Patrick and I got married just a little over two weeks ago and our wedding was truly a dream come true. Everything went so smoothly and we had so much fun celebrating with the people we love most. Although the day went by so quickly, we cherished every single moment and had a blast!
It's crazy to think back and process that we planned the biggest party of our lives in just four months. Now that it's all over, I can honestly say wedding planning was one of the best experiences of my life. I'm not going to lie, there were definitely moments of frustration but I think wedding planning gets such a bad rep because the negative parts are all that people focus on. Looking back, what I remember most is the amazing support we received from our friends and family. We were genuinely blown away by the generous and kind people who blessed us with their time, gifts and even finances. With the help of our community, we were able to pull this off in just four months and I'm really grateful that everything worked out the way it did.
Now that it's all done and over, here are some practical advice I received from others and learned along the way. I hope this is helpful to all the engaged couples out there!
1. Start from big to small
I know a lot of women have dreamt about their wedding day since they were teenagers, but I honestly didn't know what mine would look like. I had some vague ideas and details I liked so I wrote down what I knew and started from there. Both Pat and I liked the idea of an outdoor ceremony so we researched venues that would accommodate that. We also wanted to have a taco guy for our reception so we researched places that would accept outside catering, which limited our options by a lot. This was frustrating at first but it actually helped narrow the options down. Having some doors close helped us to focus on the limited choices and work with what we had. Then from there, we added on the rest of the details.
2. Be realistic about your budget
I think this is a general rule to live by, not just for planning a wedding, but leading a healthy life (#adulting.) Truth be told, budgeting and finances are not my forte and I had all these ideas that didn't have a price tag on them. Luckily, my then-fiance sat me down and very patiently (and kindly) broke down the cost. We were able to set a budget together and I'm so glad that we did that at the very beginning. Even the thought of money stresses me out but having a budget written down eliminated a lot of that because we actually had a tangible goal for each category. We also talked about parts of the wedding that were important to us and were willing to splurge a little bit more on. For example, Patrick wanted the reception to be really fun and enjoyable for our guests, so we made sure to research the best vendors for food and spent extra time creating the perfect dance playlist. For me, it was essential to have a videographer at our wedding. A lot of my family members live in Korea and therefore, weren't able to attend. So I wanted the day to be captured so we would be able to share all the memories with them. By prioritizing certain details, we were able to be in control our spending and not break the bank.
3. Edit, edit, edit
With all that being said, it is so important to edit. Planning a wedding involves many more people than you might initially plan for. Of course, the most important people to have a say is you and your spouse but it's also important to be mindful of those around you too. Obviously, this means your respective families, friends and vendors. Being in the wedding industry for three years now, I learned how vital it is to respect and listen to your vendors so do your best to be flexible! They are doing their best to make your day as special as it can be, so the least you can do is listen and work with them too.
4. Stop looking at Pinterest
This one was probably the most challenging part for me. Being the DIY girl that I am, it was very difficult for me to stop browsing the web and social media. At a certain point, I wanted to incorporate every idea I saw on Pinterest, Instagram and wedding blogs and I felt overwhelmed by my already very full to-do list. The month of, I was stressed running around and trying to get everything done, until Patrick stopped me and brought me back to reality. He asked me which projects I absolutely needed and which I was willing to let go and made me cut the list down to half. Our wedding coordinator also challenged me to stop all wedding related things the week of, which forced me to log off and just be present. This helped me to be satisfied with the work I've done and not compare my wedding with others.
5. Be flexible
The faster you learn to compromise, the better. No matter how awesome your planning skills are, things will not go exactly as you plan and that is okay! One thing that stressed me out during wedding planning was finding kumquats. Yes, as in the fruit. After calling multiple citrus farms, grocery stores and even friends, I had to accept the fact that kumquats were not in season and I couldn't have them for my centerpieces as I originally planned. So, I talked with my florist and some stylist friends and they suggested I do other citrus fruits instead. We ended up using lemons, oranges, apricots and cherry tomatoes, which worked out perfectly. I loved how our center pieces turned out and now, the never ending kumquat search is something I can look back at and laugh about.
At the end of the day, marriage is about celebrating you and your spouses' love and commitment for one another. Throwing a party and making things look nice is great but in the midst of wedding planning, remember to focus on the things that are most important. People and relationships > little details / your idea of "perfection." Good luck to all the engaged couples out there!
All the photos were taken and posted by guests under #patnuhincrime
Official wedding photos to come!