It’s wedding season y’all! And like so many others, my wedding is creeping up at an alarming rate and it is all I can do to slow down and enjoy the moments leading up to it. As an event planner in my 9-5, I’ve been surprised by the planning experience, the expectations, and the general pressure to throw something that pleases your entire crew. But as someone who understands the importance of forging your own path, I thought I’d shell out some wedding planning tips to keep you sane during the process!

Pro-Tip #1: Remember that this is YOUR DAY

This is the most important advice I can give any bride or groom. This is you and your significant other’s day. And that’s it. Not your parents’, your in-laws’, your pushy bestie, not anyone else’s but yours. Do you ever watch “Say Yes to the Dress?” Every time a beaming bride comes hustling out of the dressing room in her dream gown only to be shot down by a bunch of lame naysayers on the couch, I want to throw things. THIS IS NOT YOUR DAY AND IF SHE WANTS A GIANT SATIN BOW ON HER TUSH SUPPORT HER LOOK AT THAT CHEESY GRIN. People have a strange way of acting like they know you better than you know yourself and they don’t. Just because something worked for someone else or it was in style twenty years ago doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for y’all. Choose what y’all like. Toss things y’all hate. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourselves, this day is too important to be bullied into food you don’t like, venues that are out of your budget, or flowers that look like they belong on the Las Vegas strip (unless that’s your jam, in which case YOU DO YOU BOOBOO). The end.

Pro-Tip #2: Traditional is not a requirement

The comedienne Iliza Schlesinger has a great bit about the absurdity of the garter toss and I clapped so hard during it I gave myself a headache. On what planet is it ok to feel up your new bride in front of both families, pull off what can only be considered an undergarment, and then throw it at your drunk dude-bros? This was one of the first things we tossed out in our wedding, as was the cash dance, and the smashing of cake in each other’s faces (frosting goes in my face, not on it). “Traditional” isn’t synonymous with “required” so you have every right to scrap things that make you shudder. Grandma can pout all she wants, if you want a blush dress BUY IT!! You’ll look fabulous. And don’t let people hold their friendship/relationship over your head. If they’re not going to speak to you because you walked down the aisle to Aqualung’s “Brighter than Sunshine” good riddance. That song is pure magic.

Pro-Tip #3: Make sure money doesn’t come with strings
I have a friend whose mother offered to pay for her dress and her flowers. This turned out to mean that she had to “approve” of both things or she wouldn’t in fact pay. THIS IS NOT A FAVOR THIS IS MANIPULATION. Look, some people are cool with that and if you are, more power to you! But if you’re not that person, be careful not to land yourself in a situation where you have to plan your entire ceremony around someone else’s tastes just for funding. If your dad writes you a check and tells you to go nuts, DO IT. But if your mom says she will pay after she “sees everything” you might want to spend your own money so you can get what you want. And anytime you are feeling pressured, go back to tip #1.

Pro-Tip #4: This is not a competition

Y’all…I have been to some fancy weddings. Helicopter entrances, billion-dollar hotels, five course meals, cakes taller than my car, you name it and I have probably seen it. And while I have had some fabulous times (doesn’t everyone in a great dress and an open bar?), I have no intention of trying to replicate any of it. And not just because this girl is on a budget, but because it’s not my style. The wedding industry is booming off this idea of “outdoing one another” and it’s kind of tragic. I’ve read about people going into massive debt for their big day just to ensure it looks a certain way and I cannot stress enough how terrible an idea this is. Your wedding should be a reflection of the two of you, not an attempt to outshine someone else. If you have the money for doves to be released after you kiss or John Legend to sing you down the aisle, YES MA’AM (also, please invite me) but if you want something simple in your backyard, stick to your gut. Remember, this is about y’all. People are going to have a blast because it’s a party for y’all, not because you imported fancy table linens from Italy. Can you even remember what the linens looked like at the last wedding you went to? I can’t. Maybe that was the tequila’s fault though…

Pro-Tip #5: HAVE FUN

You’re getting MARRIED!! This is a party to celebrate the fact that you found someone that you want to grow old together with, your person. I know there is a ton to do and people are calling you with advice/requests/questions but please do not forget to slow down and enjoy yourself. I call it “taking inventory.” When I was dress shopping with my mother and my girlfriends, I made sure to take a moment and just look at where I was. Standing in a beautiful gown I looked at my loves and remembered how far some of them had traveled to be there, how often I got to see them, and how special it was to have them all in one room. As they talked and sipped champagne, I was taking snapshots in my mind of that very moment. It was just so special. And that’s what really matters, y’all. These amazing moments that you couldn’t replicate again if you tried. So slow down and look around you. You are literally surrounded by love. Soak it all up.

Congratulations to all of our new 2019 couples, we wish you years and years of laughter and happiness. Here’s to you!!

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