taking care of it allowed me to simply sit back and enjoy the day.
You Do You
Throughout the planning process you will hear lots of opinions: family, friends, even the pressures of what makes a "perfect wedding" from society. In the end, this is the couples wedding so do what you guys feel is best and don't worry about what people think. At each decision, listen to the advice of others (especially your vendors!) but step back and make sure you are doing what is right for you and your fiance.
Throughout planning I was always looking for places to save money and initially that meant no videography. After receiving an unexpected financial award from work I decided to hire Andrew from Aziz Studios (video coming soon!) and I am so happy that we did! Being able to relive our wedding day through both the stunning photos by Lora Grady Photography and the video is incredible and something I will cherish for the rest of our lives.
We chose to do our honeymoon immediately after the wedding (hello hungover 6am wake up call!) and I would HIGHLY recommend it. Even just a couple of days to spend alone as newly weds is ideal. You have a crazy amount of buildup to the wedding so having that time to completely unwind and celebrate together is key.
Lastly, work with with a team that you love. Planning your own wedding takes a lot of time and money but if you have the right vendors by your side, everything will fall into place (no planner needed!). Stay tuned for our wedding video and in the meantime, follow along with us on IG @clockingoutblog.