In just 2 sleeps I would marry my Ben. After all the waiting and thousands of miles separating us, we would finally be together, forever.
The months I poured into planning were coming to fruition in a matter of hours.
That was the day when I was told my beloved pastor was hospitalized and would not officiate our wedding. He was not doing well, and we feared the worst.
My sister, and best friend, arrived back in town from college that day. It was a flurry of crazy, as most of our family and guests were from out of state, and even country. I was putting everyone to work on all of my DIY ideas. Ideas that seemed far better when I did the mock-up weeks ago.
I'm a super chill person and rarely raise my voice. But, my sister and I had unfinished sister business. The stress mounted and we had no time sit down together and get to the heart of it.
That night, things unhinged. My sister and I had a huge fight. We were upstairs in my parents' Tudor-style home. I'm talking - yelling at each other, loud enough for everyone to hear us, kind of fight. I still remember wondering if my future sister-in-law was going to have second thoughts about me marrying her brother.
There were tears and arguing about things that weren't at all the real reason we were upset. I remember feeling attacked, right before such a monumental day for me. She felt hurt because I hadn't made time for her.
It was true, I was too busy worrying about the hundreds of other details.
As I walked down the aisle on my wedding day, my sweet, amazing sister, bawled her beautiful eyes out. This tension was about far more than wedding details. I was leaving her. Our BFF sisterhood was changing, forever. I was off to Canada, living too far away for all of our crazy times together.
On a normal day, we would wake up in the morning literally wearing the same thing. One of us would storm off and have to change. While total opposites, we made absolute sense in a friendship. She'd call me out when I was being a pushover and I'd reel her in when she was being too spicy.
Her heart knew, more than mine was willing to recognize, that it was the end of an era. She would marry months later and we would move on to different worlds.
More than a decade later now, I regret not having a final sister night together. I should have paid for a professional to handle most of those details. I should have been having one last night with my best friend and forever sister. That would have been money well spent.
Of course, we are still best of friends. Though a state away (she's now a Georgia girl), we are close. In between work, caring for all the little ones, and our busy lives, we still make time for each other. I love our spontaneous, and very interrupted, phone calls. Even if we can only talk five minutes, we call. She knows my biggest struggles and can make me laugh harder than anyone.
This is the second installment of "Dear Newlyweds", an article all about hearing from those who recently wed. While everything is fresh on their mind and heart, they share their words of wisdom to engaged couples.
Today's Newlywed Advice is all about delegation to professionals and managing the budget. These areas are huge when it comes to wedding stress.
Here is our advice from an amazing newlywed couple:
Budget & Wedding Planner
Trust and listen to your coordinator. Don't over think the little things! Leave room in the budget for last minute or unexpected expenses.
Early in your planning, prioritize what areas are most important to you on your wedding day. If Ben and I were getting married all over again (for the first time), these would be my top budget priorities:
- Photography (obvi)
- Wedding Planner
- Florals & Decor
- Live Music
I would cater in artisan food stations. Popcorn bar, donut bar, mozzerella fries, wood fired pizza, anything fun and interactive would be my fave. Like a coastal alfresco soirée. The getaway would definitely involve a boat. I can see the Pinterest board now.
For you, it may be something entirely different. That's okay, and even great. The important thing is to set your priorities so that you know where you are investing and which areas you can get more creative.
Our bride is right, remember to leave a little wiggle room for any last minute expenses.
Hiring a planner can really help you stay on track with your budget. They can also help you get creative in areas where there is a little less.
Planning a huge event, for the first time, can be a monumental stress on all relationships. Having a professional, who does this full-time, will help educate you and walk you through the process. The less you (and your family!) have to worry about on the wedding day, the more you are soaking up every moment with your loved ones.
Just like finding your photographer, you have to find your wedding planner match. It's not just about being organized, you want someone who remains calm, clear-headed, and is amazing with your guests. The best planners that I work with know how to work a spreadsheet just as magically as navigating the drama of family, friends, and weather.
If you need suggestions, just e-mail me, I'll connect you with the best!
Moral of the story? Those closest to your heart matter most. They matter more than any wedding detail and are worth the largest investment.