Sam Q+A | Sincerely the Bride
This is our second blog in our new series and we are excited to bring back one of our #ACBRIDES to share her heart about wedding planning and marriage. Sam and Brody just celebrated their one-year anniversary year last month! We have gotten together with these two several times since because there is something so genuine about them. Just wait ’til you read her answers and you’ll know what I am talking about! Enjoy!
What is one thing you would tell a bride-to-be to not worry about when it comes to her wedding day?
Perfection. No matter how much you plan and organize, something is bound to miss the turn. And it’s ok. Your guests don’t expect perfection and focusing on that will only take away from the magic of the day. Sometimes focusing too much on the little things takes away from enjoying the process of planning your wedding. The more you go with the flow on the big day, the more you will enjoy it.
What is your best advice for a bride planning her wedding?
This one is hard. I think the best advice I can give brides is that this day is supposed to be about you and your husband. After our wedding, my husband and I have said a couple times, “If we could do it again, we would do ______ differently”. It wasn’t because our day wasn’t magical, but looking back we felt that we let some things be over-influenced by others. When it’s all over, this day is a celebration of you both. So let every little detail be what you both want, not anyone else. If you want a small intimate ceremony, that’s ok. If you want country music throughout the night, that’s ok. If you want 10 bridesmaids, that’s ok too! It’s ok to be selfish on this day, it is YOUR wedding.
What is your best advice for a couple for their first year of marriage?
Man, this is harder than I thought it would be! There are a few things that I thought of, but there is one thing that sticks out to me. No one told me that the first year of marriage isn’t a Disney movie. My husband and I have been together for 5+ years now, and there was a part of me that expected our first year of marriage to be AMAZING. I mean here we are, committed to each other and yet I was waiting for it happen. The magic. Well for us, it never did. There was no NEWLYWED bliss. Instead we may have created the opposite, we both were waiting for the rainbows and butterflies that we got frustrated in their absence. Maybe this is just me, but no one that I knew told me that the first year can be hard. Can you believe that?…needless to say I wasn’t prepared. Maybe it is social media, or Disney movies, or Nicholas Sparks books, but I had completely unrealistic expectations. So now that we have survived our first year…yes I said survived…how do I feel? Our first year as a married couple was IMPERFECTLY perfect. We have gotten used to referring to each other as husband/wife. I catch myself admiring my rings, you know, with the wedding band glistening back at me. I made a scrapbook of all of our memories. This is how I realized that it isn’t supposed to be perfect. We are closer now than we were on our wedding day, how is this possible if the whole year wasn’t magical? We found strength in the messy times, the hard times, the ugly times. We continued to learn about each other, how to communicate, how to make each day better than the one before. We looked through the book of our memories of our first year as husband and wife, and reflected on the past year. It wasn’t perfect, and that was ok. There we were sitting together closer than ever, thankful that it wasn’t easy. We have been challenged in more ways than one, and there we sat a united pair that took the most imperfect year and saw it as perfect. So my advice is that your first year may be unbelievable and everything you wanted so if it is, then celebrate that and let it in. Or it may not be. That’s ok too. And from what I’ve heard from the select few that I had admitted that being a newlywed didn’t quite meet my expectations, the first year isn’t always amazing. So embrace the messy, the struggle, the fights, because it won’t last. It becomes beautiful and you have chosen the best partner to experience it all with.
What vendors did you feel were the most important for your wedding day and why?
My venue was a little different than most, it offered the venue as an “all-inclusive” option. So many things came with the venue purchase that took away many decisions among vendors. I would say I have a few that were the most important. Running the risk of sounding cliche, photography is one of the easiest ways to capture your day. Everyone tells you that the day will fly by, and I can’t stress this enough. You experience your wedding day so different when you are the focus and it feels that its over shortly after starting. Our photography was the best way to share our day with those who couldn’t make it and also relive our day whenever we want. After photography, I think our next important vendor was the DJ. This venue included a DJ so we didn’t shop around for companies. Although we didn’t get to choose the company, we got to personalize that music as much as we wanted. I have been to my share of weddings, and music can keep the party alive or slowly kill the vibe. We wanted the music to reflect our personalities and include songs we liked, but we wanted our guests to have a good time too. The most fun at weddings I have been to included great music where people danced until they shut it down. Lastly, we chose to have a PhotoBooth at our wedding last minute. I went back and forth about having one and ended up deciding to have one. It ended up being a super fun way to get pictures with people throughout the night and what guest doesn’t like taking pictures with props?! It was one of my dad’s favorites; he still talks about how fun it was! Naturally as the bride and groom we used it less, but the guests seem to love it!
What was one tool or asset on your wedding day or during the planning process that you feel you couldn’t have done with out?
My credit card? Just kidding…kind of. Seriously though, I think some type of notebook or binder with planning materials. I kept a folder with all of the flyers from bridal shows and all the papers or contracts. I included printed off the checklists you can find on the internet and this kept me organized. The more that I got done ahead of time without pressure or stress, the more I enjoyed it as it got closer. I am more type A so checking things off and knowing it was done kept me organized.
What is one area you feel couples should splurge and not worry about their budget as much?
Two things come to mind. First the wedding specifically and then the honeymoon. I would say if there is a venue that you are in love with that you splurge on it. So many of us envision our wedding day and if you find a place that fits that, I say go for it. Because it is your wedding day. A close second is probably photography. Other than the wedding day itself, I think splurging on the honeymoon is totally appropriate! This is when you get to breathe, enjoy being newlyweds, and you are alone. So pick the place you’ve always wanted to go, make it special!
What was your wedding inspiration?
I don’t know if I had inspiration. I spent countless hours on pinterest…does that count? I think I started with the major colors I wanted, and how I wanted it to feel. I wanted soft, ROMANTIC, simple, elegant. I wanted it to be a day full of love. And to me that is elegance, simplicity, and romantic.
Where did you purchase your decor?
Our venue provided most of our reception decor (can’t brag about them enough). I chose some from Etsy, and we used our flowers as table decor. Most was provided though.
If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before your wedding day what would that be?
To focus on my husband. I allowed myself to get wrapped up in looking perfect, the weather (silly Ohio weather), the schedule, seeing everyone who came, what we had to do next. I am an emotional person, I cry at every wedding I attend. And yet in my own wedding, I didn’t tear up until the night was ending. When one of the slow songs came on that I requested. It was the first moment that wasn’t planned, we weren’t the main focus, and we just danced and looked at each other. That’s when I felt it, we were married. I don’t know how to fix this, everyone says the day goes by so fast. I urge you to do whatever you can to take the time beforehand to get it all done, even on the big day. So you have the time to truly FEEL the moment. I would tell myself to forget the little things, and focus on your husband. He is waiting to marry you, and these people are here to experience that with you, so go feel that and nothing else.
Any other advice on marriage?
Enjoy it! It is pretty awesome to have a husband/wife. Find your moments to celebrate being a pair.
Any other advice on wedding planning?
I have heard nightmarish stories of people with wedding planning. Make sure you feel good about who you choose to work with. If it feels wrong, trust your gut. And who knows, maybe some people you work with end up being more than just vendors from your wedding 😉
Sharing, serving, and celebrating,
Andrew + Chrissy