It's safe to say that never in a million years did I think I would be planning a wedding in two months. Our wedding was always something that was inevitable but somewhere in the unknown future. When we decided that it would be wise to marry this year before Geoffrey moves again for graduate school, a fall wedding started becoming plausible. Honestly, I knew I wouldn't be able to put the investment in that I wanted, so I was up for an elopement. I got pretty depressed about the whole ordeal after that, even crying one night over my non-existent wedding. (Hormones may have been involved there.) We finally decided to have a small, family wedding. I wasn't planning on putting any work into it, just show up, do the thing and be done with it. As fate would have it, I saw that our photographer had a cancellation and was open for a weekend a short, two months away. I inquired to see if it was still open, just for the heck of it, and she was. Geoffrey knew how much the photography would mean to me, and we booked almost immediately. That gave us incentive to make more of the day. It would still be simple, but getting some amazing pictures of us on one of the most important days of our lives was good enough for me. I will share some of the things that helped me keep my cool and really enjoy my wedding day without stress.
Wedding 101, everyone should do this no matter how big or small the ceremony is. Find where your priorities lie on your wedding day as far what you invest in. For us, we invested in photography, and I knew I would want pictures all over the farm, in the creek, in a canoe, etc. Because of that, I invested less in my dress. It wasn't my first choice but the fabric looked lovely in photos and I didn't care to trudge through water and dirt in it.
We also prioritized with time. We set the majority of our coverage for portraits of just us, before and some after the ceremony when the light was dreamy. That is also how we set our timeline. I knew what times would be the best for portraits and tried to plan accordingly with the locations we used.
The most effort we put into our day was probably the bench-making. We spent an entire day building them, because for one, renting would be kind of late-notice in wedding season, and two, we wanted something that would fit the aesthetic of a backyard, country wedding.
There were smaller diys, such as my bouquet, signs, guestbook, etc. I decided to make a fake bouquet because investing in one wasn't right for me. We were in the sun and running around in the field, and I actually accidentally left it out in the field and we had to go back and get it later.
Don't forget the guests!
It is your day, but you want it to be enjoyable and comfortable for everyone. I sat down and scheduled our whole day very carefully to make the most of our time and the guests' time. Because we wanted to take photos after the ceremony, that time was used for the guests to drive to the place of reception and we also wanted them to be seated and start eating so they weren't stranding around uncomfortable and hungry. When we arrived, we cut the cake immediately so they could start eating dessert while we ate and had our first dance. It made for a really smooth schedule, even though it wasn't quite traditional, but we wanted a very nontraditional wedding for the most part. It was more like a family gathering that happened to have a wedding.
The biggest hurdle you can conquer for your wedding is your mindset. There were things I had wished we'd had more time for, or more money. There were things I would have done differently, some big things, some small. (Like wear flats or boots. Definitely would have changed that.) The morning of my wedding was pretty relaxed until I went to the farm to get ready at Geoffrey's grandparent's house. We were meeting the photographer and videographer there, and it was early in the day, so everyone was getting ready or busy attending to other things and I didn't want anyone to make an extra trip, so I dressed by myself. I was getting anxious and it was hot, and I had to find a way to zip my dress up by myself, and my emotions started getting to me. I was regretting my choice of shoe, I was upset about the fact I had been in horrible shape, and bloated on top of that, and I was hit with this strong feeling of loneliness because no one was there to zip my dress. I had to take a breather, realize that my nerves were making me dwell on the unnecessary, and I grabbed a metal hanger and zipped that darn dress on my own.
After that, I was in a totally different mindset for the rest of the day.
Do not dwell on the aspects out of your control.
I went through the day thinking to myself that if something is going to happen, it will, and there is nothing I can change about it. I was calm, but even better, it was genuine and I was having fun. Whatever little things went differently than planned, I just went with it with a whatever attitude. Because of that, my wedding day and ceremony was truly stress-free.
Remember what your day is really about.
Just like every other sacred thing in life, materialism and comparison can take it's toll on your day. I didn't realize how much of a girl I could be until I started planning and wanting my wedding to be "good enough". Not for me, I realized, but for other people who would see it. Try to forget about everyone else, not everyone is going to envy your wedding, and even the most extravagant weddings are judged because of different interests. Let it reach your standards, your honest standards. Remember it's not about who is going to see your wedding, but what it means to you and the person you are marrying. And something else important for me, was to allow loss of control. It's easy to want to be everywhere to make sure everything looks like you want it or is running smoothly, or just to help. Geoffrey and I put so much into everything and were the only ones who knew what we wanted. Allow help and let go of what is going on when you're not around, it will lessen your load by a ton.
I hope if you are planning your big day, these give a little insight on what may be helpful for you, or some things you may not have thought of. These of course were just some things that really helped me enjoy my day and make the most of it.