Now what? You’ve said yes, you’re showing off your ring to family members and friends and they start asking questions about venues, invitations, flower girls, honeymoons… It can be a lot to take in. How do you sort it all out? Here’s a list of three wedding planning tips and suggestions to help you get started:
1. The Binder. Whether or not you go all out and organize with color coded tab dividers or not, it’s important to be able to keep everything in one place because a shoebox full of receipts and a pad of sticky notes can only get you so far. First things first, take advantage of all of the amazing bridal resources we have at our fingertips online at sites like theknot.com, weddingwire.com, and pinterest.com and print off budget sheets, check-lists, and address book forms. Not everything will match your wedding perfectly but it will give you a place to start. Don’t be afraid to scribble down notes and cross things out that you don’t need. Learn from other brides and use their templates as a starting point.
2. Get a Wedding Planner. A professional wedding planner is a life saver, but if you don’t have room in your budget for someone ask your mom, a friend, or your maid of honor to assume the role. You’ll need someone you can trust for a second opinion but you don’t have time to always get them up to speed so make them a loyal companion for everything. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to spend loads of time with them preparing for the big day. However, don’t forget your fiancé in the mix! They may not be thrilled to hear about your dilemma of choosing coral versus peach napkins but be sure they don’t feel left out of the process. It’s their day too.
3. Trim it Down. Before you start looking for caterers, photographers, DJs, and venues make a list of things that you absolutely require and services that don’t matter so much. This will make it easier to choose between providers because you can see, normally from a first glance at their website, whether they work or they don’t. If they don’t – move along. The smaller the list you have to sort through the happier you will be. Keep in mind your budget, hours of service, and options to accommodate guest needs. Once you have a small list sorted out you can begin contacting providers directly and start considering more personal qualities like personalities, color schemes, and customer reviews.
Planning a wedding doesn’t have to be a headache! Enjoy the process and be excited about the things you do decide on, not the things that get left behind in the planning flurry. Look forward to your wedding day and it will be sure to be one of the best days of your life.
About the author: Carrie Buchert is a second year, oboe playing, long-distance relationshiping, wedding planning, board game loving, music student at Portland State University. Follow her blog at http://carriebuchert.wordpress.com/