Today is National Wedding Planning Day! Proposal season just officially ended and now it’s time for couples to start planning their magical day. I’ve been engaged for a little over a year now and have been planning ever since. In honor of this holiday, I’m sharing my Top 5 tips for wedding planning below:
Find Your Inspiration
Try this exercise…close your eyes and imagine your wedding day. Where are you, what style dress, what color is your fiance’s suit, and are there any other details that jump out at you? Have your fiance go through the same exercise and share your vision with each other. Maybe you both imaged an outdoor wedding, a shared color theme, or even a musician playing in the background. Chances are you’ll have some differences and commonalities but either way, it’s a great place to start the conversation. Finding the vision or inspiration for your wedding is one of the most exciting experiences you’ll go through in your life. There is no shortage of inspiration to be had from looking at favorite photos of you and your fiance to picking up the latest issue of the Knot magazine. Focus on shared interests, what makes you a unique couple, and how to express that best on your special day.
Get Organized- There’s an App For That
There are 2 types of brides…the girl who’s been planning her wedding since she was 6 years old and the girl who says holy crap I’m getting married “where do I start?!” I’ll readily admit I was the holy crap girl :). I thought about buying one of those “Weddings for Dummies” books lol but ended up asking a married friend of mine for advice. She highly recommended downloading the Knot Wedding Planning App. All I can say is it’s the #1 wedding app for a reason. I’m convinced the saying “the devil is in the details” must have been coined by a bride to be! Trust me when I say there are hundreds of details when it comes to planning a wedding so having an app that simply and visually walks you through the journey is a Godsend. Everything from where your money should be budgeted all the way down to the tiniest details is available for FREE on your smartphone.
Set a Budget
Let’s face it, budgeting is not romantic but it’s a crucial part of the wedding process. The last thing you want to do is start your marriage buried in debt. While tradition states the bride’s family pays for the majority of the wedding, those lines are very blurred these days. Our wedding is no exception as both Jason and I come from very humble beginnings. We’re paying for 100% of our wedding and while it’s an extremely important day, we don’t want to compromise our financial future. Weddings are expensive and you will undoubtedly be faced with making sacrifices in certain areas. The best advice I can offer is to be flexible in how you allocate your budget but stick with the number you felt comfortable with spending in the first place.
Tame Your Guest List
My first draft guest list had everyone from fourth cousins to the girl that does my nails; however, the further I got into the budgeting process the more I started treating my guest list like Oscar invites lol. It’s simple math…the more people you invite, the more it’s going to cost. You’ll need a bigger venue, more food, more drinks, etc. Besides the financial side of it, there is something to be said for a smaller, more intimate wedding. We aren’t really close to hundreds of people so why not share this incredibly special day with only those truly closest to us. Ultimately, we decided to trim our guest list to 50 of our closest family and friends. It wasn’t easy but we used one simple rule to tame our guest list. If we don’t talk to you on a regular basis or enough to really know what’s going on in your life and vice versa, then you probably shouldn’t be on the list.
Establish a Timeline
Don’t feel rushed to set an actual date but you should establish a general idea of when you want to get married. Wedding planning quickly goes from all the time in the world to absolutely freaking out because it’s only a couple months away. Every situation is different but from my personal experience, you need a minimum of 6-9 months to plan. One of the best places to start is picking the season and year. Weather is probably going to be the biggest factor in this decision so it will help further narrow down the timeframe. Your ideal wedding probably doesn’t include rain so pay extra attention to historical precipitation records. Once you establish a general timeline, you can start taking other major steps. Remember to enjoy each moment because it goes by quickly! Planning your wedding should be a fun and pleasant experience.