- 5 years ago
I was never a super active poster on here, but I definitely read thousands of posts for ideas and tips. I wanted to pay that forward. Here are my wedding planning tips and advice:
– Plan early. I know everyone says this, but do everything you possibly can early. After I booked the venue, DJ, photographer, and found the dress, I took a break from wedding planning for a few months. Bad idea. I should have been working on various little wedding projects during that time. The three weeks leading up to our wedding were crazy busy! I was so busy making table numbers, making thank you signs, working on programs, seating charts, etc. So many things can’t be accomplished until right before the wedding because you have to wait for the RSVP’s. I wish that I had finished every project other than the seating charts, so I wouldn’t have been so stressed right before the wedding.
– Don’t take a huge group with you to go dress shopping. More people – more opinions. Sometimes your opinion can get lost in others.
– Create a PRIVATE facebook group for your bridesmaids. I used this group to post dress ideas, give them updates, ask questions, etc. It was so much easier than constantly flooding everyone’s emails.
– Don’t constantly post on Facebook updates about your wedding. It is annoying. Period.
– Become friends with other brides at the venue’s open houses. I found a bride whose wedding was just two weeks after mine, so we constantly emailed each other back and forth with updates and ideas. Let’s be real. Your family, friends, and co-workers are all interested in your wedding, but they don’t want to just talk wedding all the time. It was great having someone to talk to about every little wedding thing!
– Buy things off of Etsy way in advance. Some sellers production schedules are 3-4 weeks plus shipping time.
– Make your expectations of your SO’s role in the planning process clear. My Fiance (now husband) assumed that I didn’t need his help since I planned our entire wedding by myself. I would have liked for him to help assemble, stuff, and stamp some of our 150+ invitations. I would have liked for him to help pick out reception music more. Etc. Etc. I should have told him in advance, “Hey, will you make sure that you don’t make plans for this weekend, so we can work on in the invitations?” Stuff like that. Sometimes guys are dense and don’t realize that they should just offer help. Many of my friends have complained about the same thing, so my suggestion is to talk about things beforehand. Spell it out to them!
– Look on Craig’s List. I looked high and low for good deals on plate chargers. I found some brides selling chargers, but shipping costs would have been outrageous. Most rental companies were charging $1.00-2.00 per plate charger which I couldn’t justify. I looked on Craig’s List and found a lady who was starting her own event rentals company. I ended renting our plate chargers for 75 cents each. It was the best deal that I found.
– If it is in your budget, get professional makeup and hair artists to do the bridal party. My bridesmaids wanted to get their makeup and hair professionally done which was awesome. I covered part of the costs for them, but they had no problem paying for a good portion of it. It was so much fun getting beautified together in a hotel suite. It was a splurge, but I feel like it was well worth it. Lots of great bonding time together with great results.
-Roll with the punches. My florist called on our wedding day stuck in traffic and ended up being 30 min late. We needed the bouquets from her to do our pictures, but I just stayed calm about it. I knew the florist didn’t want to be stuck in a traffic mess, and there was no need to make her feel guilty or stressed. The bottom of my dress was a wreck by the end of the night. Someone early on in the night stepped on it, ripping some of the seams in the “pick ups” in the skirt. After that, anytime someone stepped on my dress on accident, my dress got longer and longer even with the bustle. I just held it up to prevent from tripping and kept on dancing the night away. The dessert table banners that I ordered from Etsy couldn’t be found right before the reception. I didn’t want my sister to stress over something that minor, so I just said “Oh well”. (The banners were found the next day!) Basically, things will go wrong, but if you just stay calm and understanding, it keeps everything in perspective. To me, my wedding day was pretty much perfect.
– Keep ALL of your receipts…every Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, Target, etc receipt. There are a lot of little things that I will be returning because we didn’t end up using them.
– Definitely do a seating chart (if you are having a larger wedding). The past two weddings that we have attended didn’t have seating charts, and finding seats together with our friends was a bit chaotic. Here is a picture of the one that I created on PowerPoint. I had it printed through Zazzle, and I spray glued onto a posterboard. We put it on a large easle outside of the reception room.
– Do a first look!!! That was literally the only time the entire day when my groom and I were alone together. I am so glad that we did pictures together prior to the ceremony. It was such a special time for us.
I know not everyone will agree on the next thing, but it really worked for us.
From the second that we got engaged, I told my Fiance that I wanted to do an after party after our wedding reception. After every wedding I have ever attended, the bride and groom have always commented on how quickly the night flew by for them. I knew that we were going to have a large wedding and were going to have a lot of family and friends coming into town just for it. I also knew that our wedding night would be the only time ever in our entire lives that we would have all of those people in the same place, so I wanted to make the night last as long as we could. After our reception, about 40-50 of our wedding guests headed to a low-key bar that was close to our venue. I changed into a more casual white dress, and it was so nice being able to actually talk to so many of our guests. The next day, my husband and I agreed that we were so thankful that we decided to do that. We had so much fun!
On that note, one last piece of advice, do not book your honeymoon flight the day after your wedding! Give yourself a day to relax, recover, and touch base with your family and close friends post wedding.
Hope all of that helps! I will post my wedding pics as soon as I get them from the photographer!