Planning a wedding was never on my radar as a little girl growing up. I had many friends and family who already knew their wedding colors, the type of wedding dress they wanted, and their venue. This was all before they even met the guy that they wanted to marry. Now don’t get me wrong, I did think about it from time to time as I got older. I thought about what kind of wedding I would like to have that fit my personality type. I’m pretty Plain Jane, so I did not want to spend too much time planning a wedding or too much money. I would think: How crazy would a “drive thru” Las Vegas Wedding be or what about a destination wedding? Or what if I just eloped and posted it online for all my family and friend to see. Trust me planning a wedding was the last thing that I wanted to do. But here I am planning a wedding that is less than a year away! I’m super nervous, but I have a secret weapon besides my made of honor, I have The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner & Organizer to help me with planning a wedding. What an awesome resource! This biggest hurdle for me in planning a wedding is that my fiancé and I are paying for everything on our own. No parents or sponsors, no rich aunts or uncles to make it rain. It’s a huge struggle to pay for a wedding when you have a mortgage, car payments, and other living expenses. But budgeting certainly helps. I also have had a two-year engagement to give me more time to plan and pay for the wedding.
My 10 basics steps of planning a wedding are these:
- Tell your Friends and Family-Create your Save the Date and Invitations to the Wedding. I totally skipped the part of saving the date announcements and instead only sent out wedding invitations. I used Facebook to create a “Save the Date” announcement. Whereas I wanted to spend time and resources on the actual wedding invitations.
- Get Organized-This is where the Knot wedding planning book comes in handy. You don’t have to come up with every intricate detail because the book does it for you! Win-Win for you! Some of the smaller to do items include: setting your wedding budget and how you will pay for the wedding, selecting wedding colors, choosing bridesmaids, and hiring a wedding officiant.
- Pick a venue-before you buy a dress or plan your honeymoon, pick the locations of where you would like to host your wedding. This was my first big step that made everything real. Trust me signing a contract with a date and giving them your credit card information will get you into go mode very quickly. If you are not sure about what venue to choose then I would go to a local bridal show to see all the wedding vendors and wedding venues. Grab your maid of honor and go. Trust me, it’s pretty fun. This is the time to decide if you want a destination wedding, are you going to elope, or local wedding.
- Get the dress-I’m currently shopping for my dress as of 1/2016 and my wedding is in 11/2016. According to my wedding planning book and the bridal shops I have until 3/2016 to choose a dress, having them ship it in, then for me to go in for alterations. My plan is to have my dress picked out my then end of 1/2016 so that if I run into any issues with the dress I can make adjustments. It also ensure that I get the wedding weight off now verses later.
- Flowers, Photo/Videos, cater, décor, DJ? – When considering your floral needs some questions you can ask yourself: Are you going to go big on flowers? Will you have flowers at all the tables? Will each bridesmaid get a bouquet? What styling would you like for your own bouquet? Will you have flowers on each row of the church? Real or Fake flowers? Once you know where your venue will be you can cater your floral needs to the makeup of the venue.
- Will you hire a photographer? A videographer? I plan on having both at my wedding only because I’m big on videos and photos. However if you are someone who is a bit more relaxed in this area, then you could hire a friend or have people at the wedding take photos with their phones and personal cameras. This is a great way to save quite a bit of money and put it somewhere else in the wedding budget.
- Catering-What kind of ambiance do you want to create? I want a somewhat elegant occasion so I plan on having a plated seated dinner at my reception verses a more relaxed buffet style choice of dinning. I feel a plated dinner gives my guests more time to enjoy their dinner vs. standing and waiting in line worrying if they will get enough to eat. My venue will charge me the same cost per person for a buffet or plated dinner however some venues will charge you less to have a buffet style reception dinner due to less staffing requirements.
- Décor? Music? At my particular venue, they cater, set the décor, and I have the option for them to provide music. Review your venue and see what possible options you have. Do you want digital music playing? Do you want a band or a DJ? I personally will be using a DJ just so my guess can request songs and possibly perform karaoke.
- Hairstylist/Makeup-You want to be on your A game on this day. Will you do your own hair and makeup or will you have a professional take over the reins. I do not wear makeup…like almost never. The last time I wore make up was back in 2009 or so. I got all dolled up for a Unity Ball Event. So when I say I do not know much about makeup, I really mean that. However I am blessed to have four sisters who are makeup queens. So they will have complete control over that area. I will most likely do my own hair. I do not think I can trust anyone else to do my hair on that day. I already have the style picked out. Half up, half down….and lots of curls. A quick scroll of photos of wedding hairstyles will help you narrow down the perfect style for you.
- Exit and Honeymoon– How are you going to exit your venture? What car/horse drawn carriage will sweep you away to your happily ever after? I love the idea of everyone blowing bubbles as I exit with my king and we ride off into the sunset together. We most likely will have one of our own cars and drive off heading straight to the airport and for our honeymoon. Or at least to a hotel room for the night then we will leave early that morning for our honeymoon. Our honeymoon will be on a cruise ship. So excited just writing about it!
What are your plans for your wedding? What tips or advice would you like to add to help other brides to be plan their weddings?