Expectation Setting When Planning Your Wedding

Once you have the shiny ring on your finger is when you need to step back and realistically ask yourself and your future spouse about expectations for the big day. The reality is that your wedding day will not meet your expectations. In many, and likely unexpected ways, it will likely exceed your expectations. In other ways, it will not meet the details of the image that you have made up in your mind.

Leading up to the big day, here are a few times that wedding planning did NOT meet my expectations.

  • Once I got engaged, I knew that planning the wedding would become a priority in my life. But I got a quick and very harsh reality check when I realized that other life priorities would still be important, and unexpected hard challenges might still come my way. Life doesn’t stop or become more smooth just because you’re engaged. My ask to you: know that juggling these priorities is a dry run for what life will be after you are wed. When two become one (even from the engagement) means there will be double the joys and double the sorrows. Prepare for that earlier and try your best to welcome what comes your way.
  • After I selected my wedding gown, I came back 8 months later for my first fitting. I thought it would fit better than when I first picked it out and would only take a few alterations to make it right. Wrong. It felt like it almost got worse than the sample gown. It took two other fittings to make it right. It wasn’t a big issue, but it definitely deflated the emotions from my first fitting after dreaming about it all of those months. My ask to you: be patient with the vision that you have for the big day. Whether it be your dress fitting or trimming down before the wedding, it will all come together beautifully.
  • I had three women in my bridal party but only two attended the wedding. A longtime friend let me down leading up to the big day and on the day itself. My expectation was that having a small bridal party with my closest would be a smooth experience, but it blew up and brought a lot of unwanted drama. It ended up working out for the best because the people that genuinely wanted me happy were standing next to me, but it was something that I wish that I could do over. My ask to you: when you choose your ‘team bride’ ask yourself if it’s someone that will be by your side for life before you invite them to join you to be in all of your photos. If there’s someone that you’re on the fence with, trust your gut.

My hopes are that hearing about my experiences, you might benefit when you’re setting your own expectations. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be happy because you will be over the moon, but sometimes a mental reset of what you might expect can be helpful!

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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Sweating for the Wedding

Now that we’re more than half way through the year, you might want to dust off those New Years resolutions and begin to evaluate where you’re at. If one of those resolutions was to get fit, especially if for a wedding, then let’s take a look at that one together.

Every bride wants to look beautiful on her wedding day, and that will be true whether or not you’re a certain shape or size. A woman in love, in a gorgeous dress, is always stunning.

I had goals for my wedding day and the way I envisioned myself looking. I am proud to say that I was in the best shape of my life on the day I got married. I worked hard at it, and was thankful for my one year and two month engagement because it allowed me a reasonable window of time.

When it comes to your wedding, consider these things:

    Don’t go over board by setting unattainable goals. You are going to have new stressors that you have never handled before. Some will be task-oriented, but it could also be related to relationships or life events that are not directly related to planning.
    You have to be realistic. In many cases, work outs will naturally have to wind down before the big day. You are going to likely have things like a weekend away with the girls, dress fittings, hair and make up trials…and then guests come in along with the rehearsal dinner etc. Because of this, it’s likely more realistic to set your milestones to up to two weeks before the wedding, and then allow yourself some time to breathe before the big day.
    Quality time is going to continue to be important so consider a few active things that you can do with your spouse. Go for a walk together. Ride bikes down the beach. Or join a boot camp class that you can both take.
    While feeling and looking good will be important, you need to make sure you’re getting enough sleep and taking care of your mental health, too. Make sure you’re scheduling time to focus on some soul-nourishing activities that will keep you in the right headspace.
    Once your honeymoon is over and you’re settled into being a newlywed, pick back up where you left off! Your body might rebound quickly if you are too extreme with your lifestyle changes before and after the big day. Aim to continue to be healthy and strong so you can be the best spouse you can be for years to come.

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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Wedding Trends in 2019

img_7482I can’t believe that June is right around the corner! Not only does this mean that summer is in full swing, but this also happens to be the busiest wedding month of the year (which will most definitely come with some incredible Hallmark Channel movies!)

While the key elements involved in weddings remain fairly consistent from wedding season to another, the changes in culture and relationship norms often bring distinct wedding trends. To brush up on your trends for the year, here are some resources that I recommend. While some trends are simply elevation of typical wedding details (like florals), other trends might surprise you (did someone say a sleep mask and ear plugs?)

    1. Revealed: The Hottest Summer Wedding Trends of 2019 according to 1000 millennials (CBD is #1) via Ez-Lifestyle
    2. The 2019 Wedding Trends to Watch via Ruffled Blog
    3. 2019 Wedding Trends That Will Make Your Day Unforgettable via JuneBug Weddings
    4. Etsy Releases Top Wedding Trends of 2019 to Inspired Your Future Wedding Planning via Brides
    5. 15 New Wedding Trends to Watch for in 2019, According to Planners via Martha Stewart Weddings

At the end of the day, take wedding trends with a grain of salt. While some might be the perfect fit for your big day, don’t feel the need to force any of these ideas into your wedding themes just to stay relevant. Your wedding should reflect your relationship and the love that you two share…the rest is just icing on top.

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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Like the Parisians…

I just returned from a week in Paris with my family. We had a getaway and saw (and ate) everything. It was an incredible experience. It was my third time there but I was much younger so I saw it through new eyes.

I really connected to the fashion and the way that it laid the foundation of a beautiful and historic city. I stood next to the Yves Saint Laurent red wedding dress and was told about a 1.5 million euro wedding dress that resembled a waterfall. In Paris, people take fashion seriously, and it continues to blaze the trail for style around the world.

When it comes to your engagement and wedding season, there are a few opportunities that you will have to wear an outfit and I encourage you to put some thought into these purchases. You will have (at least) five key items that you will need to wear for your bachelorette, bridal shower, rehearsal, and then the actual big day from getting ready to walking down the aisle. It seems overwhelming but take your time to decide what to wear. Here’s what I recommend:

Once you get engaged, start keeping an eye out for these key outfits. You will likely start to daydream about your wedding and if you make these decisions earlier, you will have more space in your mind to make other key decisions closer to the big day.

And don’t feel like you have to fit into a particular style-box shared in wedding magazines or on tv shows. Whatever you decide to wear, it should feel: special and like an elevated version of yourself. It shouldn’t be something that you would wear any other day because these outfits can make you feel like this is a once in a lifetime event, and I think that’s important.

If you’re able to purchase an outfit for a special event, like a bridal shower, it’s great if you can wear it again. All of your outfits don’t need to be this way but if you can wear a white dress from a shower to a date night with your husband in the future, that can bring back your wedding day butterflies.

Take your style seriously, like the Parisians do, because it’s all much more than just a garment. Not only will these photos last a lifetime, but more importantly, your memories will.

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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Husband Appreciation Day

Today is Husband Appreciation Day. While that should be every day, social media likes to make an annual hashtag out of pretty much everything. So in honor of this day, and the fact that hubby and I just celebrated 9 years since our dating anniversary (Friday), I thought I’d share our love story.

Ever since high school I was often in a relationship. Most were very innocent short 3-month bursts of spending time with a guy and enjoying typical teenage activities together. I enjoyed the company and liked the idea of being with one person. I had a few get a little more serious as years passed and then I had one on and off longer term relationship with someone that I thought was the one. It turns out that he wasn’t and I am thankful for all that relationship taught me.

In college my family moved from Texas to California (which is currently where I reside.) I dated a little bit but nothing serious. A boyfriend and I broke up and then I decided to be single for a while. I wanted to get my priorities straight, to be able to love God first, then love myself, before I could have the space in my heart to love someone else. I learned over time that if this were done in the wrong order, it could be detrimental for me and what was truly important to me in a soul mate. I ended up being single for two years.

Fast forward and my sister was in town for her Spring Break. We went to T-Mobile to get her a new phone. A kind and funny employee with spiky hair helped us out. He had a beautiful smile and made me laugh but I don’t pay much attention. My sister saw there might be a spark there and got me more engaged in the dialogue. We ended up going in another time to see him and actually pick up her phone. My sister encouraged me to give him my business card.

I had two cards on me, one with an email address and one with a phone number. I gave him the one with my email address. Up until that point, I had never met anyone like this out in public (that I would end up dating)—it was always through existing circles like friends of friends, school or church. But he emailed me. And we wrote back and forth before we made plans to meet up again, so I then gave him my number.

We casually went on dates for a few weeks, I knew that he was different and that there might be something there, but didn’t know if it would be a ‘forever’ thing. When we started spending more time together and wanted to be exclusive, I made him ask me to be his girlfriend! (He thought that was strange, but how else would be know when our anniversary would be?)

I am glad that I dated because it helped me learn what was important to me and see how different people have unique strengths and weaknesses. And for that season that I spent time alone, I knew that God was not only preparing my heart but was working in the life of my then-boyfriend. Five years later we were married. I am feeling incredibly blessed that we have each other as life partners and I have so enjoyed being able to live out our love story. So today as I sit here, nine years since he asked me to be ‘his’, I appreciate him more than ever.

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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