Congratulations if you are reading this and just became engaged! I loved being engaged- getting to call Sam my "fiancé", I hoarded wedding magazines like they were covered in chocolate, and anticipating the amazing day when we got to join our hearts together officially! (Even with all that excitement, marriage is way more fun!) Enjoy it though, because it will go fast!
You may be wondering where to start as even though it seems like you have forever to plan your big day together, you probably are quickly realizing you do not!
So let me give you a few tips that hopefully will come in handy!
1. Set Your Budget!
It's important that you both sit down and weigh in on what you can afford for a wedding. It's ok to dream a little, but remember to be realistic too. If your parents are helping, get their input as well. Set a definite limit, then make a list of things you each feel you must have and ones you are maybe willing to compromise on!
For example, if your husband-to-be has always wanted the party of a lifetime for his reception, a professional DJ may be on his list of musts. Maybe your bride knows that her ideal photographer will make her wedding dress look stunning anyway, so she's willing to spend less on the dress and more on snagging the photographer!
2. Set the date and location(s)!
While your wedding date is very important, having venue(s) for your ceremony and reception are definitely a close second! Watch for major holidays and consult immediate family when you decide on your date.
Many vendors require both the wedding date and locations in their contract, so be sure you book your venue(s) first!
3. Ask for referrals from family and friends!
When you start looking for wedding related vendors, ask family or friends who recently married who they used. If they weren't happy with a service, ask why. It could be something that doesn't bother you (such as they were slow to respond to emails) or a deal breaker (used the wrong color icing)!
Tip- instead of starting a generic Facebook status asking who's the best at wedding flowers, contact friends and family with a personal email. They'll be more likely to tell you who they loved, and also who to avoid.
4. Utilize Pinterest carefully!
Pinterest is a great tool for designing the look for you wedding. It is a great visual tool for pulling together colors and styles. It is also a HUGE procrastination tool!
Keep in mind that some vendors, such as photographers, prefer to unleash their own creativity on your special day, so sending them a pinboard of wedding poses come across the wrong way to them.
Ask your fiance to give their input too- even have them set up their own boards or add pins to yours to make sure you both have a say in the wedding!
Tip- When I'm on Pinterest I set a timer, so that little ding tells me when I need to move on to the next task! Otherwise I'd probably never get off the site! You can follow us on Pinterest Here!
5. Use wedding blogs to help plan!
Magazines are great to help with wedding planning, but many are trying to appeal to a large audience. Wedding blogs often have a niche audience they are working to serve. I recommend finding 2 or 3 that really speak to you and your wedding style to follow. Don't overwhelm yourself by trying to follow ALL the wedding blogs though!
Tip- Here are 3 of my favorite blogs that you may want to check out:
For the elegant planners- Grey Likes Weddings
For the more eclectic couple- A Practical Wedding
For the DIYers- Martha Stewart Weddings
6. Know your limits!
I'm all for DIY wedding elements- some of the best and most personal weddings we've photographed were Do-it-yourself affairs! I love them and I love the personal elements!
That being said, don't DIY yourself to death! Know your limit and be sure to get help when you need it!
Tip- Pick just one thing that you really shine at, such as arranging flowers to look fabulous together, then once you've added your special touch, step back and say "I DID THAT!"
I hope this blog post gave you a few tips on where to go from here! Remember to enjoy the journey, and that in the end- your marriage is what matters the most!