You’re probably so excited that you’re exploding with energy! You want to tell the world that you’ve met your one and only and just can’t wait to walk down that aisle! You want the most gorgeous dress, the most amazing venue, the best photographer the area has to offer! There are colors and fabric, lighting and floral, so many books and magazines to thumb through, wedding shows to TIVO!
Then reality sets in. How were you supposed to know there were so many aspects to planning your perfect day? Relax, it CAN be done, and done with minimal stress. The key is to start on the right foot to eliminate as many roadblocks as possible.
The first thing I tell all my brides is to decide on a budget and guest list. This can be a daunting task, so approach these decisions together. Having a bottom line and firm guest list will decrease mounds of stress on you, your family and your fiancé. Start allocating where those funds will be dispersed. Don’t forget all the “little” things like bridal party gifts, favors, bridal accessories just to name a few. These items can sneak up on you and wreck havoc on your budget if you’re not prepared. Once you’ve figured those numbers out it’s time to start having fun!
Start making appointments with your favorite bridal salon, bakery, caterer, etc. If you can afford to hire a coordinator, book them immediately. Good wedding consultants will only book one event per day to ensure one on one planning and guidance. I recommend interviewing three vendors per category, no more than four. When you overwhelm yourself with too many, it can start to get confusing.
Get organized. Keep copies of all your contracts and proposals in that adorable bridal folder you bought the day after he proposed! Have all your correspondences filed away under the appropriate vendor. Your musicians and floral designers plan umpteen weddings a year. This will ensure no detail was left undecided.
Talk to your family about their expectations. This has been the day your parents and grandparents have been waiting for! They’ve had a hand in helping you become the person you are, and surely have dreams of their own for your big day.
As your wedding draws nearer, start your wedding week itinerary. Don’t forget the rehearsal. Save enough time for your seating arrangements, final fittings and honeymoon packing.
If you get started early, you should have all of your vendors procured many months before your wedding day. This alone will eliminate mounds of stress! Remember to stay well organized and to enjoy every step of your planning process!