When we got engaged in November, a lot of people told me to ~enjoy this special time~ and soak it all in. To be honest, I usually rolled my eyes when I heard that. I was pretty open about wanting a shorter engagement and simply wanting to be married. I don’t like planning things – seriously, I freeze up if I have to pick a restaurant for a girl’s dinner – and to me, “being engaged” just meant “planning a wedding.”
With eleven days to go until the BIG DAY (!!!), I am happy to report that these past ten months were a lot more special than I anticipated, and I learned a lot more than just how to create a wedding seating chart. Here are the top five.
The most important people in MY life and the most important people in HIS life are now the most important people in OUR life.
When we started tackling the guest list, I felt really weird that his family is so much bigger than mine. I thought the entire day would feel really lopsided and I wouldn’t feel as much familial support as he would. As the planning process went on, I realized how silly that was – I’M about to be in his freaking family. It’s not “his side” and “my side.” It’s one big group of people who are all excited to celebrate with us.
The word fiancé doesn’t get old.
It just doesn’t. It’s fun to say and I feel honored that I get to say it. It felt a bit strange coming out of my mouth at first, but now it’s natural and exciting. I have a feeling that switching to “husband” is going to be even more fun.
It’s okay to pick and choose traditions.
Engagement traditions, wedding traditions, all of it. I learned that being engaged and planning a wedding is a personal thing, and there is no right or wrong way to do things. When we first got engaged, I thought our wedding would be very nontraditional. Over time, I realized a lot of the traditions and customs are actually wonderful and romantic and we wanted to include them. However, we weren’t going to include all of them, and that’s okay. First dances, yes. RSVP cards, heck no. Pick the ones that make you giddy and excited and ditch the rest.
Having a good squad is key.
I feel SO lucky that I learned this the easy way. I chose my bridesmaids like I was choosing a boy band: I have the funny one, the supportive one, the easygoing one, etc. My maid of honor is basically the band manager because she is incredible. I thought long and hard about who I saw myself with on the big day – and who I thought would make me laugh when I was crying, or remind me what’s really important – and went from there. Knowing I have that support system has been amazing.
We did the same thing with our vendors. Our photographer is now one of my favorite people, and I know she’ll make the entire process really fun. Our officiant is so sweet and calming that I know he’ll mellow me out. Our DJ is an expert at what he does and I know our reception is in good hands. Pick your squad wisely and you’ll have half the stress.
Everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) feels bittersweet.
This has been most evident in the past month. Every. Single. Thing. feels bitter sweet. “This will be the last paycheck I get as a single woman!” “This is the last time I’ll get my nails done before I get my WEDDING nails!” “This is the last time I’ll come to this restaurant before I’m a wife!” Seriously, it’s comical. The other night, I told Jeremy, “Oh my god… this is the last puzzle I’ll start as a Williams.” I’m a sentimental gal, and this last month of our engagement has really reiterated that.
And on that note… this is probably my LAST blog before I’m no longer “Caroline Sumner Williams.” (cue the tears!). I’ll talk to you again when I’m Caroline Williams Hogeveen!