1. Get your ring sized and insured!
You've got your bling, but the actual ring looks like it was sized to fit your hubby to be instead? I've heard of sweet, well meaning men sizing the ring based off one he found in her jewelry box that was actually for her pointer finger. Or maybe it's too small and you can't wear it? A quick trip to the jeweler will have that fixed in a jiffy, usually a week at tops. This symbol of your love will be on your finger for life, so make sure it fits!!
Since your man probably spent a pretty penny on your new rock adding it to your homeowners policy might not be a bad idea either. Most homeowners policies offer coverage for precious items, but they need to be added individually and aren't automatically covered.
2. Set the date
This is the first step to actually planning your wedding, how exciting!! A lot of brides to be get engaged between Christmas and Valentine's. If this was you, think about what you want your day to be like and how long it will take to accomplish your vision. You don't want to start the planning process overwhelmed because you didn't give yourself enough time to pull it off. The average statics of wedding planning has the couple planning 13-18 months before the big day. Now this is just average of course. You can still have an amazing wedding with 6 months of planning. The date you pick can also help you set the theme for the event. For example, fall weddings tend to have warm colors and elements of the season. You may need to be flexible depending on venue availability, but setting a date will help kick off your planning adventure.
3. Invest in an organizational planner
During your planning you'll have a lot of information to keep track of, and it's best to have a portable folder to be able to carry it will you to appointments. There are so many options to help keep you organized as the big day approaches. I'd recommend looking in person at your options and choosing one that can let you organize the following:
A space to keep track of your budget
A space to write notes for brainstorming and to do's
Sample ideas, timelines, and tips and tricks for planning
Pockets or folder inserts can be helpful to add handouts
Tabs to keep organized and easily find notes
4. Determine your budget and who will contribute
Have financial discussions early!! You want to get on the same page with your fiancé about the wedding budget. Finances are often the number one thing couples argue about, so set a budget and stick to it to avoid unnecessary tension. You will also want to talk to both families to see what they are willing and able to contribute. In the past the wedding was solely the bride's families responsibility. These days the bride and groom often both contribute, with the families coming up with a smaller amount. It is customary for the Groom's side to pay for the rehearsal dinner. Every family and couple is different, so it's best to talk it out, so there are no surprises later.
5. Get Inspiration
With Pinterest available, wedding inspiration is literally at your fingertips 24/7. You could spend countless hours scrolling through flowers, decor, dresses, and ideas. I'd recommend making a separate board for your actual wedding, because most ladies these days even have "some day wedding boards" long before they said yes. Having a separate board will help keep you organized and not become too overwhelmed with options.
Another source of great wedding inspiration are bridal shows. This will add the in person visual that is often required to get a feel for the product and who the company is. Here you will meet countless vendors and see lots of options. I highly recommend taking a bag to carry all the swag you will receive, and also taking address labels with your name printed for all the contests you will enter.
6. Patience, flexibility and deep breaths
When you are in full swing of the planning process there are likely to be surprises and changes to your plan. The venue you had your heart set on may be booked, the 10 course tasting menu may be out of the budget, or your dress may arrive later than expected and leads you to rush fittings. Be flexible and breathe. There will always be an alternative and a solution. It will be okay I promise! The whole point of this BIG day is to unite you and your fiancé in love. Just don't get so stuck on your Pinterest wedding board that your REAL wedding doesn't measure up to your own expectations.
7. Begin preliminary guest list
Collaborate with your man on who you want to invite. Who is important to you? I've seen weddings as small as just the couple and as large as hundreds. The more people you add the more it affects your budget. Most catering is based on a per person food allowance, so think wisely if you really need to have your mother's cousins best friend at your wedding. Sometimes some tough decisions need to be made, and while I'm sure you'd like to invite everyone you all know, often it isn't practical or necessary.
8. Venue selection
Begin looking at venues early because popular places can fill up fast! Your dream venue may be booked every Saturday for the next year, but if you're willing to do a Friday wedding it could be yours. The Venue you select needs to be able to accommodate the size of event you envision, which is also why I advised a guest list head count prior to looking at venues. Most venues can accommodate ceremony and receptions in the same space, but think about if you also need a separate ceremony reservation so the booking dates correspond. The style of the venue is important to note as well. You likely will not be able to change thier decor, except for the addition of florals. The venue is the backdrop to all of your portraits, so choose wisely! There are many gorgeous venues that can elevate your photographs that will be hanging in your home.
9. Select your wedding attendants
How big do you want your bridal party to be? Do you have an entourage of friends and siblings to join you? Or do you want it to be just you and your man standing at the altar? Also talk to your spouse about his groomsmen ideas. Some couples like to have the same number and some choose not to.
Take some time to really think about your Maid of Honor selection. This person with be your right hand gal, and likely holding up your dress as your use the restroom. She needs to be someone reliable and who will help ease your wedding stress not add to it. She will also be helping to organize your showers and planning your bachelorette events. Remember that it is YOUR day and you don't have to pick someone because you think you have to.
You will want to ask your attendants early in the planning process to make sure they are available on your date and are able to start budgeting on their own. The wedding is an investment for the wedding party as well. They will need to purchase clothing, shoes, and accessories. They will also need to budget for gifts and party events. These days couples often travel and do BIG weekend events with their wedding attendants, so give them plenty of notice.
After selection, find a fun way to ask them to be part of your special day. There are a lot of cute bridesmaid proposal gift ideas out there like candles and pictures that say "I can't say I do with out you." Lastly, outline their tasks and what you expect of them. Some may just need to purchase their outfits and show up, but others may offer assistance in projects if you're a DIY kind of bride.
10. It takes a village!
As my mom has always said, It Takes A Village! Planning can often send brides into bridezilla mode and fast! This is the most important day of your life up until now of course!! This day will set the stage for communication with your spouse to be and how well you work together as a team. Remember this is his wedding day too! Work together to create a unified vision and a unified team with both families coming together as one. At the end of the wedding, the most important thing will be true, you will be MARRIED!
Weddings are BIG events and a lot of little details go into planning the best party of your life. Your day should be personal to you and your fiancé, and hiring an event planner is a perfect way to help you collaborate as a couple. It's also a great way to take a lot of stress and burden off of your shoulders. Many times I hear of brides who are so stressed leading up to the wedding and bogged down with detail after detail that they can't see past their to do list. They hate the process and stress over their looming wedding day. It should be a day where you can sit back and bask in the love you share and visit with your guests. Trust me the day will go by extremely fast and you don't want to waste it coordinating vendors, setting up tables and chairs, and creating 100 table settings. Contact me today to talk about your vision and I will work with you to bring it to life!!
Event Planning & Floral ~ Amy Marie Events
Photographer ~ Jamie Dunn Photography
Venue ~ Dover Hall
Makeup ~ Jordan Simpson
Hair ~ Alexis McClung Columbo
Charger Rentals ~ Emerson James Rental
Furniture, Plates, Silverware, and Glass ~ Rent E Quip Rentals
Bakery ~ Kadi Bakes
Main Dishes ~ Chef Lee Hendrickson
Invitation & Calligraphy ~ Letterful