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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Another Year Has Come to an End

It’s been another great year for me over at Girl with a Diamond Ring. This is truly a passion project for me and it’s such a fun hobby to take my mind off of ‘real life’!

I have now been married 3.5 years and am so thankful that I have my best friend by my side to endure the ups and downs of life. He always makes me laugh, with his silly dance moves and sarcastic sense of humor. He takes care of me and asks me “How can I support you?” when I’m struggling. I have had great marriage mentors, too. I have been incredibly inspired by my parents who celebrated 33 years this summer before my dad lost a quick and tragic battle to kidney cancer.

If I have learned anything through this recent season that my family has endured, it would be to hold your loved ones close and pick your battles (especially in marriage). At the end of the day, much of the stress and ‘small’ day to day things that we freak out over are not worth it. Stay present, give thanks, and let your spouse know that your life is better with them by your side.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out my other social channels for GWADR, check out my regrams on Instagram from some of my favorite wedding photographers and real bride moments, and hop on over to Pinterest for my wedding theme boards and style inspiration. To catch up on my blogs, just scroll down this page!

Happy New Year: don’t let anyone dull your sparkle.

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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Because You Loved Me, Dad

In honor of my Dad, who we lost on September 10, for loving me and shaping me into who I am today.

He and I picked out my wedding dress together. He then walked me down the aisle, married my husband and I, and then we danced…all night long. This is the song that we danced to on my wedding day. We had such a fun time. He twirled me around and made me feel loved and beautiful. I will always think of him when I hear this song and I am grateful for this beautiful memory.

“For all those times you stood by me

For all the truth that you made me see

For all the joy you brought to my life

For all the wrong that you made right

For every dream you made come true

For all the love I found in you

I’ll be forever thankful baby

You’re the one who held me up

Never let me fall

You’re the one who saw me through through it all

You were my strength when I was weak

You were my voice when I couldn’t speak

You were my eyes when I couldn’t see

You saw the best there was in me

Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach

You gave me faith ’cause you believed

I’m everything I am

Because you loved me

You gave me wings and made me fly

You touched my hand I could touch the sky

I lost my faith, you gave it back to me

You said no star was out of reach

You stood by me and I stood tall

I had your love I had it all

I’m grateful for each day you gave me

Maybe I don’t know that much

But I know this much is true

I was blessed because I was loved by you

You were my strength when I was weak

You were my voice when I couldn’t speak

You were my eyes when I couldn’t see

You saw the best there was in me

Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach

You gave me faith ’cause you believed

I’m everything I am

Because you loved me

You were always there for me

The tender wind that carried me

A light in the dark shining your love into my life

You’ve been my inspiration

Through the lies you were the truth

My world is a better place because of you

You were my strength when I was weak

You were my voice when I couldn’t speak

You were my eyes when I couldn’t see

You saw the best there was in me

Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach

You gave me faith ’cause you believed

I’m everything I am

Because you loved me

You were my strength when I was weak

You were my voice when I couldn’t speak

You were my eyes when I couldn’t see

You saw the best there was in me

Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach

You gave me faith ’cause you believed

I’m everything I am

Because you loved me

I’m everything I am

Because you loved me”

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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Planning a wedding? Is it all worth it?

When I was in the midst of the hustle and bustle of wedding planning, I kept asking myself “Is it all worth it?”, and I hear other brides ask the same thing, too.
Is it worth it to spend hours contemplating between two shades of one color, when they look the same to most other people? Is it worth it to invest in a dress that you will likely only wear once? Is it worth it to pay for food and drink for 100+ people? Is it worth it to put so much time into the DIY elements that might only be recognized by a few guests? (And the list goes on…)
Here’s the deal. Second guessing (everything) will be part of the planning process. But the answer is “yes” as long as it truly meets this criteria:

    You aren’t just doing something a certain way because ‘that’s how everyone else does it’ or ‘Grandma would be more comfortable if it’s more formal…’ Instead, you’re making decisions that are true to who you are to make YOUR day special.
    You aren’t over-extending yourselves either mentally, physically, or financially just to put up a front for your guests. You don’t throw a wedding party to please people or make them think something you’re not, you throw a wedding party to celebrate a forever-union. Honestly, the wedding invitation that comes in a velvet monogrammed box just might not be worth it, unless you’re going that route because it MEANS something to you and your future spouse.
    You aren’t making spinning your wheels and spending unnecessary energy on the drama. If there’s one way that you can actually enjoy the planning process a little more, it’s to not get wrapped up in the things that will not bring value to your big day. Like really, who cares if your mom’s friend from high school is mad they didn’t get invited. And who cares if Aunt Ruth thinks it’s inappropriate to have someone give you lingerie at your bridal shower. Dust it off, because that’s NOT worth it, and you’ll need that space in your mind and heart to focus on what is. (This isn’t meant to sound harsh, but these are the details that are not worth it because they won’t matter after your big day.)

Be intentional and challenge why you are making each decision throughout the planning process. Because then once you make those decisions, you can rest assured that your big day will represent who you are and turn out exactly they way it’s supposed to. I promise you, it’s worth it.

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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5 Reasons to Have a Spring Wedding

Spring officially begins on March 20th—-that’s right around the corner! As the snow begins to melt and the sun starts to shine, that means that spring weddings are here.

1 According to “BrideBox”, January, March, April and November are the cheapest months to throw a wedding celebration. Try a weekday or Sunday if you really want to save your money, too.

2 The weather is likely going to be perfect. Not too cold, and not too hot; a great time of year for an outdoor soiree. Do check the weather though and have a backup plan for spring showers.

3 Most people aren’t going to be traveling at this time (other than the peak spring break weeks) which means guests should be not have as many conflicts. Winter and summer can be spotty with availability, so this is right in the middle.

4 You can leverage unique themes like a brunch themed wedding, garden tea party, or spring pastels and it will feel right on trend.

5 Go overboard with flowers, and it won’t even be noticeable (in a negative way.) Whether it be a floral invitation, a bridal flower crown, or floral print bridesmaid dresses, flowers can be such a special addition to elevate the magic of your big day.

If you’re a bride-to-be planning a spring wedding, I’d love to hear why you chose this time of year! Here are some additional resources for you:

How to Have a Spring Wedding by The Knot

11 Expert Tips for Planning a Spring Wedding by Martha Stewart Weddings

100 Ideas for Spring Weddings by Bridal Guide

With love,

Girl with a Diamond Ring

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