I was a bride myself several months ago, eager, excited and anxious. After dating nine months and getting engaged and saving the date for our big day six months out, I couldn’t wait to marry the man of my dreams. Let me tell you, planning a wedding wasn’t easy but the process itself was so beautiful. Dating was an adventure,a time to discover and learn while being engaged was a whole different thing, full of planning for the future and the wedding itself. Enjoy it all because soon you will enter into marriage which will be a wonderful journey with your best friend.
I decided to write this post to encourage other brides who are maybe stressed out, don’t know where to start or just need a pick me up. Here are a few things that I learned from being a bride that may help your wedding planning journey.
1. It will be beautiful no matter what
The easiest thing to do for any bride is to get stressed out, mad, and break down crying from trying to plan a wedding. I have been there, done that. Things might not work out the way you have always dreamed them to, but always remember that no matter what happens, your wedding day will be beautiful. All the decorations, your dress, and the flowers are secondary to the surpassing marriage covenant that you will be entering with your soon to be husband.
You will get a lot of advice and opinions on your wedding plans,but know that you won’t be able to please everyone. At the wedding people will not remember your flowers or decorations, but they will remember the way you made them feel.
2. Pre-Marital Counseling
Pre-marital counseling is one of the best things that you can do to help you and your soon to be husband build a stronger relationship, understand each other better and plan for a healthy and godly marriage.
The pastor who married us invited us to meet up with him several times for some pre-marital counseling. We covered topics such as love, communication, finance, sex, family planning, and more. It has helped us immensely as we started out our married life. Many times, I remember those talks and smile because everything the pastor talked about is true.
Many churches offer pre-marital courses, also there’s many christian pre-marital workbooks and if those don’t work for you, ask an older couple who you both respect who can guide and encourage you both, give you advice and help you with accountability.
3. Set a Budget
Sit down and talk together about what you want your wedding day to look like. Then, create a budget that you want to stick to. Keep track of it and review it so that you don’t go over budget. The worst thing that you can do for yourselves is to go over and get into debt.
As we were determining what was more important to us, we decided that we wanted to spend more money on our photographer and less on video. I also did many DIYs for my decorations and borrowed a lot of things from friends who had their weddings before mine. I also had a family friend and a close friend help me do my flower bouquets and center pieces. That saved us a lot of money and they did an amazing job!
4. Wedding Coordinator
Do you ever have those times where you just need to get your thoughts out and have someone just listen to you? My very good friend Olya Samolovov was that person. She helped me organize my ideas and put them into action. She also worked with me to create a schedule for the day and helped the day of the wedding to set things up with other amazing volunteers.
Remember people want to help you. Don’t take everything upon yourself and think you have to do it alone. Pick a day where your bridesmaids can come over and help you make things for your wedding. Ask a close friend to help you coordinate the day. Make a date out of a craft you are doing for your wedding with your fiancé.
5. Pick a good venue
A good venue makes the day a lot smoother and planning a lot easier. To do that you might have to make numerous phone calls and visits out to different places but in the end you won’t regret it. Our wedding was at Quail Run Ranch. Sonya was the owner of the venue and she worked so hard to make our day wonderful. The venue included chairs, tables, tablecloths, many decorations, flowers/greenery growing all around, and a gorgeous ceremony and reception place that fit all of our family and friends. It was nice that all those things were included and we didn’t have to rent chairs and tables or buy too many decorations because the venue itself already provided so much. If you’re having someone else decorate for you and set up, take them to the venue and show them around so they know what to expect. They will appreciate it.
I bought myself an inspiring looking journal with a couple of my wedding colors and set it as my wedding planning journal. I took notes of prices, our budget, the things I bought, ideas and a schedule for the day. I also got a binder and kept all the receipts and more important things in there. Honestly, it’s one of the best things you could do for yourself and your fiancé. It will help you keep track of your expenses, plans, and it’s also a great way to look back and remember your wedding.
There’s also many binders that are specifically made for wedding planning. Those are great too, but I decided to make my own and it was a whole lot cheaper.
7. Keep dating
Take time to go on dates and continue doing fun and new things together. Don’t occupy your dates with planning the wedding. Do meet up and talk/ plan your wedding but only do it when you need to. Keep dating and having fun with your man.
8. Spend time with the people you love
I never treasured my family and friends so much as I did the few months before getting married and moving away to a new city. Don’t get me wrong, I still treasure them and probably more than ever because I miss my mom’s delicious food, bike rides with my dad and silly hangs with my sisters, but because I don’t live with them anymore I don’t have every day as an opportunity to show them love and attention in person. Take time to invest into your relationships with your family and friends. You won’t this time and opportunity back.
9. Treat yourself
Take a relaxing bath. Get your nails done. Go hang out with your girl friends. Watch a chick flick and eat ice cream. RELAX and take it easy because if you don’t take care of yourself it will be a lot harder to plan and NOT be a bridezilla.
10. Don’t lose yourself
By this I mean don’t lose your hobbies and interests. I had a difficult time with this because I spent a lot of time on making DIY things for my wedding and I didn’t get too much time to take part in my favorite hobbies. For me it was hiking and rock climbing. It really stressed me out and I felt like I didn’t have a life. I definitely encourage you to work on DIYs and get ready for your wedding but also make some time for the things that you enjoy doing. It will even work to your benefit and inspire you to keep planning your wedding.
11. The BIG Day
Enjoy the special moments and be present in them. The day will fly by and before you know it, it will all be over. Things might not go the way you wanted them to, but don’t let it affect you. Smile. Be positive and enjoy the day.
Our wedding didn’t start on time, it was too hot, the wedding program didn’t go as planned and a few of the things that we wanted to do at the end didn’t work out. I honestly just didn’t even pay attention to it because I knew that there was nothing I could do to change it in the present moment. I just went with the flow and enjoyed every single moment with my love and all the family and friends that came. During our reception we decided to greet all the guests by coming up to their tables and thanking them for coming. I enjoyed that and had an opportunity to see almost everyone who came to celebrate our marriage.
12. The Wedding Night
One last thing, the wedding night. A few weeks before the wedding my then-fiancé and I read a book called “The Act of Marriage” by Tim and Beverly LaHaye. I read it first and then gave it to him so he could read it. It was the most helpful thing we have done to better understand each other, sex and a Biblical perspective on it. It covers everything! I totally recommend this book to any bride who is seeking out information about the wedding night. I also thought these articles on the “Prep For the Wedding Night” as well as “10 Things Every Bride Should Know Before Her Wedding Night” by Intentional Today were very helpful.
I hope as you prepare for your wedding you always remember that it’s not about you or your fiancé. It’s not about the decorations or how much money your spend for your wedding. It’s all about Him who is greater than us. Marriage is a glorious example of Christ and the church. I hope you will display it as you are preparing and entering into a life long journey. It won’t be easy, but it is worth it.
Katie ( we are celebrating 9 months of marriage next week!)