tips from the brides: part 3!

Here ya go! Another round of “tips from the brides”, this time brought to you by one of my dearest friends, Katie! She and her husband Phil were married on a perfect October day, complete with all of the gorgeous fall colors you get that time of year, and a blanket of SNOW covering the ground! Yes you read that right, we had a random snow storm come through the day before their Bluemont Vineyard wedding, which might have changed their plans around a little bit, but helped make for a pretty epic day if I do say so myself :) I figured that if Katie could handle a blizzard in October and still show up with a big smile on her face on her wedding day, she would be a good one to share her tips with you all today :) You can go back and see Phil and Katie’s engagement session and wedding part 1 and part 2! AND you can also see Katie’s bridal portraits that we took in ITALY here and here :) AAAAND if you’ve never read Katie’s blog, stop what you’re doing before you scroll down and click HERE to go check that out! Happy Wednesday! :)

1) During the planning process, choose your absolutes – and resolve to be flexible on everything else. Easier said than done, but so important! My sweet friend Jessie as my photographer was an absolute, and our gorgeous location, Bluemont Vineyard, was an absolute. I had a few other things that were very important to me, but after those were locked in, I tried to be flexible on most everything else. It is okay to have more absolutes than I do (or less), but I learned that knowing what I was willing to compromise on made all the difference in the planning process.2) My photographer was a friend (clearly!), our florist was a family friend, our decorator was my aunt, our baker was my neighbor, our DJ was a friend, the man that married us was my Godfather, our musicians were family members… the fact that the “team” that made our day happen was all people we love and that love us, made the day that much more special for me. I loved that the people that were throwing themselves into our day were people that truly knew us and knew what we would like and dislike. We weren’t working with hired professionals – we were working with dear friends! The fact that our friends and family were willing to work so hard to pull so many details together made us feel so loved. When I look back, that is one of my favorite things about our big day – that is was a labor of love from so many people that we love!3) We went through the Prepare-Enrich Pre-Marriage Program, with a fabulous mentor couple. This program was wonderful for us and we have recommended it to everyone we know (truly!) It was so significant to our marriage and relationship that we had (and still have) an older couple that we can go to for advice and wise-counsel. They were able to talk us through some of the big issues that often come up in a marriage, and give us advice from having been there and lived through it. I felt like this particular program enabled us to be proactive in our marriage, instead of reactive. It was such a blessing! 4) I bought a file folder and made slots for every aspect of the wedding. I know, I know, I am a compulsive planner that borders on OCD, but it was SO helpful! Every time we had a meeting, or signed a contract, or if I had picture ideas or flower ideas or decor ideas, they simply went into the allotted slot. It helped SO much! Find an organization system that works for you and stick with it! It really helps pull the details together and keep all the paperwork sorted.  5) My motto became “As long as I’m married to my best friend by the end of the day, everything else will be fine.” You have to keep it in perspective. Something is going to go wrong (I’m sorry in advance!) For us, it snowed 8 inches the day before our outdoor October wedding, and that was a minor glitch in our comedy of wedding errors. But it all ended up being a blessing (and the snow made for beautiful pictures!). AND regardless of anything else, I was married to my best friend by the end of the day. It is easy to get caught up in the details and forget the point – details are a blessing, but marrying your best friend is the best. As long as you are married by the end of the day, count it all a blessing and success! Feel free to borrow my motto if that helps! ;o)

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