Rachel: What I Love About Wedding Planning


Does that make me uncool?

by Rachel W. Miller, Contributing Editor

Rachel: What I Love About Wedding Planning | A Practical WeddingRachel: What I Love About Wedding Planning | A Practical WeddingEric and I sort of took the summer off from wedding planning; we agreed that we’d get back to it after we were done with all our summer traveling. True to our word, we spent the entire three-hour drive home after the second wedding we attended early last month talking logistics for our wedding. And you know what? It was downright fun.

Wedding planning is fun! Am I allowed to say that?!

It seems like in response to the “WEDDING PLANNING MUST BE THE BEST TIME OF YOUR LIFE OR SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH YOU” bullshit most of us have been subjected to, there has been a lot of, “WEDDING PLANNING IS SOOOOOO NOT COOL, IT’S ACTUALLY THE WORST AND ANYONE WHO LIKES IT IS THE WIC’S BITCH.” So depending on the company you keep, it’s entirely likely that you’ve felt the need to put on a too-cool-for-school attitude of “Pinterest, ugh, anyone who has time for that is a total loser.” (And then later start a secret Pinterest account because you know deep down that it’s simply convenient, but you still have to save face. Finding you actually like or need the thing you previously mocked: reason #1387347 why I will never bother with trying to be cool.)

But no secret Pinterest boards for me! Because right now, I am totally and unabashedly enjoying wedding planning. With approximately five months to go until our wedding, we have made it through the meltdowns and are now kinda cruising. Most of the big decisions have been made, and though we still have things to cross off our to-do list, I’m not dreading them. In fact, I’m having a great time and, as far as I can tell, Eric is too.

Here are some completely shallow things about wedding planning that I’m probably not supposed to admit that I’m really enjoying right now.

The paper. A couple weeks ago, Eric and I received thick envelopes filled with invitation samples from Minted and Wedding Paper Divas. “What are you doing?” Eric asked as I closed my eyes and smelled each one. “Uh, trying to choose our invitations?” I said. “Hm…I’m really curious if we could have our invitations printed on paper that smells like the pages of a Pleasant Company catalog circa 1993, because hot damn, that would be amazing.” Beyond smell, there is letterpress, calligraphy, typography, A7 envelopes, gold foil, borders…I find considering each of these things absolutely delightful, and it’s rare that I actually have a reason to consider them. In the age of evites and email, no one can take this opportunity to be all up in your mailbox with a tiny piece of art away from me! Do I think our guests care about the invites that much? Nope! Do I care that they don’t care? NOPE!

LOGISTICS. I like solving problems. I like getting shit done. I like pulling things off. (Events, my pants at the end of a long day.) Turns out, having a morning ceremony that is a good thirty minutes away from our reception venue is going to involve a lot more logistics than we had originally thought (so much for that “easy” courthouse ceremony and brunch reception!) but you know what? I don’t really mind. Because I am good at this shit. Maybe I’m just feeling arrogant right now because my Google-fu is at an all-time high or because I just discovered these sixty-nine cent pies that are a hell of a lot cheaper than the $600/hour custom ice cream sandwich food truck I’d been in contact with about our rehearsal dinner but right now, I’m just like, “A rental house that can hold twelve? Transportation for twenty-four that doesn’t cost a million dollars? BRING IT ONNNNNNNNN!”

The favors. If you had asked me a few years ago what aspects of WIC weddings are the biggest sham, favors would have topped my list. But I’ve since realized that favors are essentially gifts; gifting is not only my love language…I consider myself fluent in it and would love to be employed full-time as a translator. And now you’re telling me I now have an excuse to buy gifts for everyone I care about and they can be centered around a particular theme? (Themes: another weakness of mine.) Uh, yeah, I’ll get married for an excuse to do that! Since we’re having what is basically a destination wedding, I was looking forward to doing welcome bags, but have since realized that distributing them would be way too difficult. So we’ve combined the idea of welcome bags and favors and are planning to put together juiced-up gift bags for the wedding that feature plenty of local Austin flavor (i.e. booze). Eric and I have been bouncing ideas for what we’ll include for quite some time; we’re really excited to thank our guests for flying across the country to be there and to give them some great souvenirs for their trip to Texas (a first for many of them). We haven’t bought anything yet, mainly because I knew that if we started collecting little things here and there as we thought of them, guests would end up walking out of there with more gifts than we do. But! I’m really excited to get on that very soon.

The decor. Much like the cake, the decorations and flowers were aspects of weddings that made me think, “Eh, we can let that go if we can’t afford it.” One of the things I like about winter weddings is that you can get away with having less flowers, and courthouse ceremonies and restaurant receptions mean you don’t feel as compelled to make room in your budget for linens, lighting, or centerpieces if they aren’t your jam or you just can’t afford it. But over the summer, I realized that I do actually like some types of decor (namely garlands and paper flowers) and, since we intentionally chose venues that didn’t require decor, looking for a few fun items to incorporate is more hobby than required task. Trying out DIY projects isn’t a source of stress; it’s an excuse to tap into a creative side that I don’t get to explore as much as I’d like to. I just like doing arts and crafts! I get a lot of this during the holidays, but really, when else am I going to get to make a bunch of sprayed honeycomb décor and then turn it into an awesome garland? (Just kidding…I might just make that for fun and hang it in my office over my desk.)

I often hear a wedding dismissed as “just a party” by those who find them shallow or frivolous, but…I actually don’t host a lot of parties. (Because I’m not cool, like you, you know?) And this will probably be the only time in my life that I’ll get to host a party wherein all my people are in attendance. I’d love to host so many awesome ragers with everyone I love there that I could be blasé about this, but until everyone I love moves to a commune together and I convince the powers that be that Halloween and Christmas should each come twice a year, it looks like this is going to be The Party, and…that means I’m kind of geeking out about it.

My openness about these things is probably why I sat at the decidedly uncool table in high school but whatever. The uncool table now has sweet centerpieces, so I’m okay with it.

Photo by APW Sponsor Gabriel Harber

Rachel W. Miller

For most of her life, Rachel has loved the sound of her own voice. She loves reading, doing yoga (she still refuses to call it “practicing”), hanging out with her dogs, and talking Eric’s ear off. She lives in Houston, TX. You can read more from her on her blog.

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  • http://Www.laughterinthelou.com Emma

    Yes yay, there is no supposed to, enjoy the crap outta this, it IS fun! As someone who just voluntarily semi-planned and executed some friends’ wedding “for fun” I fully support this.

  • http://www.madeinmorningside.blogspot.com Ashleigh

    I also LOVED planning a wedding, and also felt ashamed admitting how much I loved it.

    In some ways it was just a party in other ways it was SO much more than just a party. Who cares what it was it was I loved being able to give so much attention to the day, my husband and our friends and family who were coming to celebrate with us.

    Enjoy the next 5 months and don’t feel guilty at all xoxoxo

  • april

    I think a lot of the problem is people’s tendency towards exaggeration. If you asked most of my friends and family, they’d probably tell you that I HATED wedding planning. The truth is, I only hated wedding planning about 75% of the time (I’m not logistics-minded and have minimal capacity for crafts. Oh, and my mom second-guessed me and nagged me pretty much the entire time …). Parts of it were fun though! Still, much happier to be on this side of things …

    Oh! and I also enjoyed the wedding favors ;) We made little jars of jam for everyone – time-consuming but actually fairly easy, and I loved the idea of our guests walking away with something we had made for them ourselves. And I think about the one part of wedding planning my mom truly got into was filling goodie bags with local treats (including some iconic pink and yellow friends from a local bail bonds business) for the out-of-town guests.

    • SarahP

      My mom is currently nagging and second-guessing the BEJEEBUS outta me. How can I make her stop? If she would stop, this would be fun again. I have fun when she’s not involved. I start breathing fast when I think about the fact that tomorrow, she’s coming to visit and I have to show her the invitations I just picked up from the printer. Because I put a ribbon around one, and I think I would rather get some thin baker’s twine, and what if she doesn’t like baker’s twine, she’s going to be a beyotch about it and tell me I really should stick with the ribbons. She’s making me sad. And other than that, I really am enjoying this, and I’m sad I can’t enjoy it with her.

  • http://writemeg.com Megan

    I’ve really, really enjoyed planning my wedding (five weeks to go!) and know I’m going to be sad it’s over . . . especially because I’ve been wallowing in relief mixed with great angst and sadness since my sister’s wedding on Saturday (but it was lovely).

    I have been allllllll about the paper for this shindig . . . ordering invitation samples was one of my first orders of business after getting engaged. I’ve coordinated anything paper down to the font size, obsessing over every little stamp and detail — all the while knowing people would rip into the envelope, throw it away and move on. But not me! I know I poured my little heart and soul into that cardstock, and that’s what matters to me.

    I’m also really obsessed with mail in general, so.

    • Katelyn

      I’ll wait for the Happy Hour, but I HAVE to hear how playing last-minute day-of coordinator for your sister’s wedding went.

      • http://writemeg.com Megan

        It actually worked out really well, to my incredible relief — mostly because my sister really came through with the organization! I was shocked at how much prep she’d done in terms of gathering together a timeline, sorting out all the decor, boxing up everything we needed for day-of (jewelry, shoes, perfume, etc.) and the like.

        I did lots of running around (sans heels) before the ceremony started and a few things went awry, but her bridesmaids were great — and I told her over and over how lucky she is to have such caring, dedicated friends. It was lots of work and I was exhausted by the end of the night (bone-weary-tired), but I’d also been up since 5 a.m. No matter. We rocked it!

        I’m sure I’ll be chatting/venting on this during Happy Hour, haha, but thank you for remembering and asking! One wedding down, one to go! :)

  • 39bride

    What stressed me about wedding planning was trying to do a largely-traditional wedding on a minimal budget AND in four months (you can do fast or cheap, but very rarely can you do both). Looking back, I’ve often wished I had maybe 6-9 months or a whole lot more money (to pay someone else to help) in order to be able to add some things to our plans that I would’ve enjoyed making/planning/doing.

  • Bethany

    I also really liked wedding planning. I think it was the anticipation of it all.

    I really like your description of a wedding being a big party: “I often hear a wedding dismissed as “just a party” by those who find them shallow or frivolous, but…I actually don’t host a lot of parties. (Because I’m not cool, like you, you know?) And this will probably be the only time in my life that I’ll get to host a party wherein all my people are in attendance.”

    That’s exactly how I felt! Enjoy yourself!

    • Sarah NCtoPA

      Yes, a wedding is (largely) a party. But hey–it’s a good reason for people to come see you and honor the commitment you’re making. By wanting to plan a kick-ass wedding you’re showing your love and appreciation for these folks time, money, etc. And it’s a cliche–but the day does go by quickly so planning smart means you get to be even more in the moment.

  • http://moirakatson.com PAW

    I actually don’t host a lot of parties. (Because I’m not cool, like you, you know?)

    Things I wailed at my now-husband during wedding planning include, “But I suck at planning parties and no one ever comes and it’s going to get to the wedding day and NO ONE’S GOING TO SHOW UP!” (Spoiler alert: they did.)

    I loved this post! One of my greatest achievements as an adult has been learning not to apologize for the things I enjoy (such as pop music and sit-coms). Rock the wedding planning and have an awesome time!

    • Copper

      I always feel like that too. And the result is stressing over people who simply can’t be BOTHERED to RSVP, and when we call them they say things like “we’ll let you know” or, “I’m coming but I still have to see if my spouse can make it.” It’s a week away, and it’s time to make an effing decision already people. It’s not that hard. But at the same time I secretly fear that by calling them up and demanding an answer, people are going to say “yes” and then just not come.

    • Beth

      Oh my gosh, I think I said this exact thing. Planning even small parties stresses me out so much (until about an hour and 2 beers into it). I’ve actually been told by friends in the past that I suck at organizing get-togethers and they weren’t exactly wrong. I had a NYE party where all but two people left before midnight, for goodness sakes! I found the entire process incredibly stressful because I just didn’t think I had it in me to pull it off. But we totally did and it was awesome, so I’m not ever letting anyone tell me I can’t plan a party again.

      I think this aspect may actually be somewhat more stressful with small parties just for that reason – if two or three people don’t show up, then it feels empty and the entire dynamic is thrown off. Whereas with a wedding – well, people are less likely to flake and even if a handful of people can’t make it, chances are way more people can and will!

  • GA

    I love this article. It speaks to me. And I wish I’d paid attention to this idea earlier on.

    I think the “Too Kool 4 Wedding Planning” attitude is self-fulfilling. After spending the year and a half of my engagement trying to pretend I was Above It All, I’ve now reached the point where I can’t stand talking about my wedding. I’m excited for the day, but I couldn’t be bothered to give two shits about the particulars anymore.

    It makes me kind of sad. My #1 goal for this month is to re-learn sentimentality, while other people deal with the details. I don’t want my wedding pictures to be full of me smirking at the camera with grim superiority.

  • AG

    “Do I think our guests care about the invites that much? Nope! Do I care that they don’t care? NOPE!”

    There are some aspects of wedding planning that I can’t be bothered with, and some that I want to get all obsessive over. Don’t worry about me if I spend a few hours reading through invitation etiquette guidelines. I’m not stressing myself out, I’m FASCINATED.

    Also, at least once a week B and I will look at each other while making dinner or something and say, “You know? Our wedding is going to be really fun!”

    • Rachel

      “Don’t worry about me if I spend a few hours reading through invitation etiquette guidelines. I’m not stressing myself out, I’m FASCINATED.”

      This! YES!!

      • http://writemeg.com Megan

        Me too! I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to learn How Things Are Traditionally Done. Not about most wedding-related aspects, but invitation etiquette? Heck yes!

        Also, my cousin absolutely geeked out and loved that I addressed her six-month-old daughter on the invitation as Miss Ryleigh. Family brownie points, woo!

  • http://www.devabydefinition.com deva

    Once we solved our “um.. we get married in six months and need to find another venue” problem, I really enjoyed wedding planning. There were some hurdles and some meltdowns and some “OH MY GOD HOW ARE WE EVER GOING TO DO THIS?????” moments, but I loved thinking about what photos I wanted and scouring Etsy for the perfect invitation vendor and thinking about themed decor (which, ultimately, due to budget constraints and a cat having surgery, didn’t happen) and photo booth ideas and all.

    I mean, now that it’s over I’m glad that we don’t have to do it again because there were parts I wouldn’t want to go back and do-over (like the meltdowns over budget) but then there are totally parts I would want to go back and do again – dress shopping, invitation ordering, cupcake tasting (well…. I always want to taste the cupcakes), and the like. I mean, I can’t get away from planning sites and I’ve been married for over four months now. BUT, the invitations, dress shopping, shoe shopping, cake tastings were a huge part of what made planning fun for me, and even though I felt like you about the invitations, my keepsake invite (I made sure to keep one for us) is something I often take out just to look at, along with some other paper goods I loved picking out. I mean, it was all awesome and everything – the bits and pieces and the papers, are all things I hold dear now that I am married.

    • http://www.devabydefinition.com deva

      Comment editor not working for me today, but when I say there are parts I would want to do over, what I mean/meant is that they are some of the small bits that I loved about planning my wedding, like the cupcakes, et al, because they fit into the larger narrative of “Oh my gosh I get to marry this man and I can’t wait!” which made me squeal a lot with my now-husband whiel we were planning our wedding.

  • Lauren

    Yes! Yes! Yes! I am with you girl!!! Thanks for this post. I’m not ashamed to love wedding planning and I’m so glad you shouted it from the rooftops!

  • Another Meg

    Oh this made my day. These are the things I’m loving about wedding planning! Investigating paper, buying stamps (!) for 100 invitations (took me two hours and it was super fun), making crafts to de-stress (grad school), adding songs to our wedding playlist Google doc, figuring out where to get a pig that feeds 200, writing a ceremony in Samuel French format and including a full Shakespeare scene….where my playwriting nerds at?

    Geeking out may be the best way to describe my wedding planning strategy. It’s the best! I’m finding that being too school for cool takes a lot of pressure off.

    • Rachel

      Tell us more about the Shakespeare!

      • Amber P

        Yes, more about the Shakespeare! What scene? Which play? I’m a bit of a Shakespeare fan…

      • ANOTHER MEG

        I have a degree in playwriting and English Literature and therefore Shakespeare is my jam. I’m also having a wedding ceremony on summer solstice so…Midsummer Night’s Dream!

        My best friend is running the show with my gent’s best friend and I’ve told them they’re basically fairies running around marrying humans for fun. The ceremony will end with Puck’s last speech: “If we shadows have offended,/ think but this and all is mended,/ that you have but slumber’d here/ while these visions did appear…” etc.

        It’s going to be awesome.

        • Just a lurker

          I know classier people than I want to know about Shakespeare, but what I want to know is: are you having a pig pickin? This is my dream wedding.

  • Liz

    Awesome post! I could definitely relate to your experience.

    I’d like to post this article to my Facebook page, but the link doesn’t seem to be working. Is there a better link I could use? Or is my computer just acting up?

    Thanks!

    • Rachel

      I think it’s a Facebook thing…it’s not working for me either!

  • http://readingandthensome.blogspot.com/ Martha

    We live in the Midwest, but we grew up in Pennsylvania and got married there. When we moved to Missouri my husband got really in to barbequing (go figure). Well he’s gotten pretty darn good at it so we made a steak rub as a wedding favor – that would be cool from Texas too!!

    • Rachel

      Oooh great idea! There’s one I really like that we get from Central Market that I’ve given as a Christmas gift before (just put it in cute jars and suddenly it’s this awesome gift) that would work perfectly here! Thanks!!

      • LikelyLaura

        So I’m gonna need to know which steak rub at central market… please.

        PS – I loved wedding planning, too.

        • Rachel

          It’s Bob Tallman’s Ranch Fixins Steak Dust! Also, isn’t Central Market the best?!

          • LikelyLaura

            Thanks! And yes, it really, really is. Though, I’m also enjoying our new Trader Joe’s!

          • Jennifer

            I lived in Texas for 2 years – I think I miss Central Market more than anything else! (Except the ability to buy wine at the grocery store – that was so convenient.)

      • MK

        You HAVE to include a bottle of Shiner in a Texas wedding favor basket!

        • Rachel

          Oooh, good call! The question is…which variety for February!? Now I’m wishing we had stocked up on the Ruby Red beer back in the summer, as that’s my favorite and would be a good morning beer, I think.

          • Lindsey d.

            I’m glad you didn’t, since a lot of that seasonal beer isn’t really designed to last more than six months (it can get skunky). That said, I saw Ruby Red Bird in my Albertson’s in Baton Rouge last night. It’s definitely still out there.

          • Lindsey d.

            Also — what about Tito’s vodka?

          • Rachel

            @Lindsey — We were definitely thinking of doing Tito’s! And Garrison Brothers Whiskey hopefully!

            Basically, it’s just going to be a bag of alcohol.

          • kate

            morning beer <3

          • Amy March

            Are many people flying? I got a lovely bottle of rum at a destination wedding, but it was 8 ounces so it stayed behind.

          • lady brett

            shiner was our wedding alcohol! the ruby redbird *disappeared* – yum. (also, it was an accident that we had it – we’d been planning on the spring seasonal, but turns out they’d switched everything over to summer seasonal by april! lucky for us, turns out.)

            as for february, if it’s not too “christmassy” – the winter shiner “cheer” is really quite good. plus, let’s be honest, you can’t go wrong with a shiner bock, either.

            of course, shiner fan-girl aside, y’all are in houston – you might want to go even more local and introduce folks to st. arnolds (the patron saint of beer!)

          • Kh

            I practically cry ever year when ruby redbird goes into winter hibernation. It’s one of my favorites!

  • Jacky Speck

    The most fun aspect of wedding planning for me has been bonding with my bridesmaids, groomsmen, and future in-laws. The bridemsaids and my FMIL helped me pick out my dress and their outfits. One of the bridesmaids is making our cake, and another is designing our invitations. A groomsman is making our cake toppers, and a good friend is officiating and helping us write a ceremony from scratch. This wedding thing gives all of us something fun to do, independently and together. So while parts of it are stressful (gahhhh all my money!), it’s also pretty great.

  • Pingback: On the table: The new smokin’ hot super fun night

  • Laura C

    There are definitely things I enjoy about it. It’s interesting to learn about this whole new set of stuff — what venues are in my area, where are the evening gowns located in stores that would normally be too expensive for me to set foot in. But so far, early in the process, I’m finding that the stuff I find interesting tends to be overshadowed by the stuff I find stressful because the latter is bigger — how will we get the guest list down to where it needs to be being the big one. So if you ask me at any given moment, the big looming thing is the thing that’s stressing me out, and it’s more my close friends who hear about it day to day who hear about the stuff that’s interesting/fun.

  • JessPeebs

    *the paper*… Man. Can I just say that I loved my invitations, I love coordinating all paper related things about my wedding to match my invitations. I love the process of designing my invitation and of addressing my invitations and of picking out stamps at the post office for my invitations. So, yeah. Other things I really didn’t enjoy, but THE PAPER. :) oh… and the flowers, too. But, the paper. Seriously.

  • Lindsay Rae

    I LOVE WEDDING PLANNING!!

    I really love planning, in general! I am a coordinator & producer for TV and actually stumbled upon my first coordinating job by accident… and literally said, “This is a JOB?? I can get PAID for making lists and schedules?!?!!!” Hello… LOGISTICS!!

    In planning my wedding I’ve decided that if I ever want to get out of the television industry, I would love to plan weddings and events. Because while I can’t get enough of this stuff, there are some people whose brains just don’t work in the same way mine does and might be grateful for a little help.

    My only problem is that when I am going over the logistics with my fiance (“Maybe the ushers can drive so-and-so and drop them off, then pick up the balloons… well then they would have to spend the night close to the church… hmmm, and borrow a car since they’d be coming in from the city…”) he takes it as me “worrying” and “stressing out” and THAT bothers me! I’m only just thinking out loud, working it out, not freaking out! I thrive on that stuff! I’ve tried explaining that to him but he’s concerned about me stressing. (His mantra about everything is “It will all work out.” to which I reply, “Yes, it will, because I work it out.”)

    • Lindsey d.

      Agree! I love going through all the options, writing it all down, making lists, making Google Docs that will be shared with all key people, figuring out who is going to responsible for what (and knowing they will happily do it for us, since I occasionally have a problem asking for help).

  • Lindsey d.

    Once I got past the venue-choosing stage and photographer-choosing stage (they all booked up so quickly!) that made me want to tear my hair out, wedding planning has turned into fun!

    Things I’m digging: Searching thrift stores for low and wide glass vases for the terrarium centerpieces my mom and I are planning. Working with my fiance’s brother to design a logo for us (personal branding FTW!). Thinking about all the places we can use the logo (wedding website, thank you cards, favors, ordering a stencil to make directional signs). Planning the ceremony! Engagement party this Saturday! Personalizing invitations on weddingpaperdivas.com.

    Things I’m not digging: People keep asking about a hotel room block, but I have no idea how many to block. Trying not to nag my fiance to book a band already!

    • Lindsey d.

      Oh! Can’t believe I forgot my favorite part!

      Working with an incredible dress maker to re-do the gown my grandmother and mother wore for me to wear! What an amazing experience!

  • KTMARIE

    “LOGISTICS. I like solving problems. I like getting shit done. I like pulling things off. (Events, my pants at the end of a long day.) ”

    You just summed up my life. <3

    Thank you for this joyful post!! We are getting married next weekend and I have loved the hell out of wedding planning.

  • Kerry

    “Hm…I’m really curious if we could have our invitations printed on paper that smells like the pages of a Pleasant Company catalog circa 1993, because hot damn, that would be amazing.”

    This made me laugh out loud. Takes me right back!

    • Liz

      Me too!! So funny. Every time one of those catalogs landed in my mailbox it was like Christmas.

  • Copper

    I think other people care about the paper more than you expect. We got several write-in comments on our RSVP’s that complimented the invitations (I also took the tiny-works-of-art approach and printed on wood). Plus, invitations set the tone for the whole thing, they’re your chance to tell people what to wear, what level of formality it’ll be, whether it’s religious or not, and say something about yourselves all in one brief moment. They may not care about gold foil or embossing in a technical sense, but you know they sit up at attention and go, “this must be some fancy shindig” when they see it.

    • Rachel

      I was literally just looking at twice-as-expensive invitations that basically set my world on fire…don’t tell me that other people will love them too or I will not be able to turn back.

      • Copper

        Well, sorry, other people will love them.

        The question is, how does the delta between how much they’ll love them and how much they’ll love your budget option line up with the delta in price? And, what does it do to the rest of your budget and things they might also love? I know my people love the paper, but do they love the paper more than they love having s’mores at the end of the night? No, I’m pretty sure they do not.

        • Amber P

          We wanted fancy invitations with the pocketfolds and insert cards and all that. We found a design we really liked, priced it out, and realized all in it was WAY out of budget. So, we reassessed and found a fabulous template that included everything (save the date, invite, directions cards, thank you, seating cards, etc.) for like $7. It helps that my now husband knows how to use photoshop. I researched different types of card stock and found a couple papers that we liked and in the right colors. So, we customized our invitation, printed everything at home, and I designed/hand cut, with a ruler and x-acto knife, every single pocketfold. Yes, it was a ton of work, especially while I finished my thesis, and I ended up doing most of it on my own, but all in all I REALLY enjoyed the process…figuring out where to buy to the most cost effective paper, researching a kick ass paper cutter, all the trial and error for making pocketfolds, and so on. Our invitations looked awesome, were a really good reflection of us as a couple and the kind of wedding we were going to have, and I am so darn proud of them. And, we saved several hundreds dollars! Making our invitations and all the other paper related decorations was definitely a highlight of the wedding planning process. There were certainly some stressful times in the planning process, but overall, I really enjoyed planning our wedding and figuring out all the little details that made our day extra special.

        • SarahP

          RE: Fancy invitations: We just picked ours up from the adorable letterpress girl, and well, I’m underwhelmed. The proofs seemed darker and the font was bigger and easier to read, and well, I’m worried we wasted a ton of money on invitations that are fancy and not functional. Please talk me off this ledge?

    • Mezza

      We printed the invitations on wood too! And I also got multiple Facebook messages and/or emails (we did online RSVPs) complimenting them. People do notice!

  • Charis

    I really liked reading this article because it actually made me a little bit more excited about the planning :)

    I’ve been kinda hating on the wedding planning a bit lately, signing off deposit cheques and thinking… there goes a new triathlon bike, or a shiny new ipad lol, and sort of looking forward to a time when my money is mine again lol. At the moment it all feels very serious and important, so many big, expensive, worrying decisions to be made!

    But I think after Christmas when we start tasting cakes and researching invites and buying cute bridesmaid’s dresses… it’ll start to be a bit more joyful for me :)

    • Beth

      One thing that made all the spending infinitesimally more tolerable to me was – airline points! Find a card that gets good points (Chase Sapphire is the one we have, which is awesome [if anyone wants a referral link, I will send it to you]) and earn something back from all the spending! We are saving something like $800 on our flights home for Christmas thanks to the points we earned with wedding expenses.

  • Kat R

    This is such a good reminder to focus on enjoying the positive. There are things about planning I hate (if one more person tells me I should “just cut the guest list” I will not be responsible for my actions) but there is a lot of it I enjoy. I love the craftiness and it’s awesome that it’s now both important and reasonable to spend hours watching movies while making origami flowers. I love working on a project and solving problems with Fiance, because that’s when we’re at our best. I love that my mom is having a blast with helping to plan her only daughter’s wedding. I love my fluffy white dress. And if I have a choice I should focus more on those things and not That One Nasty Comment or That One Sexist Vendor or hating my save-the-dates.

  • Abby Mae

    Aww I MISS wedding planning!

    Mostly I loved daydreaming about all the floral arrangements and bouquets. Then I was in jittery excitement getting to go to with my florist to the wholesale market and just picking it all out.

    Oh man, I wish I could have a valid excuse to buy myself all those flowers again. Sigh.

  • https://www.facebook.com/groups/179626212196077/ Hannah

    I will say coming to the other side my wedding, (coming up on three weeks ago) there were times where I absolutely loved wedding planning. I will say this wasn’t a constant feeling. There were times I would get completely stressed out over some problem I would get stuck on. All I can say is enjoy the highs, accept the lows and take breaks from it when you need to (taking the summer off, great idea!). For me, wedding planning was a roller coaster, but it was completely worth it. It really was the best day of my life, and I have never felt more loved.

  • Elisabeth

    Aw, your wedding is going to be such a kick-ass party, Rachel. Can’t wait to see how all of these details turn out!

  • lady brett

    paper! i love, love, love paper. and typography. and ink. and letters. designing the paper goods was hands down the best part of wedding planning – of course after a million hours of ideas on it, they ended up being preposterously simple. but also so ridiculously perfect. swoon. (as for the rest of it – that was, um, not my bag because of the “planning” part of “wedding planning,” no surprise there!)

  • Carolyn

    Even though the wedding was two years ago (WUT.) my fella and I often still comment on how fucking rad it is that we planned such a good, fun, on budget, authentic-to-us wedding. We loved planning, it highlighted why we’re such a good team. He’s a little in the clouds and I’m a little spreadsheet.

    • MM

      My guy says he’s the “ideas” guy, and I’m the one that uses spreadsheets to make the ideas work. It works for us!

  • Vanessa

    Completely agreed with the statement “Wedding planning is fun! Am I allowed to say that?!” because it was for me. I enjoyed all aspects of planning and working through visions, logistics etc with my now husband. When people asked me after the wedding how it went, I told them in all honesty that I immensely enjoyed the planning (I was in my element as a fiance) but really hated being a bride. Not because of shyness (or general anxiety of center of attention) but because I couldn’t (despite knowing I needed to) shut down the planner, time-keeper, list checker side of me most of the time. Glad planning was >1 day and being a wife is >1 day – those parts of fiance —> wife sit well with me.
    At the very least, I’m open arms to all friends wanting a helping hand in planning!

  • Catherine

    Hehe, my current “totally not ashamed” fun : looking at all things wedding online, even cheesy things that i’m not even considering – just looking at it ALL with a glass of wine at night :) Or two or three glasses.

  • http://www.stellarfashionandfitness.com Jennifer

    I loved this post, too, because I’m enjoying the planning as well! I had one moment of panic when the caterer said she didn’t get our deposit, and I’ll still swear up & down that I called her & gave her the cc#, but thankfully our date was still open & we’re all booked now! Phew! But I’ve been crossing things off my list, not getting too worried about the timeline since I have all the big things done & my wedding isn’t until the end of May. And I’m enjoying the little things, like working on collecting bud vases for a couple arrangements at the reception, and thinking about the music for the ceremony & what we’ll have the DJ play as we enter the reception. One thing I could use advice on — affordable cake stands! I need 5 total, since we’re doing multiple cakes instead of one big, tiered cake. I’d like them all to be white, but they don’t necessarily all have to match.
    See these little details are fun!!!

  • SamA

    Love love love this post. Mostly, because it’s how i felt about planning too – from the paper obsession to favours-as-an-excuse-to-gift, and the nerdy joy that we nailed those wily duck-like logistics!
    Also: ‘google-fu’ may be my new favourite APW-ism.

  • Heather

    I’m definitely not feeling the wedding planning love right now, but I’m cautiously optimistic it’ll get better. Once we decided on our venue (a few months ago), we pretty much were able to stop thinking about it for a couple months until we were able to reserve it- which opened up 2 days ago, and I have since spent all that time agonizing over whether we picked the right weekend, since it turns out there’s something going on at the convention center nearby, making it difficult to get hotel rooms within walking distance for a reasonable rate (and it’s still a year in advance!). So, after driving my fiance crazy with trying to think through all the options I called and switched to the next weekend, which should hopefully make everything easier. Now I just need to calm the eff down and keep telling myself, “your wedding is not an imposition” and let all the hotel block stuff sort itself out.

    • http://www.stellarfashionandfitness.com Jennifer

      I feel you on the “your wedding is not an imposition” thing. A good portion of our guests are traveling from far away, so it makes me feel guilty. But I have to remember that I’ve traveled to places for plenty of weddings, including a number of my guests’, so I can’t feel badly about this. If they are able to come, then great! If not, I’ll totally understand. But I shouldn’t feel like my wedding is an “imposition” — and neither should you!

      • Heather

        Hahah, that is so true for the traveling to places for weddings- I guess my choice of revenge on having to travel and spend lots of $$ on people’s weddings is to try to make things as convenient as possible for mine?

  • ElisabethJoanne

    I estimate we made 60 spreadsheets in our wedding planning. I love spreadsheets! I was spreadsheet-deprived for the couple of months after the wedding.

    My challenge was balancing the fun I was having planning with asking for help when it wasn’t fun. Until the last 4 weeks of our 15-month engagement, I didn’t do much wedding planning that wasn’t fun for me. I passed it off to my now husband. I felt bad that I was having fun, and he wasn’t, but my fun was also helpful work. Had there been anything he thought was fun, I’d have let him take that on.

  • Hil-bomb

    I definitely needed to read this right now! I’m 6 weeks out from my wedding day and the reminder to just stop stressing and ENJOY THIS is so helpful. All of the big stuff is out of the way, and I feel like I can finally let myself enjoy and geek out over the details, but that terrible negativity still finds a way to creep in, ruining the party (“What am I forgetting?” “What if this isn’t good/pretty/thought-out enough?” “How am I going to get this all done in time?”). I have to keep reminding myself that FH and I are only engaged for 6 more weeks, and this is never happening again, so be present and be happy and STOP undermining yourself! (Maybe by writing this out it will actually stick…)

    • http://writemeg.com Megan

      Could have written this comment myself, and I’m also six weeks out! (November wedding fistbump! We’re Nov. 10.) I’m trying to balance working on all the last-minute logistics and creeping doubts (“What am I forgetting?” is a big one) with just enjoying having a “fiance” for a little bit longer. :) It’s a challenge, but a good one. And we’re in the home stretch!

      • Hil-bomb

        Woohoo! November 16th here. :) Totally hear you on trying to enjoy having a fiance… I keep having to remind myself that we’re only doing this once so I’d better stop being such a Negative Nancy about the whole thing and relax. So good to know that I’m not alone!

        • Alexandra

          You’re getting married the same day I am! Though yeah, I’m totally freaking out about what I’m forgetting, and it suddenly feels like there’s not enough time for everything else I need to do. I’ve had more than a couple freak outs, even though we seem to be making leaps and bounds on everything at once (and not actually just finishing it at the same time).

  • Jennifer

    Totally agree about invitations! My fiancé and I looked through so many different kinds of paper before deciding on the kind we wanted. And we decided to handwrite all of the invitations (almost everyone we told thought we were insane) because how often do I get to write a personal letter to someone?

  • Seshat

    OMG PINTEREST IS THE BEST THING EVER

    ahem…

    Seriously though, I’m a very visual person and most of my book marks were crafty or inspiration things so Pinterest really just turned into my bookmark folder. Win (although holycrap do they have some really bad ideas floating around…).

    In terms of enjoying wedding planning, I’m somewhere in the middle. I’m psyched about the invites and website (graphic designer–I’m gonna do it all! WHEEEEE!) but still stressing about budget. I was having a really hard time coming to terms with “extras” like centerpieces and whatnot. Do we *need* them? Technically no, but will I actually enjoying putting a part of my crafty self in the wedding (and be disappointed if I don’t)? Hell yeah! Oddly enough enjoy I do really enjoy the challenge of making something look awesome for way cheap (go dollar store decor segment!).

    I’m having a minor panic attack right now because every planning timeline I see if different and I happen to like timelines and checklists. Out venue has a coordinator included and our first meeting is in a couple weeks so I’m sure that will help.

  • Beth

    I’m not sure if anyone else experienced this, but I pretty much hated the entire planning process, but now that it’s over I find myself looking at wedding stuff all the time for fun!

    I was not one who had been planning my wedding since I was 5 yrs old or really thought about what I wanted at all, and then we got engaged and decided to get married 6 months later and I definitely felt like I was thrown into the deep end. The entire process felt very stressful and gogogo and, as someone who hates making decisions and is also incredibly frugal, it was all very overwhelming and grey hair inducing.

    But nowwww, I love looking at wedding dresses and decorations and flowers and hairdos, etc. I realize that this must be how many people feel before they get engaged or if you are one of the people above who is enjoying the process. It feels a bit weird to continue to look at these things now, but I guess if I couldn’t enjoy the planning process at least I can enjoy the ogling now?

  • http://www.deluxecelebration.com/ Carolyn L. Bailey

    I had fun reading your post and wishing i am also planning for my wedding now. I have heard a lot of people say planning a wedding is stressful but you made it sound really fun and easy. I’m glad you are enjoying every single moment of the planning, i guess that should be the key. To just enjoy and to not be so hard on oneself when planning. When you think of the fun, i guess everything else becomes easy and you will actually enjoy it. Congratulations and best of luck. I’m definitely sure it will be a lovely wedding.

  • Amber Smith

    Oh my gosh, this exactly how I feel about wedding planning! I tried to convince my fiancé to elope because I was afraid it’d be a big expensive stress mess, but surprise! It’s actually fun! I love considering all these artsy, logistical details.
    And your happily planned brunch wedding sounds like it’s going to be wonderful!

  • Violette Green

    I got married 2 weeks ago and I definitely enjoyed this post. My previous jobs included event planning so I enjoyed completing the checklists and getting things done. In all honesty, there will be fun parts of wedding planning. For me it was flowers/decor, the bridesmaid look, and the overall bridal look. The less fun: anything related to invitations and stationary (too many options). The key is to find certain elements of the wedding planning that you like and revel in them and do what’s necessary for the rest/have fiance take care of some of them.