I've been married for just over a month. A fact that is so crazy to me because this month has just flown by! I know this sounds cliche but our wedding day was a dream come true. I always hoped it would be perfect but knew there was a good possibility that SOMETHING would go wrong. But nope it was perfect. I remember sitting in my pajamas on wedding morning thinking that it was so nice not having to worry about anything. I planned my wedding for over a year and it was the best day of my entire life (so far). Planning a wedding is probably one of the most stressful yet exciting things I've ever done and I learned some things along the way. I hope that if you're planning a wedding these tips will help you make it a smooth stress-free process!
1. Pick your Bridal Party Wisely!
Take this one VERY seriously. Think about it, you want people who will still be in your life 20 years from now when you're looking back at wedding pictures. You also want to pick people that are kind and most importantly, helpful. I had a great group of ladies willing to help me with anything I needed!
2. Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
This is one I did automatically but only on wedding day did I realize how important it is to delegate. On your big day you want to have nothing to worry about. So delegate, ask your friends and family to do different things on wedding day to help make it run smooth. I didn't hire a wedding coordinator but I did have a family friend oversee everything! She came early and met with all of the vendors and set up decorations. Beforehand, I gave her a folder containing all of the information she would need! Because of that, my day was as smooth as could be. Even throughout the process I had people helping me with different things. My sister helped pick out my wedding invites, I had one of my bridesmaids come to all the catering tastings with me, one sister made my centerpieces.. The list goes on and on. It was so great to not have all the pressure of figuring out all the little details alone!
3. Follow a Timeline Closely.
They have so many wedding timelines on the Internet and whether you’re planning your wedding in 3 months or a year and 3 months, I recommend following one! I used to have nightmares that I would forget to do something on wedding day (like pick out the cake or decorations or something silly!). Having a checklist kept me on track helped tremendously.
4. Make A To-Do List
As much as I would like to say that the wedding timelines you find online would be all inclusive, they usually are not. They take care of the broader things like "pick a DJ, find a caterer etc." What it doesn't handle is the nitty gritty things like buy gifts for your bridesmaids, call to confirm your nail salon appointment, etc. So I had my wedding timeline checklist but I also had an ongoing wedding to do list that I would update every time I thought of something! No matter how small the task might have been. This helped keep me organized and took stress away.
5. Keep Track of Finances- pretty much everything is going to be more expensive then what you'd think!
This is something I was not on top of. I picked vendors that I thought were reasonably priced and then realized how quickly things added up. Start by setting a budget of how much you're willing to spend. Then check around for different prices! I also suggest asking family and friends for recommendations. We did that with my florist and DJ and ended up with two wonderful individuals who were reasonably priced and did an amazing job. Figure out what is important to you and what you're willing to spend more on. For me, that was a photographer. I wanted someone to capture the amazing moments of my big day so I was willing to set my budget a little higher for that.
6. Stay Organized
This is probably an obvious one but get a folder or have something that has all of your wedding things in one place. I also recommend when you go to taste caterers or meet the florist or photographer that you bring a notebook with you. When I went to taste different caterers, one of my bridesmaids brought my notebook and took notes on different things the caterer said. We even wrote a list of questions down that we wanted to ask the different caterers. It was so helpful because after tasting 5-6 caterers you aren't going to remember their answers like you might think!
7. Go with your Gut
I wish I could say I did this. But there were a few times that I did not. I planned a wedding from out of state, which is much harder then I thought it would be and because of that I had to be very strategic about scheduling things like cake tastings, catering tastings and meeting different vendors. If you don't have a good feeling about a vendor or company that you meet with... RUN. I had a weird feeling when I met with the person I thought was going to be my caterer but she was reasonably priced and the food tasted great! We had everything in the works and then about 5 months before the wedding she completely cancelled on me. Now I know what you're thinking, 5 months is a long time! Well it's not when you're out of state and planning a summer wedding (busiest time of the year)... I had to plan an extra trip to Washington and it was stress that could have been avoided had I just listened to my feelings in the first place.
8. Do what YOU want
In the end, not many people besides you will remember your wedding day in 20 years. Listen to people's opinions and always think and sleep on what they say but in the end, you and your fiancé decide together. I promise there will always be people that don't like some part of what you did but in the end it's your opinion that matters! Not theirs. It's the one time in your life that you get to be completely selfish! Make use of it!
9. Ask for Help when you Need It
I remember about two months before the wedding; the pressure was getting to me. I realized how little time was left and how much I still had to do. I called my mom freaking out and she just stopped me mid sentence and said, "What do you need me to do?” I rattled off a bunch of things and low and behold two days later those things were done! My mom made me realize instead of panicking, I should have just asked for help! So many people are willing to help you if you just ask. Pick people you know are reliable and tell them what you need and when you need it done by, and let them handle it for you! There's so much to do when planning a wedding and don't forget that when you feel overwhelmed it's perfectly okay to lean on the people around you.
Planning a wedding is so exciting. Throughout the entire process my dad constantly told me to "enjoy this time" and to stay calm. I didn't understand because I just kept thinking "I'll enjoy the wedding day but planning sucks!” Looking back, I do wish I enjoyed the planning process more. You only plan a wedding once in your life! So enjoy it. Go get drinks with your girlfriends when the pressure is getting to you, take a mini vacation somewhere, whatever it takes to relax and enjoy, do it!
If you enjoyed this post, check back on Tuesday for the next one.
All wedding photos © by Sasha Reiko Photography | www.sashareiko.com