• Courtney McLane Mize

Top 3 Tips For Getting The Most Joy Out Of Wedding Planning

Updated: Sep 6, 2018

Our wedding was an absolute fairytale. Honestly, anything I could have ever dreamed of about what my wedding day would look like, was that day. Even looking back at all the pictures and video, it still feels surreal and part of me can’t believe that day actually happened! I could honestly write an entire novel on our wedding and give you a beautiful, emotional recap of the best day ever, but I think I am going to skip over that for now. I work full time, am a graduate student full time, a new dog mom, and had six months to plan a wedding without ANY of my family around to help. If I can plan the wedding of my dreams and not only stay sane, but thoroughly enjoy the process, you can too. Week two of the Wedding Wednesday series is LIVE for ya’ right here with my top three tips to get the most out of this season! So grab a coffee, or a glass of wine (depending on what time of day you’re reading this) and let’s dive in! Cheers to the best season of your life sister!

First, let me start off with some clarifications….

1. Incase you didn’t know, I moved to Arkansas two months before Tyler and I got engaged, which is why I didn’t have my mom, or step-mom, or sisters around to help me plan. They weren’t just ditching me, so please don’t think that.

2. Since none of my family or friends lived where I lived, I was traveling every single month leading up to the wedding. It was a lot easier for me to go to everyone else, then for everyone else to keep coming to me.

3. Tyler got offered a job in Houston, so in addition to planning this wedding, we also had to move to another state. One month before the wedding. That made things exciting.

My point in telling you this is simply to encourage you! Engagement is awesome, and wedding planning is so exciting, but life doesn’t stop just because you are planning a wedding, and sometimes that means things feel a little crazy. Okay, a lot crazy. Some days are so overwhelming you might honestly feel like you are going to have a nervous breakdown, and your poor fiancé doesn’t really know what to do to help, and that somehow makes you more frustrated even though it’s not his fault, and I GET IT. I totally understand the crazy because I lived it. But the days of joy, happiness, and wedding butterflies should trump the days of frustration 100 to 1. So let’s start with the basics of how to have the best wedding season of all…adjusting our expectations. Or better yet, setting realistic expectations.

One of the best things you can do is maintain expectations that are realistic for you and your fiancé, your families, and the circumstances surrounding your wedding. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean you have to give up on all the wedding dreams you have been having since you were five and hope for a sub-par day. I don’t mean that at all! But, don’t think that you have to have a Pinterest picture, Instagram “worthy”, Facebook viral wedding shower, bachelorette party, or wedding day. You don’t. You are blessed to even be in this season! Be realistic about what this time will look like for you and be thankful that you get to experience this joyous season at all! This will eliminate a lot of disappointment that will come up down the road, if you let it.

If I had to guess, everyone reading this probably has a Pinterest board solely dedicated to their future wedding, their kid’s weddings, their best friend’s wedding, you get the idea. We are flooded with wedding inspiration from Pinterest, Instagram, and every other social you can think of. Naturally, we form our expectations for our big day around the images we have seen of everyone else’s day. Well sister, stop. Stop comparing. Your wedding day and all the events leading up to it are what you make them. In my situation, none of my family lived where I lived. None of my friends lived where I lived. My sisters were my bridesmaids, and none of them lived where I lived. Literally everyone was a plane flight away. Not only would everyone be booking flights, hotel rooms, and rental cars to attend my wedding, but for me to expect that everyone would book flights, hotels, and rental cars to throw me a bachelorette party with all 57 of my closest bff’s, and that everyone would do the same thing again to be at my wedding shower, that would have been pure insanity. Sure, everything I see on Instagram is like that. Most people I know have bachelorette parties of at least ten girls, all with matching t-shirts, tattoos, and whatever other bridesmaids garb you can think of. Most people I know have wedding showers where their family, their future in-laws, their hometown friends, college friends, and work friends are all in the same place celebrating their future nuptials with gifts and champagne. I could have expected the same things, I could have expected that everyone flew to Arkansas for multiple events before the wedding and that we take enough pictures of every event to show everyone on Instagram that we just keep having big parties. But I didn’t. From the start, as much as I knew those weekends would be so fun and special, I didn’t expect anyone to do any of those things for me. Heck, I didn’t even expect Tyler and I to go on a honeymoon right after the wedding! I didn't compare my season of engagement, and all that came with it, to what I was seeing on social media, to what everyone else's wedding seasons "looked" like. I continuously reminded myself that the wedding day is the most important day, and THAT’S what I want everyone to be together for. That is where I put my focus.

The same goes for your wedding day! Of course, we pull inspo from social media which is totally normal and acceptable, but remember what this day is about. You are going to marry the love of your life, the person you have been waiting for, praying for, and dreaming about. Maybe the person you have loved since you were 14 and now you will finally be able to call them your husband. You are about to stand at an altar, make promises, commitments, and vows to each other and to Jesus for the rest of your life, and your family and friends get to watch that happen. How amazing is that?! Stop worrying about whether-or-not those flowers look exactly as full as you thought they would, stop worrying about what people will think if you have a buffet versus a sit-down, three-course meal. Stop worrying about whether-or-not the koozies will work as a wedding favor or if you need to spend more money and get additional gifts for your guests. Honestly, stop worrying about everyone else’s opinion! This is your day, your moment, the start of a new life with your amazing hubs, so do whatever is best for you! If something is giving you too much stress, drop it. Or put a pause and come back to it later. The only real opinions that matter are yours and your fiancé’s. Yes, this is an event that people are attending. But it’s an event to celebrate your new family, your new life! If you don’t keep that truth close to your heart, my friend I promise you, you will get so lost in planning, Pinterest pictures, and caught up in the expectation of whether-or-not everyone else will like blank, that you will lose sight of why you are planning a wedding in the first place.

Remember why you are planning all of this. Remember that when they wedding day is over, you will be walking away with a smokin' hot husband and a lifetime of adventure ahead of you. And you know what, when you have R E A L I S T I C expectations about this season, I promise you, they will be blown out of the water.

So there you have it! My top three tips for getting the most out of your wedding planning season. Set realistic expectations, stop comparing your plans to everyone and their mother's, and remember why you are doing all this work in the first place. Probably not what you might have expected to read today, but it's the honest to goodness TRUTH.

P.S. I didn’t think I was going to have a wedding shower….I ended up having two. I didn’t think I was going to have a bachelorette party, I ended up having a girl’s weekend in Vegas with my mom, my aunt, and my sisters. I didn’t know how everything would look on our wedding day, and it was a dream. Trust me, everything will work out in the end.



Photo Credit: LBT Photography

(For Photos Of Me & Tyler)

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