I’ve officially spent the last 9 months planning out the #DNALoveAffair and I can’t believe the day has already came and went. I tend to call it our “full-term baby.”
I was told to enjoy the wedding planning process and every moment the day of because it would all be a huge blur in the days to follow. While it moved faster than I anticipated, it was far from a blur. I remember every single detail and my wedding day was everything I hoped that it would be. I was very intentional about having as close to a low-stress/stress-free wedding day as I possibly could. Are you tying the knot soon? Here are a few proactive steps towards a low-stress wedding day:
Hire a wedding coordinator
If your budget allows, hire a wedding coordinator. Even if you are a human pinterest board and very detail-oriented, it helps to have another set of hands crossing all the “t’s” and dotting all the “i’s.” I hired a day-of(month-of) coordinator, Be My Guest Event Planning + Design , and I’m so glad I had an expert guiding me through the process. Coordinators know to ask questions you would never think to ask and saves you a lot of time by being the go to person for all of your vendors so you could tend to more important matters. Even though I had help from family members as well as friends, the coordinator serves as a neutral party that can look past the emotions of the event and make necessary business decisions when need be.
Have a small wedding party
When I told people we only had (1) Maid of Honor, (1) Best Man, and our daughter as the vow-bringer, I would always get the same response: “You are smart.” I’ve read so many horror stories about friends falling out or bridesmaids quitting the bridal party a week before the wedding and I didn’t want any parts of it. Not to say that any of the women I would’ve chosen to stand with me at the altar would’ve caused drama – but if it’s one thing that I have learned, weddings and funerals bring out the best AND the worst in people and if I could avoid any potential blow ups or drama, I was all for it. I am THOROUGHLY glad with this decision and have no regrets. I would recommend this to everyone getting married.
Use social media for inspo, not as the standard
Don’t let Pinterest or these wedding hashtags on IG have you building an a la carté wedding that is both out of your character AND out of your budget. It is so easy to let hours of scrolling through wedding content go by and you end up feeling like you have to have this huge/extravagant/lavish wedding in order to be satisfied and that is simply not the case. Early on in the planning stage, I fell for that same trap. Archiving images of $10,000 dresses and tons of flowers worth thousands of dollars because it looked nice – I don’t even like flowers like that. What was most important to me (besides actually marrying my husband) was that the wedding day was a reflection of Devin and I. That our guests could come to the ceremony/reception and say, “This is definitely D+A” and with the help of my coordinator, that is exactly what happened. For example, music is our thing. We love old school music and love listening to old vinyl records. The records were apart of our sweets shelf. They were FREE since I already owned them and gave the shelf a little more character and it looked as extravagant as anything I saw on Pinterest or IG.
Your happiness is YOURS
Don’t get upset if others don’t appear to be as excited as you are for YOUR wedding. Guess what… they won’t be. You are the one getting married and it is your day so naturally, you are the one who will be the most excited. Don’t take it as though others aren’t genuinely happy for you (b/c trust there will be some who could care less about your day and only want to be there for the free food/drinks – leave the Petty Patty’s to themselves) but you will know the difference between the two. Don’t take it personal.
Don’t sweat the guest list (easier said than done)
Wedding guest list politics more often than not will occur. Especially if you and your future spouse are not covering the cost of the day. Our parents paid for the bulk the wedding so essentially it was only right to leave some space (outside of family and close friends) for them to invite folks but they also respected our decision to create our own guest list. We had a rather large wedding (250 people) but that’s because our network is so huge, and there were some folks who we still wanted to invite but we just didn’t have the capacity. Ultimately, we were content with the people who showed up and showed out (in a good way) in celebration of our union. Make sure you and future spouse are on the same page about the kind of wedding you both want. What started off as a small/private wedding (idk why I said that was fine) and it ended up being a party (which is what I wanted – we wanted).
Ignore the “Where my invite” commentary
Cuz baaaaaybe, it is going to come in like a flood. One of the main reasons I wasn’t as vocal about my wedding planning process on FB until bulk of the planning had already been done was to avoid that annoying statement. They come from people you used to work with, old neighbors, people you went to school with, people who haven’t seen you since your mama was pregnant with you, the cashier that just rang you out, etc. It gets that deep. The wedding invite entitlement is BEYOND crazy but don’t let anyone bully you in to adding them on to your guest list if you genuinely do not want to. It’s funny how everyone expects to be invited to a wedding but the many other monumental moments: birthdays, children birthdays, graduations, funerals for loved ones, opening of businesses, etc – not a peep was heard. Don’t take the bait. Just don’t respond.
Stay away from your phone
Let a trusted party have your phone on your wedding day. People will call/text you and ask you for directions, clarity on attire, tell you they can’t come or try to bring an extra person. Granted, people mean well – I know they do. But the day of IS NOT the time to be engaging with folks that you don’t have to. Designate someone else to retrieve those messages. I made it clear, “if ain’t nobody dead, I don’t wanna know.”
Spend the morning with YOURSELF
This really should’ve been #2 on this list. My Maid of Honor kept my daughter the night before and I was able to stay in the hotel by myself. I woke up, played some soultry music, got in the shower, got my coffee, and took my time getting on with my day. It was sooooooo peaceful to only hear my voice and spend that time with God. When the afternoon picked up and everyone else came in the room, it made me appreciate my quiet time that much more.
Understand that it is only ONE day
Your wedding day lasts but a few hours. Your marriage (at least the intent) is to last for life. Keeping that at the forefront of your mind as the day unfolds makes it a lot easier to let the little things slide off of your back. If all else failed (it didn’t), I wanted to be sure that those vows were said between Devin and I and that my last name changed. Granted, I kicked it. I had a ball. The day was spent with those I love and care for the most and everyone had a good time. To hear “this is the best wedding I have ever been to” from young and old folks truly warmed my heart. To me, it spoke to Devin and I ‘s relationship past our wedding day. I only hope to stay connected to our guests and that we remain in many prayers as we go through this marital journey. Funny thing, when we woke up that Sunday morning I asked him, “how do we do this marriage thing?” Only 11 days in, so far so good.
Ultimately, everything is not going to go as planned or how YOU wanted it. Somebody or something is going to get on your nerves, something is going to get forgotten about (I couldn’t find my vow book and had to rewrite them the morning of), you may even run late. Expectations are always the precursor to disappointment. I didn’t EXPECT to marry Devin – I KNEW I was going to marry Devin. I wasn’t sure how the day would turn out but I knew I was going to end my day with a husband. That’s all that mattered 🙂
Stayed tuned for our official pics. For now, check out the turn up on IG with our hashtag #DNALoveAffair