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With Halloween just a hop, skip and a jump away, we are all aware what comes next…THE HOLIDAY CRUNCH. If you’re at any stage in the wedding planning process, you’re painfully aware of the fact that the holidays will add an extra dimension to your wedding preparations. With all the shopping, celebrating and possibly traveling that you’ll be doing over the holidays, how on earth do you manage this along with your wedding planning?!
We have a few suggestions for ways to incorporate your wedding planning into the holiday season. Why exactly are we offering these NOW? Because if you think ahead and make a game plan, chances are you will be MUCH less stressed. As always with game plans, be flexible — what you foresee as being the ‘perfect solution’ ahead of time may not prove to be quite so perfect. But that’s okay! Now that I’ve been married 11 years and have two babies and a busy life full of schedules & structure mixed with forgotten spelling lists, lost shoes & budgeting the cavity filling into our regular monthly budget, I look back and see that my wedding planning process was my initiation into family life. So use that bit of advice as an invitation to RELAX — and remember to take the changes as they come and be ready to move with the tides.
So with that piece of advice, let’s return to the idea of planning ahead…here are a few suggestions:
—Check in with your bridal shop. Do you have alterations planned over the holiday season? Should you? Visit with your bridal shop and see if there’s anything they need you to do over the holiday season. Check to see what their seasonal closures will be, and ask them if there is a best time of ‘the season’ to get those needed items taken care of.
—Check in with your other vendors now before popping by. Remember that if you’re extra busy during the holidays, so are your other vendors. Photographers are hit with family portraits for Christmas cards, florists are hit with corporate gifting and holiday arrangements for centerpieces and gifts, caterers are doing holiday parties for companies and big groups alike. Your venue may be hosting several holiday parties. A simple question you have on December 12 may be challenging for your vendor to answer at the moment. So think a little bit about what’s on your schedule, and try to think of some questions that you can ask now. Of course, you may think of something at the last minute, and that’s okay! If you like to ask lots of questions, plan ahead by contacting your vendors — ask them when in the holiday season you could give them a buzz with any questions that arise. They’ll probably appreciate the fact that you think of them!
—Include your family & friends. Think ahead to what you have on your plate — will you be making any items for the wedding? Special table favors, centerpieces, any decorations that you plan to make yourself? (Of course it goes without saying that these are things that can sit for several months.) If you have a BIG DIY project looming ahead of you, consider taking it on during the holidays! If you’ll be visiting your fiance’s parents’ home, for example, what an opportunity to make them feel included in your day! Take your craft pieces and put the family to work. Those hours while the dinner’s slow-cooking and football games are on the TV can be a fun time to sit and visit while making crafts for the wedding. Take lots of pictures and make some memories! Potential pitfalls: getting the craft elements there. If an hour drive is in the cards, that’s probably easy — but what if they’re cross-country? Consider shipping it ahead of time — visit with your new parents-in-law and see if you can brainstorm some ideas. How do you return the finished items home? Perhaps they’d even keep the finished crafts at their home and bring them to the wedding for you — one less thing for you to keep track of!
Are you sending out Christmas cards with your fiance this year? If you have your engagement pics done, what a great opportunity to include them! And in another family life initiation, consider writing a Christmas letter — include information on how the wedding planning is going, including funny stories and any frustrations you may have. While it’s great to hear ‘Oh it’s all WONDERFUL!’, the reality that everyone is aware of is that there are lots of frustrations that can come with wedding planning. It’s okay to share them — we’re all human and we all get frustrated — you’ll make your family and friends feel included and vested in your wedding, and they’ll be even more impressed when they show up and see how beautiful your day is!
—Be realistic. Be honest with yourself — between shopping, Christmas card sending, baking, wrapping, partying and traveling, how much time will you REALLY have for wedding planning? (If you’re a student, throw in finals season too!) Look at your timeline and see how you’re doing — what things MUST be done during the holiday season? What things can wait? Try to get the ‘must haves’ done early so that you’re not trying to cram a fitting in with gift wrapping on December 23rd, or a catering meeting an hour before your office holiday party. It may just all be too much. We’re ALL Super Women, but it’s okay to be realistic and take a little of the edge off the wedding planning right now. It will still be there when the season is over — and just think, you’ve alleviated the post-holiday doldrums because you have the excitement of a WEDDING to plan!!!
—Use the down time. If you have some time off, consider some of the tedious chores that you’ll be facing — such as thank you notes. Use this time to have thank you notes ready with return address, and any elements that you’ll be using on everyone’s thank you notes. Leave space of course to make them personalized as well! You’ll thank yourself later!
For our wedding, our husband’s family provided the food for our reception, and I had some wonderful friends in charge of organizing the buffet and keeping food stocked. For those friends, I made fabric wreaths for thank you gifts — I spent many hours covered in fabric, glue and wicker crumbs while watching ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ and ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ on the weekends during the holiday season.
—ENJOY this time with your fiance — you are just beginning your family life together! Make LOTS of memories — this is a beautiful time that you won’t be able to repeat. My favorite commercial is that old Hallmark ad of the couple with one ornament on their first tree together…talking about where they’re going to move that ornament to next! That was my husband and I — our first tree had only two ornaments on it, that were purchased at a local gas station nonetheless! (We were SO broke!) Today, our collection is quite extensive, including newlywed ornaments from when we were first married, ornaments from family members now departed, ornaments for our children’s first Christmases, their handmade ornaments from all ages, etc… It’s a beautiful thing that you’re launching into! Go out together and find something to symbolize the occasion – and keep it forever. It will make you smile with beautiful memories every Christmas afterward!
Besides this, remember to BREATHE and ENJOY this time of year. Enjoy your fiance — have some date nights, or just quiet nights with hot cocoa and a good movie. Sleep in. Exercise. Smile. Be thankful. When you feel stressed, remember that you have a whole new, exciting adventure ahead of you — and celebrate! Life is a beautiful thing, especially during the holiday season.
‘Til Next Time…
Kati Hime, Editor
LINK BACK TO OUR WEBSITE & FIND A WY VENDOR: www.wyoweddings.com