I’m happy and sad to report that our wedding planning is over. Just like every bride, I had my moments of… “I need a knife to cut the cake?”… but I had an absolute blast planning our wedding together with Dan and our families. I’ve compiled a list of things that I feel are very important in the wedding planning process. I realize that I was a fairly laid back bride and did take a backseat to a few things that some brides would not. I will say, that I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Below are 10 things I would suggest in the wedding planning process:
1. When people offer their help, take them up on their offer: Let’s be real, you can’t do everything yourself. Even if you could, it’s important to include those people that do want to help. Maybe you are afraid they are going to mess up how you want things? Kindly explain to them the criteria or way in which you are hoping that it turns out. Most people offering help want to make it perfect for you. I will say that I’m very blessed with people who were like that for my wedding and I do realize that we will not all run into the same situation.
2. Ask and allow your Fiance to help: No matter how much you don’t want him to or he doesn’t want to, he should help. Including Dan was crucial to our weddings success. Our wedding would not have been what it should have been without his help. Late nights planning things out and putting together table decorations allowed us to have the opportunity to talk about everything that was happening with the wedding. As a bride, it was also imperative to my sanity that he showed he cared about what was going on and recognized that I was working hard and I recognized his hard work as well.
3. Make Things: Weddings are expensive, figure out your theme and how you want things to look. It’s not too difficult to recreate any look and making the majority of your decorations will save on your expenses quite a bit. We made our wedding ceremony backdrop, table decorations and our wedding invitations. If my memory serves me correct, we MAYBE spent $125 on our invitations (including postage which was the most expensive).
4. Make your own calendar/to-do-list: There are literally thousands of wedding resources. If you want a checklist, you can find one in an instant. What you won’t find is a personalized one that doesn’t stress you out. (If anyone can locate one, let me know). I printed out my own calendar and put due dates on the entire thing. This allowed me to incorporate my daily life with planning a wedding. I also think some of the reminders are completely insane and unnecessary for planning a wedding but that being said if you find those resources helpful I do encourage you to use them. I used the most popular websites as a resource to gather ideas and put them all together on my own.
5. Read Everything: Chances are you are really excited and you want to get everything booked right away! Unfortunately, some vendors and venues can easily capitalize on this excitement and have you sign on that dotted line, knowing full well they didn’t point out a few of the important restrictions and requirements. The top things I would suggest looking for; bar and food minimums, requirements needed for setup/take down, when payment is necessary.
6. Allow yourself to be pampered on your wedding day: If there is anything I could suggest, it would be to let yourself really be taken care of on your wedding day. Hair, nails and makeup would be great. . It takes a lot of stress off of you. I’m not saying that you need to spend an outrageous amount of money but at least have a friend, mom or a bridesmaid who knows what they are doing, take care of you on your special day.
7. Keep your menu recognizable: I’ve been to a couple of weddings where I was unable to pronounce what I was about to eat. Now, I’m more on the adventurous side and am usually willing to try anything but I just don’t think a wedding is the time to do it. Remember that you want people to be up and dancing around in a couple of hours, steer clear of exotic foods that people are unfamiliar with and just keep it simple. In my mind there is nothing better than well cooked steak, beef tips, chicken or cod.
8. Bridal Party: Your bridal party should consist of people who have really been there for you throughout everything in your life or at least since you have known them. This is not the time to try to put a band-aid on a controversial friendship or a way to try to reunite with someone who you haven’t seen for years. If you are asking people to stand up and be in your wedding party because you need to have either another groomsmen or bridesmaid to complete a couple for your wedding party, I have five words for you….. “You are doing it wrong.”
9. Research: While it is always amazing to go with someone who is recommended to you for a venue, cake decorator, photographer, caterer, etc. ; do your research. Get an overall feel for the vendor you are dealing with. Check out their website. I highly recommend getting in touch with every vendor as a test: How quickly do they get back to you? Are their answers wishy-washy or do they provide you with very clear detailed answers.? Did they answer all of your questions? When they write or call you back, do they know your name or are you addressed as (bride,groom, sir, madam)? Is there pricing very reasonable but then for every 3 breaths you take you are charged another $300? Ask questions right away, don’t wait until after you book them or you are sure to be disappointed, upset or very confused.
10. Marriage vs. Wedding: Remember that while many say that this should be the happiest day of your life, you do have more days to follow. Don’t plan or do anything that will make your future husband irritated or feel disrespected. If your significant other has a reason for not wanting something, hear them out. Remember that it’s just one day and compromising should start right away.