Planning your wedding with intentionality, setting goals with your fiancé, and avoiding the trap of comparison!
Hi there and welcome back to the MaeMe Bridal podcast. I’m your host Melissa Estess, and today we are celebrating the new year and all the recent engagements that happened over the holidays… and will happen next month on Valentine’s day! We’ve seen a huge increase in bridal appointments already for the upcoming year, and we know how exciting this time can be for newly engaged brides, so we are definitely celebrating with you! I thought this would be a great opportunity to talk about planning your wedding with intentionality, setting wedding goals with your significant other, and avoiding the trap of comparison! I have a few pointers on how to navigate this new year as an engaged couple with peace and joy. Oh, and definitively intentionality!
So, here we go! First of all, A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS! I remember when I was first engaged, I couldn’t stop looking at my ring! While I was driving, I would angle my hand on my steering wheel JUST SO and the sunlight would reflect off my diamond and illuminate my car with thousands of tiny lights! I had more pep in my step. I was so excited about planning our wedding day, but to be honest, I didn’t really pause to connect with my fiancé or take the time to list out our goals for our wedding day, or how we wanted to spend our engagement period, or what our top priority, non-negotiables were for our wedding. Looking back, though I LOVED my wedding and, we had an absolutely amazing time with our family and friends, there are some things that just slipped by because we weren’t as intentional as we could have been. AND we weren’t even living in the social media buzz world we are now! So, ladies, and gents if you are listening, this is the perfect time to breathe, reflect with your significant other, ground yourselves for an exciting journey ahead, and stay intentional about your goals and priorities for this engagement season!
Let’s talk about intentionality. The definition of intentionality is the fact of being deliberate or purposive.
If there is a single decision to be made on this earth, besides your faith, that deserves intentionality and purpose, it is your marriage! You said YES to the person you plan to spend the rest of your days with which is amazing, and fun, and makes the inside of your car shine bright… but it is so much deeper than that, so I strongly encourage you to take this opportunity to connect on a deeper level with one another, on a heightened level of commitment to love and serve one another above yourself. There is no better time to start practicing these principles than while planning your wedding! Let’s face it, wedding planning can be stressful and feelings can be hurt. It is important that you and your fiancé are on the same page, partners on a solid foundation and on the same team to best prepare for the journey ahead! Practice having difficult discussions with respect and honor. Practice honoring the other, even in the midst of disagreements or financial stress. Be your fiancé’s supporter when he is overwhelmed with all of the plans. Share your goals and dreams and desires for your special day with one another! I’ll repeat that one, dream together! This is great practice for the rest of your married life! It doesn’t mean that you necessarily share all the same dreams, but you can support and encourage the other in their dreams.
First, Prioritize what is important to both of you for your wedding, and don’t just rely on your mom or sister or maid of honor to tell you how a wedding should be. Each of you come up with the 2 or 3 most important things to you about your wedding day and write them down! For example, maybe for you it is your dress and your guests list, and maybe for your fiancé it is the band and the food. Well, if you have an extensive guest list that you aren’t willing to compromise on, and he wants everyone to eat gourmet cuisine, chances are you won’t be able to swing a $150-$200 per head price tag for a swanky downtown crystal chandelier ballroom. Maybe an outdoor setting under oak trees with a large tent might work better for both of your wants to be met. Or maybe it is really important to one of you to have over the top florals with tulips dripping from the ceilings, and the other really wants an open and unlimited premium bar setup, awesome! This might mean that your guest list may need to be a little tighter, or maybe you forgo the band and hire a DJ instead and skip the photo booth.
Most of our brides are working with a budget, and just like life, even with a budget, you have choices! So, I am just encouraging you to make the choices together and honor and respect one another through the process! Wedding planning can be amazing and fun and low-stress, so be intentional!
Secondly, avoid the trap of comparison!
Like I said, when I was planning my wedding, Instagram wasn’t even a thing and Pinterest was just getting going, so there wasn’t quite the same pressure brides feel today to create the Pinterest perfect, instagram post of a lifetime… Of course, every bride wants her wedding day to be perfect, but remember, your perfect isn’t someone else’s perfect, and what you see on the screen is just a highlight, it isn’t reality!
Use the inspiration you find on Pinterest or Instagram or The Knot to spark ideas, to get excited, to motivate, but don’t allow the images you see to make yourself feel less than or inadequate because your wedding will not look like the ones you see online. Inspiration should help you to feel beautiful and valued and special without allowing the inspiration to compare what you don’t have; and trust me, we really are better off living in our reality, really living and feeling and loving and dreaming, instead of trying to live up to someone else’s highlight reel!
This couldn’t be more true about planning a wedding! Focus on your fiancé, your goals for the wedding and dreams and priorities for the planning, look at inspiration for inspiration’s sake, not to journey down a never-ending winding road of comparison.
And lastly, practice intentionality when selecting services and vendors.
I highly recommend that you take your priority list that you made with your future spouse, and start researching the services and products that you’ve selected as important to both of you. Check out vendor’s reviews online, talk to other local brides, and connect with the vendors personally to see how you connect and if your vision and goals are in line with their offerings.
Some vendors have higher price tags because they are more experienced and offer a more specialized service than others. You are paying for their expertise and their demand. These are the vendors that often book up a year or more in advance, so their price tag warrants the increase. Other vendors are more budget conscious, but might lack in technology or years of experience or staffing, etc. Perhaps they are more willing to cater to your specific requests because their schedule isn’t booked up, and they are trying to make a name for themselves in the industry. Again, there is no right or wrong choice, just the choice that makes most sense for you!
That is why it is so important that you not only read reviews and talk with fellow brides and friends, but that you also connect with the vendors yourself! Be honest about your expectations and your budget, and see how their service fits in with your overall wedding planning. It is also important that you vibe with your vendors, and that you will be able to enjoyably work with them throughout the wedding process. Are they easy to communicate with? Do you feel comfortable hiring them for one of the most special days of your life? Do they support and believe in marriage like you do in the sense of taking your day seriously and devoting their attention and abilities to you and your wedding on your special day?
Before we wrap up, I will circle back around to intentionality and purpose and goals. You and your’s fiancé’s wedding is incredibly important; however, the event you are planing is in celebration of your MARRIAGE! The marriage is the commitment that will last a lifetime. The wedding is a few hours. When planning gets stressful and you are running out of wedding budget or you are arguing with your mother over an old family friend you’ve only met twice that didn’t make the guest list… remember:
- You and your fiancé are on the same team and share the same goal to love and serve one another.
- You’ve both agreed to honor and respect the priorities you’ve set out for your special day.
- You aren’t comparing your wedding to anyone else’s highlight reel.
- You are celebrating a commitment of marriage to one another for life! The wedding is just the party, it isn’t the purpose!
I have faith this message has been inspiring, encouraging, and possibly caused you to pause and think a little about where your engagement journey is heading… and just maybe you and your fiancé should schedule an ice cream date with a pad of paper and a pen to start dreaming together and write down your goals and purpose for your special day!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of the MaeMe bridal podcast, and if you know of someone that would benefit from this message, please share this with them or click here to book an appointment! As always, thanks for tuning in, and I wish you all the best in the new year! Happy wedding planning!