Next month marks SIX years that I’ve been married to my hubs, Matt. It’s honestly absolute insane how much change we’ve experience in our lives over that span of time AND how fast it’s gone by! We’ve had some rad adventures over those six years of marriage, but I gotta say – there’s on adventure that I regret: the stress of wedding planning on a super tight budget and the people pleasing that came with it.
Here’s the thing – I got married super young…like teenager young. I was 19.5 when we got married, moving straight from my parents house into wedding planning, marriage and moving out of state. Get this – I had only ever been to one wedding when it came time for me to start planning my own. I had no idea where to start, what was normal or expected, how to create a timeline – and the cherry on top, how to plan a wedding with a total budget of $2000.
I was (obviously) the first of my friends and siblings to get married, so none of them were able to give me much insight into what to do for my own. I began googling like crazy, trying to figure out how to plan a wedding and find vendors that were able to work within my budget. It was CRAZY stressful, and a season that I don’t look back on with much joy. Honestly? I would have 100% eloped instead of having a traditional wedding to avoid the stress that came with planning my wedding – due to budget, weird relationships, timing, location, and so much more. I would have eloped to have a day that truly allowed us to focus on one another – and nothing else.
SO with that being said, this monthly tidbit is all about the three main things I wish I knew when planning my wedding – so that YOU can make sure to enjoy your season of being engaged and truly focus on one another on the day of your wedding.
1. It’s Not About Them
I cannot stress this enough – YOUR DAY IS NOT ABOUT ANYONE ELSE. It’s about you, your babe and your pledge to spend the rest of your life together – AND the way you want to celebrate that moment. Don’t get caught up in what your Great Aunt Carol wants to eat for dinner or the specific color your cousin wants to see your bridesmaids wear. Google won’t give you the correct answer, and neither will they. Your day is about you two, what you guys want and not about anyone else’s expectations or desires.
Don’t want to have a big, fancy, seated dinner? Don’t do one. Hell, don’t even have a reception if you don’t want to! Private, intimate, candle-lit dinners can be JUST as fun and make it easier for you to spend quality time with the people you truly care about!
Don’t want to share hand written vows with one another in front of all your guest? Share private vows instead, right after your first look.
2. TRULY Pick Your Wedding Location
The days of stuffy required church weddings have come to an end. If you and your babe love to adventure outdoors together and have a favorite hiking spot, choose THAT as your ceremony location. Your wedding doesn’t HAVE to be at a venue! I’m super passionate about helping my coupes find spots that truly fit them and who they are – while still fitting the needs of whatever guests they invite to be a part of their day. There are incredible nature-esk locations that are a super short walking distances from a parking lot, like THIS one! Whatever vibe you’re wanting with your day and whatever needs you might have, we’ll be sure to make it happen. So to answer your question, no – you don’t have to get married in a church.
3. You Don’t Need to Have a Wedding
Last but not least, you really don’t have to have a wedding with guests, a bridal party and a reception. If eloping with just your babe (and maybe your immediate family or BFF’s) feels like it’s more you, then do it. Just because other people choose to have a traditional wedding, doesn’t mean that you have to do it too. Your day deserves to be one that you two can utterly enjoy and be yourselves throughout.
I could list off a million other things that I wish I knew before planing my wedding, but for now – I’ll leave you with that list. Here’s the number one thing to remember: your day is about you two; no one else.
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