1. If it’s in your budget, hire a wedding planner.
I cannot stress this enough. Planning a wedding, or any event, can be incredibly stressful. Having a wedding planner to take the load off of you and your family is a great way to reduce your stress levels and to help you actually enjoy your day. We had a wedding planner for my wedding and she helped with food selection, venue, and day of logistics. She took a lot of pressure off of my mom and since I was out of state attending college, she made my life easier too.
2. If a wedding planner isn’t in your budget, ask a friend or family member to be in charge of everything the day of the wedding.
Sometimes a wedding planner just doesn’t fit into your budget, and that is fine! I would strongly suggest asking someone in your wedding party or family to take charge the day of your wedding to make sure everything goes smoothly. I have now done this for two family members. I was not at all involved in the planning beforehand but I talked to the bride about expectations and what she needed from me the day of the wedding. Most of the time, a bride needs someone to take charge of the schedule and make sure she and the groom are in the right place at the right time.
3. Make color scheme and decor decisions based on how you will feel about it in 10 years.
So many brides chose color scheme and decor decisions based on what is “in” at the time of their wedding. You want to be able to look back at your wedding pictures and know you had a classic wedding with classic colors and decor.
4. Spend the money on food.
You will want to spend money on your dress, the venue, decor, and a million other things. I can’t tell you how many weddings/events I have been to where the food was very ok, or even bad. That can literally leave a bad taste in your guests’ mouths. They will remember the ceremony and your dress for a few months but they will always remember if you had good food or not.
5. Stay on top of your thank you notes.
Having a bridal shower(s) before the big day? Are gifts showing up at your door in droves? Don’t wait until after your honeymoon to start your thank you notes. As soon as you get a gift, write a note. If you want to do thank you notes once a week, that is fine too. The sooner you get those thank you’s sent out, the sooner you can stop worrying about them. And the recipients will be very impressed about how on top of things you are.
6. Be smart about your registry
I cannot stress this enough. Your registry defines what people will buy as gifts. You can read all about how to build the best registry here.
7. Pick a venue that you are comfortable with.
You want the perfect venue that is amazing and will look great in pictures. But you also want a venue where you feel like you fit in. Find a venue that has a team of people you can talk to. If something starts to go wrong, you want to have someone you can go to. You want to feel comfortable with the people at the venue in case you need them for something.
8. Pick a photographer that you trust and you can have fun with.
This is very important. Spend the time to vet your photographer. Get references. Spend time with them. You want to be able to trust them on your big day so be 100% sure they are what you want before you commit.
9. Make sure you give yourself plenty of buffer time during the big day.
It might be very tempting to schedule out every minute of your big day. It may seem easier to have somewhere for everyone to be so that nothing goes wrong.But doing that is a recipe for disaster. Things will go wrong. You will spend 20 extra minutes taking pictures because your flower girl was screaming in all of the pictures you took. Your hair won’t cooperate and you will need 10 extra minutes for it to be fixed. It is better to have a little down time that you have scheduled in than to be late and stressed.
10. Have a timeline for how you want everything to go the day of.
This goes back to numbers 9,2 & 1. You want to make sure whoever is in charge the day of the wedding, knows when and where you want and need everyone. Your big day will be chaos without instructions for everyone. Take the time about a month in advance and map out everything that needs to be done that day. Include your prep time and go all the way until you leave the reception. As you get closer to the day, make sure you add any last minute things you remember.