the wedding homestretch + a call for words of wisdom!

by amy on 29 March 2011

we’re officially in the wedding homestretch! exactly 5 weeks from today, we’ll be on our honeymoon, sunning ourselves on the beaches of st. kitts + nevis, rum punch in our (wedding banded) hands.

as some of you know, we’re having our engagement party (which will basically serve as our reception), family brunch, + wedding over three consecutive days, then immediately leaving for our honeymoon. while i love that we get to celebrate for 10 days straight, it does mean that a lot is happening (which entails a lot of planning) over a short period of time.

i had my first pre-wedding panic on sunday. it happened as i was doing, of all things, dinner planning. as i planned dinners for the upcoming month, i realized that by the time we enjoyed 20ish homecooked meals, 10 leftovers dinners, + a few nights dining out, our wedding would be here?! this struck me as dauntingly soon, + i started to worry whether all of the final details could be perfectly planned in time.

rather than let stress win the battle, i ceased planning anything for the rest of the day. honey poured me a glass of wine, picked up takeout, + demanded that i do nothing but relax. it did the trick! i woke up monday morning feeling mostly returned to my normal relaxed + in-control self (thank goodness)!

as i was writing this post, i thought how nice it would be to have a collection of words of wisdom that i can look back on should stress strike me again in these upcoming weeks. so, i’d love to hear any sanity-saving tips you have as our big day approaches. i know they’ll be a great reassurance to read if i’m feeling a little overwhelmed over the next weeks. thank you!

photo courtesy of whiteflash.com

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Wendy (The Weekend Gourmet) March 29, 2011 at 9:16 am

Just have FUN and savor every moment of your wedding planning, wedding, and honeymoon! It’s such a special time in your (and Honey’s) life!!! The little details can sometimes seem overwhelming, but it somehow falls into place perfectly on the big day. I planned my wedding from four hours away, and sometimes the logistics of it all were mind-spinning. Just keep breathing…and pouring that wine and/or a martini…and think about how gorgeous that beach is going to be once you’re MARRIED!!

2 amy March 29, 2011 at 10:01 am

thanks, wendy! one of my friends said the same thing yesterday – think about the beach/honeymoon + the day after the wedding, + that helps to get through the stressful moments. i am visualizing the sandy beaches + caribbean sunsets as i type. =) thanks for your sweet words – they mean so much to me!

3 Sarah Campbell Fowler March 29, 2011 at 10:02 am

Weddings are SO much fun, but marriage is even better :) Enjoy the honeymoon! It sounds fantastic! Congrats to you both, xo

4 amy March 29, 2011 at 10:11 am

thanks, sarah! i have to admit, while i’m excited for the engagement party, brunch + wedding, it’s the honeymoon that i’m really pumped for (especially since i’ll be celebrating my birthday while we’re in the caribbean). thanks for your sweet words!!

5 Lauren March 29, 2011 at 10:12 am

I am sure, just like any bride you want everything to be beyond perfect – I know I did but I had to be reminded (multiple times) that I was the only one who was going to notice if something was not perfect to my standard! This really kept me sane as I had to learn to just let somethings go and let others help even though I wanted everything to be exactly how I would have done it. It was hard but made for a lower stress wedding for sure!

Congrats and I am sure everything will turn out beautiful!

6 amy March 29, 2011 at 11:23 am

yes! that is something i absolutely have to remember – that i’m the only one who will notice if everything isn’t one million percent perfect. i’m trying to work at both letting perfection go + delegating some tasks, which is making things a lot easier. thanks for your thoughts, lauren! =)

7 Tabitha March 29, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Your wedding is one day, albeit a fun day. Your honeymoon is the first of many trips you and your honey will be taking together for the rest of your lives. What lots of brides forget during the planning process (and it’s normal) is that you guys are up for more wonderful days, celebrations… hell, you’re whole LIFE together. So breathe, know that when the food’s gone, the guests go home it’s just the two of you, that he’s THE ONE who makes you happy and you make him happy, that’s all you need… that will keep you sane. It sure kept me sane!!

SO excited for you both.

8 amy March 29, 2011 at 2:46 pm

your comment just 1) gave me goosebumps + 2) made me teary. you are so so right + i love that i’ll have this to look back on in the upcoming weeks. you rock, tabbers. thank you!

9 Kira March 29, 2011 at 2:49 pm

At the end of the day, the most important part will be that you two are married! No matter what happens with the rest of it, that’s the most important thing.

10 amy March 29, 2011 at 3:46 pm

thanks, girl – you are so right. in the grand scheme, it’s the marriage + our new life together that’s important, not the silly little details that i’m letting stress me out. now i just have to keep that in mind over the next month or so!

11 Cait Joyce March 29, 2011 at 3:59 pm

HI Amy! I’m so excited for the two of you. I agree with what everyone has already posted. At the end of the day, it’s only the two of you that matter. You can plan everything till you go crazy and the day will be wonderful – but the best part of all is that you’re marrying your best friend. It makes every little thing worth it. Can’t wait to see the pictures. Enjoy yourself. He’ll love you no matter what happens!

12 amy March 29, 2011 at 4:48 pm

aww, thanks Cait! + for the record, these comments are officially turning me into a teary mess! i’m so glad that i’ll have these to look back on, both in the weeks as the wedding approaches + in the future. it’s so sweet to hear thoughts from my friends + readers, both the newlyweds + the long-married. love it!

13 Marion March 29, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Congratulations! The lead-up is both exciting and nerve-wracking, but I admit the nerve-wracking part in my case seemed mainly like masochism, because as people say, things do generally work out (take a deep breath when things seem out of control!). My biggest piece of advice was something I really valued during my wedding… and that is to step back and REALLY enjoy the moment. I mean, on the day of, don’t care about if your grandma/cousin/aunts/friends food is OK or the flowers on one of the tables seem a little floppy (you can spend time caring in advance), but care about the interactions and giggles between you and your husband and the smile on HIS face, the taste of YOUR food (and the cake!), and how fun it is to be pampered leading up to the big events. Most of your immediate family and close friends will be glowing with joy, as will you and your husband, and that is the most fun stuff to cherish. Lock down the big logistics and really everything else will fall into place just fine. And it really is just the first step in a long adventure.

have fun!!!

14 amy March 29, 2011 at 8:08 pm

love this! this is something i’m really trying to work on – realizing that the main logistics, like you mention, are all taken care of, + that the rest is just a bunch of tiny details that probably only I will notice. i am so loving reading everyone’s comments because i’m getting to see what the highlights of each of your wedding days were – it’s so moving, + it makes me even more excited for our special day. =) thank you!!

15 jamie March 29, 2011 at 8:09 pm

think of the reception as an elaborate dinner party that you don’t even have to cook for! that’s what kept me sane through the planning process. that, and have you ever heard anyone say that their wedding day sucked? i think it’s pretty much impossible to be upset on your wedding day. even if absolutely everything goes wrong, from the moment you start walking down the aisle, you will not be thinking about anything other than your honey. years from now, you will not remember what color napkins you had, or what height the centerpieces were. your wedding will be the best wedding ever, not because of all the planning you did, but because of who is standing at the end of that aisle waiting for you (with tears in his eyes too, don’t think you’re the only one who’ll be emotional!). my most favorite part of the whole day was after it was all over and my husband and i were enjoying a few cocktails at our hotel. i can’t even describe that glowy feeling we had just sitting there, sipping some wine, and relishing those few quiet moments together. and yes, i have a few “horror” stories (like the caterer cutting up the cake before we got to it), but trust me, that doesn’t hold a candle to the two of you just being together and more in love than ever.

16 amy March 29, 2011 at 9:33 pm

love love love this, jamie! it is so awesome to hear your perspective, especially as you went through this not too long ago. your thoughts are really beautifully written + they so resonate with me. + no surprise, they made me teary. thank you. =)

17 Evi March 30, 2011 at 2:51 pm

My friend was going to school in St. Kitts, and I went to visit- it was beautiful and peaceful! Make sure to take a drive around the island, exploring all the little spots. Also, on the east side of the island, they have this fun restaurant that has a pet pig, right on the beach. Great looking through your blog (got your link through Love and Olive Oil)!

18 amy March 30, 2011 at 3:47 pm

so glad you found your way over here, evi! that is awesome that you’ve been to st. kitts – although i’ve visited a lot of the caribbean islands, i’ve never been there yet. we specifically chose islands that neither of us had visited before, so i can’t wait! we did rent a car so we can explore all the little spots on both islands + we will *definitely* have to search out the place with the pet pig – too funny!

19 Lauren March 30, 2011 at 4:13 pm

I remember being stressed when I planned mine and Zack’s wedding; and we eloped! It’s a really stressful situation when you want everything to go just as planned. Plan all you want (and delegate even more) but as soon as the people show up and the parties get started, RELAX and ENJOY. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime event, and one you’ll remember forever. If you go into it thinking positive happy thoughts, you’ll remember all the positive and happy things! The best thing that helped me was that at the end of the day, you’ll be married to that one person you’ve decided to spend your life with! I’m guessing he’s pretty special. :)

20 amy March 31, 2011 at 10:17 am

focusing on the positive/happy is something that i love to do (+ am usually pretty good at) – i love the idea of trying to do more of that as the big day approaches, + trying to do *only* that on the day itself. awesome tips, girl! =)

21 Traciwilbur April 6, 2011 at 10:21 am

Enjoy every little moment! I tend to overplan and wind up losing myself in the moment. I married straight out of college (the first time) and had a big wedding of which I can recall very little, because I never stopped moving and worrying about everyone else! When my (now) husband proposed to me 5 years ago, I immediately started to stress because he wanted a traditional wedding and I did not. We compromised – married on the beach in the Caribbean, enjoyed 10 days of bliss and came home to celebrate with a laid back “island style” reception for our closest friends and family. I was actually relaxed and everything was amazing! Try to remember that all of your guests are there to celebrate the two of you and your LOVE, and everything else will fall perfectly into place! Congratulations!

22 amy April 6, 2011 at 10:35 am

ooh, your caribbean wedding + island-style reception at home sounds absolutely wonderful. it sounds like that was the perfect plan (+ very much my style, so i approve, ha!). thanks for your sweet words + i’ll be keeping em in mind as the big day approaches! =)

23 Lannae April 10, 2011 at 11:15 am

Congrats! Home stretch! Neat-O! I have no words of wisdom at all. I do have lots of smiles and happiness for you though! May your reception and honeymoon be filled with love, good eats and good drinks!

24 amy April 10, 2011 at 5:59 pm

thank you so much! we’ve finalized the ‘upscale southern’ menu for the party + between the pulled pork, 3 cheese mac+cheese, fried green tomatoes, succotash, okra, + collard greens (to name a few items on the menu), i know there will tons of good eats! + of course, amazing southern-inspired cocktails. + the love? that goes without saying. =D

25 Jenni May 2, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Well, dang. I’m a bit late for words of wisdom. Caught up in a massive work storm, I almost missed the whole thing! If I had been timely, I would have said:

1. Remember that it’s about your marriage, not the wedding.
2. Do your own makeup.
3. If you *love* the shoes, but they are way too expensive, buy them anyway.
4. No matter how thin you are, Spanx are your friend.
5. Appreciate the friends who stepped up when you needed it most. They are treasures.

Have a FANTASTIC honeymoon. I can’t wait to see pictures of everything!

26 amy May 11, 2011 at 12:01 pm

i love your words of wisdom!!
1. done!
2. i did wind up doing my own makeup, + i think it turned out great. i did get my hair done by a pro, though.
3. loved the shoes + bought ‘em!
4. i didn’t go for spanx, but my dress had a built-in corset that kept everything sucked in. i loved it!
5. so true!
thanks for your thoughtful words. i couldn’t agree more with everything you said!

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