So I'm just 3 days away from my wedding now. As a non-decorator, non-girly girl, non-anything-that-makes-planning-a-wedding-easier, this planning process has had a lot of weird moments. I'd like to take a second and offer the few things I have learned throughout this process... some good ways to keep your sanity that have worked for me so far.
1. Delegating is AWESOME. I did a lot of saying, "Hey! You are good at [X thing I am not good at]! Would you like to take care of that?" And it saved my sanity. Being able to hand off the food to one bridesmaid, the flowers to another, decorating ideas to a third... it lifted so much of the stress off me. And since I hardly ever have any opinions on girly things, it was awesome to be like, "YOU handle this! Do whatever you want!"
2. Work closest with the ones you love. This is going to be a stressful time, so surround yourself with people who are good for you during your stress and will never add to it. People who are high-maintenance drama queens the rest of the year are not likely to take a week off for your wedding, so think about whether you want to deal with that. At the height of your stress, are those working with you in your wedding going to ease your stress or make it worse?
3. Make sure you get some couple time with your guy the week of. It looks like in the latter half of the week, there could be seventeen people all staying in what will be Jacob's and my home. We've already determined that we're going to have to be intentional about spending some time together, whether that means walking the dog together in the morning or late night chats in the back yard or running errands separately. It'd be easy to get swept up in the friend-filled chaos of the week and hardly get to spend any time together at all, but I know it's going to be really important for us to spend time together so we can, in a way, center ourselves, calm down from the craziness, and just enjoy our time.
4. Don't ever browse wedding etiquette boards online. Seriously. I haven't a clue about wedding etiquette, so I browsed some of these, and saw comments like, "I thought it was very rude that the bride didn't personally address her save-the-dates" and "If you don't have a DJ your reception will be awful" and "I can't believe that bride chose summer-colored bridesmaids dresses for a winter wedding!" Suddenly, I felt like everyone would hate me if I goofed something. When I stopped reading them, I felt much better. The less you know about hugely ridiculous etiquette expectations that somebody somewhere might have, the happier you'll be.
5. Take as many pictures as possible. I am not good with photos, so I know I'll look back on this time and think, "I wish I had gotten more pictures." I have therefore instructed my sister Elizabeth (also my photographer - check out her Facebook page here) to pretty much follow me around the week leading up to the wedding and capture everything she can. I'd far rather have too many pictures than not enough.
6. Make it personal. Jacob and I have worked to incorporate as much of us into the wedding as we can, from our music choices to our board game centerpieces to our Doctor Who ushers to the Adventure Time figurines his wedding party is wearing to our decision to do unity Play-Doh instead of a unity candle. We wanted to make this day specific to us, so that anybody who went to our wedding would come away thinking not just, "That was a beautiful wedding," but, "That wedding was so them." Having so many reminders of our nerdiness and our favorite common interests really makes the day more about us and our love, rather than some abstract concept.
7. It's your wedding. Seriously. Do whatever you want. When it comes right down to it, this is the phrase that calms the wedding stress for me. If that means we're ignoring wedding traditions or etiquette or advice, so be it. Which means any of you wedding planning chicas out there can also ignore this whole post if you want. :-) In the end, this is my special day and Jacob's special day, and we're allowed to be a little selfish about it. We can include whoever we want, set it up however we want, and celebrate however we want. Nobody's allowed to get huffy or upset that we didn't do it the way they would have. This is our day. And we're going to do what we want with it, dang it! (Sometimes I really have to be that forceful about it in my mind before I can let go of the many "But what will people think if..." fears.)
So, yeah. It's going to be a good day. :-)