I’ve never been that girl. I never dreamed about Prince Charming or Happily Ever After. I never played dress up to walk down a fake aisle to then recite my fake vows. I never considered my idea of a perfect wedding – until now.
Cut to a few months before my big day, and I have to say, I surprised myself. For the little girl that was too much of a tomboy to think twice about a wedding (“Ew, gross, I have to kiss him in front of all those people?!”) my perfectionist side showed bright when reality hit and the undertaking began.
To all of my fellow independent women that will be opting out of a wedding planner because they know what they want, here’s 5 things that I wish someone would have told me before jumping into the insane process of planning.
Accept help from family and friends, but stay true to yourself. This was definitely something I had to come to terms with. While that perfectionist side likes to do everything herself, it was important for me to understand that help was necessary. If you’re saving money by not having a planner, you should utilize everyone around you to make your wedding come to life. My mom in particular has been a HUGE help in researching, making connections, and working around our budget. She hasn’t been pushy on anything, but I’m aware that is always a possibility when accepting help. Just remember the old cliché: it is YOUR. DAY. The main decision-making has still been up to me, and I will continue to fight for my vision down to the last details as the day gets closer. Give yourself that same determination and strength and no one you ask for help will overlook what you truly want out of your wedding.
Let your man have a say – it’s his day, too. And if your guy is anything like mine, he will have a say. It’s one of the things I love about him – he’s open about his opinion on decor and loves the process of designing just as much as I do. While, yes, there have been a couple things that we don’t see eye to eye on, we’ve talked through it all and have come to compromises that work for us both. That’s part of being married, right? All in all, it’s important that both of you look at it as a special day. If your man says he wants you to have whatever you want, still be sure to check in on major decisions. I promise he will appreciate it – and appreciate you for considering his feelings.
Stay ORGANIZED. Write it all down, then write it down again. I’m a list writer. If I didn’t constantly write down my to-dos, something would fall through the cracks. While I have a wedding book and my own life planner where I’m always jotting down what’s next, WeddingWire‘s Wedding Checklist has been a life saver. Even if you’re someone that stays organized, this tool helped me to see the big picture – and just how much needed to be accomplished – all in one place. It also shows you a timeline of when these things should be done based on your wedding date. I had a couple (or more than a couple…) things go into “overdue” so I always knew what to tackle next. Like I said: Life. Saver.
Start early, but don’t stress about the little details until the end. The major points should definitely be taken care of ASAP – the date, the guest list, the venue, the food, the dress, etc. Basically, anything that needs to be locked down, ordered, or booked in advance. That Wedding Checklist I mentioned is huge for this, too, since it can help with a timeline. Other than that, the little things like decor and layout function will fall into place naturally as the day gets closer. As long as your major necessities are in place, don’t let stress ruin your time leading up to the wedding. Everything will get done.
Remember that you’re throwing a party. Yes, it’s about the couple – but it’s also about making a memorable and fun experience for your guests. This means focusing on food and alcohol (two big things for us), music, activities, decorations, mingling space, and more. With a list like that, all of this would be crazy overwhelming, right?! Enter WeddingWire‘s Vendor Management Tool: a one stop shop to finding, favoriting, contacting, and booking local vendors. These vendors are what will make your day extra special, so being able to compare and save your favorites is a must.
Believe me, if anyone understands how insane the process of organizing a wedding is, it’s me. Like I said before, I was never one to have that perfect vision in mind until the day to start planning came. This is a generalized list, and I know there’s so much more that goes into it. I’m still smack in the middle of pulling everything together for my big day, and all of these tips have helped me in ways you can’t imagine. Take them into consideration before you start (or if you’re in it like I am!) and I promise it’ll ease the stress – if only a bit.
Side note: I highly recommend getting a wedding book to stay organized. My mom got me one from Erin Condren that’s amazing, but here’s a few more to choose from: