Hitched 2.0: 6 Of The Best Things About Wedding Planning

Last week, I shared the fact that I’m getting slightly jaded when it comes to wedding planning. The closer we get to walking down the aisle, the more bogged down I get with details like booking transportation, sending out invites, and finalizing décor. It’s stressful, to say the least. But in that same post last week, I noted that I don’t want to be jaded, and I’m going to do everything I can to embrace the excitement in this whole process—after all, getting married is pretty exciting. So this week, I’m reflecting on some of the coolest, most fun, and fabulous things that come along with planning a wedding (outside of the whole building-up-to-the-day-I-get-to-marry-my-best-friend, because that’s a given).

Meeting Talented Artists

Throughout our engagement, we’ve met with photographers, videographers, musicians, and more. It’s been so cool connecting with these people, seeing their work, and learning what drives their creativity. Just last week, we met with our harpist and basically had a private concert while hearing more about her story and background. Without the wedding as a catalyst, we likely never would have met her—or any of the other unbelievably gifted people who are lending their talents to our special day.

Shopping for Pretty Things

I had some mixed feelings about wedding dress shopping, but those were more in regards to the expectations of my emotions. I loved actually trying on so many beautiful dresses—and buying the prettiest one (if I do say so myself). The same goes for hunting down accessories-from earrings to a headpiece. I love exploring and admiring unique and gorgeous jewelry, and I’ve had just the right excuse to do so lately.

Having Creative Control

I’m somewhat type-A, which is a nice way of saying, I like things my way. And since this isn’t a collaborative work project, family trip, or home update, I mostly get to have things my way. Sure, I got input from my fiancé along the way, but he hasn’t had too many strong opinions (for some reason, he just didn’t seem excited about invite fonts and flower colors). I’m relishing this one time in my life when I get to design something so huge almost completely in my taste and vision.

Scouting Venues

It’s true that restaurants, museums, and even stores are great representations of a city’s culture and personality. And apparently, so are wedding venues. In scouting the perfect spot for our nuptials—one that would not only be beautiful, but also give our guests a true ‘Chicago’ experience, we visited quite the variety of locations. There were art galleries, dedicated event spaces, antique and salvage shops, and even dance schools. We came across unique venues we didn’t even know existed before embarking on this adventure, and with that, met a collection of interesting Chicago people worked at—or even owned—these spaces.

Tasting So. Much. Food.

Alright, so I understand that the costs of the cake and meal tastings are technically built into the rather large price tag of the wedding. But, in the moment, those tastings just felt like really fun free meals. With lots of really good dishes. I have to say, I felt rather important being asked my feedback after every delectable bite I took.

Making People Spend Time With Me

Next month, I’ll be heading to Charleston for my bachelorette party. I have nothing against one-night, local bachelorette parties, and certainly didn’t feel like all my friends had to spend a whole weekend vacation celebrating me. That said, how often do you get the majority of your friends/sisters/partners in crime together in the same place, at the same time, purely to have fun? Almost never. So, I’m relishing the fact that I have an excuse to summon all the kickass women in my life for a weekend on the beach.

Hitched, our weekly column about getting married, is back! This time around, we’ll be walking down the aisle (well, in spirit) with writer Emma Sarran, who will be sharing her thoughts on long engagements, the institution of matrimony and that godforsaken wedding industrial complex every Thursday. Follow her on Twitter!