You’ve seen that show Bridezillas, right? The one where brides-to-be morph into some kind of hideous monster leading up to the days, weeks, sometimes months of their wedding?
Luckily for Dwayne, I am a pretty chill person. I wasn’t the kind of girl who had always dreamed of the perfect wedding down to the minute details. I haven’t even been to a wedding reception as an adult, so I had zero expectations.
Despite all of this, planning a wedding from a different country was challenging. It’s hard enough to be the sole person in charge of the biggest day of your life with all of your loved ones in attendance.
(Did I mention I was also planning an international move involving two dogs and a road trip at the same time?)
I’m so glad I only have to do this once in my life!
Anyway, if you are a bride-to-be in the same predicament, here is how I not only survived the ordeal but also managed to have the best weekend of my life.
1. Keep your priorities straight and don’t sweat the details.
The most important part of the wedding is that you are making a lifelong commitment to the person you love. It really doesn’t matter if everything matches, if you have the perfect this and that, or what other people think your wedding should be like.
You will get a lot of opinions, advice, and tips from those around you, all well meaning of course, but all of the input can be confusing and distracting. All that matters is that you and your husband/wife are happy – period.
2. Pick an all-inclusive venue.
Picking the venue was the most nightmarish part of the ordeal, especially since we had to choose it without actually seeing it in person. Dwayne’s family was nice enough to check out potential spots and record videos and do live Skype chats so we could get a feel for how each was laid out.
After hours of scouring the internet, we finally decided upon one that was centrally located and had all-inclusive packages that we could choose from. We went with one that came with both the cake and the flowers, so all I had to do was pick them out instead of finding a cake decorator and a flower arranger myself.
In fact, I used most of the extra vendors recommended by the venue. I’m glad I did because all parties already had a working relationship so I didn’t have to think about anything on the actual day.
3. Know where to skimp and where to spend.
Dwayne and I didn’t want to walk away from the wedding broke, so before we spent a dime we decided upon a budget and what are biggest expenses would be. The most important for us was the photographer. The pictures from your wedding will last lifetimes, which is why we hired our good friend Joel Duncan to be our wedding photographer. Not only is he experienced, but he also knows us and so we knew we’d get the best pictures we could ask for.
Another thing I spent a lot of money on is my makeup and hair. The company I chose had high ratings on a bunch of bridal sites and was recommended by the venue. It wasn’t cheap but it was so worth it. The last thing I wanted was to look like a clown on my wedding day.
My sister and I went for a spa day a few days before the wedding, and the massage lady gave me some excellent advice. She told me, every once in a while, both at your wedding and leading up to it, take a moment to look around and just enjoy it. This was the best advice I got and the best I can pass on to you. There are few times in life as momentous as getting married, so have fun!