just a few pieces of wedding advice

I'm sorry. this all HAD to be written.

- figure out a budget and stick with it. This will be a great day but it's just that. A day. Keep paying your bills, keep enjoying your date night, and keep living your life. You'll make a beautiful day no matter what.

- once you pick your budget, pick three things you're willing to spend the most on/make priority. and budget from there. Mine was my photographer. I loved her work and had to have her. I signed a contract with her the day after we were engaged. And the budgeting went from there.

- pick vendors that have worked together. My photographer has the most deep, romantic, and moody artistic style. My florist did, too. And lucky me- they have worked together. My photographer had also already shot at our venue so she had an idea of it already. It was super nice.

- choose a venue close to home/where you're getting ready/where you'll be taking photos. our little triangle of locations (home, venue, photo area) was about 5 minutes apart, each. It was amazing. I was able to veg out on my couch before the wedding and when we picked up all of our decor in the morning, we were able to make several trips really fast.

- get a scotch fabric guard on your dress. I was talked into it because who cares? but before we even got to the ceremony, I had the back of my dress wrecked from walking through mud in spike heels. Oh also, if it can apply to your dress- tell the dry cleaners it was from a photo shoot, not wedding. save $$

- if you choose to not have a bridal party, at least have one person around you all day even if it's just to have someone to chat with. At about 2:55 pm, my hair and makeup were finishing and my photographer was showing up and it was a very overwhelming feeling to look around at ...well...strangers. I should have had my mom or a friend there. My poor makeup artist had to zip me into my dress and even put my pasties on! I dunno, it was just a little lonely.

- plastic dinnerware and flatware. I wanted brass/gold tone flatware. So I started looking into prices and good lord, it was gonna cost about $1 per piece, so $3 a person, times about 140. Nooooo way in hell. Then I went to target and was walking through the party section. So I found boxes of gold flatware for $5 a box. Each box had 20 people's worth of flatware. So we got all of our flatware for about $35.

- recruit your friends. I didn't have actual bridesmaids but I'm lucky enough that my friends were ready to help me. When people offer help, take it. If people don't offer, don't ask. 

- thrift and use your own stuff. I know my taste isn't for everyone, especially probably for a wedding. but most of our decor came straight from our apartment and I love that. We got married and danced on the rug that now lives in our living room. All of the centerpieces and serving plates are mine from years of thrifting. You're gonna have a house full of shit for a while, but buy little pieces over time. then resell.

- we made all of our own desserts besides the cake (a friend of the family did that) and it saved a lot. Rice Krispy treats, chocolate and sea salt bark, and cinnamon rolls. We had just the right amount of left overs for me to know that 1. They were good and 2. We made enough.

- I thought it would be fun and kinda pretty if we made cheeseboards for every table. But with 16 tables worth of boards, I knew that would be costing us a big chunk. So we got creative. We went to the tile and flooring store and bought 12x12 slate boards for 99¢ each and bought some sticky bottomed felt pieces to put on the bottoms of each board. So that put us at a little under $20. We bought all of our cheeseboard food from Sam's Club for about $170. It was kinda fun!

- go over your vows with your officiant. My pseudo aunt married us and it was the best idea. Looking up at two faces I love and recognize was way easier than what I picture looking at Andrew and a stranger would have been like. but go over your vows beforehand. I was dreading the ceremony and talking in front of a bunch of people and wanted it as short as possible. I wish I could have read it all together like a script. 

- fade out your "traditional" songs. Dancing with my dad for 5 minutes did not appeal to me... Or him! We gave it about a verse and a half then wrapped it up! 

- we had a lot of good feedback for our food. Andrew was in charge of the food and he did great. Lots of appetizer and finger type foods. It was nice to take a bite, get up, come back, take a bite, etc. 

- trim your guest list. Do not invite one damn person that you couldn't live without them being there. We had several friends that RSVPed that they were coming and just never showed. Didn't apologize. Nothing. And it has seriously hurt my feelings. Weddings are expensive and this fucking sucks. 

- delete your Pinterest bit by bit. At the beginning of your wedding planning, you'll probably make a Pinterest board. You'll also probably fill it with 10 different cake looks, dress ideas, and lipstick shades. As you nail down each idea, delete the rest. Keep the winners. It will keep you looking forward and it's kinda cool to see your wedding take shape on the board. 

- keep your phone sooooo far away. Because people will text you asking questions, telling you they can't come, and to tell you what problem almost happened and was avoided. just put the phone somewhere and ignore it.

- eat. eat. eat. plenty of people will remind you of this, and people reminded me, too. And you might not listen to me, but I gotta say it anyway. We had a Friday night wedding at 7pm. So by 3pm, I was so miserable. I put half a carrot stick in my mouth and felt like I was going to throw up. I choked down a little water. I was zero fun. Have breakfast and save your self!

that's all I can think of right now. But I hope it helps someone!

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