When it came time to plan our wedding, I naturally took the lead. Not because I am the bride and that is what brides do, but because that is what I do. I have been planning parties since I was a kid. I threw my very first party when I was about 8 (a Halloween party for all of my cousins). And today, when my husband and I organize a party or plan a big trip, I am the one to take the lead, and my husband plays a very important supporting role. Our wedding was a combination of both, so planning our wedding was no different.
I believe weddings are about the couple getting married. So, it was extremely important to me that my husband helped me plan the wedding and make the important decisions. I also knew that my husband would get overwhelmed by the wedding industry and how many different options and vendors there were. So, I got creative.
Wedding Date Nights
I set up specific date nights to talk about our wedding and wedding planning. I wanted to keep these separate from our normal date nights, because I wanted to make sure we were still spending quality time together, not related to the wedding. These date nights ranged from heading to the coffee shop with my laptop to eating dinner at home with wedding talk for dessert.
What Do You Envision/What is Important To You
My husband and I had been together for 8 years before we got engaged, so I had a pretty good idea of what he likes and what he would want for our wedding. Some things were a given, like we both wanted to get married outdoors (preferably with pine trees), he wouldn’t want to wear a suit, and we wouldn’t want any ‘fancy’ food like filet mignon. But, I still didn’t know how important he felt things like photography or having cake and punch vs a full meal were.
One night I took a worksheet I found in one of the many wedding magazines I had purchased and we each rated all the different aspects of a wedding on how important we felt they were. We then looked at the things we both felt strongly about (photography, attire, scenery) and things we didn’t care much about (transportation, flowers, dancing/DJ). We then discussed the things that either one of us rated high and the other low or that we both rated in the middle ground.
The next thing I did was have us both close our eyes and picture our wedding. What did we see? Both of us had pretty much the same vision: us, holding hands in the forest, surrounded by our closest family and friends.
This gave me a jumping off point for how we should spend our budget, where to look for wedding venues, and what decisions to include my husband in and which ones I could simply get his stamp of approval on.
I had been all over Pinterest and the internet and collected tons of wedding pins. It was finally time to decide the details of the wedding: our wedding colors, the formality of our outfits, the types of decorations, etc. So I printed out my favorite pins and called over my best friend for some crafting.
We put together two mood boards that had interchangeable pictures. This allowed my husband and me to choose the mood we wanted and then interchange things like cake vs cupcakes and the wedding colors. The boards were named “Black Berry Jam” and “The Catalina Wine Mixer”. We discussed the different options and picked our favorite colors and centerpieces. At the end of the night, I had a guiding light for our wedding that we were both pumped on.
Two – Three Options
As I explained before, I knew my husband would be quite overwhelmed by all the options the wedding industry offers. So, every time I asked him for an opinion on anything wedding related, I would narrow it down to a few options first (see mood board above). For things like our wedding colors, I gave him two options. For things like our wedding venue, it was more like 5. This allowed me to have him be a part of the decisions and planning process without overwhelming him. It also made it so I didn’t have to choose between my two favorites of any item, he would be my tie breaker!
Because we ranked the importance of all parts of the wedding, I knew which vendor meetings to include my husband in; venue and photography where the big two. My husband and I had taken a few different trips up north to look at different possible venues for our wedding. This ranged from getting actual tours of wedding venues to checking out camp grounds by ourselves. I had us stand where the ceremony would be taking place and imagine it. We knew we found the venue when we both started crying. (We had waterworks throughout the ceremony too.)
We only met with two photographers: one over the phone and the other Skype. The first one overwhelmed the crap out of me and my husband seemed to be uninterested and was easily distracted. The second photographer we met with was AMAZING. We were all laughing throughout the meeting and all meshed really well. If you didn’t guess, we went with the second photographer.
I couldn’t imagine trying to make those decisions without my husband by my side, especially knowing how important those things were to him. But if I never asked, I may have never known.
When planning our parties, my husband is great at helping me make the food, decorate, and move all the heavy things. (I like to move heavy things too, but being 5” tall, I cannot move all the things.) Naturally, this is where his strengths lied in helping for our wedding. Together we made all of the burger and veggie burgers for our reception. He was instrumental in loading and unloading and loading and unloading (lots of that) all of our wedding decorations and supplies for the trip up to the cabin and then to the ceremony location. The morning of our wedding, my husband and I decorated our ceremony and reception area with a few other members of our bridal party. Because he was used to helping me decorate for parties, he was able to help direct and execute all of the decorating. Everything was set up how we had envisioned.
In The End
Both my husband and I were pleased with how the wedding turned out. It truly was a reflection of the two of us and our relationship. I could not have done it without including him in the wedding planning process.