Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Not Merely Living: Having your Wedding Cake and Working Too

I first met Meredith from Not Merely Living in 2009 and it wasn’t long before we realized that we were in a similar situation: We were dating guys that we knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives with, but gosh darn it, what’s taking them so long to propose!?! We both shared this same struggle as well as one other.

How do you balance planning a wedding while maintain a full time job? Today, Meredith who is getting married in June is sharing her thoughts on this struggle!Well hello there! I'm so excited to be a guest here on HelloCupcake LLC! When Stacy asked me to write about balancing a full-time career with wedding planning, I knew I was going to have to Keep it Real with you guys. My very intense (and rewarding) job often bleeds over into my personal life, so I haven't had a lot of extra time to dedicate to wedding planning. My wedding planning has mostly been tucked into evenings and weekends. I hardly ever have time to sneak a wedding related task into my work day.

That said it has also been really important to me to make sure that our wedding didn't suddenly become the focus point of our lives and fill up all of our free time. Our date nights, friends, sunny park days haven’t dropped on our priority list to accommodate our wedding. Here are the six practical approaches that have helped me to keep a healthy balanced life:

1. We have “State of the Union” meetings monthly. I set an agenda. :)
2. We set a very detailed budget, and we've stuck to it (with very few exceptions).
3. We agreed together on our key wedding priorities (food, keeping it large, fun). We’ve kept those in mind when we had to make smaller, trickier decisions.
4. We tackled the biggest stuff first. We booked our venues, and then we chilled for several months. Then I got the dress, and we chilled for a few more months. Meanwhile, I slowly checked out different vendors and let all of that info percolate. Then we booked all of our key vendors (florist, photographer, caterer, cake) in a span of about six weeks at our five-four month mark.
5. We've had fun. There's no way around wedding stress, but we've tried to enjoy each other throughout this process as much as we could. Laughter and making up silly songs makes everything better. Also, leaving each other sweet drawings with dry erase markers on our bathroom mirror=magic.
6. And lastly, and most importantly, I have kept in mind that our wedding will. not. be. perfect. and that's ok.

I have been able to stay relatively calm while I balanced my job, my personal life, and planning a 300 person multi-cultural wedding because I strongly believe that this wedding won't change my relationship. We’re throwing a big party. and that's SO fun! But the reason we're throwing a big party is because we are taking the step to say in front of our family and friends and the universe that this is it. We're in. The party means nothing without the reason. And if we just had the reason (without the party), it would be enough.

Now that we’ve booked all of our main vendors, one of my wise married bridesmaids told me, “Now, if you did nothing else but show up, the wedding would still happen!” I love it. Everything else I do from here on out is a Bonus!

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