Where to start?!
So, I am ten months out from my wedding. According to the all-encompassing wedding checklist I've been using, I should already have created my wedding budget, decided what my top priorities are, gotten my final guest count, booked my ceremony and reception sites, musicians, rental items, florist, caterer, photographer, cake baker, and entertainment, chosen and ordered my dress, my bridesmaids' dresses, selected the invitations (and the wording that will go on them) and created the wedding website. Phew! And that's after I eliminated all the things that totally don't apply to us, like renting a limousine, putting an announcement in the paper and hiring a wedding coordinator.
Needless to say, I have not done all of the above. I have not even remotely begun to make decisions about all of the above. But I would like to spend a little bit of time talking about the things that we have done already, because I think they're very indicative of our intentions for the wedding.
What you decide to start with says a lot about what is really important to you in the wedding planning process. The first thing that we did was order our wedding rings. Those apparently don't need to be chosen until nine months out (Yes! I'm ahead on something!), but I often hear of people who didn't choose them until much later, or didn't put a ton of thought into them. Wedding rings (and my “engagement” ring as well) are very important to me. They are a symbol of our marriage that will be worn for our whole lives, and I both wanted to put a lot of thought into them, and had very specific ideas of what I wanted. We found a custom designer on Etsy who made us a set of three bands exactly to our specifications, and they turned out beautifully. They are the only concrete thing we've actually done so far.
On the other hand…..Invitations? Musicians? Dresses? They are not the things that I have chosen to spend my brief periods of free time focusing on. There's nothing harder than making a decision about something you neither feel strongly about, nor have any particular ideas about. So, in addition to ordering the wedding bands, I've also spent the last few weeks brainstorming alternatives that keep things as simple and inexpensive as possible for the items that are less important to us.
Just because these things are mandatory, or at least important does not mean that I should force myself to care about them. Here's a big tip: If you didn't care about something before the wedding, don't make yourself care about it now. If you're a graphic designer and love making paper products, then go ahead and do them! But if you don't have a single artistic bone in your body (I'm totally raising my hand here), or if you just prefer simplicity and minimalism, there's no reason to make yourself care. So, in these situations, we found a solution that worked for us.
In the next few weeks, I'll be detailing items that are not super important to either one or both of us that we have found easy or inexpensive alternatives for.