Photo Courtesy: Marianne Lozano
Of course there are timelines, checklists, and wedding planning websites out the wazoo, but what do you really need to know before tying the knot? Speaking from experience, here is the low down:
1. You Can't Please Everyone, So Don't Even Start to Try
First off, everyone and their mother is going to have an opinion about where you should get married, when you should get married, and how you should get married. Ironically, it is always whatever is most convenient for them, not you -- a.k.a. the people who should matter the most.
I spent the first few weeks of my engagement stressing about how I could accommodate everyone's wishes and schedules, knowing that a large wedding in my hometown would be easiest, but it wasn't what we had envisioned. After nights of hair pulling and frustration, a hefty bottle of wine helped us work up the nerve to say, 'Screw it,' and go with the wedding we wanted -- a small destination wedding in Redondo Beach where we were currently living.
In the end, of course some people couldn't make the trip out, but those who did had a fun and intimate weekend celebrating with us. Looking back, I wouldn't change a thing. Well, except for those pointless first couple of weeks I spent stressing. Lesson being - stick to your guns from the get go.
2. A Wedding Film is Worth the Splurge
Number one thing not worth splurging on: Wedding Favors. You are drinking on my tab, which is a gift unto itself. Half of the people forget their chocolate covered almonds or coasters anyways. Don't bother.
Number one thing worth splurging on: A videographer. I know, I know, after you've shelled out all that cash for a photographer, you grapple over the thought if video is really necessary. The answer - yes it is.
If it isn't in your budget to hire a professional, at least have a friend with a GoPro or nice HD camera be designated to get footage during the night. It is so nice to have an edited version of your day. I still cry when watching mine! Also, videographers are a great back-up plan if your photographer turns out to be less than stellar. A friend who recently got married wasn't happy with her photos, but thankfully her videographer was awesome and she was able to get amazing still shots from their footage. Splurge on this one, you'll definitely be happy you did.
3. Don't Settle Because Social Media is Telling You To
This may be last, but is certainly most important. I'm only about four years into this whole marriage thing, but feel like my husband and I have already gone through so much during this short period of time. From job changes, to family illness, to a baby on the way, we've had our fair share of roller coaster moments already. But what's gotten us though it all is mutual respect, communication, and hard work.
The problem is, you don't see any of those words listed in Facebook posts professing fairytale love or those cute, clever wedding hashtags on Instagram. As I said, I'm only four years in, but what is sad is that there are already so many divorces among my peers.
Of course newsfeeds are now chalk full of baby milestones and photo booth snapshots, but don't let that pressure you into feeling you must do the same. There is no timeline. No perfect time to get married. No perfect time to have a baby. We always get a glimpse of the good stuff on social media, but never the bad. Weddings may look fancy and fun, but it is the actual marriage that lasts a lifetime. So take your time. Only settle for someone who is worth all of the work in the years to come. After all, the best relationships are the ones that require #nofilter.