The Best Way to Start Planning a Wedding that ACTUALLY Feels like You

Before we dive in to the BEST way to start planning a wedding that ACTUALLY feels like you, let’s get some perspective.

“We just can’t wait for today to be OVER.”

You’d be surprised at how many times I’ve heard some variation of this phrase from couples on their wedding day, usually when asked how their day is going. (Yep, cue the cringe!)

The day that is supposed to be the “happiest day of their lives” was taken over by rigid timelines and lists of reception protocols that they really didn’t want to do, but got roped into doing for one reason or another.

Maybe it was a family member complaining because the couple didn’t want to cut a cake, or have a first dance, or do a bouquet/garter toss. Or that the couple really didn’t enjoy any of the activities, but felt obligated to do them because hey, “it’s tradition.” Or maybe their parents were paying for the wedding, and there was little room for argument in favor of what the couple wanted.

Whatever the reason, that “can’t wait til it’s over” phrase has become a “normal” thing to say at many traditional weddings. Couples are genuinely excited to finally be married, but as far as their actual wedding festivities… they’re just going through the motions, many times looking back and wishing they’d done things differently.

Meaningful Lake-side Vow Reading, Redfish Lake

Too many couples have missed out on having an incredible, meaningful wedding experience.

One that they actually wanted to re-live over and over-where their feet weren’t tired from standing in a receiving line or where their smiles weren’t worn out during hours of semi-forced pleasantries. One where all that mattered was that they were together, making the biggest promise of their lives to each other. Where the decorations were simple and gorgeous, but not so grand or expensive that it took the focus off of them (or they were non-existent, since Mother Nature is the best decorator of all).

Maybe one where they had the freedom and flexibility to plan a hike on their favorite trail in the Sawtooth Mountains in the middle of the day. Or even to take a nap if they got a little tired from their fun activities! One where they could just sit still together and watch the sun setting on the horizon on the day they promised themselves to each other. No interruptions, just soaking in the last few minutes of their incredible wedding day.

Do you get what I’m saying?

I witnessed too many couples feel anxious for their oh-so-fun traditional wedding festivities to end, and seeing that sparked an inward, personal choice to stop encouraging the have-a-wedding-that-you-don’t-actually-enjoy trend, and to start encouraging fun, meaningful wedding experiences instead.

Because I sincerely believe that every couple deserves to have a wedding day that is truly about THEM and their love. (This is why I LOVE all-day elopements-they allow you to do whatever the heck you want on your wedding day, and the whole freaking day is about you! Check out my Pinterest for adventurous elopement ideas!)

Elopement/Small Wedding overlooking Cascade, Idaho

If I’m speaking your language right now, let’s dive into the BEST way to start planning a wedding that ACTUALLY feels like you!

(Hint-it won’t look like the typical wedding)

Here’s your first step: Daydream Together

The first step to making this awesome day happen is to dream up your best day ever.

Guys, this first step is vital. It’s so good to have a little fun and to take time to realize what would feel the most meaningful to the two of you before you start making any concrete plans. Plus, If you daydream first before trying to make those plans, you lay the foundation for the rest of your wedding. Everything that follows will lead back to this step and the things you came up with and felt so excited about.

So grab your favorite snacks, get all cozy on the couch with a notebook, and daydream together.

Ask yourselves, what would our BEST day ever look like? What would we do all day? Where would we be? How would we want to start and end our day together? Is there somewhere we can picture reading our vows together? Is there a place we’ve always wanted to explore together? Nothing is off the table for this daydream session, just have fun with it and get excited about your possibilities. You can even reminisce on some of your favorite memories together for inspiration. Write all of your ideas down!

PRO TIP: It’s likely that you’ll have ideas that you’re both excited about and ideas of your own-which makes sense, because you’re two different people 🙂 Be open and communicative with each other, and get excited that you’re both involved in planning a wedding that you’ll absolutely love. Create a loving, fun space to explore your unique daydreams together.

After you’ve daydreamed together, here’s what to do next:

whether you want a “just us” experience, or if there are people you wouldn’t want to miss out on your special day. Then you can start researching your ideas, booking your vendors, and drafting your timeline. Just remember to have fun with it!! (If you opt for a “just-us” experience, be sure to check out my post How to Tell Your Family You’re Eloping)

Stay tuned for more planning tips, and tell me how your daydreaming session went in the comments below! 🙂

Awesome wedding plans-getting married on a Ferry at Jenny Lake







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