I married my best friend on November 2, 2012 and haven’t stopped smiling. It was a wonderful experience, emotional day and joyous occasion. Gabriel and I had dated for seven years, but I always knew it was just a matter of when, not if we would ever get married. You can read more about our engagement story here, but I can’t wait to see how our new life together unfolds.
I have to say, it is 10 times better to become a wedding planner and then plan your wedding, than it is to plan your wedding and then become a wedding planner. I planned my wedding like any other bride would. I consulted with a wedding planner, which happened to be my business partners and best friends, but I also looked to my mom, sisters and best friends for advise and approval. Above all, Gabriel’s opinion mattered most to me. I didn’t want to plan my wedding, but rather our wedding together.
My selection of vendors was an easy task. I had the privilege of working with many vendors throughout my career, which was unknowingly an audition for my own wedding. It’s hard to have favorites in my field, but when it came to my wedding I knew who I wanted from the beginning. It was just a matter of introducing them to Gabriel. By the way, Gabriel was thrilled to not have to meet several vendors in each category in order to make a decision. My first and most important advice, now that I have experienced it first hand, is to pick vendors you truly trust. I trusted every vendor I picked for our wedding, which enabled me to completely let go the day of our wedding. I love every single one and it was an honor to have them a part of our wedding. So, don’t be afraid to interview multiple vendors until you find the right one. Scheme also knows a tons of vendors in each category and can help you find your perfect match. If you pick the right vendors, your wedding will result in your perfect day.
Now that I can call myself a bride, I have a new respect for all women who plan their wedding. Completing the details, evaluating the logistics and creating the production schedule came natural, but I wasn’t prepared for all the emotions that came with it. I was on an emotional roller coaster the entire time. As a planner I present options to my brides, but rarely do I make the final decisions. As a bride, I learned that there are hundreds of decisions to be made! If I didn’t have my business partners to reassure me, I think I would have gone crazy! But there just weren’t decisions to be made about linen color and floral selection, it was also the guest list, wedding party selection, the dress, seating chart and much more. I got through it by taking one decision at a time and giving myself plenty of time to plan. I gave myself a deadline of 2 weeks before my wedding. Of course, I still had decisions to make, but they were minor like where to get our nails done and what time I should pick up my dress. I was able to enjoy my family and friends and really be a part of all the festivities because my stress level was much lower and I wasn’t having to make decisions.
Gabriel and I chose to have our wedding on a Friday so we could have a weekend of festivities. I am so glad we did because our wedding day went so fast! We started Wednesday by having drinks with friends. I spent Thursday morning with my girls getting our nails done and Gabriel was a host at our house greeting guests. We then had our rehearsal, rehearsal dinner and after party at our house. Friday was the wedding. Saturday we invited guests to our neighborhood park and cooked carne asada and played kickball. Sunday we had immediate family over to opened gifts and they sent us off to Puerto Rico for our honeymoon. It was a perfect weekend. It was so great being surrounded by friends and family, but Gabriel and I made a huge effort to be connected throughout the weekend. Above all, it was our weekend and our celebration of our relationship. So, make a promise with your fiancé to check in with each other, mingle with your friends together, sit and have dinner together, dance together and enjoy every minute together.
It is a great feeling to walk away from your wedding not wanting to change a thing. It has a lot to do with planning ahead so no decisions need to be made on your wedding day, letting go of any anxiety or nervousness, trusting your wedding planner, enjoying the moment with your bridesmaids, living every minute of your first look, looking into the eyes of your fiancé when reciting your vows, taking a minute alone with your new husband to cry and rejoice, forgetting the steps of your choreographed first dance but laughing at each other after, actually eating dinner, limiting the number of drinks you consume so you can remember every detail, greeting every table to individually thank each guest for coming, listening to your best man and matron of honor give their thoughtful toasts, respectfully listening to the advice your father and step dad give you during their dances with you, watching your fiancé have a moment with his mom, dancing to all your favorite songs, slow dancing with your papa, taking pictures in the photo booth with all your friends until you have to run away because you would be there all night, reminiscing with friends, spotting your new husband across the room and sharing a smile. Gabriel and I relived every moment of our wedding night on our honeymoon with a huge smile on our face. It’s all the little moments that you need to hold onto.
Gabriel and I want to thank all of our friends and family for celebrating our wedding day with us. But, we are forever grateful for our new extended family of vendors who created such a special and amazing party for us! Everything was fantastic and more than we could have ever asked for. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Brides, if I can give you one piece of advice, I beg you to let go on your wedding day and enjoy every minute with your new husband. It doesn’t matter if your train gets dirty, your favorite flower doesn’t come in or a few of your guests couldn’t make it. You only get married once so take hold of every minute.
I promise to share pictures as soon as I get them!
Love, Tara