Raise your (newly embellished) hand if you’re recently engaged! Hooray! We are so excited for you!! So excited, in fact, that we wrote an entire letter just for you. Today, we’re tackling some wedding planning tips, because as you head down that crazy/fun/exciting/stressful road of creating the day of your dreams, you might hit some road blocks. Have you been wondering what you might come up against and how to make fewer wedding planning mistakes along the way? We’ve walked through this process with tons of brides and we’ve noticed a few things that seem to be great decisions, as well as some that probably could be avoided. Whether it is making your guest list too long, or upsetting family members, or just agreeing to things that you didn’t really want, we think starting with a great plan can help avoid these extra frustrations.
So, here we go, 3 ideas to help you make fewer mistakes while planning your wedding…
Make a List of Your Priorities
This is super important, especially when it comes to building that budget or needing to say no to ideas that may arise. You probably have a vision in mind. It may be butty, and it may only really include a few key elements at this point, but you probably have an idea of what is important to you. Together with your fiancé, write those down. Is your biggest priority spending time with your family and showing them a good time? Do you want to walk into a princess glitter wonderland? Are you putting your priorities on a great video or wedding album to pass down to your kids? Do you just want to make mom happy? Do you want incorporate some heirloom pieces like a veil or cake topper?
Whatever it may be, own it, and set those items as your priorities. That way, when other ideas pop up or budget issues come into question, you have a framework to fall back on. You will come across a lot of really great ideas, but you can’t say yes to everything. Having this list will give you a guide on when to say yes, and the freedom to say no.
Communicate Your Priorities
Ok, this one may not be quiiiite as easy, or as fun, as the first one, but trust us, it is even more important. Chances are, someone is helping you pay for this wedding. It may not be everything, or it may be. These people will likely want to have a say in how that money is spent. Be understanding and respectful of that. After all, they are giving quite a bit of hard-earned dough to make your dreams come true. But, they probably want just that – to make your dreams come true. But mom isn’t going to know what your dreams are if you don’t tell her.
So take that list you made with your sweetie and sit down with those important people in the planning process. That may be parents, grandparents, or even your bridal party. Tell them what your dreams are, what your priorities are. You don’t necessarily even have to ask for their opinions, because this is a time for you to voice yours. But be open, and respectful, because you don’t want to start burning bridges now. If they have ideas, listen. Take notes. You can decide later what to throw out and what to keep. You never know, they may have some amazing suggestions.
Talk to a Pro
Did you know that a lot of wedding planners offer free consultations? That’s right, you can sit down with a pro and run your list of priorities by them. They may even have some vendor suggestions for you. And chances are, that if you spill out your dreams to them, they know about a thousand ways they can save you tons of time, money, and headaches. A lot of brides think they can’t afford a wedding planner. But, often times what brides don’t realize is that you end up paying quite a bit more when you DIY everything. Wedding planners are pros at saving you money. If nothing else, a great planner can listen to your wants and send you on your way with a plan.
Another pro that can be quite useful in the early stages is the venue coordinator. If you know the venue you want to use, have a chat with their representative. They usually know the best vendors, the best times to do photos, the best locations for the head table, etc etc. Don’t underestimate the amount of help your vendors can give you. We even spend a good chunk of time with brides and grooms giving planning suggestions and just talking through ideas.
So, before diving in to signing contracts and writing checks, make sure to pause and spend some time on these three tasks. You will have plenty of time to tie bows on favors. Set your priorities first, and communicate, communicate, communicate. Now, go plan the wedding of your dreams!!
Want some more planning ideas? Here are some you may find useful: