Where to begin. Wedding planning from my perspective was initially one of those things that I thought, “okay, party first and ceremony second.” So let me preface this by saying without my beautiful wife this wedding would have never lifted its landing gear off the runway. In fact, it probably would have crashed and burned in the Atlantic ocean. So here’s what I learned from planning my own wedding, as a groom, that may help you out too.
Like most couples during the COVID pandemic, we had our fair share of difficulties in creating something we could look back on and remember for the rest of our lives. Honestly, the trouble started long before COVID derailed everything. The very first venue tour we had, our guide of a little barn in nowheres-ville Maine got the date and time wrong on her own calendar and missed our appointment, but I digress. I came to realize that as much as I wanted to celebrate and drink and eat bomb ass food, I could NOT wait to marry my best friend. The longer we waited with each new plan, the one thing that was most important in this whole process was devoting myself to the person I want to spend the rest of my life with.
What worked perfectly for us was something small, where only the most important people who have been able to share so much of our relationship could attend. Now, by no means am I saying make this some Protestant Sunday school shindig where your mom buys munchkins from Dunkin Donuts and you end up falling asleep after a sugar rush behind the pews – but a 20-person party with your best friends is all you really want out of the reception anyway!
Trust me guys, 5 thirty racks and a couple handles of Jose Cuervo for the boys is much more fun than paying for an open bar for 150 people. We wanted to put money down on the important stuff. For us, this being a pizza truck, our sweet Airbnb for the weekend, photographer, and month-of coordinator, instead of wasting a $110 plate for some little brat who’s going to poop his pants and cry to his mom that he only wants chicken fingers.
Another big thing that can help this thing run smoothly is to understand that this is your day as much as hers, or your partners. I don’t mean questioning all her decisions and putting your foot down on which flowers you want as a centerpiece – even though peonies are always the right decision (thank you, Blair, XOXO Gossip Girl). BUT get involved and take weight off her shoulders. This being your day also means it’s your responsibility! Join the phone calls with your photographer (obviously Samantha M Photo), research some venues, call the catering company when they haven’t responded in 10 days, and sit there when your fiancée changes table linens for the 58th time. Share the load and the brunt of the stress and something that may seem difficult in the beginning will really start to come together beautifully.
My final piece of advice involves the morning of and day of the wedding itself. For the love of all things good, sooooaaaaaak this sucker in. The one thing I look back on my wedding day and wish I could have a do-over with would be to soak it in more. I know your mother has texted you a thousand times by this point saying this is the most important day of your life and to enjoy every second of it. Well, she’s right. SOAK IT IN. Have your friends take pictures while you guys are getting ready. Drink a few bud lights, lose $100 on a game of LCR, hit some golf balls into a lake with your groomsmen. But maybe, actually, definitely avoid the Jose Cuervo for the time being.
Live every second of this day in the moment and don’t take one thing that is happening for granted. You only get one of these days and you definitely only get to see your bride in her dress for the first time once so let all the emotions take you over. The day flies by in the blink of an eye and as long as you spend the money on Samantha M Photography, every one of those pictures she takes will bring back an intimate memory with your friends, your family, and most importantly your partner.
Take all of my advice or honestly take none of it. I’m no expert, just a guy who survived through a heck of a time wedding planning, but had the time of his life. What I hope you pull from this is to find what is important to you. Share in the process, and treat every moment of that day like it will only happen once, because it truly only does happen once.