Woo Hoo! You’re engaged! Congratulations!
Now you’re wondering how are you going to manage this whole wedding planning thing? When I first got engaged, my already married friends would say things like “Good luck with wedding planning!” And my first thoughts were the following:
Why does it seem like everyone hates planning a wedding?
What makes this process so cumbersome and overwhelming?
Then I began the process myself with my fiancé. I am just a couple short months away from saying “I DO” and I would like to share some things that I have learned along the way. I am going to tell you 5 sure fire ways to survive wedding planning! This process is supposed to be FUN! It’s a very special day in both of your lives!
There are times that it seems like it’s so far away and there is so much to do. Then it gets closer and it still seems like there is so much to do. IT’S OKAY!
- STAY ORGANIZED. Get whatever resources you need to stay organized and fast. Whether that’s making excel spreadsheets, purchasing a planner, using your computer/phone calendar, to do lists… or all of the above. You get the idea. Nobody knows you better than you! I used variety of organizing techniques. One of my favorite things in the whole world is my Erin Condren planner. I used her customized planners before I got engaged and then I found out she makes a wedding planner as well! Hello beautiful! Find her amazing organizers here!
I also use an app called “Cozi” to keep track of our schedules and this proved to be a god send during wedding planning. My schedule as a nurse is often crazy and my fiancé works a more typical 9-5 but with an hour and half commute tacked on, so Cozi kept me from going crazy with scheduling things! The free version of the app is everything you will ever need. You can keep track of everyone’s schedule in ONE place! This made it 1000% times easier to schedule tours of venues, meetings with venders, cake tastings…ect.
I didn’t have to constantly text or call my fiancé on my days off to try and coordinate things. I scheduled meetings based on the schedule in the app and he would get notifications when I added something. Super easy!
2. DELEGATE TASKS. This is one that can very hard to do and I still struggle with it sometimes! You have to remember that you are only ONE person. Who most likely has a job or school or family and life obligations that are unavoidable. This may be particularly hard if you fall into the “if you want it done right, do it yourself” category. But guys delegating tasks can save you serious some time and headaches. And we can all use a little more time and less headaches right?!
Have a creative bridesmaid? Have her help with some DIY projects. Have someone drop of the invitations at the post office. Ask for help with wedding favors. Don’t be afraid to give up the control a teeny tiny bit. The more you stress about things being perfect, the more headaches you will have. Trust me. Things will not go as planned 100% of the time. It’s just not in the wedding cards.
3. BUDGET CAREFULLY. Everyone’s financial situation is different. Whether you are paying for the entire wedding yourselves or none of it, it’s still crucial to have a good grasp on your budget. Spend time going through your finances as a couple and come up with a carefully strategized budget that you would like to stick to.
And then blow that budget up.
By at least double. Just kidding! Not really.
But seriously weddings are expensive and you have to be meticulous with your budget. Otherwise you will be spending both of your salaries and then some. I used an excel spreadsheet to keep track of what we paid when and our original budget for all items. This included how much we still have left to pay through contracts with every vender. Once we signed a contract with a vender I also wrote in my planner when payments were due to help keep track of everything.
4. RECOMMENDATIONS ARE YOUR FRIEND. Use them! Every venue has preferred venders that they work with. Ask for a list of these venders if they don’t provide you with one. Do your research. One of the most important things that I wanted was an awesome videographer. I researched extensively and interviewed people before choosing one. Once I made my decision, I asked for recommendations based on his connections within the area and ended up booking with an awesome female DJ that he suggested! People know people within their industry. Use this to your advantage whenever you can!
Have any recently married friends? They will be all to happy to tell you the best and worst vendors based on their experiences. Knowledge is power my friend!
5. This may seem like a silly thing to include on here, but I can’t tell you how much easier Minted.com made my life by having free address printing as an option with my purchase. I found minted from a recommendation of a friend who was recently married (see point 4^ ). I used them for both my save the dates and invitations and would highly recommend them. Great product. Great customer service. You simply upload your address list using their predesigned format and TADAH! I highly recommend using an online vender for your invitations, especially if you’re planning on having a large guest list. It’s convenient and easy. Most websites will allow for address printing. Unless you are planning on hiring a calligrapher to design your invitations OR have the patience and desire to do it yourself, using this amazing feature saved me a ton of time!
Remember. It’s totally normal to feel like you are on a hamster wheel struggling to stay upright. Try to expect the unexpected and you’ll be fine! Sounds easy right? Not really. Writing this post has made me realize a couple of things. I have planned and made a lot of decisions over the last year and half! I also could not have done it (sanely) without the help of the important people that will be by my side in less than two months. Having a great support system is key to surviving this whole wedding thing. And you can apply that same logic to surviving life.
I hope these 5 tips help you in any way they can! Even just a little bit.
Happy wedding planning!!