Ten Tips for Planning a Wedding

I promise this blog will first and foremost remain a diy/home blog, but coming out of a season full of everything wedding related, I do have a few more wedding related posts up my sleeve. But, hopefully you enjoy these posts as well and will stick around for the usual blog posts that are just around the corner.

Now that the wedding has come and gone and I’ve settled into marriage, I’ve had some time to think back on the whole wedding planning process. Being a girl, there are times you think about what you want your wedding to be like and all the things you will want to do. But, once the question is popped and the wedding planning begins, it can be overwhelming. It’s hard to know where to start and what to do.

Ten Tips for Planning a Wedding

I’ve come up with ten tips for planning a wedding that would have been helpful for me to know on the front end of the process that will hopefully help others if you are currently planning a wedding or will be planning a wedding in the future.

So, here goes.

1. Don’t let the venue search leave you feeling hopeless. This was the most stressful part of the entire wedding planning process honestly. I wanted to get married before it got cold, but I needed enough time to plan, so I was going into venue selection with a limited number of dates and competing with brides who had booked their event at least a year in advance, if not more. It took about a month for me to find something, but once I did, the stress and burden was immediately lifted. Without a venue you can’t move forward. You can’t lock in additional vendors without  a date and a date depends on your venue. You will eventually find the place that you will love and once you do, it gets so much easier from there.

Yesterday Spaces Wedding

{Source: Junebug Weddings}

2. Google docs/excel spreadsheets are your friend. With all the vendors you will work with and the various payment deadlines, it’s important to keep everything straight and organized so you don’t miss a payment. I created a google doc with all my vendors’ contact information along with payment deadlines that I shared with my mom. If your parents are helping pay for the wedding and they live out of town, this will be your life saver. My mom was able to go in and check on payment deadlines and she would record when checks were sent and keep record of check numbers. Not being the sole one checking on these deadlines helped alleviate so much stress.

3. You don’t have to DIY everything. Being someone who has a diy blog and loves all things handmade, I was very tempted to make everything myself. Not only because I felt that was expected of me, but I also wanted to be budget conscience. Depending on your budget though, I would highly recommend you buy. Leave it to someone who already has experience making these things {it’s still handmade} and save yourself the time and headache of putting together and assembling a million different things. I still made a lot of my wedding decor, but I definitely scaled back my original vision and decided to go with something more manageable in the end.

Outdoor Wedding

{Source: Chris Isham Photography}

4. Hire a wedding planner. If your budget doesn’t allow for a wedding planner to plan the whole she-bang, or if you are like me and enjoy planning events, hire someone to help with day of coordination and coordinating with vendors for arrival times, schedules, etc. This was a huge blessing for me. The wonderful ladies at Verge Events coordinated with all my vendors prior to the big day to let them know when they needed to arrive and sent them an overall timeline of the event. They were also the point of contact the day of for vendors and helped coordinate all set-up. Not one single family member had to be put to work which made the day much more relaxing and stress-free.

5. Take people up on offers to help. I have a tendency to not ask for help or even accept help when it’s offered. I feel like I can do it all myself. But, for those that have offered to help, assign them tasks that would help you and are things that they are good at. I gave my mom a few simple tasks, but they were things that helped me tremendously. I also had my maids of honor help with things like the cocktail hour playlist. This wasn’t my strong suit, and they were able to help accomplish this and help me check that off my list.

Neutral Wedding Color Palette

{Source: Style Me Pretty}

6. You don’t have to choose a specific color scheme. One of the first questions I always got from people when they were asking about the wedding was, what are my colors. While I did have ‘colors’ per se for the wedding, in general I had a very neutral palette with hints of additional colors. But, I didn’t have a pink and green or a navy and yellow theme. Some people love for everything to match and for it to have a distinct theme, and that’s great. For me, I’m not a huge color person, so just going with a variety of neutral tones worked for me. Go with what you love and what you want to do regardless of the norm.

7. You don’t have to go with ‘tradition.’ Along the lines of not having to choose a specific color theme, this is another big thing I learned having gone through the process. There are so many traditional aspects of a wedding ceremony and reception. Having a traditional maid of honor, walking out to a traditional wedding song, doing something during the ceremony that symbolizes unity, having assigned seating at dinner, etc. are all things you typically see at a wedding. I did none of those things though. Despite the pressure to do what ‘you are supposed to do’ I did things that I wanted to do and things that felt like ‘us.’ I decided to have two maids of honor, to walk out to a bluegrass song, to skip a unity activity and not do assigned seating for dinner. There were a variety of reasons I chose to do these things. For example, assigned seating seemed like a headache and extra stress I wanted to eliminate. Do things that you want to do and represent the two of you as a couple regardless of what everyone else typically does at their wedding.

Wedding Favors

{Source: 100 Layer Cake}

8. Don’t let the traditional ‘deadline’s stress you out. Most wedding magazines or online wedding sites provide you with suggested deadlines when planning your wedding. Those deadlines are typically based on a year. If you are like me and planning a wedding in less than a year, don’t really pay attention to those deadlines. In the beginning I had a tendency to let them freak me out. At 6 months, I was supposed to already have half of my wedding planned and I hadn’t even found a venue. Just use those as suggested deadlines, but create your own deadlines and go at your own pace.

9. Enjoy being engaged and the planning process. For some girls, planning events isn’t their thing. If you are one of those girls, I would advise you to hire a wedding planner to plan everything for you if you still want to have a big, traditional wedding. Or, opt for something super small and low-key. I actually enjoy planning and decorating, so getting to design and create an event that I only had to worry about what I wanted and not what anyone else wanted or liked was a dream {of course I included the groom in decisions, but for the most part he didn’t really care what I did}. But, despite enjoying planning, there are times that it can be overwhelming and it can be all consuming. Your engagement will fly by so it’s important to enjoy the process and enjoy planning your wedding as much as you can. It only happens once!

Wedding Inspiration

{Source: Style Me Pretty}

10. Limit your inspiration browsing. With Pinterest, WeddingGawker, and a million wedding blogs, there is so much wedding inspiration out there it can get overwhelming. Spend some time in the beginning of the process going through magazines and sites to get an idea of the look and feel you are going for and then limit the browsing after that. If you continue perusing you are going to want to continue adding things that will only add to your to-do list and deplete your wallet. Too much ‘pinning’ will also make you question the decisions you’ve already made. Stick with your original ideas and inspiration and be done.

If you planned your wedding, what’s one piece of advice you would pass along to brides?

Linking up to: Home Stories A to Z, Liz Marie

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  1. Stephanie says

    I love your blog and it has reassured me that having a unique wedding with a lot of DIY is more than acceptable! My fiancé and I are having so much fun planning and crafts (for me) will be soooo fun!! Thanks Megan!

    • says

      I’m so glad to hear that Stephanie! I think making your own decor really adds a personal touch to a day that is meant to be special and personal for you guys. So glad you are having fun and I’m sure it’s going to look amazing!


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