(ft. spring flowers cause we’re t-minus 3 weeks til Northern Illinois can expect blooming!)
If you follow me on any social media (which you should! >> instagram + facebook) you’ll know I was asking all the married people for their input on what they would have done differently with their wedding. You guys sent me SO much feedback! And tbh you’re all my dream clients because you all said essentially the same thing in slightly different ways “make the important things more important” which is exactly what I was hoping for because it’s what I hear after every wedding!
99% of the time, if couples are getting married for the right reasons (because they’re crazy in love with someone, want to spend the rest of their life together, and are excited to celebrate that commitment with friends and family) then people end up being the priority rather than having the pinterest perfect wedding.
Newsflash engaged couples! If you have regrets, they will not be that your escort cards weren’t in an exact grid, your cupcakes were just 2 flavors instead of 5, or that one of your bridesmaids decided she was going to wear her hair down instead of up like the others. If you carry regrets away from your wedding they will almost all be that you did not have enough time with the people you love.
Here are 7 thoughts on how to maximize your time with your people and not go crazy on your wedding day!
1. Start By Simplifying- Pare down! Whether it’s the overcrowded schedule, the overwhelming list of family photos, the complicated reception timeline with a dozen speeches, or the massive dessert bar. Whatever it is, pull a Marie Kondo and cut out anything that doesn’t bring you joy just thinking about. Focus your attention on the things that DO matter to you and your fiance.
2. Get Organized- DO NOT wait until the final days before your wedding to get major projects done. This will turn into stress the night before as you’re making chalkboard signs and favors. And if you’re one of the people who thrives on procrastination and pressure, this isn’t the time for that! Trust me. You’ll want to spend time with your friends, family, and fiancé, not running to Hobby Lobby at 10pm. If you find yourself getting to that point anyway, really evaluate whether the project you’re trying to pull together matters. Ask yourself if you can imagine your wedding day without this detail, and if so, drop the project and get some sleep or go be with people.
3. Keep Your Well Full- Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, consider the factors that drain you vs. fill you up. The week and day of the wedding WILL drain you either way as you’re experience a lot of change and stress and pressure. Thoughtfully set aside time in the weeks before and the day of to fill up your emotional well and don’t be afraid to tell people that’s what you’re doing. It can seem selfish to just dip and spend an hour or two napping/reading/getting coffee with someone/working out/going to a movie, but we would ALL rather you spend that time for yourself than have an emotional breakdown during the wedding.
4. Refocus- Spend time before the wedding refocusing on what matters. Your wedding day is not the end all, be all. It IS very important, but lives move on outside of that event and selfless newlyweds are the happiest. Don’t lose focus of real life. Ask about other people’s lives, help when you’re able, make church a priority, and participate in community. When you make the wedding day your sole focus, you set yourself up for disappointment when things inevitably go awry and it’s all over.
5. Carve Out Time For the Family and Friends Who Matter- You may be feeling that your wedding is already super complicated and expensive and of course you’ll get to spend time with people at the reception, but the reality is that it’s a whirlwind of a day. Get creative and set aside some time and funds for little things. Whether it’s inviting a select group to get brunch with you on the day of the wedding, hosting a coffee and easy dessert time the night before for immediate family members, or any other low-pressure, thoughtful get together, those times together will be remembered fondly and you won’t regret those additions to the schedule.
6. Get Your Planner + Photographer On Board- Your vendor crew can either be your biggest asset or your greatest hinderance to having a day that focuses on others. Be absolutely sure that your photographer and planner understand your vision and are on board with it. My goal is always to get you back to the wedding and with your guests quickly while finding a balance with creating beautiful photos, but we are artists and this is our passion so of course we’ll want as much time with you to photograph as we can get. Just make certain that your vendors understand your priorities really well before you book them.
7. Schedule One-on-One Time- You did it guys! Prioritize 15 minutes after the ceremony to be together. Some favorite recommendations I got from past brides/grooms were a quiet walk around the reception grounds/park together, running for an ice-cream break, making a coffee stop, visiting a place that means something to the two of you. Whatever it is, schedule that time and look forward to it when the craziness sets in.
That’s about it! Of course there are so so many more ideas. Get creative, ask friends, and remember that it will all work itself out in the end :)