1. After you determine your budget, rank items in order of importance to you. Let’s face it weddings are expensive. You can try with all your might to be as conservative as possible but there’s not a bank account that won’t feel the impact of a wedding. My top priorities planning my wedding were a great band, unique location, and wonderful food so that is how I prioritized my spending. I also booked those items first. I spent more on my band than I did on flowers and decorations. By starting with what is most important, you are more likely to stay within your budget because you are more willing to compromise on items that aren’t as important to you. If I had picked out my flowers before booking my caterer, location and band, I would have blown my budget.
2. Have a timeline for everything. And yes, I mean everything. There is so much to get done the day of the wedding. Start a timeline for the day before and day of the wedding. Weddings involve lots of people and people need structure. Share these timelines with your bridal party, close family members and friends. If you want to make mom mad then cut your cake while she is in the bathroom. (I have seen this happen twice.) Make sure all your key people are aware of the timeline of the pre-wedding activities, pictures, ceremony and reception. (Reminder to myself: post wedding planning timeline template.)
3. Take pictures of you and the groom before your wedding. I would have never believed I would be saying this three years ago. G and I were adamant on not seeing each other until I walked down the aisle. Everyone told us to do pictures before but nope we weren’t doing it. I had this fairy tale pictured in my head. I would walk down the aisle and G’s lip would tremble as he saw me for the first time. It would be a magical moment. Then we would go to the reception and our guests would let us eat and then we would have a wonderful time visiting with everyone there. That’s not how it happened….at all. G’s lips didn’t tremble. I don’t think he shed a tear when he saw me. He actually looked away a few times. I think it was his tactic for his lips not to tremble or to cry. I guess he didn’t know that what I wanted. By the time we got married, I had already planned a few weddings at the hotel. I had seen how guests get restless without food so in order to not have any hungry guests and to appease my mom because she hated the idea of pictures afterwards, I decided to let our guests go ahead and start eating without us. The entire time our photographer was taking pictures, we were rushing her because we wanted to get to the party. By the time we got to the reception, everyone had finished eating dinner so we decided to cut the cake. You don’t want to keep a bunch of Baptist away from their wedding cake. Therefore, we never ate. And to add to this never ending point… a bride drinking wine on an empty stomach can be a not so great combination.
4. I am so glad Pinterest didn’t exist when I was getting married. It would have been the death of me. Ladies, if you are planning a wedding get off of Pinterest. While there are some great ideas, I keep seeing brides get caught in a Pinterest fog. They are so focused on the details; they forget the big picture and forget logistics. So don’t waste your time on the favors that will go into someone’s junk drawer and that’s if the favor makes it home. Focus on the big items and the flow of the day, then add those finishing touches and personalized details.
5. The best piece of wedding advice I was given was once you make a decision about something move onto the next item. Don’t second guess yourself or nothing will get done.