It’s wedding season. If you are in the middle or soon to be planning a wedding, here is my unsolicited advice for your special day. Some of this advice I actually followed and others were learned along the way. Just remember at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is you are marrying the one you love.
First – set your budget. This is important because things add up quickly! Do not forget to include stamps if you will be mailing out invitations. If you are going to pay for anything, make sure it is listed as a budget item.
After you have the budget talk, sit with your partner and decide the top 3 things that are important to you both. Spend the majority of your budget there. For our wedding it was Food (me), drinks (him) and music (both). This helped us be able to have the band we wanted, and provide yummy food and drinks to our guests. Normally I would have included photographer, but I was extremely lucky to have an amazing friend that doubles as a Photographer! Not only did she take amazing pictures, but she was there the whole day for me too!
Before planning anything, remember this is about YOU, YOUR PARTNER and YOUR LOVE! There are no set rules that you must follow. Make this day about the two of you. Have it be a reflection of you both and something to enjoy. So if you want it and it is in budget, DO IT! This is not a pass to be a bossy bride, but a reminder that you can make this as unique as you like. Think outside the box. Our rehearsal dinner was at Top Golf. We had a lot of out of town guests and wanted to do something fun. Food was Mexican, buffet style. We offered guests drink tickets and any additional drinks, they purchased. We had a few golf bays and the guests could play and mingle. It was a fun way for our family and friends to interact and not be as awkward as a formal setting might be.
Have an excellent planner/director by your side. This will be one of the areas you look back on and are so thankful for the splurge. They have more experience (duh) at weddings and can provide not only information and suggestions (all of my vendors were from her suggestions), but can be the calm you need for the big day! Let’s face it, at least one thing is going to go wrong that day, your planner/director will be the POC. They will answer the questions and provide guidance throughout the day. You will only be worried with something if it is a major change or issue. Do this for yourself, it will help allow you to enjoy the moment and not stress as much! I honestly would not have made it through the day without mine. Thanks again K!
Create the Pinterest Board. Add any pictures and ideas you like. I was only able to find one bouquet I loved and it was the inspo for all other flowers. So pin the dang pictures – even the extravagant ones – you never know what you might use. This board can also help your vendors see what you do or even do not like.
For getting ready: Surround yourself with your support team. You most likely won’t need them, but if you do they will be there. Getting ready time does not have to be limited to just the bridal party, especially if you have a smaller wedding. Let your closest be there with you too! Make sure to have snacks around and graze as you get ready. Good options/ideas: Chicken nugget tray, crackers, grapes, bananas, and drinks. Avoid anything that will stain your teeth or clothes.
Registry: Pick just a few stores to create a registry. This is your time to ask for anything you might want and it be guilt free!! Make sure to have a wide price range, but do not exclude the higher priced items. Often times couples will go in with other couples to get the higher end items. I would highly suggest putting practical items on your registry as well: sheets, towels, cookware, silverware. A new trend is also adding a honeymoon or experience registry — this will allow family and friends to help contribute to your honeymoon or experiences you want to do. I loved this idea from a friend. We gifted them an excursion (partly) and they were able to enjoy an outing after the wedding!
Area where I saved? Centerpieces….Nobody remembers the centerpieces, so do not let that be a stressful point. Think about the last wedding you attended, I am almost positive you do not remember the table decor. I don’t even know what the decor was at my wedding. I let the florist decide based on my likes and dislikes. It looked beautiful and I had zero stress about any of it.
Don’t waste money on the fancy shoes…Yes, I am talking to YOU and myself! This was a hard lesson learned. I ended up with 3 pairs of shoes and wore the cute flats…they were also best for the pictures. Again, nobody will remember the shoes, but it isn’t about that. Do not make yourself uncomfortable, buy the cute flats for detail pics! This will save you money and save your feet so that you can enjoy the day and not be in pain! I wish I had gone with a pair of converse and had the monogrammed honestly.
Venues: If you are trying to save a little, look at off days for your wedding. If you choose a Friday or Sunday (basically any day other than Saturday), the venue could have a discounted rate. Check to see if the venue has any restrictions that might make you shy away from booking. There are a LOT of hidden fees and ways to save, especially on reception sites. If your venue is not close to town, you might also want to consider transportation options for your guests – especially if alcohol will be served.
Pictures: I touched on photography earlier. For me this was very important. But what the heck do you do with all of them after? Create a book, like Shutterfly or one of the other sites. I have a book and gifted one to each mother as well. The year you get married – everyone gets pictures for Christmas, just do it because it will be the one and only time that is acceptable. After that, pick a few of your favorites to print and have around the house.
Don’t let your wedding be a source of stress. Remember why you are doing it in the first place. Elopement is always an option too – then just come back and have a big reception party! Whatever you decide, it is for you and your partner. If you remember that, you can’t go wrong!
Share your tips for those heading to chapel!!