Congratulations, you are engaged!! Now that you have finally arrived to this point in your life, what should you do? As a bride-to-be herself, our very own Kellie will share her wedding planning insight that she has gained through both planning her own wedding and experience working in the bridal industry.
Personally, I find WeddingWire to be very helpful. Who knew you no longer have to go to a million sites? You can find a lot on one place! See image on the right for what you can utilize for your wedding planning alone. In case the WeddingWire/all-in-one-place approach isn't for you, here is a list of 10 Wedding Websites that Every Bride Needs. No matter what resources you use, you should certainly kick off your planning by thinking about these points:
#1 Plan your budget.
Understand your limitations and prioritize. If there is something you really want, talk to the vendors for ideas and suggestions to get something similar that is closer to the price you are looking to stay at. This requires you to be flexible and open to suggestions.
#2 Get inspiration
Figure out what kind of wedding you want. How do you want it to look, what vendors are in the area you want to get married, and where you want to get married. With Pinterest, bridal magazines, and a plethora of wedding blogs at your fingertips, you will never feel short of wedding inspiration. If you own an iPad, The DC Ladies have a fabulous post on how to integrate your ipad/tablet into all your wedding planning needs.
#3 Find a venue that you LOVE
This will determine how many guests can fit and afford. The guest list can build up very quickly. Knowing how much the venue charges per person, you can place a reasonable estimate on how many guests you can invite. If having 200 people is very important to you, you can look at venues that can accommodate the amount of guests and be within the budget you can afford. Check out Venues on Wedding Wire or The Knot to help you see what is in the area and start making appointments.
#4 Request Quotes
Don't be afraid to start requesting quotes from vendors you are interested in. Take the time to learn everything you can. You want to make sure they have what you are looking for.
#5 Put together your online website
It's a great way to give detailed information that cannot fit in the invitations. You can share how you met, the proposal, who's in the wedding, fun activities in the area.
#6 Plan pre-wedding events
Personally, I have been to many weddings. Sometimes you do not know anyone but the couple and a few friends. When planning a wedding, take advantage that people are coming into town to be with you. Plan fun events before the wedding so your guests can make new friends and have time with you. The day of the ceremony is crazy and have limited time to spend with everyone. Events leading up to the big day will help you really spend quality time with everyone.
#7 Create down-time
Plan to have time for last minute details and to get away from the craziness. You want to enjoy everything because it goes by fast. Make sure you take the time to de-stress and relax. You'll need time to get yourself all together. So don't forget to plan time for yourself the week of the wedding.
#8 Expect the unexpected
Realize that something may pop up that you were not expecting. Tell yourself, it's your wedding and you are going to enjoy everything no matter what happens.
#9 Research the value of a Wedding Planner
Every engaged couple should at least think about hiring a Wedding Planner, in which case you should read this so you know a little more about what a wedding planner actually does. Great wedding planners are known to work with your budget, and ultimately help you spend less rather than spending more. If you know you want to plan your wedding completely on your own, you may still want to hire a planner for day-of coordination. You may not realize the full value of one until you learn about the near-disasters that you didn't have to deal with only after the wedding.
If you have any other tips or advice that helped with your wedding planning, please help share those [not so] secret tips. You can also follow our Wedding Planning Tips Pinterest board and view our collection of the most helpful pictures and posts we could find.