“Rules Control the Fun!” – Why Monica from Friends Was Right

If we are being honest, I have always been the most like Monica. OCD? Check. Goody two shoes? Check. Ends up with the goofiest, most lovable romantic? Hell yeah. Now, please watch this clip below.

RULES ARE GOOD! RULES HELP CONTROL THE FUN!

Yeah, Monica! I agree so much, I just spent half an hour looking for that clip.

Anyway…

Remember when I flipped out a little about wedding planning because it hit THE YEAR of my wedding?

Well, that was nothing like the standstill I found myself in at the T-4 month mark. There was so much to do, in so little time….so I started doing nothing.

Here’s how the conversation went with my fiance, Kieran, basically every day.

Kieran: Babe, we gotta be productive and [insert wedding task here].

Me: NO BABE, I AM TIRED AND HAD A LONG COMMUTE AND I DON’T WANNA THERE’S TOO MUCH TO DO LEAVE ME ALONE NO CUDDLE ME HELP! [insert temper tantrum here]

Poor guy.

In two days, I will be 3 months from best.day.ever. I cannot afford to be doing nothing. I mean, I could, but then I would have no veil, no invitations sent, no cake, no…should I just elope?

Then I had a break-through moment that I think will be helpful to all panicking brides. It is inspired by something I learned back in college.

I work best with one incredibly rigid rule.

In college:

I was tired of being behind with homework and readings all the time, and scrambling to get it done on time. So I promised myself I’d stick to one rule: I would never do anything the day it was due. 

The night before? Sure. A week ahead, better! But never the morning before the class it was due. And once I caught up (that first day was tough), I never looked back. I always followed my rule and it made me me more productive, efficient, and organized.

While wedding planning:

I knew I needed to make a change to get myself motivated. If it worked in college, why can’t it work now? I messaged my bridesmaids the following message in our group chat, before I could change my mind:

Hi bridesmaids and ladies of high esteem ! I’m starting to panic ever so slightly as we approach T-3 months . Panic=paralyze for me so my new goal here is to do one thing at least every day for wedding stuff . Literally anything . All I need for this is for you all to check on me and make sure I’m on track for this goal. Thank you!!

The rule? I have to do at least one wedding-related task per day, and make sure the ladies know about it.

Yesterday, I forgot to send a message.  So my gal Stacey message the group said, “Sabina, what’s the update?” It felt so good to know these girls have my back and WILL nag me for my own good. That’s what bridesmaids are for!

Next time you have a motivation problem, try making just one rule. You’ll be surprised at what it can do – especially if you’re a stressed out bride! And remember…

 

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How to Go from Wedding Planning Panic to Organized Bliss

bridesmaids proposal

Okay so I still haven’t gotten a dress and oh crap flowers are expensive and how can I possibly find dresses for my bridesmaids when they don’t even live nearby and what about my hair???? WEDDING PLANNING IS HARD!!!!!!!!!!

bridesmaids proposalThis was the mental dialogue happening inside my head a couple months ago, as I realized my wedding to-do list from The Knot wasn’t getting any smaller, just longer. I was starting to panic, as I realized that with the turn of 2017, I was now in my wedding year. When you’re nine months away from the biggest day of your life, you start to get nervous.

So, I did what any wedding-planning, color-coding, list-loving, team-leader person would do. I took a look at everything I needed to get done that was scaring me. Then I realized that I had just asked my closest friends and little sister to be in my wedding party. DUH, I had a whole #TeamBride waiting to help me not freak out.

I went to the GroupMe messages of all my bridesmaids and asked who could take charge of finding bridesmaid dresses, and who could take on hair. Three of them volunteered, one for each role. I immediately felt better.

Knowing I had a team behind me made me calmer for a few reasons.

Delegation is KEY!

My job at Swift Kick has taught me the importance of delegation. If I tried to take full responsibility of planning an entire wedding, I would explode from all the loose ends. Knowing that there was a person to go to when it was time to talk about each aspect made me feel like I was sharing the burden. It helps when you know you aren’t the only one thinking about how to get things done.

#TeamBride has a purpose.

Realizing that my bridesmaids were there to help me get everything done made me feel like I was part of a team. These women are my closest confidants, so remembering to trust them to ease my stress was crucial. It makes us closer as friends and sisters to work towards a shared goal.

They are all pretty amazing.

Asking them for help gave the ladies a chance to remind me that they had my back. They all echoed the same sentiment:

Sabina, you worry about your wedding dress, we will take care of the rest. We are here for you.

It’s amazing what a calming effect that statement has on me!

So, if you’re planning a wedding, take these steps to ensure you use your bridesmaids (and groomsmen) to their full potential.

1. Make a Groupme or Whatsapp group with your gals or guys.

Use this to keep them all updated at once as your planning progresses. Groupme has the ability to like messages, which can help you with voting (like the message with the date that works best!) and keeping tabs (like this message so I know you read it!).

I love having a go-to spot to talk to all my ladies at once, to celebrate, panic, and say hi.

2. Ask your wedding party members to take on different roles.

It seriously helps to know that there is one point person for each aspect of planning. Find out who has experience with flowers, DJs, hair…etc and who is willing to help you do what. Just having one someone to talk something out with really helps ease stress.

3. Make sure your people know their responsibilities.

The Knot’s book of wedding lists has a page all about what the bridesmaids, groomsmen, maid of honor, and best man are all responsible for. Share it with them so nobody has to assume anything! Communication is key.

I also use Trello to organize things like who is getting what dress, what tasks need to be done, and other resources. And of course, shared Pinterest boards for each aspect of the wedding!

4. Build your #TeamBride and #TeamGroom

My fiance had a “steak dinner” in the city to introduce all his groomsmen to each other, since they hadn’t all met yet. This was really beneficial because they are now all comfortable communicating with each other and they created important friendships.

Note to self: Have a fun bonding day with all the groomsmen and bridesmaids. I really want to make sure they all know each other and can work together, just in case disaster strikes and I need a solid team in action on the day of the wedding!

5. Say THANK YOU!

Yes, keep on your bridesmaids to make sure they all have ordered their dresses and taken care of everything. But make sure every time you do, you say thank you and tell them how you couldn’t do it without them. They are there for your big day, but it should be fun for them too!

So, I learned why the heck we even bother to have a wedding party. They are there to support me in my wedding planning. Instead of forgetting the real reason I am planning a wedding, my bridesmaids share my to-do list so I can focus on the real meaning of the day. That real meaning being, IN SIX MONTHS I GET TO MARRY THE LOVE OF MY LIFE! That’s worth celebrating.

How To Find Cheap and Gorgeous Old Books for your Wedding Centerpieces

I may not have the dress or the guest list finalized, but my wedding will at least have centerpieces! Oops.

old books wedding centerpiece
-swoon-

That’s right, I had the brilliant idea (thanks Pinterest)  to incorporate old books in my wedding centerpieces, along with flowers and pearls. In about a month’s time, I was able to gather 40+ books. It was shockingly easy and inexpensive. So I thought I’d share the wealth of knowledge with you!

Step 1: Tell everyone, and their mother.

Tell your friends, your mom, your bae’s mom. Your brother and sister. Your neighbor. You will have an army of people bringing you old books and then you will have a surplus to choose from. Everyone wants to be involved in the wedding planning, and this is an easy way to get them to help out.

Step 2: Sign up for estatesales.net

You can set up alerts for sales in your area that list what you’re looking for, in this case, old books. The site will send you an email every time one of these sales is coming up so you can plan to drop by!

Step 3: Hit up your local library sales.

Often, they will have deals that if you fill up a bag, you can pay $10 for all the books inside. Or, hardcovers can be $1-$2 each. Seriously, the majority of my books came from these sales. It’s crazy how little they are giving these books away for!

Step 4: Be spontaneous!

I got my first few books at an estate sale that was on the lawn at the historical society in my town. I saw the sale while I was driving by, stopped the car, and started hunting. I found the most gorgeous books, and the lady sold them to me for $5 each! (And those were the most expensive books of all the ones I bought.) That’s when I knew my centerpieces were going to come together. Because when you’re holding a gorgeous copy of Pride and Prejudice, things just work out.

Now I just have to figure out where to keep these books for the next 300 or so days…

old books wedding centerpiece
(A small sampling of my stash.)

Getting Engaged Made me Brave

DSC_1641In case you don’t know me, because if you did, you’d be sick of hearing about it by now, I recently got engaged. Kieran and I have known for a long time that this is what we wanted so it’s no surprise at all. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t go through a million and one emotions, though. I waited for it to hit me, at first. I waited to really feel like a woman with a fiance. I waited for the anxiety I know so well to kick in – to try tell me that something HAD to be wrong, or that I was all wrong. Happily, I felt that a lot less than I expected to. Don’t get me wrong, I have my moments of panic. But they don’t last because I love a good project – and what better project than planning the most important day of my life thus far?
I never expected, however, to become brave after just a few weeks. I am not, as far as I have ever felt, a “brave” person. I am confident and comfortable around strangers to a fault, yes. I don’t think that makes me brave; it just makes me easy to get along with. I can’t help that I am extroverted. Yet for one of the few times in my life, I feel sure. I am sure that my relationship with Kieran is the right thing; I am sure I want to marry him. Even my anxiety can’t lie to me about that for too long, before I fall deeper in love with him all over again and tell my brain to shut up and be happy already. This sureness helps me work towards my 2016 goals of GRACE and RENEWAL. It is this sureness that makes me brave. 

Brave about the future

I am usually someone who procrastinates the big, scary logistics. Yet the other day, on my own accord, I picked up the phone and called my church to ask about the availability for a wedding. I started on the hard stuff, and for once the “this is real” feeling wasn’t bad. When Kieran and I started looking at future apartment options, I thought I would start to freak out. Instead, I am more excited than ever. This is real! This is real and I am so pleased that it is.

Brave about my decisions

There will always be many people with many opinions. Some will tell me I should have gotten married already. Some will tell me I am way too young and we are making a mistake. But I know, I know, that things are happening at the right time. Instead of shrinking back, I feel a need to talk to people about how serious I am about this. I am not afraid to stand up for my decisions. I want the important people to know that this isn’t a silly, spontaneous, or immature decision.

Brave with Kieran

As soon as we got engaged, I instantly felt something switch in our relationship. I felt closer to him, like I didn’t need to worry about whether something was only my business, and not his. I feel more comfortable than ever telling him what is going on in my life, because I know we are going to be “one” not too long from now. I feel more than ever that I can run into his arms and he won’t judge me, because we share everything.
And so, I am brave. At least for now.