How you envision your big day going down can be very different than how it actually unfolds.
Photography: Taylor Lord1 of 7
You know how athletes visualize crossing the finish line—wedding planning is a little bit like that. The idea is that if you envision a perfect day all should go according to plan. Except it doesn't. We live in a real world where it's easy to misplace cake toppers and DIY-projects are a lot harder than whatever you see on Pinterest. We spoke to Francie Dorman and Britt Cole of 42º North Weddings, a wedding planning firm in Ipswich, Mass., to give you insight on what to expect during the entire wedding-planning process, so you don't run into any surprises leading up to the big day.
Photography: Bryan Gardner2 of 7
The Plan: DIY as much as you can
Pinterest has you convinced that DIY backdrops/bouquets/chandeliers aren't that hard to make. You have it all figured out: get a few bottles of wine and your bridesmaids in one room and anything is possible.
The Reality: Before you undertake a DIY project, be honest with yourself and your crafting ability. Not only will you likely need to buy a bunch of materials, creating something from scratch is can be very consuming. As for those flowers: you're going to need to visit flower markets (not grocery stores) to make sure all the flowers you envisioned will be available and placed on hold. What's more, prepare to practice—a lot—to create picture-worthy blooms.
Who wouldn't want to wake up the morning of her wedding with enough time to do some de-stressing yoga and breakfast with bridesmaids before starting on hair and makeup?
The Reality: The rehearsal dinner, nerves, and all those exciting thoughts ruminating through your mind don't typically result in restful slumber. Be gentle with your expectations of the next morning. While it's fine to hope that you'll ease into the wedding day, chances are you'll be in go-mode as soon as you wake up. If you enjoy your cup of coffee before the day really begins, consider it a win.
Photography: Rachel Thurston
Social media is such a big part of our lives that you trust guests will take a ton of pictures and upload them to Instagram and Facebook (using your custom wedding hashtag, of course.) As a result, you'll save a few hundred dollars by sending the photographer home early.
The Reality: Instead of that romantic cake-cutting kiss you'd hoped was captured, friend wedding photos end up looking something like this: about 50 percent guest selfies, 10 percent food, and the rest are filtered and blurry photos. You don't want to have any photo regrets, so find a way to keep the professional on site and cut corners elsewhere. Bye-bye monogrammed aisle runner.
Photography: Robert Pavsic5 of 7
The Plan: Leave for a honeymoon across the globe in the morning
You cannot wait to start your first adventure as newlyweds. You'll pack the bags and print the boarding passes in advance. Hey, you'll even splurge on a car service to get you to the airport.
The Reality: Even if you don't stress out over the wedding planning, celebrating is exhausting. Going from the dance floor to skipping a few time zones with only a few hours in between is not going to give you much energy once you make it to your destination. Plan at least one "buffer" day to recuperate.
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Photography: Jana Williams
You did a test run with your beauty crew and everything stayed put through your Girls' Night Out—a little dancing shouldn't make that much difference, right?
The Reality: Even the most skilled artists and stylists will have trouble keeping everything in place for hours on end. Remember, you'll start getting ready in the afternoon, followed by endless hugging and twirling (and twirling) on the dance floor. Ask your MOH to keep a few bobby pins, a travel-size hair spray, and lipstick in her clutch for mini-touch ups throughout the night
Photography: Aaron Delesie7 of 7
The Plan: Eat everything on the menu
Catering is a big deal to you—you've spent a lot of time (and money) finding the best chef and curating an amazing menu. You are determined to taste it all.
The Reality: Sorry to break it to you, but between photos, mingling with guests, and dancing, you'll be lucky to sneak one mini ahi taco. Assume that you won't get to eat much (make sure to munch during the day!). Also, ask your venue to pack a to-go container to bring to your hotel at the end of the night.