Spring engagement session in a field of olive trees

From the moment you say “yes” to the most anticipated question of your life you begin a lifelong journey; a journey with your favorite person, learning about one another and yourselves. Before I was engaged I had convinced myself that I could plan a wedding, start to finish, easy as pie. This wasn’t entirely true. There are moments that make you question why your day job isn’t wedding planning extraordinaire but there are also moments you gain a deep appreciation for wedding planning professionals and all they do – it’s a fun job, but not an easy one!

Months and months removed from wedding planning there are a number of things that I appreciate about wedding planning and certain challenges that I faced that taught me a lot about who I am. Below are five things that I learned about myself in the wedding planning process:

1.) I can't be Super Woman 24/7– and that’s ok!

I have been wired with an achiever mentality and a desire for efficiency, and even while planning a wedding this was very apparent. I love working hard and I love seeing the fruits of my labor. When productivity and efficiency feel like success it can be hard to allow yourself to pause for a minute (or a day). Accepting that I could slow down and take off the cape for a moment in the midst of wedding planning seemed to go against every fiber in my being, but trying to balance wedding preparations with work and my personal life wore me out. Thank goodness I had family and friends to remind me that it was okay to take a break and breathe. This has carried over into post-wedding planning life as well. I remind myself that breaks are fine (and totally necessary), and that I actually like who I am more when I am not running on empty all the time!

2.) I need my family and friends

Once the planning commenced and the countdown to our big day began I was faced with more decisions and checklists than I had ever experienced before. I tried everything — diligent note taking, Excel spreadsheets, online wedding planning tools and for a little while I was getting by. Doing it all on my own would have been nearly impossible and I can’t express enough how thankful I was to have my mom step in and help me address and mail over 300 invitations or my maid of honor who called around to local floral shops or my godmother who visited every secondhand store in a 40 mile radius to help find the perfect décor and vases. I could never have planned the wedding I had imagined without them. Up until the day after our wedding, our family and close friends were AMAZING support. I will never forget how much I appreciate the special people in my life! I need my family and friends — I depend on them a lot.

3.) I love details

Wedding planning gave me a whole new appreciation for details. Not only do I love details but I love planning them. I can’t deny it — some details demand a lot of attention. Whether it was details leading up to the big day or details on the big day. I loved being in charge of the small pictures that made up the big picture. Since planning a wedding I have become much more aware of the little details that make up a table setting, a favorite restaurant, or the details in a story and I especially appreciate the special attention to detail that couples add to their big day to make it unique.

Rustic and whimsical wedding reception table setting in pastel colors
4.) I can be very decisive

Okay, let me clarify. Some days I can’t decide where to go for lunch. My husband has learned better than to ask me what movie at the theater I want to see because I want to see them all. But when it came down to the wire in wedding planning I surprised myself how decisive I could be and how confidently I stood behind my decisions. I knew what I wanted and I wasn't afraid to speak up!

5.) I don’t take life too seriously

No matter how much time or energy you spend planning the perfect day something is bound to happen that you don’t expect. I soon realized that if I set high expectations on my wedding day being perfect in the sense that everything would go as planned, then I was setting myself up for disappointment. My husband and I sat down and discussed what was important to us on our big day and I focused on those details and let other things falls to the wayside. Most importantly I wanted to enjoy celebrating with friends and family. So when the rain came pouring down after the ceremony or the slideshow didn’t work, it didn’t ruin my day. In fact, those little unexpected hiccups made my day that much more special to me. Life is so much more enjoyable when you don’t take it too seriously.

No matter what you take away from your wedding planning experience remember that it’s a once in a lifetime memory so make it good and don’t sweat the small stuff! You will want to look back and remember the joy and happiness you felt preparing for your big day.

Advice for brides planning their big day? Please share below!


Photography | Jose Villa