As some of you may know, I got married over the summer! Still feels surreal to say I’m married!!! Allan and I just wrapped up on our thank you cards, and it was such a sweet thing to reflect back on our special day! Our wedding was everything I had ever dreamed, and so SO much more than I could ever have imagined! And believe you me, that’s saying a lot coming from the girl that hosted weddings for her Barbies on the weekly growing up!  
When Allan and I decided on where we’d like to have our wedding day, there was very limited availability left for open dates, so we ended up choosing a Tuesday (!!) in July to have our wedding which meant we had just four months to plan!!! And even though we had an extremely tight timeline, I promised myself I wouldn’t settle on things because of that either. So basically I had a little freak out, and then it was time to boogie and get things going because we clearly had no time to waste!!! So I did a little self-inventory and here’s what I knew in that moment: !) I had a fairly basic-to-good idea of what we wanted for our wedding day. 2) I’d be moving to a new location at some point (even though at the time we didn’t know where) 3) We’d be planning a honeymoon 4) My calendar was filled with shoots for the next several months, and 5) I knew I had tendencies to micromanage  
Let’s be honest, there was NO way I could pull all this off on my own. Wedding planning alone can be very stressful and then you add in a little bit of regular life and its like Woah! Anyone else with me on this? Yes, its exciting too, but being a wedding photographer and now having been a bride myself, I know there can be a lot of stress surrounding the day as well! And I had promised myself over the years when it came my turn, I would do what was necessary to enjoy this time, and our wedding. So for those who just got engaged or maybe are elbow deep in wedding planning, below are a few tips from things I learned while planning our wedding that I hope can reduce some stress for you in the planning process, and ultimately help you truly enjoy the greatest day of your life – your wedding!!!
1. Delegate. Goodness, just writing the word makes my insides wiggle. Asking for help is definitely not a strength of mine, but I also knew I couldn’t do everything myself without going plain nuts! Again, as much as i would’ve loved to do everything myself, I made it my ‘job’ as a bride to be just that: a bride. Not a calligrapher, not a travel agent, not a florist or a timeline coordinator. So we found wonderful people who specialize in those fields to create and do those things they do best! And the super amazing part? You can find people who specialize in what you need at ALL budget levels! 
2. Find people you TRUST. This was a biggie for me. Because of my micromanaging tendencies, I KNEW it was pertinent to hire vendors I absolutely trusted. Like, I could close my eyes and KNOW they would 100% have our hearts and vision in mind and be able to do their thing! And I knew on the wedding day, I didn’t want to have to worry about whether or not the tables were set how I liked or if the photographer would photograph my dress a certain way. No. I wanted to ENJOY our wedding day and getting to walk down the aisle on my dad’s arm to the love of my life. And I knew I couldn’t enjoy those moments fully if I was worried about all the elements going on that day. And I was able to fully enjoy our wedding day because we had a team of people we completely trusted! 
3. Listen to your gut. You are sure to receive LOTS of opinions and thoughts from anyone and everyone on your wedding! And its all with good intentions and love, no doubt! But at the end of the day, you must remember that it’s YOUR wedding day. One day, in your WHOLE life, set aside to celebrate the love you found with your person. Just cause something worked great for one person doesn’t necessarily mean its best for everyone. So listen to your gut and what it’s telling you! Is this the best choice for you and your groom? Is this a reflection of someone else’s choice or your own? Let your insides be your guide! 
4. Choose Present over Pinterest. Okay, I need to first say, I did have a wedding Pinterest board! Maybe two or three. Pinterest is a wonderful and dangerous thing because the ideas are limitless. One day you could see a gorgeous yellow wedding that you LOVE, and then the next day you could see a wedding set on the beach that you also LOVE!!! I am not against Pinterest (actually I would recommend making a board to share your vision with your vendors) but would encourage you to see Pinterest as it is intended: an idea board. Your wedding, just like you as a couple, should be unique to you two! And heck, maybe your wedding could end up being a Pinterest idea later! And wouldn’t you rather have your own Pinterest worthy moments organically happen on your wedding day than spend your time trying to recreate something that was already shared between two people? Um…yes!!! A thousand times over! 
5. Remember your WHY. With social media, Pinterest, and just the given pressure that comes along with planning a wedding, it is so SO easy to lose sight of whats really important. And at the end of the day, what REALLY matters is you beginning a MARRIAGE together with your chosen. The wedding, all the fancy details and dresses, pales in comparison to that WHY. The wedding is a celebration of a MARRIAGE. And what i found, if you stay focused on your WHY, the decisions and everything in between become a lot more simple…and meaningful!  
Now that I’ve shared a few tips, I wanted to share a few photos from our wedding day brought together by the AMAZING wonderful team of creatives and people who made our wedding truly magical and memorable for Allan and I!
Venue: Vista Valley Country Club 
Event Design + Coordination: To La Lune 
Rentals: Found Vintage 
Tabletop: Case de Perrin 
Invitations + Paper Goods: La Happy 
Florals: Plenty of Petals 
Photographer: Megan Welker 
Videography: Audrey Alba Films 
Honeymoon Planner: Milk + Honey Travels

5 Tips for Planning a Stressless + Personal Wedding

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