Before the Walk Down the Aisle: Planning Your Wedding Day

Now that the dress has been boxed, my last name was changed, and sadly the honeymoon suitcase was unpacked, I finally have a moment to sit back and reflect on my whirlwind weekend of matrimony. Planning my wedding certainly had its stressful moments (a bottle of wine was my dinner the Tuesday before our big day), but it all came together seamlessly. Here are a few things I learned along the way:

Get Organized

My Big Fat Dish Wedding: Leading Up To The Big Day & Rehashing the Main EventWedding planning involves keeping track of many major details like the dress, the food, and the right venue, followed by millions of minor ones-schedules, photo lists, appointment times–which is why you need to be on top of everything. Some women may swoon for to-do lists, some may go ga ga for notebooks while others love blinged out binders- figure out which works for you.

Google Docs was my organizational savior, allowing me to share the shower guest list with my Maid of Honor, song lists with my DJ, or guest lists with my hubby. Word to the wise, wedding planning is overwhelming, do yourself a favor and don’t try to change your methods halfway through. I love to-do lists and was ecstatic when I found the Knot’s to-do list, which offered month by month to-do lists with options to send out email reminders to complete overdue tasks. Little did I realize, this system was 12 anxiety attacks waiting to happen because you feel like you’re a slacker with every login.

 

Skip the Wedding Planner, keep the Day Of Coordinator

483266_546702562007364_1356220443_nRemember all those itsy bitsy details that you have to stay on top of? Picture this, the big day has finally arrived and you’re ready to throw back a cocktail and enjoy your guests’ company, but wait-Aunt Gwen left her gifts in the bar tent, or the caterer has a question about the decorations, and before you know it you’ve spent the entire evening taking care of little details and people are walking out the door. A day-of coordinator takes care of the little things, so you can dance the night away, carefree. They don’t even need to be a professional, just an organized individual that isn’t in the wedding party.

 

Everyone has an Opinion

Wedding planning guarantees two things: just the word wedding triples the cost of anything and everything and people love to give their opinion, whether it’s wanted or not. Take everything with a grain of salt. Not everyone will agree with you, and that’s ok. People gave me looks like I was insane when I said I’m using fake flowers and skipping the garter and bouquet toss and programs. In the end, the little details don’t matter; it comes down to what you and your fiance want.

 

Use Your Resources Wisely

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Wedding blogs, intense planning timelines, and Pinterest are great for the research part of wedding planning, but contribute to the mounting pressure of planning the perfect wedding. Once you’ve selected your centerpieces or hairdo, back away from the computer.That warrants a repeat: back away from your computer.

It’s easy to get lost in a sea of pins and posts, causing you to overthink everything, stress out, and overspend. You were drawn to cranberry centerpieces or escort card trees for a reason, go with your gut.

And remember, make sure you dedicate planning-free days every few weeks – go on a hike, read for fun, or hang out with your future spouse. Happy Planning!

 

My Go-To Resources:

Weddingbee-This blog offered vendor reviews, advice, classified listings, and articles from women across the gamut. Whether you wanted your entire wedding covered in glitter, on a tropical beach, or a rustic barn wedding – Weddingbee helps clear a wedding planning path for you.

Etsy– For those who have never heard of Etsy, I apologize for introducing you to the greatest website ever. If you love crafts but aren’t a DIY person, this is the site for you. This artisan marketplace has anything you could need for your big day: invites, jewelry, clutches, shawls, or a star wars boutonniere. My Etsy finds included bridesmaid gifts, my incredible flowers, paper hearts instead of flower petals, and flower girl sashes.

Emmalinebride: Since Etsy is such an abundant resource, it can be somewhat overwhelming. Emmaline Bride features the best of Etsy, planning inspiration, and lots of do it yourself instructables. Plus, every Monday, she has fantastic giveaways.

Leangreenbride: Eco-friendly wedding advice typical comes in two forms- the only way to have an eco-friendly wedding is to double your budget or green-washed jargon like using painted pumpkins or fruit for centerpieces. Luckily, Leangreenbride was neither; her blog was filled with simple, cost-effective ways to keep your big day planet-friendly through informative, hilarious content.

Photos by Mizfam Photo Video Design.