How to Visualize Your Wedding | Lookback Lesson #13

You Don't Have to Rush Out and Buy Wedding Stuff!

pink wedding detailsTop left: Karen Buckle Photography via Style Me Pretty |Everything else: Frenzel Photography via Valley and Co. Blog

 

A few weeks ago, Hindsight Fav, Every Last Detail posted a piece of advice that caught my eye. I would like to share it here and then modify it.

“Take a moment and really visualize your wedding. This will ultimately help you decide on a budget which is THE most important step when starting your planning process.”
– Fallon of Fallon Carter Weddings

This is the fun part! Getting engaged is exciting. As soon as many of you have the ring on your finger, you'll start imagining your wedding. It will be a highly personal, even whimsical exercise. For Hindsight Groom and me, we imagined getting married atop a ski mountain and skiing down with our guests. I would have five bridesmaids in flowing chiffon gowns, a different color ombre for each ‘maid.

OK stop.

Yeah, bridesmaids skiing in flowy chiffon gowns? Um, yeah…No.

So then reality sets in. Not just logistical realities, but also monetary ones. We were broke.

Take a look at my early bookmarks on Delicious and you'll find a lot of budget wedding bookmarks. Those ancient bookmarks from 2008 will also reveal a whole different bride. One whose mind was open to wine glasses etched with the bride and groom's names. (Definitely not my current style!) But what did I know? The only formal events I had routinely attended were conferences and graduations. Thankfully my wedding style evolved (with the help of blogs and magazines, of course!)

In the rush to plan two weddings on a budget, I had a few moments of impulse buys and poor style choices. I had bags of pine cones (I found on sale) that I never used, and my bridesmaid wore an orange and cream dress, which didn't exactly complement the guys tan seersucker suits with spring green ties. The orange dress was a final hour purchase. Not wanting to be the Bridezilla, I went with it. In hindsight, I wish I had a more cohesive plan for all those details great and small.

For those of you addicted to picking up whatever catches your eye because it could be “for The Wedding,” visualizing and re-visualizing is great. You probably have an idea, a theme, or a color, but you haven't really sat down and thought of how all the details will come together, or how you will pay for it all.

The trick here is to visualize, and re-visualize. NOT purchase, and purchase some more.

Unfortunately, re-visualizing can become a big problem. If you're like me, you keep visualizing, and re-visualizing, your wedding every time you see a new blog post with some amazingly awesome detail. You and your family and friends end up confused.

I remember one day I told my bridesmaid we were tending toward “hot pink and bubble gum with navy accents for our colors.” Why? Because I read and fell in love with someone else's wedding on a blog. All of the sudden, that wedding had to be MY wedding, and I directed all the respective players accordingly. Until, of course, I changed my mind again.

LOL, we ended up with a multicolored, southern picnic themed wedding with pinwheels and bunting details. Like I said, the guys ultimately wore seersucker suits with spring green ties. One stand-out folly: My bridesmaid's original dress choice was perfect. She picked out a a too-cute seersucker bubble dress that I turned down. What was I thinking? That seersucker dress would have been perfect!

Well, we planned the spring wedding in 3 months respectively so every decision was inherently a last-minute decision. I forgive myself ;-)

But there are a few pearls of wisdom you should keep in mind for visualizing and re-visualizing your wedding.

  1. Keep a physical inspiration board where you clip pictures from magazines and printed from blogs. I know you have and love your Pinterest account, but having a physical binder can help keep you on track and communicate your vision to family, friends, and your wedding pros. Also, it's easy to pin like a cracked out fashionista. My Pinterest boards have the same basic feel, but they're full of details I couldn't possibly use all at once. There is something more grounded about selecting what you will cut from a magazine or print from the web to glue onto your inspiration board. I didn't have to do the heavy mental work of remembering, I just had to look at my inspiration boards and ask, “Does this new detail fit?”
  2. Don't buy anything for a while. Do you know why so many brides end up buying two dresses? Because they rushed out to buy the first one, only to realize their sense of style changed as they got more involved in wedding planning. This happened to Lauren from Every Last Detail. Check out her wedding dress shopping tips for more details.
  3. And did I mention don't buy anything right away? Yeah, that includes those bags of pine cones on sale at Michael's, the headband you found at that craft fair, and those white plastic wedding bell bubble favors at the dollar store. (Yuck! You'll grow out of that idea soon enough.) Clip your ideas and put them into your inspiration board. When you have a solid sense of how your wedding will look and feel, THEN go searching for those favors, decorations, and a head piece.
  4. Be gentle with yourself when you change your mind. If friends and family become exasperated, remind them that you're simply (and gleefully) exploring all of the possibilities. As long as you're not buying and booking, there's no harm (and no foul.) Have fun!