Hey y’ all, it’s Landan! If you haven’t been following along with all of our blogs, here are three things for clarity that might make this blog post make a little more sense. 1. I did not get married at The Chandelier – but you totally should. 2. I work in the wedding industry and I’m super Type A. 3. I like to share alllll of the details I learned while planning my own wedding day so yours can be even better. I’m probably considered a chronic over-sharer by most people, but if even one bride gets value out of reading this, it’s worth it to me. 

If I had to plan our wedding day all over again, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it would be a very different experience. Not only because I’d have more knowledge from actually planning a wedding, but also because I would take my favorite parts of the day and focus on those while eliminating the parts (and people) that weren’t my favorite. I can, without a doubt, say that it would be a completely different wedding.

Spoiler alert: it would definitely be at a different venue.

But, in all honesty, I said from the very beginning that I could have planned 5 totally different weddings that would still be true to who Kevin and I were as a couple. I narrowed in on the one that came the most naturally because that seemed like the most logical decision. It was a “traditional” wedding with a few twists thrown in to make it feel different from the dozens of weddings I’d attended and the hundreds of weddings I’d seen.

Second spoiler alert: it wasn’t all that different.

It was unique and special because it was our day, but it was nothing groundbreaking. And that’s okay.

Before I get too far into it, I want to say that I loved our day. I don’t regret the decisions that I made and on an individual level I wouldn’t change them because it would alter the overall experience. I say I would plan things differently now because I’ve been through it and know what moments we loved the most from our day, but I never could have foreseen that without going through it. But, even as I was in the middle of the planning process, I did have a major downfall that I kept encountering. I’d (optimistically) like to believe that it’s something I was experiencing because of my career and who I am as a person, but if I’m being realistic I think it’s more likely that it’s something that a lot of brides face.

I’ve eluded to it in numerous other posts, but I’m constantly telling you to plan a wedding that is completely, totally, uniquely yours because it’s something that I struggled with.

Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t making decisions that I was unhappy with, but I sometimes let preconceived notions of what our wedding was supposed to be like get into my head. I wanted to stay somewhat true to tradition, because I wanted it to feel timeless, but I wanted it to be “different.” I wanted to plan a wedding where people noticed all of the little details and thought I put into it, where my vendor team could post the photos on their instagram and get attention on them so their hard work could be shown off, where our guests would not only say how much fun they had at the wedding, but where strangers could look at videos or photos of it and get inspired for their own days.

I constantly looked at other weddings when planning my own. I looked at welcome signs and figured out how to make ours unique. I looked at the typical menus and spent three days writing a story that incorporated our menu so our guests could get some insight into why we chose the menu we chose. I looked at dozens of different grand exit ideas and finally chose a cool one, but didn’t even end up doing it due to weather. I chose purple because it was the color I always wanted incorporated in our day, then it became one of the most popular colors of the year for weddings and I saw it everywhere by the time our wedding happened. I went to 19 dress stores to try to find exactly what I was looking for – and I found it – but the two really unique details in it aren’t even recognizable in our wedding photos and videos. So, I pushed to have a unique wedding, because I thought that it was important, but when everything was all said and done it wasn’t actually all that different from all of the weddings I’ve seen.

We look at Pinterest and Instagram and the hundreds of different wedding magazine on the market and we take all those little pieces of inspiration to plan our own days, always thinking “but ours will be unique.” And it is different and unique to you, but not necessarily to the outside world.

There are so many beautiful weddings, truly. I’m not discounting how beautiful and unique every single one is. I just wish I would have entirely focused on my style and what I liked, not what was expected or what I thought might make a splash on Pinterest. Funnily enough, one of the things I was most passionate about including was my dad’s blue truck. I chose it entirely for me, yet it was one of the more “popular” elements from our wedding day. And, one of the things I almost eliminated because I thought it was “too popular/overdone” ended up being one of the most impactful emotional parts for me – the song I walked down the aisle to. Looking back, I’m disappointed in myself that I almost changed something I cared about just because I wanted to be different. I’m so thankful that I didn’t, but it also makes me realize how much I wanted to write this post because I don’t want you to feel alone if you are thinking these things too.

I won’t say that the majority of my decisions were made because of what I thought was expected or even that I thought our wedding would become this huge inspirational wedding, but it is something that loomed in the back of my mind while planning. And it is definitely something I’ve caught myself doing post-wedding. It’s so easy to see weddings that came after yours and say “I wish I had done this” or “I should have changed that,” but that’s kind of how life always is. It’s just multiplied with weddings because it’s something you only get to do once and don’t get redos on.