Post # 1
Wedding planning is so overwhelming! What are some things I need to be thinking about here? Venues, centerpieces, save-the-dates, invitations… colors, flowers, decorations, the dress etc, photographers, hair and makeup….
Any advice on how to simplify it all to make it more comprehensible? Are there any details that I might be overlooking? What are they? What are you glad you did and what could you have done without, disregarding budgetary needs? What about budgetarily?
Another thing I’ve been thinking about is dancing. I want to have the first dance, but what happens if nobody else dances after that? Awkward! If we played the music off a laptop then guests could pick songs and put them on when they wanted, which would be great– but then also, we’re having a very small wedding (around 50 people), and the chances of the dance floor being anything but awkwardly empty seem slim.
Post # 3
What do you have done so far? And is your wedding really in August, or have you chosen a date yet?
Post # 4
@pandabird: I didn’t have a wedding planner, which saved me a bunch of money, since I was going to be making my own invites/stationary, doing my own flowers, making my jewelry and baking my own favors. I know some girls will say that a wedding planner helps a ton, but I really didn’t miss it and everything came together perfectly. I am really glad I had such a long DIY list, it was totally worth it in the end and everyone was raving about how great and personal my wedding was. I could have definitely gotten a cheaper dress though. I would also recommend purchasing “test” runs for items that you want to DIY. I wasted some money on items that I ended up not using. Hope this helps 🙂
Post # 5
First thing I’d recommend is book the church, venue and a caterer. Next music and photog. Then florist. I think your venue and food will be your biggest cost so your decision there may affect other line items in your budget.
Post # 6
My advice would be to get some kind of checklist (I used this one: http://www.russellandhazel.com/PDF/WeddingTemplate.pdf) so that you can get an idea of what needs to be done and when it needs to be done by. We’re having a short engagement and I felt exactly the same way you did at first, but seeing it right in front of me what I need to do has helped immensely!
Post # 7
Set the date and book the venue. There are a lot of wedding planning websites and spreadsheets out there if you are the make a list and check it off kind of girl. The best advice don’t panic! The more you stress over the details the more you will hate planning your wedding.
Post # 8
Once we set the date, the first 2 things I booked was the church and the reception site (which does their own catering). Once I got those in place, everything became a lot more clear. I used the checklist available on theknot.com
Post # 9
WHen is your actual wedding date?
I would recommend hiring a DJ instead of having all of your guests chose what song they want to hear and all of them having access to the music. Either a DJ, or designate one person to be responsible for the music. If multiple people have access, I can picture songs getting cut off, the volume changing, songs being changed halfway though, dead spots because nobody has chosen a song, etc.. Just designate one person, and let your guests make requests through that person.
Post # 10
When we got engaged, the first thing I did was make an Excel spreadsheet. I listed out all the potential items we would need (venue, photographer, flowers, decor, dress, etc.). Next to each I put a budget (I’d been researching for years) and a month/year of when I wanted to accomplish that task. Depending on how much it was, I spread out all the tasks over our 11 month engagement. I tried to balance some months with money and time to do the task. I’ve mostly kept to my list, and it’s actually keeping me sane and stress-free. I was so worried that if I did too much too quick, I would be overwhelmed and possibly change my mind about something. My tip: pace yourself! And have fun with all you do.
We chose a venue that did almost everything in house (cake, food, drinks, flowers, decor, ceremony and reception together). They also had a preferred vendors list, where I got my DJ. This made things so much simpler and easier. No shopping around for all my vendors and worrying about if they show up on time.
Post # 11
Don’t stress about anything. First thing is sort a budget and then look for a venue.
Post # 12
I am using the knot and their wedding planner I got from the bookstore. It has been a lifesaver plus I love to be organized!!!
We’re not getting married for a while but we have a crazy year ahead so this is the order I booked things in
2. Venue catering and wedding caje are included
5. Hair and Makeup stylists
8. Colors, my dress, and the girl’s dresses
9. Now I am working on the little things…Save the dates, engagement pics, invitations, ideas for placecards, centerpieces, favors, and guest book, wedding bands, tuxes, gifts for bridal party and parents, lists of music and photos we want, accessories for the girls and me, rehearsal dinners
I’m not getting married for 18 months so some things are waiting but I hope my list helps you if you’re getting married in August!
some other things:
timeline of the evening to give to your dj
Post # 13
Thanks everyone for the advice! I hadn’t seen all the replies until now!!
The wedding date isn’t in August. It’s looking like more towards the end of the year (wintertime) or around there.
When did you buy the rings?
Post # 14
@pengoala: Really not that much except I know the officiant is going to be an old friend and I’m currently assembling the guest list with FI. Can you see why I’m overwhelmed? Haha, there’s just so much!!
Thank you everyone for your help!!
What was each of your easiest and hardest parts to plan, and what tips would you give on making those easier?
Post # 15
The best advice is just to email/call people and get the info that you need instead of procrastinating on that. That’s a problem that I have. I was all stressed about hotels and limos, but then I just sat down one lunch and churned out a bunch of emails and started getting info back on pricing, services, etc. Then it was easy to make a decision. Narrow things down how you can, and then contact vendors directly.
I did a lot of online browsing right at the beginning to get a feel for churches, venues, florits, and photographers. Our caterer came with the reception venue. Anytime you see a place/vendor that looks interesting, go check out weddingchannel.com or weddingwire.com for reviews and see if it’s worth your time to contact them!
I also used the checklist and budget on weddingwire to get my head wrapped around everything that needed to be done. Adjust it based on your personal needs, but its a good start!
And I haven’t ordered rings yet, I think a couple of months out should be good? Depends on if you’re ordering or customizing, and how much shopping around you need to do.
Post # 16
If you go to http://www.theknot.com and make an account, they have an in-depth detail of what needs to be done and when! My FSIL found the bookon amazon.com called “the knot wedding planner” and orders it for me- it helped so much!