Wedding Tips: What I Wish I Knew While Planning

Blogger Hoang-Kim Cung's cake cutting at wedding reception

It still feels surreal it’s been five months since Johnny and I got married! It was easily the best weekend of our lives and we wish we could relive it over and over again. Even though we had quite a bit of time to plan our wedding (we officially started August 2020) time flew by and toward the end we felt really stressed. I want to share wedding tips I wish I knew during the planning process, which I believe would have made the process much smoother!

1. It Will Be the Best Day!

Despite all the stress you will inevitably feel during the wedding planning process, your wedding will still be the best day. We worried about rain all week, even that morning the weather was awfully humid and gray. Yet, when we got to the venue and saw the crew setting up and we got to spend time with our people, it was the best day. I look back on the memories we created, remembering we got married in front of the most important people in our lives and that is all that matters.

2. For Budget, Think Dollar Per Guest

This is one of my best wedding tips, because having an overall budget is now more of an outdated approach. No two weddings are alike from location, to guest count, to some of the finer details. Think about it: a $50,000 wedding for 150 people is very different than a $50,000 wedding for 50 people. A better way to approach your budget is to think of how much you’d rather spend per guest. This will also help you really filter your guest list.

3. Prioritize What’s Important to You

Everyone has a different priority when it comes to their wedding. Since we had waited so long to get marry so we could save up for our dream wedding, we had a bit longer of a list. However, atop that list was photography and videography. While we all dream of spending money on every component, that’s not real life and sometimes you have to make compromises. For our wedding budget, having a planner was absolutely essential to make sure everything ran smoothly and to alleviate stress. Pick maybe three things that are super important to you both and then try to save on the rest.

4. Communicate Your Thoughts and Wishes Often

Telepathy is not something we have as humans so communicating is essential! Over-communicate if you have to. Whether it’s exactly how you want your bouquet to look to a specific way you’d like the night to flow from room to room, make your desires known. If you have a planner, tell them what you’re envisioning from getting ready all the way to your exit. They can’t plan it if they don’t know! I ended up changing a few things with my bouquet and communicating exactly what I wanted made all the difference. The same goes with your vendors, be clear about your wishes.

Blogger Hoang-Kim Cung in Vera Wang wedding dress and husband in The Black Tux

5. You Are the Host so You Set the Tone

You and your partner are the hosts of your wedding, but more importantly, the bride can really set the tone for the day. If you are relaxed, enjoying yourself, having fun, so will your wedding party, parents and the guests. But if you feel nervous, are constantly stressed so will your partner and your guests can sense that. They will start looking for what’s wrong. It was chillier than I’d like on our wedding night, but I was having so much fun, I never even felt cold and that energy spread.

6. Try To Finish Planning At Least Two Weeks Ahead

Another one of my best wedding tips! Wedding planning can be so stressful. From guests not RSVPing on time, demands from families, trying to make sure everything is tied in a nice neat bow, it is a lot. If you can, I recommend finishing everything and making all decisions at least two weeks ahead. That way you and your partner can enjoy some time together before the wedding and relax. We were so busy up until the very last minute, but looking back, we wished we had found a way to complete more tasks early. Tell your planner this, too!

Blogger Hoang-Kim Cung in Vera Wang wedding dress

7. Meltdowns or Breakdowns Are Normal

I was just telling a friend this the other night, but breakdowns are so normal, especially as you get closer. Johnny could almost schedule my weekly meltdowns the six weeks leading up to the wedding. As embarrassing as they may be to admit, it is normal. Planning a wedding is a lot, and out of all my wedding tips, I hope you remember to give yourself grace. You have family expectations and pressure, guests, a to-do list that feels a mile long… then throw in your own expectations on top of going to work and functioning like a normal human being. Communicate with your partner you will need support and would like them to take some of the load off your shoulders, too.

8. Delegate, Delegate, Delegate

This is what your wedding party is for! I had my bridesmaids and Johnny’s groomsmen help with a variety of tasks from picking up food the morning of both wedding days, picking up things we got altered and more. The day before, the groomsmen even came to help mow my parents lawn, lay down fresh mulch and move a floor-length mirror from our house to my parents’ house. Your friends will want to help you so you’re less stressed, so delegate!

Blogger Hoang-Kim Cung's wedding in Dallas, Texas

9. Expect the Unexpected

Everyone tells you this for a reason. It’s one of the most important wedding tips to keep in mind! Things will go wrong, it’s inevitable. Murphy’s Law exists for a reason, but don’t let that get you down. And don’t give yourself a brain aneurysm trying to prevent every single little thing. One of our decor installations didn’t look as planned, we just ran with it. We were missing incense for our Buddhist Ceremony so my Mom delegated it to one of her friend’s. It’s still going to be the best day, ever and you will be happy because you’re getting married!

10. Put Your Guests First

One thing Johnny and I really paid attention to is how our guests will experience our wedding. How will things flow for them? What will it be like going from the ceremony to the cocktail to the reception? What about getting food or drinks? The little details you pour your heart and soul into won’t go unnoticed. They will appreciate that you thought of them. I had toiletries in the bathroom along with touchup makeup and they went so fast!

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