Wedding Planning 101: Where to Start

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Wedding Planning 101: Where to Start

Fabulous fiancé. Check!

Sparkly ring. Check!

Facebook official. Check –

Now what?

A helpful guide to planning your wedding, when you haven’t a clue where to start.

The question’s been popped, the champagne drank , the congratulatory emails, calls and text are starting to dwindle and people are starting to ask “When’s the big day?”. The reality of wedding planning is knocking hard at your door. There’s a very big question looming overhead.. Where do I start?

This is the time where brides-to-be either thrive under the pressure or start to panic. To be honest, most do both, I sure did. There’s countless bridal “checklists” you can download and books you can read, but the hardest part is deciding where to start and how to stay on path once you’ve started.

Here are some tips to guide you to your path and keep you headed in the right direction

  1. Be realistic. As you thumb through the latest issue of Haper’s Bazare or Vogue, you are entranced by glossy page after glossy page of perfected looks, airbrush models, and curated outfits that cost more then your mortgage payment. Do you screenshot those looks, send them to your friends and say “I HAVE to have this look!” Maybe you do, (bravo), but I don’t know anyone who does. My point is, you understand that this is a fabricated look, which has taken countless hours, vendor collaborations and money to achieve. It’s not a realistic goal. Then why does this thinking change when we start browsing through bridal magazines and websites? Why does everything we’ve learned over the years go out the window? How does perusing this bridal “guide” lead to a weepy, tear stained, bridzilla meltdown because you can’t fly to the one bridal shop in southern France, who carries this dress, that will now MAKE or BREAK your wedding. Do you see where I am going with this? Save yourself a lot of stress and heartache and SET REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS.
  2. Set your budget. And stick to it. Is this easy to do? Is it easy to stick too? Not so much. Here’s why. Every time you make a decision, you face the challenge of managing your realistic expectations. Each vendor will do their very best to upsell you, that’s their job. Your job, as the fiscally savvy bride you are, is to not get wrapped up in the romance of each decision. Keep a level head and never make any decisions in the heat of the moment. Go home, talk it over, think on it. Ask yourself, Is this what I want? Is this what my fiancé wants? Does this fit into my budget? Does this make sense with my life? Is this a representation of our love? The answers to these questions will start to steer you in the right direction and will solidify the right choices for you and significant other.
  3. Meet your prospective vendors. This should seem like a no brainer right? Once you’re in full swing bride mode, wedding planning can start to feel like a second job. Between emails and phone calls and friend referrals, the convenience of sending an email over setting a meeting can become quite appealing. Set the meeting. Make the time. You will thank me later. It’s incredibly important for you to sit down face to face with the people you will be working with for your wedding day. Many brides and grooms don’t realize how important it is that you connect with vendors you choose for your big day. Here’s the why behind it. You are going to be in contact with this person for months, sometimes over a year. If you don’t connect with someone, there’s a very good chance you won’t be able to communicate with them. That’s where the trouble begins. If you don’t leave a vendor meeting jumping for joy with the experience you just had, I suggest you set a few more meetings because your perfect match is still out there.
  4. Be true to yourself. This is where I see brides struggle the most. Crazy right? These beautiful, strong, inspiring women are all of a sudden lost in the question “What kind of bride am I?” You are amazing, fabulous, YOU! Just in a beautiful dress, at a stunning location, with fabulous friends and family creating a once in a life time experience. Don’t lose yourself in the details. If you don’t like ball gowns, don’t let anyone force you to try them on! If you dislike lobster, don’t put it in your menu, just because your mother-in-law’s third cousin had it in Maine one time and said it was a MUST. If he wants it that bad, he can take a trip back to Maine. If you want swing music because you danced to it on your first date then let’s ZUIT SUIT RIOT! Don’t ever let something you want be swayed for fear that it’s not “bridal” or “wedding” enough. This day should be a reflection of yourself and your fiancé. So trust your instincts and follow your heart, even if that means you choose cheesecake over wedding cake. I promise you’ll be a lot happier.