So you just got engaged and can't stop staring at your left hand. You called all of your best friends, closest family members, and changed your Facebook status to "Engaged!" Such an exciting time for you! Well, the excitement has settled and now it's time to plan out the most magical day of your life! Where do you start? Well every bride is different; some want a majestic princess wedding, and others want simple and intimate. No matter what type of bride you are, these 5 tips below will help you through the planning process.
1. Set a budget
First thing's first, how much money can you spend? If you're a bride like me, budgeting was such a great way to stay away from over-spending or going in to a huge amount of debt after the wedding. This is the most important step of all - every single vendor will want to know how much you can spend for their service. Find out who is paying for the wedding. Is it all you and your partner? Is family helping? Is family taking care of it all? If so, how much are they willing to spend? There's always a cap; unless you're loaded with cash - and in that case you can totally skip this step.
2. What is your vision?
You will have a ton of information heading your way. Everything from friends & family opinions, vendors, and of course the top of the food chain; Pinterest. Deciding on every detail will get difficult and overwhelming. At the beginning of the planning process, discuss with your partner your vision. The best place to start is to try and describe what you want in 3 words. For my husband and I, we said fun, unique, and rustic. From there we decided on a color scheme. Everything else fell together. We didn't do the traditional things either; bouquet toss, garter toss, and money dance. We were able to replace that time with more dancing! Pro-tip - Don't be afraid of stepping away from your vision - it's your wedding and your day. If you want to change something - CHANGE IT!
3. Enjoy the process.
Now planning can be a blessing or a burden for you depending on what kind of person you are. For me, I had a lot of fun planning because I'm a type-A, crazy organized individual. But if you're not that at all then you're probably throwing your hands up and saying, "Let's just elope!" about 10 times a day! Not to worry - if you did both step 1 and 2, hopefully you haven't given up just yet. (Don't get me wrong though - nothing wrong with eloping!) You will be out and about throughout the year tasting cakes, trying on dresses or suits, looking at flowers, and checking out venues. Although all of these things can be a bit overwhelming, try to have fun with your partner during this time. This is the time to grow closer to your partner, learn about their likes and dislikes, and decide on things together. My husband and I were already best friends before we get engaged, but became even closer planning our wedding together. Every decision was our's; custom Converse, laser engraved wood cut coasters, the venue, the colors. It was all our's.
4. Take breaks.
So you've got a rhythm. Every day you wake up, open your planner, and get crackin; whether it's a Pinterest search for rustic weddings in a barn, or an appointment to try cupcakes at your local bakery you have a routine set. I get it, planning your wedding can be a part-time job. For me it became a full-time job! I was planning at work, leaving the office early to go to appointments, and couldn't concentrate on my actual work that I was getting paid for! It was a little obsessive. Ok ..a lot obsessive! Set aside time to take a break. My husband made a point to tell me to put everything away and just spend time with him. No wedding talk or planning. Just enjoy being engaged. Go out and get some dinner, have fun with friends, take your bridal party out for a movie. Have some fun! In the midst of all the planning, life is happening!
Your family and bridal party are there to help you! Don't try and do everything on your own! This is where your leadership skills will be put to the test. You will need to be able to get a plan together and communicate efficiently so everyone knows their roles. Lean on everyone to do those small tasks; pick up the favors, drop off the deposit to the florist, or make sure your bridal party gets the right jewelry or cufflinks. Trust me, your life will be so much easier. Planning a wedding is business within itself. You and your partner are the owners, your best man or maid of honors are the GMs, and everyone else are managers of their own section of your wedding. Start this part early so that nothing is left until the last minute. Give deadlines, and be very specific.
No matter what kind of wedding you are planning, it's going to be the best day ever! You are going to celebrate life with the person you love most in the world. Planning can be a stressful part of that or it can be a peaceful part of it. Which do you want? Married already? Let me know how your planning experience went in the comments below!