It’s been almost 2 years since I was a bride and planning a rustic barn wedding. These are 10 lessons I learned that I wanted to share with you brides to be
1. Come up with a budget.
This is one of the most basic steps when wedding planning, but I think it is something that can be easily overlooked or even put off. You’re so excited, and well, budgeting isn’t as glamorous as your secret wedding Pinterest board.
Sit down with your fiancé, and figure out how much you are willing to spend on your wedding. Meet with your parents and your fiancés parents separately to see if they would like to contribute to your wedding.
Now that you have a budget (and hopefully an approximate guest count), think about what vendors you value the most. For me, the atmosphere of the wedding, and also having memories captured was really important, so I allocated more of our wedding budget to rustic and vintage decor, flowers, and our photographer.
2. Consider hiring a wedding planner.
I think many of us have the preconceived notion that wedding planning is always going to be a romantic and exciting experience. You are elated about being engaged and everything planning related will seem fun at first.
Then a month or two later, the reality of wedding planning will hit. There are countless options for vendors, and hundreds of details that all need to be sorted out. Wedding planning stress will begin to set in.
Looking back, I wish I would have considered hiring a wedding planner. He/she can help keep the experience fun for you, and also spare you from wedding related stress.
3. Too many opinions can be overwhelming.
As a bride, I was guilty of making this mistake. I asked people’s opinions about everything, including the most minute details.
When I was trying on my wedding dress, I once again asked for everyone’s opinion. Should my belt be perfectly centered or to the side? Yes, looking back it doesn’t seem important. But in that moment (ridiculous as it sounds) this was a crucial question.
The bridal consultants and my mom all said the belt should be centered. Then I looked in the mirror, and for a moment tuned all of the opinions out. What did I want?
I wanted the belt off center since that was how the dress was designed to be. There. Decision made.
I know that as a bride you will want to please so many people, but you will need to realize (for your own sanity), that this day is really about celebrating with the person you are going to spend the rest of your life with. And while you can value other people’s opinions, when it comes to your wedding day, the most important opinion and voice is your own.
4. Go with your first instinct.
You will quickly realize that indecisiveness is the quickest path to a bridal meltdown. One of the most overwhelming things about wedding planning is how there are countless decisions to be made. You also have the added pressure of trying to make one of the most important days of your life perfect.
I would go back and forth on so many decisions from jewelry to bridesmaid dresses to invitations. One thing I discovered was that my initial choices ended up being what I eventually went with.
Lesson learned. Once you find something you love, commit to it. Don’t keep looking, because you’ll most likely end up right back where you started 😉
5. Don’t be a procrastinator.
Yikes. I am beyond guilty of this. I was engaged for 2 years, and really didn’t start planning my wedding until 6 months before.
Save yourself from so much stress, and start planning little by little as you go along.
6. Ask for help when you need it.
One of the things I struggled with was asking for help. I didn’t want to burden any of my family or friends with work.
True story. The day before my wedding, I had not finished my photo booth backdrop, I had no guest sign in book, and no ceremony cards.
My friends, parents, and grandparents all came over to help me. And to my surprise, they were happy to help.
Don’t make the same mistake I did. Ask for help. Chances are your close family and friends will be happy to help make your wedding day special.
7. It’s not “all about the bride.”
I think we hear this saying so much, that it’s hard to sometimes see it isn’t true. The day should be about the both of you and the love you share.
John told me that having a good time with me and our guests was really important to him. So he was in charge of the DJ, cake, caterer, and of course the alcohol 😉
Allocating some of the wedding planning to John helped out a lot. It also was nice, because then we both felt like we were working together.
8. DIY, doesn’t always save you time and money.
Pinterest can sometimes be misleading. What looks like a simple DIY project, can end up taking hours and require a lot of materials.
I chose a few DIY projects that were manageable. I also purchased a few items that could double as home decor once the wedding was over.
The decor for the rest of my rustic and vintage wedding was rented. This not only saved me time and money, but it was so nice not having to set up or take down all of the decor items.
9. Make your wedding personal.
One of the things I love about being a photographer, is that every wedding is different. The traditions may be similar, but every couple makes their wedding special with details and memories that happen throughout the day.
Personal touches will not only make your wedding unique, but personal to you. My great-grandma wrote poetry, and grew up on a farm. For my rustic barn wedding, I had my grandma recite the poem during my ceremony. I also had the poem written on a vintage mirror that was on a mantle at my reception. Little things like this are memorable and also tell a little story into my family’s history.
Another personal touch were the little vintage tins that held flowers. My mom has a vintage tin collection so it was fun incorporating it into my wedding decor.
10. Things will not go exactly how you planned, and that’s ok!
One of the things I wished for on my wedding day was for it not to rain so that my ceremony could be outside.
Well…it rained, and my ceremony has to be moved inside the barn.
To my surprise, I was completely ok with it. The barn was decorated beautifully, and it felt like the perfect place for our ceremony.
The rain was off and on so we were still able to get photos outside. Surprisingly enough, the photos with our umbrella ended up being some of my favorites from the day.
Even though our wedding day didn’t go exactly how we expected, John and I both agree, that we wouldn’t have changed anything.
I know that however your day unfolds, it will be special for you and your fiancé. Just remember to relax, and enjoy every single moment
Did you enjoy this post or have any lessons you’ve learned as a bride? Leave a comment below!
All of the photos in this post are from my wedding day, and were captured by Lidia Codrean.