To all my newly engaged couple, congrats - you did it! Call me once you've come down from cloud nine. I always say engagement is amazing and wedding planning is hell. But it doesn't have to be! It can be an exciting, bonding, gratifying, and yes, a pleasantly overwhelming, whirlwind kind of experience if you let it!
With so many opinions, ideas, and Ohhh so shiny objects diluting your perspective, it can be hard to figure out where to start much less decide what YOU really want on your wedding day...and the YOU (and in you TWO) is the most important part. My advice to you: Take a deep breath, start slow, do your homework and keep an open mind.
With all that said, let's move this planning process along. Here are my de Lovely Wedding Planning Tips for the newly engaged:
1. It Takes Two: Now that you are an engaged couple, it is about we not me. Remember to talk, not expect, interpret, close down, or assume the other doesn't mind. It's about making big decisions together and taking each other’s ideas into consideration. Wedding planning is a trial run for how you will work together as a new family. You two are partners in crime, bosom buddies, best friends....act like it!
2. Rough Budget: Create a rough wedding budget based on what you have to spend not what you think you have to have. Do you want to go into debt just to get married? How much are each of you willing to commit? Will the families help? Answers to these questions may change over time but you have to start somewhere. (Great info here on wedding budgets for beginners)
3. Find Your Favorite Resources: For current tips, trends, and inspiration, peruse a select number of blogs that feel like they "get" you. There are wedding blogs and websitesout there for every single niche, hobby, personality, couple there is.Facebook, Twitter, Blog Follow them but be picky about those your spend your time ogling. Don't bog yourself down with a million different wedding ideas but do explore the boundaries of yours...you may be surprised at what you end up choosing.
4. Real Wedding Reviews: Search for real weddings in your area for vendor and venue ideas. Head over to your 5-10 chosen wedding blogs and scour their real couples. There is always a site dedicated specifically for your geographical area. Seeing how others pull off their big day is a great way to discover what is possible for yours.
5. Don't Over Extend: Researching local wedding professionals is a must for making good, informed wedding decisions. However, it is super easy to become overload with too many options and too much information! I recommend researching only three to four wedding professionals in the same category in the same month. Once you’ve made one selection, check it off your list and move on to the next category. Remember to always get personal references and check out online sites, such as Wedding Wire, Yelp and even The Knot for vendor reviews and couples' comments.
6. Let Your Personality Rule: You know DIY weddings are all the rage these days. It's about putting your personal stamp on your big day and saving you money; from invitations and escort cards, to bouquets, favors, and decorative touches, DIY infuses your wedding with personality specifically suited to you. Whether your skills rival Martha Stewart or you are a first time do-it-selfer, the key is not to over do it! Choose a few main projects (3-5) and trust the biggest projects to the pros. Your individual touches will not go unnoticed.
7. Leave it to the pros: A wedding is a big undertaking and with so many areas needing your attention, you can easily get stressed out. But this is why you hire professionals; a wedding coordinator or just day of help, you have a caterer to take care of the tables, venue manager to make sure everything is in place, people to make you look pretty and snap away at the important moments. So, take a deep breath and let them do their jobs - from the moment you hire them right through to your big day. You put a lot of time and thought into your decisions, so listen to them and trust they will do right by you. A happy bride, happy life.
On a personal bridal note, I recommend keeping a hardcopy journal full of ideas, pictures and inspiration handy; it can also double as your wedding notebook for reminders and vendor info. Add a fabric and color swatch for when inspiration hits you. Or jump on the Pinterest/Loverly bandwagon for all your virtual scrapbook needs. Great for brides on the go who want all their wedding eye candy in one place!
Hope these get you started in the right direction. There are so many wonderful tips out in the wedding world, what other tips would you add to this list? Leave us a comment below and we will share it with our FACEBOOK and TWITTER friends!