Groom in a green suit at a modern outdoor wedding
Photo: Our Love is Loud

One of my creative projects this year has been to write a groom's guide to wedding planning. And as part of that guide, I interviewed a handful of my close married friends, including my recently married brother, to get some insight on their planning process.

I asked each of them very directly, "What did you wish you had known before you started planning your wedding?" The feedback I received was really interesting and each of my friends had something very different to say. I learned a lot and really got me thinking about everything that goes into planning a wedding.

To start things off, I want to share with you what I learned speaking with my good friend Shawn. He was married several years ago and he and his wife didn't hire a planner.

"Looking back, I wish I better understood just how all of the little details had to come together seamlessly, it was almost like Thanksgiving, Shawn said. "And that if one little thing goes wrong, it can cause a trickle down effect and can be stressful."

One particular hiccup at his wedding was that the bus he hired to ferry guests around didn't show up! It just never arrived. He had to do some quick thinking. Fortunately, he ended up reaching out to the hotel where many of his guests were staying and pleaded with the management to loan him their airport shuttle.

Shawn told me that the bus he had originally hired did eventually show up, but that it was far too late in the evening for it to be of any use. "I learned that there needed to be lots of confirming and reconfirming with my vendors. Lots of following up."

Whether you're dealing with vendors or your colleagues in the office, we are all guilty of sometimes assuming that everyone is on the same page, right? In the context of your wedding, when everything has to happen at the same time, keeping up on all of these moving pieces can be a challenge.

Shawn also stressed that it's important to speak up about the details that are important to you and remember it's your wedding day too. The dynamics of family, and particularly of two families coming together for the first time, can be a challenging, unique time.

The biggest lesson Shawn learned? "That it's important to enjoy the process. When you get married, it's all over so quickly - enjoy the process, take it all in, because it'll be over before you know it. The most fun for me was looking at all the guests and seeing how happy they were to see me and my bride. I was so grateful to see everyone that had come. It was just a really fun time."

What was wedding planning like for you? Let us know in the comments below!