You run the wedding blog, The Overwhelmed Bride. Tell us about how you got started!
I actually kind of fell into it! I started wedding planning as an intern when a girl in my sorority who had just graduated started her own wedding planning company. She emailed our chapter and asked if any of us wanted to intern for her on weddings and I thought it might be fun…and so my wedding coordination career began!
I loved it, got a job coordinating right out of college, moved to work for a wedding start up company, and then left that company to find something new. Since I can’t sit still, I started a blog just for fun, it caught on and so, I decided to blog full time! And the rest is history!
Who is the Overwhelmed Bride? What are her biggest stressors?
No matter how much expertise you have in the industry, everyone is an overwhelmed bride. From all of the details and ideas and questions that are asked and need to be answered and decided on through planning, a bride has so many things to do to prepare for her wedding day, whether she has hired a coordinator or not.
And then she has all of the input and opinions from friends and family, pulling her in every direction. Oh, and not to mention the cost and the guest list—you get the picture.
What’s been the best part about bringing The Overwhelmed Bride to life?
I love writing articles that come directly from questions my followers ask. Because they are my biggest inspiration, the reason I blog, and I sincerely want to help them with their wedding day and make the planning as enjoyable (and stress free) as I possibly can! Seeing the weddings come to life as my brides submit their photos to me for publishing or hearing thank yous after the wedding is what makes me know that my blog is totally worth all of the hard work I put into it.
I’m just getting started with wedding planning, and to say I’m stressed is an understatement. Why are weddings so overwhelming?
Sort of like what I mentioned above, but there are just so many moving parts. From the songs that will be played to the dressing on the salad, there are so many decisions to you need to make and that is just stressful to begin with.
Just take it one step at a time.
Even those tiny details don’t take a lot of work, necessarily, but when you have a long list of decisions that need to be made, of course you are going to be overwhelmed. So just take it one step at a time.
What are some ways couples can stay connected during wedding planning?
So many couples get stressed and begin fighting over the wedding plans, causing stress rather than fun. And that definitely isn’t what we want because the wedding is all about your marriage. So set aside fun planning time together – a wine night, coffee date or somewhere fun and relaxing for just the two of you to get your agenda taken care of.
Don’t let the stress get between your love or all of the details and the planning is a waste. Focus on your marriage first.
And then after that, turn off your wedding planning mode. You need some normal time too (especially the guys), so make sure you are staying connected in the things you enjoy, and not just talking weddings 24/7.
What is it about the wedding industry that you love?
I love that it is such a huge industry but yet so incredibly small. I have gotten to know so many of the top bloggers in the industry and we even created a company together called Aisle Society. So even though we are all doing the same thing, blogging about weddings, we don’t make it a contest but rather help each other grow.
If you had to cover just one aspect of the wedding industry, what would it be?
While I love showcasing the weddings, the final product, of the couples who have followed me through planning, I just love the little details along the way. So I am all about being informational and helping brides with the actual planning part. But if I had to stick to one area of the wedding, I would blog about marriage. Because that is the sole purpose of weddings, right?
What are the 2016 wedding trends that you’re happy to see go?
Plan what you love and plan what makes your personalities shine because that’s all that matters.
I hear this question a lot and while there are trends I personally love and I personally don’t love, I don’t like answering this question because every wedding is unique and should be totally you. So whether I love or hate a trend, it doesn’t matter just because I am an “expert.” Plan what you love and plan what makes your personalities shine because that’s all that matters.
What are you most looking forward to as far as trends go in 2017?
I absolutely love seeing the color trends as the seasons change. Our Instagram feeds begin to change color with every season and it’s just so beautiful to see all of the different palettes and pairings people come up with! And if I had to choose another, I love seeing all of the fun little unique wedding finds on Etsy that all of those small shop owners come up with.
We know you’re happily married, but if you could do your wedding all over again, what would you do differently?
You know, I don’t really know that I would do anything differently! I absolutely loved my wedding day and rather than focusing on the little details that people wouldn’t remember (although we focused on that too), we really wanted a fun party for everyone to enjoy. So choosing a great DJ was key! And to this day, people still mention our DJ and how much fun he made it for everyone almost four years later!
We have a lot of couples who are looking to plan their dream wedding on a budget. What are you best tips for keeping costs down?
The guest list is the one best way to keep costs down. I’ve got this little chart I came up with called “Guest List in 30 Seconds” that is a great way of getting your list cut down. And if you do the math, even five guests makes a significant difference on your budget. Just think, more guests equals more chairs, favors, place settings, staff, food, tables, linens, centerpieces…and the list goes on. It’s far more than just the cost of food that you have to take into consideration for each guest you invite.
If you could tell couples to splurge on one wedding item, what would it be?
Splurge on whatever makes you the happiest. For me, it was photography because those photos are what are going to a lifetime! If you’re a foodie, splurge on the food. If you love beach views, splurge on the venue. Whatever makes you two happiest, splurge on that.
Lastly, at Joy we believe that even though a wedding lasts a day, joy lasts forever. What does that mean to you?
I think every couple needs to focus on marriage and that is why we have a pastor write articles on marriage every other week. If you aren’t focused on your marriage, then what is the point of having a wedding? Don’t let the stress get between your love or all of the details and the planning is a waste. Focus on your marriage first.