One thing about planning a wedding – people are constantly offering you advice. It’s one of those things you just have to take in stride. I think people honestly mean well and want to share in your happiness, if only for a moment. That being said, here are my top 10 tips for wedding planning 🙂
10. Giving: For someone who likes to do and give to others, it wasn’t easy to pull the reigns in on favors and other extras for guests. But a budget is a budget, and you have to draw the line somewhere. Looking back, our wedding was a day to receive and I think that is what friends and family wanted most.
9. Venue: We loved-loved-loved our venue. It was a little difficult, however, to plan and visualize the tent without having seen it in person. If possible, arrange with your venue to see the site set up in advance. I wish I had taken advantage of this opportunity when it was made available to me.
8. Time: We chose to hold a midday ceremony for several reasons. First, we thought the mountainous road would be more driver-friendly in the daytime. An earlier meal is also lighter with less alcohol (dollar saver!) In theory, an earlier ceremony would also allow nearby guests to save on boarding for the night. But there were a few things we (ok, I) didn’t think of. For example, saying your I Do’s in midday sun = major squinting. Not the best for pictures. There is also considerably less set-up time for decorating.
7. Work it: Weddings can be absurdly expensive, if you ask me. One way to save money is to work with what you’ve got. For example, I loved the idea of using wooden boxes with the centerpieces. You know – the soft gray, rustic ones that look like they have aged romantically. But at an easy $10 each, that adds up quickly. Eventually I recognized the bountiful collection of antique boxes I have access to via my mother. Sure, they weren’t the color I was originally fixated on, but they brought more character than anything else could. Plus, (and I emphasize this point) they were free. We also were able to save money with the florist by using our own jars, glasses, and vases.
6. Images: Pictures speak a thousand words. I can’t emphasize enough how tremendously helpful Pinterest was in organizing thoughts, finds, and general likes for all things wedding. (Here is my Nuptials album again). More importantly, these pictures will be extremely valuable as you try to communicate color/style/mood/preferences with your florist, cake vendor, hair/makeup stylist, and bridal party.
5. Allow extra time: Overall, nearly everything took longer than I anticipated. From designing the invitations, creating DIY projects, finding the right wedding band, to decorating the reception tent the night before…
4. Delegate: Delegating can be tricky – especially when you are a particular person like myself. I think I did ok at the time. In hindsight, I would have asked friends/family what they wanted to do to help. They may have different strengths or talents than I had realized.
3. Prioritize: Scratch that. Let’s call this tip Let Go: There will be ideas you can’t afford to include. There will be projects you don’t have time for. There will be details that didn’t turn out as you had imagined. But ask yourself what is really important? It is the love that you are promising to this man (or this woman…) for the rest of your life. Let go of the rest.
2. Be good to yourself: If ever there was a time to be extra kind to yourself, it’s before your wedding. (And probably while you’re pregnant I suppose…) I was fortunate enough to have regular massages during the course of my engagement. This was remarkably helpful for sore muscles as I upped my game at the gym, but even more so in the final months when I had endless headaches due to stress. Be sure to get lots of sleep too.
1. Speak up: Normally, I am not one to make a fuss. I consider myself to be flexible, understanding, go-with-the-flow kind of person. But sometimes you need to speak up and wedding planning was a perfect opportunity for me to practice. Let’s look at my dress alterations for example. I figured – this person is a professional, they are going to tailor it to fit me best. Although they did a fantastic job, the alterations were on the conservative side and I had to ask them to take it in more. This may all sound silly, but it was a step out of my comfort zone.
That’s it! I hope these tips were fun and helpful.