1.08.2011

A Little Advice

Two years ago this week my husband proposed to me. How times flies! It seems like just yesterday that he blindfolded me and drove me through town {almost making me sick in the process} so that he could ask me to marry him in the very same place where we first met. He sat me down on the couch where we first held hands, and with our families in the background, got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. A year and half later we married in the same place: our home church.

Looking back, there are a thousand things I would have done differently when planning the wedding. I would have been more patient and I would have started saving money earlier. So for those of you that have only recently gotten engaged, here's my advice.

1. Don't rush into anything, like choosing a reception venue or deciding on a dress. If you give yourself time, you will be amazed at what you might find. I started looking at dresses immediately, and went to David's Bridal multiple times, just hoping that the perfect dress would find me. Eventually I stopped looking so fervently and found the perfect dress for much, much, less than I thought I would pay. The same goes for my reception venue. I thought we had found our place at least three times before settling. Each place seemed perfect, but we waited anyway. And then we found it, and it was wonderful.

2. Shop around. I guess this is building off number one, but it's probably the best piece of advice I can give! If you find something you like, I guarantee you can find it for a better deal somewhere else. Case in point: The bridesmaids dresses I wanted were much less expensive at an alterations shop in Los Angeles than they were at any bridal salon that I had found in Orange County {think $150 compared to $225}. Just because you find something somewhere doesn't mean it's the only place you can get it.

3. Stay off of The Knot message boards. Or, if this piece of advice has piqued your interest, don't post. Just read. The women there are so mean that it would make me tear up sometimes. I still don't understand it either. Most of them are already married, trying to give out advice to naive and unsuspecting brides. For some strange reason they like to think that if you don't have a lot of money, then you don't deserve to have a wedding. They also like to tell you that you're being selfish and that you don't deserve to have the day that you want to have. So I'm here to tell you that what you want can happen! I've done it {and on a very little budget}. So venture over there at your own risk, but consider this my formal warning...

4. Wedding classifieds are your best friend. My favorite is www.weddingbee.com. You can find anything from used dresses to calligraphy services to free leftover favors.

5. Enjoy being engaged. You will never again be engaged to your fiance, so remember the reasons why you love him and why you are marrying him. Time will go by so fast, and before you know it, you will be a Mrs. Don't let the stress of planning a wedding distract you from the reasons why you are getting married. You still love each other, and that's all that matters!
    So that's my two-cents. All you married ladies out there, do you agree? What advice would you give to the newly engaged?





     Much love, and Happy wedding-planning!

    9 comments:

    Megan said...

    totally agree...I had a GLORIOUS wedding on a SUPER SUPER small budget. I found deals everywhere and it paid (pun intended) off.

    wedding dress advice: find a designer you LOVE, then find a store that carries that designer and is having a trunk show...you can find some dresses from your must have designer for up to 75% off. I got a 7,000 gown for 1500.

    Beka said...

    that's pretty awesome.
    i just helped with a wedding of a dear friend--my sister was one of her bridesmaids....
    yeah, someday, for my wedding, i plan on a small budget, really simple...... yeah. hahah.

    Mrs. Bee said...

    I totally agree with your advice. My mom and I jumped the gun so many times and lost a lot of money because we'd buy something and then realize we liked another idea better but we couldn't return the other product. You just gave the best advice to any newly engaged person- you should have your own wedding website :)

    CarrieJo said...

    very well said!

    Maggie said...

    very good advice, some of which I wish someone would've told me before I got married! another complaint about The Knot - they have some weird, out dated articles. I remember finding one that said you were a totally inappropriate bride if you didn't wear "stockings" under your dress (nylons, etc). Not one of my friends who has married recently wore nylons! And its not like anyone sees your legs! anyways - good post and super cute engagement story!

    www.maggie-jean.com

    Joelle said...

    Thanks all! It's good to know that I'm not just writing this for nothing. And it's good to know that I'm giving valuable advice!

    And Mrs. Bee: You are just too sweet. I would love to have my own wedding website! Maybe someday...

    Adrian said...

    Very sound advice! I wish I had followed much of this 4 years ago when I was planning my own wedding haha. I did do very well for the tiny budget we had, but now I look back and would have changed a few things, mainly hire a professional photographer and DJ. Having friends do these for me was amazingly cheap (a night at the hotel, anyone?)but I would much rather have splurged on amazing photos(don't get me wrong, my photos are good, but not amazing)and quite the dance party at the reception.

    Louba said...

    Hi, I came accross your blog on the Lady Blogger's Tea Party. I'm so glad I stumbled accross it, I'm getting married in about 9 weeks and currently trying to ignore adn not stress out about all the good advise from firends and family on what we "should" have done by now!

    ladylavendersays said...

    Wow! I honestly cannot believe you got that dress for $100. It's gorgeous. You're my inspiration.