I KNOW. My wedding shoes have NOTHING to do with this topic. But they are just so pretty!
Alright my loves. It’s time to talk about the hard stuff today. The Wedding Entourage. You know, those people that follow the bride around. They’re the ones on Say Yes To The Dress that make the bride cry because everyone has their own opinion and they think it’s their way or the highway. They’re the ones that throw every single idea they can think of at the bride thinking they’re being helpful, but really, are just stressing the bride out even more. And, they’re the ones who truly mean well, and love you most.
This “wedding entourage” ends up being a really touchy subject when planning time comes around. Planning your wedding is stressful, so it’s only natural that you want those you love and trust to lean on. But… is there such a thing as too many people being involved?
Think of it this way… the more people involved, the more opinions. The more opinions, the more you start to question your own decisions. The more you question your own decisions, the more your wedding starts to be for others, and not for you and your groom.
One thing you might not know about me, is that ever since I was in 9th grade, I’ve modeled in bridal shows. So, for my entire teenage/adult existence, I’ve been attending bridal expos. You have no idea how many times I see a bride show up with her maid of honor, all her bridesmaids, her mom, her mother in law, her aunts, her cousins and her grandmas. I’ve watched these groups walk from booth to booth. I’ve watched the bride’s eye light up over a floral display, only to have someone in her group saying “that is so ugly” and her dreams be crushed before they really even begin.
So for me, while planning my wedding, I lived by the mantra, LESS IS MORE. Does that mean I don’t love all those people in my life equally? Of course not. Does it mean that I didn’t want others to give me their thoughts and ideas? Nope. I just did not want to lose sight of what Trevor and I wanted. I’m going to let you in on a little secret…
We did everything ourselves.
Nope. I’m not joking. I’m not lying. The planning process was 100% us. You might remember (if you’ve been reading my blog long enough) that Trev proposed to me on top of a mountain. We quite literally had the “big picture” of our wedding planned by the time we had made it back to our car. (PS I totally recommend getting engaged on a hike… when you have to walk a few miles to get back to your car, you get some seriously good wedding talk in, where there are no other distractions… like football! HAHA) Once we had the “big picture” it was easy for everything to fall into place.
We didn’t take our wedding party, and our families to visit a whole bunch of vendors. We looked at peoples work online, and we decided together who we liked best, and who worked best for our budget. After we contacted them, we told my parents (who had so graciously offered to put down all the down payments for us), so they could send whatever was needed to our vendors. We didn’t ask for everyones opinions on decor/flowers. I knew what I wanted in my head, found pictures online, got the “okay” from Trev, and got to work with my florist. We didn’t talk to people about what cake they thought might taste best, we went with what we knew we liked.
Another big thing we didn’t do? We didn’t talk about our wedding with everyone we knew. You know how there are some couples that just have that magic ability to change every topic to that of their wedding? Like you could say “Wow my dinner looks awesome!” and they have the gift of turning the conversion from pizza to wedding decor. Well I think that when you talk about it constantly (and it’s hard not to, it’s so freaking exciting!), everyone will start to give you their opinions. And even if you try to brush them off, whatever they have to say is still going to be in your brain. I remember thinking how awesome of an idea I thought bathroom decorations were and mentioning it in a random conversion. The person I was talking to looked at me like I was an insane person and said “Why the hell would you decorate the bathroom?” At the time I was crushed. I was like “UGH. It’s such a good idea. I’m doing it anyway.” As I sat there trying to decide how I’d decorate, their voice kept popping up in my head, making me question it. (I know… it’s kind of strange. But I was DEEP in that dang wedding planning black hole, and I now realize those totally weren’t necessary so I completely thank the person that told me I didn’t need them. Like honestly, who is going to read signs in the bathroom unless they are accompanied by free stuff?) And while in the end it turned out to be a good thing, I would hate for that to happen to someone about something that they were so head over heels in love with, and end up regretting not having it or doing it at their wedding years later.
However, not talking about your wedding can be a double edged sword. (I know. Those are the WORST!) By not always talking about our wedding with people did we come off as not wanting to share what we were planning with others? Maybe. Maybe we came off as a little standoffish. But for us, it was a risk that we were willing to take. In then end, that is a personal decision for each couple to make. For us, it was easy to brush this off, and only talk about it when people asked, because then we weren’t throwing around random ideas the entire time. We only gave the concrete answers on things we had already decided together. I think in the end, this helped us to be more prepared for our day. We weren’t constantly changing our mind. Once we made a decision, we kept it. And by the time others heard about it, and could give their opinions, it was too late to change it.
And if you ask me, this is how wedding planning should be. Your wedding is a reflection of you and your loved one as a couple. It’s not about what everyone else thinks your wedding should be. If it was, weddings would be like a surprise birthday party. You’d show up, and it would be done for you. When you have SO MANY opinions from others, it’s so easy to lose sight of the things that truly matter to you and your bride/groom. And for Trevor and I, it was important that this didn’t happen. So…
Keep it between you and your bride/groom when…
- Deciding on Decor.
- Choosing your Cake. (Flavor and Design)
- Picking out your Wedding Colors.
- Deciding on a Theme/Idea/Concept for your day.
- Selecting your Vendors.
- Choosing your Wedding Party attire. (Kind of. You should decide on what you want the groomsmen to wear together. Like do they need the tux jacket? Or just a vest. But, for the bridesmaids, I would let them help you decide. They have to wear that dress all day, and spend a lot of money on it. They should get a little bit of input, even if it’s just choosing from 3 different designs.)
Now of course, there are some things that you should ask for help on, because otherwise, you might go a little crazy trying to do everything on your own. But I highly recommend asking for that help once the decisions have already been made. For example, we wanted wooden pillars with flower boxes on them to set up on the “alter” at our ceremony site. We made this decision together, we found pictures of how we wanted them to look. Then, we went to Trev’s dad, who is an AMAZING woodworker, and showed him our ideas. So…
Ask for opinions/help when…
- Seeing your venue. (Our parents came with us when we saw our venue. It’s important to have a second opinion to be sure you’re not overlooking anything. Sometimes… we can be blinded by love, and I totally think that applies to falling in love with a venue that may not actually work for your wedding day.)
- Choosing your wedding dress. (Chances are, your groom won’t be coming shopping with you. But, use caution when inviting people to come see you try on dresses! I’ll be going more into detail on this next week. I’ll be talking all about how to find your dream dress! But just remember… less really is more. I had my mom, and the lady I bought my dress from. Who is also the lady I’ve spent so many years modeling for, and I completely trusted her opinions. I invited my soon to be mother in law too, but because she lived so far away and had to work that weekend, there just wasn’t a possible way for her to get there. And I understood that. So I sent her pictures!)
- Selecting food for your big day. (That is unless you are getting it catered from a place you know and love! We had to pick our menu, and had a tasting weekend we went to at our venue. Our parents came with us for this. It’s important to know what other’s think of the food. Remember… not everyone has the same tastebuds, and you want to be sure to have a variety for your guests to choose from.)
- Making/Crafting/Finding SPECIFIC decor items. (For example, Trev’s dad made all of our wooden decor items. My dad LOVES to go to estate sales, so I asked him to find me all the golden ornate frames he could. If you are making things for your big day, ask those that are super crafty for help. The only thing we made for our big day, besides the wooden things, was the two chalk board signs, and I did them on my own. However, I wouldn’t recommend letting others help you decide what decor you want, let them help once you have specific decor items in mind! Specific being the key word here! )
Now comes the trickiest part. People who are investing in your wedding tend to want a say, because it is their money. Which totally makes sense. So, if you don’t want ANY opinions from others, you should plan on paying for your wedding completely by yourselves. Trev and I were crazy lucky to both have such generous parents that let us make all our own decisions, without giving us a hard time, even though they paid for our wedding. But, I know this isn’t the same situation everyone has. I would say, a good general rule would be, the more money people are investing, the more say they should have. For example, if one set of your parents is giving a certain amount of money, while the other set is paying for the rest (and it’s a lot more) than of course the ones paying more are going to have more “involvement”. Please know, I’m using the term involvement for lack of a better word. It’s not that they should be more involved in specific decisions regarding the wedding, but all things wedding involve money. So while your “investors” may not have made the specific decisions on the vendors, they will definitely be more involved with the vendors because that money is needed immediately, and you can’t book them without putting a deposit down. Then, when the other set of “investors” hands you a check with the chunk of money they agreed on to give you, you can use it for the things that still need to be paid. Make sense?
Money is the biggest thing that makes wedding tricky. It’s the thing that is honestly the root of most of the problems. It’s the reason you can’t invite more people to your wedding. It’s the reason people end up thinking they didn’t get enough involvement. It’s the reason you might not be able to have your dream location. But, in the wedding world, money is the thing you can’t do without, unfortunately.
My advice? Always try to keep in mind that there will be sensitive subjects when it comes to planning your wedding. Which brings me back to my original point… the less people involved the better. If you can make 90% of the decisions just the two of you (like Trev and I did) no one will be able to say that other people got to do everything and they didn’t. Because no one did, it was just the two of you. And isn’t that the point of your big day in the end? The two of you, celebrating your love for each other.
So keep your wedding entourage small. I pinky promise. You’ll thank me later!
On a happier note… OUR WEDDING VIDEOS CAME YESTERDAY!!! If you haven’t seen it yet, you can check it out on my personal Facebook page here! Hiring a videographer was one of the best decisions we made while planning! We are SO IN LOVE with our video! Be sure to go check it out if you haven’t seen it!
Enjoy your Wednesdays. You’re half way through the week!