LITERALLY have not been on here for awhile because I’m in FULL wedding planning mode & I hate to say it but to be honest, I have been too busy! I get so many questions regarding wedding posts and I wanted to give you guys all the tips & tricks once I dealt with everything to give you honest feedback. So grab some wine, get comfy & here we go!
Ok so if you just got engaged, are just starting to think about your wedding details & all that you need to do, I will let you in on some tips I found helpful/ learned along my wedding planning journey. First off, CONGRATS!! You can never hear that enough let’s just be honest, you love it and you should. It’s that time in your life when you are allowed to be selfish & have everyone wanting to stare at your ring or ask you a million questions about your wedding vision, so soak it all in because it goes by in a blink of an eye let me tell ya. I got engaged Christmas Eve 2017, crazy to think I will be saying “I Do” in 52 days but we’re really doing the damn thing. I had so many mixed emotions, I remember after 4 days of engagement, Christmas, Christmas parties I was beyond overwhelmed and would just sit on my couch 7 cry for absolutely no reason. Ok that is a lie, I was totally overwhelmed because 1. I hate when the attention is on me, like HATE IT. #2 I felt so many people wanted your attention which, in reality that is how it should be because the people that love you are excited for you, but in my case it was just a few days of non stop craziness. Like Christmas is already crazy, splitting up my day between my family & Chris’ family so just imagine that x100. Looking back, I miss it. I miss that crazy rush you feel right when you get engaged and the lets start planning feeling. Right about now, when you are just 2 months away, you will feel scared, overwhelmed but in the back of your head you know everything will be ok. You just have to get through this point of crossing all your t’s and dotting your i’s.
Sorry for the rant, that’s wine for you! But I am going to share some of my tips since all of them would just be too long to read, that will be another post. What you should do when you first get engaged.
#1 GET YOUR VENUE
I can’t say this enough, start looking ASAP. If you know you want to get married within a year, hop to it girl. Don’t waist any time and start planning venue walk throughs fast, why you ask? Dates will fill up like you can’t believe and fast. I didn’t really think of getting my venue super fast, it just happened to be my step 1 because I knew this is a huge part of your wedding. Venue’s get booked way in advance so it’s hard to get the exact time you want unless you jump for it. The venue I chose was the first venue I went to look at because, well, it’s pretty freaking amazing! Little hint: lions, tigers and bears oh my LOL no but lions and zebras for sure! Anyway, back to my point, don’t wait to get your venue. Book appointments at 3-4 per day if you can, that way you can make a decision fast since there could also be a waitlist and girl you want to be first on it. I went to my venue, with the exact date I had in mind thinking oh it’s in the bag. Let’s just say I left super upset because I was THIRD on the waitlist (it all worked out) but yes I shed a few tears since I really wanted 2018 and this particular venue. Once I found out I was third and it was the only date left in 2018 I had to have a plan B, so I went to see other venues. I did not like any of them for the price that I would be paying for mine it didn’t compare and I felt discouraged. So take it from me, find your dream venue and book it right then and there!!
#2 Dream Dress
So if you’re like me, you probably have Pinterest board after Pinterest board filled with wedding dresses, veil accessories and everything else all picked out. My tip here, not only don’t look on Pinterest after you get your dress BUT don’t let anyone pressure you into buying right then and there. You have time! I didn’t try on too many dresses when I found “the one” but I know since working in sales, they will want you to “say yes to the dress” and if you are not ready don’t do it. There will be a dress out there where it will be perfect with no outside pressure and you will just know what you are looking for and how you feel in it. Another big tip I discovered, if you are on a budget which c’mon I was! Try and find a dress either at a sale, or at a trunk show. Designers will sometimes have trunk shows at boutiques/ stores to show customers their new collections. Which is beneficial for you, not only are the dresses new and no one has seen them, there is always a discount when purchasing a dress at one. I got my dress at a trunk show which was awesome because it lowered the cost by 40%. BUT don’t get too excited, learn from me. If you are on a budget, and at a trunk show, find a dress that is $500 lower than what you want to spend + with the discount. Want to know why? Well, because you still have to get that dress either altered, hemmed and bustle the back, which is $300+ so just prepare yourself for that cost no matter what! My dress fit like a glove and just the hemming and bustle is $470 so just keep that in mind when dress shopping since I told you first here. If you are one of those girls with no dress budget, disregard and you suck LOL.
#3 Find Your Photographer
One of the main aspects that make your day special, is your photographer an the pictures you get from your big day! Start looking for someone who’s style you like, preset you like and how they edit their pictures. You would be surprised how far out they book weddings so just put this high on your list and thank me later! If your not picky, then disregard #3, but I wanted a certain feel for my wedding so this was important to me. Also, for a videographer, do your research! Look for someone who is reasonable but also that edits well. You should look at their past videos and make sure you love their work. I have some top favorite I am feeling currently which is another post I will be putting out this week!
#4 This Is a Big One – AWedding Planner
Ok hear me out, if you have $$ to spend on a wedding planner by all means go for it. Let me tell you why I think it’s good to hire a wedding planner for the whole process. I didn’t want to spend a lot and I was like oh there is no way that is too expensive. Well, some people get them some just plan themselves but it will save you hair pulling / crying nights on the couch down the road if you just get a wedding planner. I have had friends that had one and said it was such a breeze, while I am over here crying because I have so much to do every night. Let me explain, I have a wedding coordinator who is SO awesome for the month / day of. Her name is Annie and I will leave her info in the post I am writing coming out Friday. I met her on a styled photoshoot and she was the absolute sweetest. You need to get good vibes /mesh with your planner! It just wasn’t in my budget to get a planner to literally take the wheel and plan everything for me even though now my mom and I wish we kind of did, because it’s a TON of work doing it yourself. That is just my own opinion take it with a grain of salt but I give mad props to planners it is a lot of working putting together a wedding I could never do it (even though this used to be my dream job as a kid). I literally would be anxiety stressed crazy LOL. Just research and keep in mind you still want to enjoy this experience and keep your sanity!
#5 Stay Organized
I know some of us struggle with organization and some are super OCD like myself. But even this OCD girl drinking my white wine as I write this got flustered and wasn’t as organized as I thought all these years I was going to be. Start with creating a separate wedding email. Give this email out to all vendors so it is separate and easy to access.
-Next step, get a binder to keep all your papers and notes in. You don’t need to get super fancy and spend a lot on one of those wedding binders if you don’t want to, just have one to keep all your info/ checklist of when certain things need to get done.
-Set phone reminders – it can be a lot to start signing contracts and having payments due at all different times. Set a reminder in your phone of when deposits need to be paid by so you don’t forget!
-Try and get as much done in the beginning as possible. I know there are checklists to follow, but if you can jam out more that is farther down the line, do it. It will only help you more in the long run where a few months out you can relax instead of start to pull your hair out. Make sure you get your big vendors out of the way and booked because those go fast the small things you can always work with if worst comes to worst. I am happy I got so much done in the beginning because there is always something that creeps up when you don’t expect it that you might have forgotten or want to add at the last second. So just to keep a peaceful mind, check check check it off your list!
One last tip: try not to get caught up in your emotions even if you are stressed out. Everything will work its way out eventually how it’s supposed to be! Just keep in mind, this is your wedding, you have been dreaming of this day for a long time. Enjoy every step of the way because it’s a huge deal and you should want to remember this and treasure it!! Happy wedding planning babes, I hope this post was a little helpful to you that might be starting out and not all websites give you the honest truth about how it really can be, but I also hope I didnt’ make you stressed but more so cautious of what to get done first so you can have everything you have ever wanted for your big day!