Welcome to my first Wedding Wednesday post!
The purpose of this blog post series is to separate out any future posts about our wedding for those of you who are interested. But for those of you who aren’t, come back tomorrow for our regularly scheduled post that will have nothing to do with nuptials – I promise! (Fans of Wedding Wednesday should not only stop by weekly, but also feel free to visit the NEWLY UPDATED page “Our Wedding,” that I’ve added to the site, dedicated to all of the latest wedding advice and inspiration. )
Anyways, I’m not quite sure how long this new series will run – just until I get the rest of what I have to say out of my system, I guess ;) But after having gone through the crazy process that is wedding planning – and having to do it in under four months, no less! – I couldn’t help but feel compelled to share some of what I’ve learned with those of you who are in a similar position. During my own search for ideas, I stumbled across several sites with some great ideas, but the more I searched, the more I came to find that a lot of the ideas out there were the exact same ones – even the tips for the “modern” or “unique” bride tended to be all the same. Where was the originality?
Well, one thing was for certain – I definitely didn’t want anyone comparing Captain America’s and my wedding to any other wedding they’d been to before. I wanted it to stand out as one of those “awesome” events that everyone has a good time at, and that show-cased our personalities. A wedding is not just a celebration of a marriage, it is also the celebration of the union of two unique people, and I wanted everyone to leave ours with a better idea of who we were as people, and as a couple. From the comments I’ve received from guests in the weeks since, it sounds like we accomplished our goal and then some!
And that is my dream for everyone on their Big Day! So here, I hope to give you all not just the ideas that we used in our wedding, but also inspirational ideas that can be personalized, molded, and created to be something unique and special for your own wedding day!
With all of that said, today I want to leave you with some Wedding Planning Basics, that will help keep you calm and organized as you begin your wedding planning journey, but are also easily customizable in order to keep everything fresh, unique, and very YOU.
1. Invest In A Wedding Planning Notebook – I purchased The Wedding Planner & Organizer by Mindy Weiss and it was easily one of the most helpful tools I had at my disposal during the whole process. In any good notebook you’ll find organizing tools, itemized lists, timelines, places to jot notes, key questions to ask your vendors, budget tips, and more – (Including a plastic card protector to hold all of your vendor information. Not only will the organization keep you sane, but it’s also going to be your go-to list of everything you need to accomplish – trust me, there is more to planning a wedding than you could ever think of, and you definitely can’t do it on your own!
2. Plan Ahead – The day-of is going to sneak up on you faster than you ever imagined, so it’s never too early to start the planning process. Be sure to nail down the key vendors like the Location, Officiant, Caterer, Cake Maker, DJ, Photographer, Bar Staff, and Florist as early as possible to ensure you get your first choices and the best prices (note: if you’re on a shorter timeline – ours was 4 months – and you’re working on a last minute schedule some vendors will give you a discount if they’re looking to fill in empty spots over the wedding season). Wedding dresses and Bridesmaids dresses are often made-to-order, as well, so be sure to give yourself some grace room and pick those out early – especially because you may need to do some alterations once they get in! If you’re ordering anything online, or buying things off Etsy, don’t forget to factor in shipping dates!
3. Delegate – Even if it doesn’t feel like it, there are things people other than you and your fiance can help with – whether it’s putting together the wedding favors, tallying the RSVPs, making trips to the craft store, or even just going with you to a vendor appointment as moral support. Chances are your mother or future-mother-in-law would just love to be included in the process, so give them an opportunity! (As long as they don’t become a run-away train of course…)
4. Don’t Let The Opinion of Others Sway You – Everyone around you is going to have ideas on what you should or shouldn’t do, but remember: at the end of the day, it’s about you and your fiance! And your wedding should be a reflection the two of you as a couple – not your parents or the generous aunt that’s helping you pay for the caterer.
5. Be Thankful – There are SO many people who come together to make a wedding day happen, and no one is perfect. Treat everyone with grace and appreciation and over-use the word thank you, and your friends, family, and vendors will be much more likely to go that extra mile for you!
6. Expect the Unexpected & Learn How to Compromise – There were a lot of things that I was planning on doing for our wedding and reception that just didn’t work out – from the original color of the bridesmaid dresses to some of the decorations, and even a few other things that I can’t think of right now…But that’s exactly my point! It’s a mere 2 weeks after our wedding day and already I can’t remember the things that I had originally wanted so badly and couldn’t have. The point is, your wedding day is going to be beautiful no matter what! And you can’t rely on just one element of design or decoration to make it that way, there are a ton of factors that go in to creating the look you want, and you can’t let one or two disappointments during the planning stages create a shadow over what is supposed to be one of the most special days of your life.
7. Make Contingency Plans – In addition to your actual plans, be sure to make some room in there for “in case of emergency” plans as well. The month of July is not exempt from rainstorms, so no matter what time of year it is, make sure you have a contingency plan in case of weather, and let your vendors know what it is ahead of time, in case delivery times or locations need to be changed last minute. Weather is only one of the many things that can go wrong on a wedding day, so be sure to plan ahead for any particular emergencies that could pop up based on your location, or your specific plans.
8. Relax, Breathe, and Enjoy! – Between planning the wedding and keeping up with real life, your engagement is going to fly by, no matter how long it is! Be sure to take a step back and enjoy this time in your lives, and don’t forget to spend some quality time with your fiance not talking about your wedding plans ;)
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What is your best piece of advice on staying calm and organized while planning a wedding, or other large event? What is the best thing to keep in mind while thinking of a contingency plan? How do you find time to relax amidst all of the additional work planning adds to your life?
For additional Wedding inspiration, follow my wedding board “To Have and To Hold” on Pinterest!
Take a look at a few more of my wedding inspiration items here.
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Buy your copy of The Wedding Planner & Organizer by Mindy Weiss and start planning your wedding, today!
Get more hints and tips from Mindy in The Wedding Book: The Big Book for Your Big Day.