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Hi! I'm Billie Jo, a wife to one and mother to four who loves all things home and family. During the day I homeschool, do laundry, and drink way excessive amounts of coffee. I would much rather read than exercise, and I am blessed to live the life I dreamed of.
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On Planning A Wedding

Years ago when I was in college, my favorite professor and nun stated that to write well one should write about what one knows. Right now I know about planning a wedding. And I must say, contrary to popular belief, I found it to be fun and undaunting. Here, while they are fresh in my memory, are a few thoughts I have about planning a wedding.

1. Like many things in life, planning a wedding is as difficult and stressful as you make it. We decided early on that we would enjoy every part of this most special time in our daughter's life. We chose to work together and keep things as simple as we could. We thought about how important each aspect of the wedding was to Madison and Nicolas, and made decisions accordingly. For example, while flowers are an integral part of wedding festivities, Madison and Nicolas planned on celebrating their wedding a few hours from home and knew that getting fresh flowers from our local florist would be a difficult task. We didn't want to order from a florist we didn't know, and picking them up the day before, transporting them, and keeping them fresh was too much to deal with. Instead, Madison found an Etsy shop and worked with the owner to design the most lovely silk flowers that will last forever. 

2. Recognize your strengths. And your weaknesses. In other words, do what you do, and let others do what they do. If designing and decorating is your thing, find an empty venue and go to it. If it isn't, find a venue that will do it for you. And then let them do their job. We chose a venue that provided a lovely sit down dinner. The hotel manager was pleasantly surprised when he asked Madison to tell him where we wanted things placed on the table, and Madison responded that he could do it however he thought it should be. That is what he does. So we let him do it. And it was amazing.

3. Resist the urge to fall into the Pinterest trap. Pinterest is great. And it is awful. Great because it offers so many ideas. Awful because it can create unrealistic expectations and unnecessary pressure. I encouraged Madison to let go of all those Pinterest pictures and think instead about what she and Nicolas wanted their day to look like. After all, no one on Pinterest shares their exact same ideas, interests, memories, moments, and thoughts. I encouraged them to forget all those pictures and expectations, and enjoy the day they created.

4. Relax. Really. Remember that your guests are there because you invited them. You invited them because they are special to you and to your child. They are not there to critique your choice of linens or count the different types of cookies you offer. These are the people you chose to celebrate the most special day in your child's life. Forget the stress and enjoy. I was so happy at Madison's wedding. Really happy. I was happy to celebrate my girl and her new husband. I was also happy to honor and entertain the people we chose to share the day with us. 

5. Remember to enjoy all your planning. The day of the wedding, I gave Rhett my phone. I wanted to be in the moment. Each and every moment. I soaked in every single smile, tear, hug, laugh, dance, visit, and kiss. I am so thankful I did. The day passes so quickly. I didn't want to miss a moment.

I know there are many more thoughts on planning a wedding. You can find them in any wedding book, binder, and of course on Pinterest. These are just a few of the things I am thinking of as I settle back into life after the wedding. I hope someday these small thoughts help you enjoy one of the most wonderful times of your life. 

Photo credit: Lydia Shafer Photography


  1. Beautiful thoughts. I love it that you enjoyed it ALL. Love that picture of your daughter in her gorgeous gown. Have a blessed day dear friend, HUGS!

  2. You are such a wonderful example, my sweet friend, of how life should be lived...not just here where you have shared about how to enjoy one of the most exciting times of any parent's life when their child is getting married...but all through your blog for the last year that I've been coming here three times a week, there are words of wisdom as to how to live life without a lot of stress...being able to find the "cozy" in any place at any time. You have helped me greatly, Bille Jo. xx

  3. I so enjoyed reading this, Billie Jo, and think the suggestion you gave Madison and Nicolas of thinking about what they really wanted was the key to their successful and beautiful wedding.
    I also think having the silk flowers was excellent too, my goodness I enjoyed all of the advice you have shared . especially relaxing and enjoying this special time is most important too!
    That photo of Madison in her beautiful wedding gown is priceless. Thank you for sharing, you are such an inspiration.

  4. The things you shared in this post are not what you would typically find in any wedding planner! But yet they should be at the very top of any wedding planner!! Truly the most important thing is to enjoy the day and you did it well and beautifully! I think it was wonderful that you gave your phone to someone to just enjoy being in the moment too! Such a beautiful picture of your Madison standing at the window! I've heard very few mothers of the bride talk about how relaxing and without stress the wedding was!! And your advice about letting people do what they do best was excellent too! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the wedding, they are a treasure!

  5. I love this! Oh and the picture of Madison is stunning!!

  6. Your happiness radiated through the entire day! Everyone was present and in the moment. I did not see many phones or cameras out and it was very refreshing! All our energy was focused on what really mattered. Being there. You give excellent advice that I hope people will remember if and when they are in that situation. Also I never would have known Madison's flowers were silk! They looked so real! (great tip!) You all did an amazing job and were so happy that day. It was just the way it was meant to be <3

  7. Such sage advice. I wonder, by the time I am to plan another wedding what will have changed. Will the world be back to smaller affairs? I haven't a clue, but this advice will certainly stand the test of time.

  8. Since our middle daughter got married, (years ago) I have come to realize everything you wrote about. It's not about the food or the flowers, it's about YOU (the bride and groom.) I'm so glad you found the secret and were able to truly enjoy the day!

  9. I am in total agreement with you. Do what you do best and let others do what they do best. That worked with our daughters and no so great with another family member (who may not have recognized they had ANY weaknesses)-lol

    My thought at weddings (all 4 of my kids) is to do what has to be done right up until you know you should be done..and then stop and enjoy the rest of the ride. What doesn't get done won't matter anyway. I loved 'visiting' when the weddings were over with all the friends we had there. xo Diana

  10. The photo is stunning, she looked beautiful. I a so glad the day went well and you had the wedding of their dreams.

  11. That is a beautiful photo and a gorgeous dress! Wow!! Your instincts and good advice will serve someone well, I'm sure. We have boys and didn't have to plan their weddings. Whew!

  12. I love love love love love this post Billie Jo!! So many weddings I've been to lately are soooooo pinterest and so theme-ish. Blah! I love each piece of advice here!

  13. What a gorgeous, gorgeous photo. So happy for her!! And you.
    Your advice is always spot on. <3

  14. So many people make their wedding one of their most stressful days rather than the happiest as they try to make it into someone else's perfect instead of their own. I'm so glad that the day was perfect for Madison and Nicholas and that everyone there enjoyed it. Her dress is stunning! xx Susan

  15. Such a treasure of heartfelt words and wisdom♥ This is so meaningful to take to heart and is the way planning a wedding should be- fun and full of sweet memories.
    The photo is just BEAUTIFUL. All of the lovely lace and the window, oh how lovely.

    Hugs to you,

  16. This has my crying happy tears. I feel like I know your children from your blog. I enjoyed my daughter's wedding. I didn't have a camera in hand or anything. I wanted to savor each moment and it was beautiful! So happy you've been able to pause and reflect a bit. I've been away. Can't wait to catch up!

  17. Such a great post! I'll have to come back to it some day when my girl gets married -- it's full of wonderful wisdom! Your sweet bride looks so beautiful!


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Billie Jo