I have noticed a lot over the past few months just how much planning this wedding has consumed my life. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy it or I wouldn’t be doing it on my own but I definitely understand why people get wedding planners.
So I took a month off to reevaluate and now it’s time to get back in the swing of things.
Often times people are so wrapped up in the big day it seems like they forget about all the other events that lead up to it.
- Engagement party
- Bridal shower
- Bachelor(ette) parties
- Rehearsal dinner
Weddings are expensive enough as is. Of course not everyone has each of these events but they are fairly common (thanks society 😜).
As someone who has anxiety and control issues, another list of events to plan wasn’t really something I was looking forward to. (I’m laughing at myself because I actually have been planning events for other people so apparently I just like doing it for others rather than myself)
To stick with tradition, my parents offered to throw us one but we decided to forgo the engagement party. We already have enough stuff and didn’t really feel it was necessary.
To help make it somewhat easier, in the beginning I made guest lists of each of these events in Google Spreadsheets. I also included ideas for venues/activities and dates. I shared these docs with my mom and bridal party so they could be on the same page.
One of the problems with planning these events is trying to find something affordable that everyone is going to enjoy (especially the bachelor and bachelorette parties).
The first one I got out of the way was our rehearsal dinner. I figured this is probably the most important since that’s when everyone in the wedding gets to find out their role and meet each other.
As I’m sure you’ve noticed with our theme, we aren’t fancy people. Therefor I did not want a fancy rehearsal dinner. I tried to think of ideas that related to us and would be fun for others.
Luckily this wasn’t hard. There is actually a sports bar with bowling, volley ball etc. just a few miles from our wedding venue.
As I said, I wanted our rehearsal dinner more about everyone hanging out and having a good time than a room with boring speeches so we are going to have a salad/pizza buffet and we have two hours of bowling in the VIP room.
I guess the point I’m trying to make is, screw tradition. Sure some people might judge me for having pizza at my rehearsal dinner but this is what we want and who we are. It’s going to be a blast and that’s all that matters. There’s no need to spend more money on something if you know you would enjoy something else more.
You are only supposed to do this once so make it for YOU.
I don’t have much else planned for the night but we are going to use our rehearsal dinner as a time to give those in our wedding party and those who’ve helped us out their gifts.
I can’t wait to be able to share with you what those are. I’ve spent more time on them than the rehearsal dinner itself and honestly probably more time than on wedding day decor.
So I booked the venue and now all that’s left is to send invitations about a month prior. It Is what you make it. My advice, stick to simple so you can focus on other important parts.
So my next priority was the bachelorette party. I wanted to get this solidified so that I knew what dates we had to work with. We are going TWO weeks before he big day.
I have 4 bridesmaids and let me tell you, finding a date that worked for all of them was rough so kudos to those of you with 10+ member bridal parties.
I don’t want to seem like a bridezilla. I AM letting my maid of honor do the planning. I just wanted to pick the general idea/location.
I don’t have many girl friends beyond my bridal party so I wasn’t too concerned about anyone feeling left out. I decide to keep my bachelorette list to just these girls. I know the majority of females probably aren’t this way but I do think it allowed planning to go much smoother than if I wanted to include 20 people.
I should mention I did include my mom and she has now invited lots of her friends 😂. She’s super creative so I wanted her to be able to help out,plus they are fun people. I’m actually pretty sure me and my bridesmaids could end up the “adults” of the trip.
There are SO many options for bachelorette parties. I was set on a get away. Of course most people think Vegas when they think get away but I think Tennessee and some other areas have become increasingly popular.
I started looking around and when I saw flight and hotel prices I started to get a little discouraged because I knew we would still have to pay for food and entertainment. I didn’t want the girls to go broke for my bachelorette party.
So then it came to me. A cruise! My FH and I love going on cruises. I tried a few times in high school and undergrad to get a team on board for one but was never successful. They are perfect because all you need is right there.
So that was that. A few hours later and we have a 3 day cruise to the Bahamas booked! It ended up being $330 per person but seeing as how everything is included and that’s usually lower than the price of a round trip flight I would say it is worth it. We actually booked it in January and have until July to pay so it also made it easier in that aspect. I cannot wait to see what my bridesmaids plan for the trip (you also can book cruises and get a full refund for cancellations pretty easily).
Again, go to the less traveled route. In today’s world it’s so easy to find a trip for cheap. Think groupon or air bnb! If we didn’t end up on a cruise I wanted to try to find a lake house for a weekend.
Bachelorette parties don’t have to be all about penises and alcohol. If you don’t want that, then don’t have that.
You do need to make sure you are communicating with your bridesmaids and that they understand what you want. Don’t be afraid to speak up, it’s your party and as your friends they only want you to have a good time.
I hear all too often that girls didn’t get the party they wanted. Only YOU know what you want so if you don’t speak up its ultimately your fault (unless you have someone refusing to listen- in that case you have a whole nother issue to tackle).
Lastly the Bridal Shower. This one I let my mom take control of full force. In fact, the invitations went out this weekend and I don’t even know what it looks like 😝 she’s lucky I trust her.
Again, showers are boring to me. I wanted something with an activity. In my google spreadsheet I suggested paint your own pottery, wine tasting and candle making as options. As you can see from the photo for this post they went with wine.
I’ve already asked my FH to drop me off and pick me up 😏. I can’t wait to see what they do for the shower. I’ll hopefully remember to get some pics and do a write up.
In conclusion, don’t forget about the little stuff but don’t let it overwhelm you.
Do what you want and make it personal! You’re more likely to remember it this way. Take the time to look around and do something unheard of.
The only thing I’m not getting that I wish I was, is a bachelorette party at a Spice Girls concert. I’ll get over it though.