If you’re in the middle of the chaos, just starting to plan, or haven’t yet but can’t wait for the day when you can start planning- this blog is for you! Within the past few weeks I’ve reached out to Brides around the Midwest to bring the best of the best advice to you. Here it is, 9 brides give their honest and often practical advice to help you plan your wedding day.
I think it has been helpful advice to delegate as much as possible early on in planning. I found people that I trust know my style and [have] given them responsibilities like decor and invite design. It’s not only a time saver for the bride, but it actually blesses family and friends a lot to be involved with the planning. I have enjoyed everyone’s ideas!
1. Set your date early; block off hotel rooms early. Setting the date has been, so far, the most challenging part of wedding planning. Beyond trying to find a date that works with family’s schedules (e.g. school for nieces and nephews), picking a weekend with a semi-major event in town is sort of a logistical nightmare. Madison home football game against a no-name team; no big deal? Wrong. I anticipated planning around the football schedule for traffic concerns, but completely underestimated how much hotels would raise rates for the weekend and how limited their availability would be. In retrospect, I would have avoided the weekend altogether, or booked hotels months earlier.
2. Along those same lines, I’ve found that having a list of priorities and deadlines has really helped me not get completely overwhelmed. I might have learned this late in the game, but it’s really helping me feel less overwhelmed and more on-track . For example. at this point I have the vendors, photographer, and caterers booked, but I’m not touching table decorations until this summer.
Get things done early lol. That way, if things go wrong, there’s time to fix it
1. Allot about 15% (or more) to your photographer. It’s worth it.
1) Create a google doc for the guest list and add your parents for them to add people’s names and addresses. This worked SO well for us! Google Docs have also been the best for Scott and I to make lists, budget, and post links.
2) Make a list of what’s most important to you. For us, it was having our friends and family there and having great food and music. As we planned, we kept this in mind. It helped us make priorities.
I cannot count the amount of times someone has told me that engagement is such a precious time in a person’s life. Being currently engaged, this period of time seems far from precious. Weeks of making invites only made me feel isolated. Contacting venues and caterers made me feel overwhelmed.
I wish someone had told me sooner that engagement is precious as soon as you come to the realization that your guests are more interested in seeing you happy than seeing your color scheme. I tossed out ideas such as a guest book, unity symbolism, a garter toss, and other traditions that just didn’t fit my style. I am making my wedding my own. After all, anyone coming to my wedding already knows I love Famous Daves, so why shouldn’t we just serve that instead of a fancy meal?
It’s stressful planning a wedding, but it’s better to be stressed out planning so the wedding day can be perfect.
“Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Dr. Seuss said this but stole it from Bernard M. Baruch. Regardless of who said it first, the sentiment holds true. When planning a wedding, you must know what is important to you and your fiance and stay true to that. Be gentle if you have to turn someone else’s ideas or opinions down (easier said than done, of course, especially when feelings are running high) but remember that this is YOUR wedding, so do what is best for you and your fiance.
Something WILL go wrong. It doesn’t matter how much you plan, it won’t be perfect. But if you can accept that it will happen and that it’s okay, then your wedding WILL be perfect, because it will be yours.
Remember the purpose of your big day – the marriage. Celebrate the love that you and your significant other share.
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Catherine Winkelman is a Duluth, MN based wedding photographer who travels all over the Midwest capturing weddings. To talk or for more information send me a message!