- Wedding: November 2012 - Oak Tree Manor
Aw sweetie don’t stress! You’ll figure things out pretty quickly, and there are a million tools out there to help you stay organized!
I totally agree with the previous person – first decide what’s important to you (in general… I’m not talking about colors, or flowers, or whether you’ll have a bouquet toss… but a general number of guests, where (city/town) you’d like to get married, whether you want a traditional wedding or something modern or rustic or a little different, etc.). Then figure out a budget, and talk to your families about who’s contributing what – if your parents are contributing.
After Mr. W and I did that, we kind of plunged into wedding planning. I signed up for an account with The Knot and I used the Knot’s planning checklist, as well as the guest list tool. The first few months we were engaged, we started developing a list of people we wanted to invite, and our parents did the same – as we added people, I added them to this guest list tool. Once we had the list and were ready to mail out save-the-dates, I collected addresses and entered them into the tool – it made it really easy to stay organized, and it let me track the date I mailed out invitations to each person, whether they RSVPed yes/no, what gift they gave us, and what date the thank-you card was mailed out.
The Knot’s checklist tool was really helpful too. It was a little overwhelming, so I didn’t really start using it until we had booked our venue, but in the 6 months leading up to the wedding I found it REALLY helpful. It lets you add in your own checklist items, too, and it’s nice because you can update it from any computer.
So anyways, with the help of those tools, Mr. W and I started planning our wedding together. We decided to have an outdoor wedding, so we looked at ~5 outdoor venues that were within our price range before we booked one. If you see venues that you like online, email them and they can send you their general pricing info so you know if they’ll fit in your budget! Also, I found that the best ways to find venues were by looking at ones featured on The Knot and Weddingwire, and by looking at one of my favorite photographers’ wedding blogs to see photos of where other Houston couples got married.
To us, it was important to pick a venue before hiring anyone else, because that meant we had a place (and a date!) locked down. Only then did we start interviewing photographers, and hired some other people (a florist, an officiant, a day-of coordinator, a DJ, a videographer). And around then, we also picked out bridesmaids and groomsmen and asked them to be in the wedding.
I also recommend reading the book “A Practical Wedding.” Don’t worry, it’s really short – but it puts a lot of things into perspective, helps you stay calm, and gives you an idea of how to do each step of wedding planning! That book gave me a lot of inspiration!
Don’t stress over it – there are some difficult, expensive decisions to make, but wedding-planning can definitely make you and your FI closer – it definitely did for Mr. W and I, because we had never worked on such a big project together before. And if you have ANY questions at all or need any advice, feel free to PM me!