May 8, 2014
I greatly underestimated the amount of stress wedding planning can put on someone. With that being said, I believe the majority of the stressful parts of my wedding are out of the way. But let’s not jinx it! Our wedding date will be on May 23, 2015 and I have booked the ceremony site, venue, and photographer.
A couple valuable lessons have been learned thus far so for any newly engaged bride-to-be’s out there like myself, here is my advice. I hope this will help lighten some of your stress load throughout your wedding planning journey!
1. First and foremost, sign up for The Knot! Do it right now! They have an awesome checklist, which includes everything you will want to do and the timeframe to do it in. It has really helped me get organized and to not feel so overwhelmed with figuring out what all I even have to do in the first place. Additionally, they send you deals in the mail and they will filter out local venues, photographers, DJs, etc. around your area.
2. When deciding on a wedding date, come up with several options and don’t get your heart set on one date. Venues, photographers, and even your church will fill up quickly so allow yourself some flexibility. This way you aren’t completely heartbroken if your first date is not available.
3. Once you have several dates in mind and you start hearing back from venue options, ensure you read over the paperwork closely. Small fees will add up quickly. You want to find a venue that doesn’t nickel and dime you for every little thing. We chose Countryside Banquet in Washington, IL for our reception location mainly because it is already decorated with beautiful lights, it has plenty of space, and they also include setup, cleanup, table covers, napkins, and table skirting for no additional charge. The price per plate is pretty reasonable as well. Check out their website if you’re searching for a decently priced venue!
4. As soon as you have the date nailed down with the venue/ceremony site including the deposit paid and contract signed, book your photographer. Photographers can begin booking up over a year in advance. To ensure the photographer you want has your date available, allow yourself plenty of time to reach out to them.
5. Most importantly, don’t let everyone else’s opinions influence what you and your fiancé want. This is the one day you and your fiancé get to be selfish. The day is celebrating YOUR love and YOUR commitment to each other before God for the rest of YOUR lives. Your family and friends will have opinions because they want your big day to be just as special as you do, but don’t let those opinions completely drive you away from what you really want. No matter how hard you try, you cannot and will not make everyone happy. You also won’t be able to accommodate every guest attending. It’s important that you take opinions into consideration (some of their ideas may be pretty awesome) but don’t allow it to overwhelm you. Otherwise, you will find yourself hating the wedding planning process.
Enjoy this time! You are planning one of the biggest days of your lives, it won’t happen again so don’t allow yourself to get buried underneath the stress of it all and have some fun!
Next on my to-do list is:
- Book the DJ
- Block hotel rooms
- Get the guest list together
- Register for gifts
- Find a florist
If you have any other advice from your own wedding planning experiences, please spread the love! 🙂 I know I could use it as I move forward in this crazy, stressful (but fun!) process. I know one thing is for sure—I will enjoy every step of the way from here on out. I am only getting more excited with every day that passes to marry my best friend and at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about!