Wedding Don'ts {Things I Did Wrong}

While it was hard to come up with a list of things I believe I could have done better wedding-wise (since each and every item on said list has either taught me a lesson or without it our day wouldn't have been, well, our day) I figured throwing at least a handful of things together would be helpful to brides currently planning their big day. I've done my best to avoid writing this post in a way that would seem like I was complaining or upset with any component of our wedding planning process or the wedding day itself  but I like to think my honesty is one of the reasons people like to stop by and read what I have to say. Like noted above, if one bride can learn one thing from here forward, then I am one happy little married Rhi!

{number one} I tried to wing it all on my own. Now some brides, and there's a ton of them might I add, plan their weddings themselves. They select vendors, pick colours, decide on themes and create their wedding day timeline all on their own. Then the big day comes, and you can find said brides sitting in their bridal suits, champagne glass in hand, laughter being shared amongst them and their attendants; because these brides have either hired a day-of coordinator or they have trusted friends and family to help with the logistics of the day. Then there are some brides, like Yours Truly, who are late to their hair appointment because eight carloads later everything still isn't set up at the venue. There are brides like me out there (and I salute you, oh yes I salute you) who actually plan and faithfully coordinate their own wedding. As in they personally set up their cake, flowers, and decor, they continually direct vendors where to go throughout the event, they serve as the main contact person should something go wrong and they head the clean up crew when the wedding is over. And I did this. I did all of this. Do I regret it? Not really because it taught me many valuable lessons that I can now apply to my own clients. Do I wish I would have had someone there to take care of the things I foolishly claimed responsibility for? Absolutely. Hire a Coordinator. It's worth the money, my friends. (And no I am not shamefully promoting my own business here, promise).


{number two} I rushed into selecting vendors. The minute that sparkly was placed on my finger, it's like the world stopped spinning only to perfectly align itself with the planet of all things wedding. Much like how I handle things in my everyday life, I had little patience to go and source out my options and as a result, the first vendor, product, service I discovered, I became desperate to lock in. Now with my knowledge of the industry and familiarity of the endless amount of vendors out there, I wish I would have done a little homework to compare products and prices and to get reviews from former clients (Andrew you were right). I probably would have ended up with the exact same vendors we picked anyways since I loved them, it's just my advice to future brides to really consider the company and.or person you are selecting as a vendor because feeling regret over that choice can be terribly discouraging. I have to add too, that in some cases there are vendors you know are meant to be; as in you know you want them to be your baker, your florist, your photographer, long before you even have a boyfriend let alone a potential husband. With that being said, lock them in, pretty little bride!

{number three} I lost sight of what the wedding really meant, the unity of man and woman, the becoming of husband and wife. Thankfully I got my-you-know-what together in time for the big day and thus was able to appreciate the day for it's true meaning. But my goodness there were some weeks during our engagement where the word marriage seemed so far from being any part of my vocabulary. Glue guns are rad, mason jars and lace are some of my favourite items to ever grace this life with their pretty little presence and a good diy challenge makes my heart skip a few beats. But the minute you wake up on the day after your wedding none of these things will even surface in your mind because beside you will be your new teammate, partner and best friend for life. Do not lose sight of this and do not take advantage of this person long before you even meet them at the alter. They are, after all, kind of the reason that whole 'wedding-thing' even happened to begin with. 

{number four} I tortured myself. And I don't mean I tortured myself physically (and in hindsight I probably should have to tone up my arms a little bit) but more so mentally and emotionally I dragged myself way down. I wasn't stupid and clueless to that little thing we had called a budget. Yet instead I seemed to think I was the exception to the rule and that vendors would create for me a different, lower quote for their services. I thought that maybe I could justify spending a few thousand dollars extra on an established and way-out-of-our league videographer. I didn't think there was a problem spending ten bucks per chair for my beloved Chiavari chairs if it meant our guests would have glamorous seating arrangements. Too many times I would stumble across a new service, vendor or product online that I was convinced we needed and I would beg and plead Andrew to have it when I knew in my heart we couldn't afford it. Lesson learned here; let go and accept things as is. When you can tell the difference between what is realistic and what isn't-ever-gunna happen in a trillion years you can finally experience the wedding planning process for what it's worth. Don't make the mistake of letting finances and lofty wedding expectations overshadow what should be the life-changing experience of committing yourself to your best friend and love. Because when you do, it's a giant annoying, frustrating pain the in the butt.

{number five} I let the world of wedding blogs control my life and my perception of what would deem my wedding as a success. Big mistake. There is the finest of fine lines between wedding blogs being a help and a hassle and to this day, as an event and wedding planner I'm still a little torn on the issue. Don't get me wrong, I adore wedding blogs and think the industry is a more complete and cohesive place with so many inspirational places to visit. It's just that while blogs can provide you with so many endless options on colours, designs, themes, vendors, projects, advice and so forth, it can often lead a confident bride off into the land of confusion and indecisiveness which is where I camped out for a good eight months (in a too-small tent with my frenemy the budget). Together with your fiance, make a list of what is important to you and him (or her) and use that as your guide to wedding planning. Go with your gut feeling, do what feels right and never ever be afraid to ask for help whether it be from a professional, a neighbor, a friend or family member.


I wanted to add a little colour to the post so here is a shot of my sweet Grandpa and I hugging after our ceremony (something that I would classify as a Wedding DO, just to clear up any confusion on including this moment in this specific post). I had just explained to him that Andrew and I had privately released two giant balloons during our first look in memory of my Nan. He started to cry and I started to cry right before he grabbed me into a hug. This was the only time during the entire day that I shed a tear. I am so thankful for this photo snapped by Amanda, and more so I am thankful for my Grandpa (p.s. betcha didn't know I was a half ginger? :) For a list of the things I did absolutely right check out this post here. Happy Thursday loves and check in tomorrow for a new Friday series, before the loveliness of the weekend sets in xo

P.S. If it rains on your wedding day and forces the ceremony inside like it did for us do not let this get you down both on the big day and during the months to come after the party is over. I was devastated when I had to make the choice to bring in all the chairs from our venues terrace overlooking the lake and I am still learning to accept that this was out of our control and therefore isn't something I should still fret about. If your groom (or bride) shows up, professes their love for you and everyone makes it home safely, I think you can consider your day to be pretty close to perfect.

29 Lovely Comments:

Marcie said...

I LOVE that you did this! It is so honest and I wish I read this before I got married. I also did some of what you describe. Especially number 5.

xo M

PS- I really wish I carried an original bouquet, not flowers. I saw an awesome crystal doorknob one and loved it!

Rachel said...

What a PRECIOUS photo. Makes me smile :) Happy Thursday!

Natalie said...

That picture with your Grandpa is precious! And I love your honesty-- I can relate to so much of this.

ASHLEY said...

very sweet photo :) I wanna cry!!!

Brynn said...

Thanks for the kind and honest words!! It's very appreciated by us who are in the middle of planning. And that photo, it's just precious!

yasmin said...

beautifully written post--and that picture made me cry too!

Nikki said...

Great post! You're so right, wedding blogs tend to rule our lives (still do, guilty!).

One of the things that disappointed me most was I was only focusing on the details in everyone's photos, and I could not find a place as beautiful. The problem is the photos are only showing a window and you're not seeing that chainlink fence on the other side of the building ;)

Anna Elder said...

oh honey. what a beautiful wedding you had...and how hard you worked!! terrible that you had to learn the hard way. i regret not paying more for a wonderful videographer. she overdubbed the whole thing with music...and we have a string quartet play as i walked down the aisle (which i did NOT hear because i was so freaking out) and i was looking forward to hearing and see them on my video. and they are no where. ugh. kills me to this day.

LouBoo said...

Rhi - that pic of you and your Grandpa at the end of this post made me shed a tear! Awww...so gorgeous. I love your honesty here and see echoes of things I observed on your blog or in emails in the build up to the wedding. So true that the wedding is just a day and the marriage lasts a lifetime (if you kinda work at it!). Lou xx

Lori said...

I have tears in my eyes Rhi looking at that pic of you and your grandfather ~ what a great shot ~ definitely one to cherish for years to come. This is a great list for any bride to be ~ we sure learn a lot don't we and sometimes the hard way. Looking forward to your new Friday series. xo

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

Beautiful picture of you and your grandpa. All of these tips are so right. No.5 (wedding blog envy/comparison) can be especially dangerous. Just step away and remember what is important!

Gracie said...

That last pic is really beautiful! I like it when moments like this get captured. I don't think I let myself get to carried away with my wedding and I guess I just try not to think about what I could have done better.

Scientific Housewife said...

Great tips, I definitely did the same after we got married but ours was a success :)

Design Elements said...

precious photo! simply wonderful!

Wild and Precious said...

love this sweet post. i know things got hard and I love the truth in this post and the peace you exude! love you friend!

Liesl @ FabulousFashions4SensibleStyle said...

This is so very helpful, thank you!!!

My sister had a day of coordinator who was worth every penny, she was FABULOUS, and I'm thinking of using her for mine since we will be in the same general area of CA...loved her, so great tip on that!

Also, I have been doing endless venue searching to get something like what I have in my mind and have been marking options down.

Today, my parents and I are going over each I have found and going to weigh some pros and cons to see which could work space, location, financially, etc...and then, we are planning to go look at each in person to get a real feel for things and get their info, to go over what comes with each and see which makes the most sense all around. Plus, some look so different in pictures than in person!

Loving that picture of you hugging your grandpa...priceless!

Liesl :)

P.S. Thank you for the rain tip...I think that is what I fear most, but in the long run, as you said earlier in your post, it is about the marriage of two people and their love...whether it is inside or out is small in the bigger picture!

Ashley said...

so great. i am sharing this with my sis for sure.

that pic of your and your gramps makes me melty.

sacramento weddings said...

I tell brides at the very least Hire a Day of Coordinator. They sure can take a lot of stress of the big day. I spoke to the Mother of the Brides a few months back and she was in charge of the "details" at the wedding. She missed most of it because she was fixing all the problems. That's to bad.

Michaela said...

I won't make the first mistake you talk about because YOU will be helping me ((:

XO

Ashley said...

Thank you for posting this. I'm a current bride, who once was very decisive and knew what I wanted. Now, I can't make a decision to save my life. What dishes to choose, should we change the colors, cake or cupcakes, etc. I read blogs everyday and am envious of other brides with bigger budgets. I was previously an event coordinator and I feel like it's almost worse planning your own wedding because you are aware of the best decor and vendors in the industry yet can't afford it all.

I've come to the realization that what matters most is that we are married and we spend the best day of our lives with our friends and family.

living well said...

This is so helpful - I think I need to print it out so I can keep reminding myself of these things. I've already made some of the same mistakes but am really really grateful for you mentioning the wedding coordinator idea. It never even occured to me how things would get managed on the actual day. Thanks so much!!!

Jacklyn said...

What a wonderful, honest, helpful post! I am staring this so that when I get married, I will remember...oh, and about the coordinator. How do you feel about coming to Nashville cause you're my first stop. haha. Lovely picture of you and your grandfather! I had such a wonderful relationship with my grandfather and when he died a couple years ago, I remember thinking how sad I was going to be when he wouldn't be there at celebrations anymore. I just love that picture of you two. You'll cherish it forever!

Alisha said...

Great post Rhi!! True and honest advice really goes a long way for brides-to-be out there! <3 And the things you learned from during your planning stages and wedding will definitely help in the long run with future clients! Keep it up darling. :)

christine, just bella said...

I can totally relate and have to say hiring a day of coordinator was one of the best decisions we made. It was really important to us that we and our family enjoyed the day and didn't feel like we had to "work". I poured all my sweat and tears into the planning and it was so nice to sit back and enjoy every second on the day of the wedding.


Hire a coordinator people!

Such helpful advice, Rhi.

Lisa said...

Ahhh, so well written, Rhi! I've been married FOR-ever (13 years) and yet still love reading your wedding posts....I feel like our wedding was yesterday. It rained, most of our pictures had to be taken indoors (oh the horror) and then my best friend's mom, mother to 13 children, told me that rain on your wedding day meant fertility, and how lucky I was. Lo and behold, 6 months later we were joyfully expecting our first bambino. It's all about your attitude and perspective isn't it? Never mind the fact that despite my attempt at a sophistication, everyone danced like crazy and had the best time and still talk about what fun it was today.

That photo of you and your grandfather is just beautiful - please frame it!! And I love the view of the back of your hair - so, so pretty!

jacin {lovely little details} said...

such an amazing post!

Nicole-Lynn said...

The pic of you and your gpa are adorable! I laughed a little out loud when you said you were ginger! haha I'm a ginger too! haha

I think every bride to be must hear lists like this from brides who have been there and done that. I love this kind of stuff, the reminders... throughout our planning I try not to loose sight of what's important and the whole reason for the wedding, etc. Thanks for the reminder girlie... and for sharing these! I know it can be hard!

Nicole-Lynn said...

^is adorable

A Bit of Joy said...

I just found your blog today and I love this post. I was married almost 4 months ago and I almost feel like you are in my head. #1 really hits home for me! I wish I would have hired a day of coordinator! Your wedding was absolutely beautiful!