I got married to the love of my life on September 16, 2012. As the first one out of my friends to get married, I learned a few things along the way and thought it would be nice to share my top 10 wedding tips that I learned from planning my big day.
10. It doesn’t necessarily take a year to plan a beautiful wedding.I remember when we first got engaged people asked us two questions right off the bat – where and when would be having our wedding. “You have to book your venue right away! It’s only 11 months until you want to get married!” Umm... 11 months is still a lot of time. I remember feeling this immediate pressure to start planning when all we wanted to do was take some time to enjoy the feeling of being newly engaged and admire my pretty new ring. As we went through our wedding planning process, and since then as some of my friends have gotten engaged, I realized that there’s way more flexibility in venue availability (for example, choosing to get married on a Sunday) than we initially thought. Since there are so many factors to consider I would really recommend taking your time, enjoying the planning process, and looking into contract specifics before locking down a venue.
9. The wedding is about the couple, but it’s not only about the couple.
8. Etsy.com is one of the most valuable websites you’ll find throughout the planning process.Wondering where to buy those cute props you see in all those engagement photos? How about where to pick up cake toppers? Bridal hair accessories? Stationary? You’ll find it all on Etsy, trust me. Best of all, this website is a marketplace where small businesses and craftsmanship are valued and promoted. It’s truly a community and a wonderful resource. When the invitation templates we kept seeing around seemed a little too cookie-cutter for our taste, a friend recommended searching on Etsy. We got our invitations through a wonderful little shop called Love In Writing and couldn’t have asked for better service. In fact, we went right back and ordered our programs, menus, and table numbers and were blown away by the quality of our stationary. Etsy should not be overlooked!
|Photo copyright of daveandcharlotte.com|
I created a simple spreadsheet in excel that had columns for the description, time, and duration of each activity on our wedding day. I distributed it to the wedding party and our vendors so each person knew where they were supposed to be and who they could get a hold of in case things were running late. It might not be the perfect wedding planning guide, but it was still a great tool that listed out all of our details and helped us from forgetting all the little things.7. Creating a wedding timeline is a great way to help plan your day and keep things running on time.
6. No matter how much planning you do, be prepared for everything to run late.
5. Hire a coordinator for the day of the wedding.I cannot stress this tip enough! Think you can take care of coordinating all the details yourself? Think again. As the bride you’re busy getting dolled up, taking pictures, and if you’re a super procrastinator like me, finishing up your thank you speech as you’re getting ready (oops). What if you don't have access to your venue until the day of your wedding - who’s taking care of overseeing the centerpieces? How about setting up the aisle markers and seating chart? We couldn’t afford to hire a wedding planner, and though our venue came with an onsite coordinator (who was lovely), she only showed up an hour before the wedding and as I found out the week before, it was not “in her job description” to set up the items that weren’t provided by the venue (ie: place settings, floral arrangements, cake and cake toppers, seating chart, programs, etc.). What an absolute headache! My bridesmaids were getting ready with me so they couldn’t help either. Thankfully I have the best friends in the world and with some added muscle from the groomsmen they were able to put everything together in the knick of time. I hope you learn from my oversight and save yourself the stress – hire a coordinator!
4. Things will go wrong. Guaranteed. Some people may notice, most will not.
3. Photography is expensive but absolutely worth it.
2. People say one thing but do another.
1. Take the time to soak it all in.
|Our first dance as captured by Dave Biesse of daveandcharlotte.com|
Starting tomorrow, Wednesday May 1st, I will be running a 5 week series called Wedding Wednesday (yes I'm super clever). It will be a styling series for all the ladies who might want a little bit of inspiration on getting dressed for their pre-wedding events. First up - what to wear for your engagement photo shoot (and a glimpse at my own pictures). Join me tomorrow, won't you?
If you'd like to be notified of new posts from The Lifestyle Project click here then enter your email address.