Now that you’ve said “YES,” your post-proposal glow is probably beginning to fade as you flip through that overwhelming, 500-page wedding idea guide. It’s true that planning a wedding is no small task but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it. So, take a deep breath and read on for some simple tips on planning the most important (wink, wink) day of your life.
photo via Southern Event Planners
1. Have a Vision
If you have a clear picture of what you want your wedding to look like, it’ll be that much easier to make it a reality. Do you envision getting married in an intimate garden setting or in a grand ballroom? Is your dream reception made up of close family and friends or is it a 500-plus event? Before you make any appointments or pay a single deposit, get your creative juices flowing. Scan bridal magazines and then jot down details of what your perfect day would look like. Knowing the big picture of what you want will prevent you from becoming overwhelmed by details during the planning process.
Unless you have an unlimited budget, you’ll need to decide how much you want to spend on things like flowers, entertainment and catering. Most wedding planning books contain helpful budgeting tools that show how much a couple should expect to spend on average. For example, the average bride and groom may spend 15% of their budget on photography. You’ll save yourself a ton of headaches if you use these budgeting tools only as a guide, not a set of rules. Set your own priorities within your budget. After all, you may decide to spend more on a designer dress and enlist a friend to snap photos.
3. Make Lists, Lots of Lists
If you’re the type of person who rarely uses the calendar app on her iPhone and usually prefers committing things to memory over using post-its, this tip is especially for you: When it comes to planning your wedding, make an exception. There is a reason why most wedding planning guides are encyclopedia-length. From researching and hiring vendors to managing appointments and deposits, you have a lot to accomplish. Using a calendar to manage the tasks you’ll need to complete will let you focus on one detail at a time (multi-tiered cake or cupcakes?). If you have no idea what to put on your to-do list or when to start planning, the Knot Book of Wedding Lists is a great place to start (It’s literally a book of lists!) or you can check out some newer websites that let you create personalized planning tools such as WeddingWire.
4. Let Family and Friends Help
When your parents, in-laws, and friends offer to help with your wedding planning, take them up on it! You and your fiance will still be in charge of making the big decisions but if your mom offers to search for the best bakery this side of the Atlantic, that is one less task on your agenda. Also, consider asking your friend’s band to play at the reception or accept the gift of your grandmother’s stunning, vintage wedding gown. Family and friends will be really happy to be a part of your special day and you will save yourself time and maybe even money.
5. Stay Grounded
More likely than not, at some point during your wedding planning, a problem will arise. Maybe the caterer you were courting will no longer be available for your reception or perhaps a bridesmaid will complain about the color of the bridesmaid dresses. Whatever the issue, remember that the most important detail of your wedding day is that, well, you are going to say “I do” to the person you love. All the rest is just icing. If you’re able to keep a firm hold on why you’re staying up late to decide on a napkin color, then you’ll be able to overcome any snag in your plans.