It’s the holiday season! According to todaysbride.com, December is the most popular month to get engaged. Although it’s only November, I wanted to share some DO’s and DONT’s about wedding planning so all you beautiful brides-to-be can get ahead of the game.
First of all, let me just say that my wonderful husband proposed to me on February 11th, exactly one year from our first date. We decided on a September wedding which meant I had 7 months to plan, and honestly, it was the perfect amount of time!
My best friend for those 7 months, aside from my precious fiancé, was Pinterest. Finally I could put all my cool pins to good use! I also had lots of help from my parents, maid of honor, and my wedding planner (my favorite cousin 😉) who helped me avoid becoming a bridezilla. After learning the easy, as well as not so easy, ways of preparing, I have gathered together a few good tips that I hope any bride-to-be will like and use. Here we go!
DO- Ask others their opinions BUT also do your own research! Talk to your already married friends and get advice. You are NOT bothering them by asking so many questions. Your real friends won’t mind helping you, but please be sure to do your own research! It’s okay if you have to google “how to plan a wedding,” just don’t forget to Pinterest!
DON’T- forget to ask your fiancé his opinion! Believe it or not, he wants some say so in this.
DO- think long and hard about who you want in your wedding party. You might hurt feelings but that’s okay! It’s YOUR wedding! Remember to pick trustworthy, dependable people.
DON’T- forget to keep them “in the know.” Keep your bridesmaids updated on special events (when you’re going dress shopping, shoe shopping, hair trials, etc) and keep your groomsmen updated on where to pick up tuxes, when bachelor party is going to be, etc.
DO- carefully pick your maid of honor. This girl should be your biggest supporter but should still have a mind of her own. She’s going to be just as stressed as you are, so be sure and give her plenty of patience and understanding. Invite her to everything! Even if it’s quick Hobby Lobby trips (which by the way, Hobby Lobby is almost just as important as Pinterest!).
DON’T- be afraid to ask her to take charge. She is the one who will be planning your wedding shower, bachelorette party and keeping up with the other bridesmaids as well.
DO- figure out your budget and your wedding date ASAP! Start looking at venues soon after. Email, call, and visit these places so you can get a head start on how everything is going to look. Bring your phone or a note book and write down everything that you discuss. Take pictures of everything too!
DON’T- forget to find a wedding planner (unless it comes in a package from your venue spot). You need someone who is organized, reliable, stylish, someone your comfortable with and someone who is experienced!
DO- make a wedding timeline. Write down what you need to do with each remaining month.
DON’T- freak out if you forget something! There are plenty of websites and apps that have sample timelines.
DO- start on your guest list early. This will be helpful when thinking about how you want your seating arrangement, talking with potential caterers, and ordering invitations.
DON’T- forget to put RSVP’s in wedding invitations or you will really be clueless! (I didn’t do this and I was expecting 100 guests, only 86 showed up).
DO- ask off at work at least 5-6 months in advance (or sooner if you have a shorter engagement). Tell your boss what it’s for so you’re SURE to be off first. Don’t let other coworkers who plan on attending beat you to the punch and somehow cause an issue for your scheduling.
DON’T- forget to ask off AT LEAST the day before and the day after you return from your honeymoon, (if you can afford it, of course). You will want time to prepare the day before and rest the day you return.
DO- look for a wedding dress that fits your personality, not one that’s simply “in style.” You will be spending hundreds, maybe thousands, on this dress so you want to make sure you’ll love it 6 months down the road when you’re wearing it down the aisle!
DON’T- forget to start alterations as soon as you buy the dress! And don’t forget to bring your wedding shoes to each appointment.
DO- register for wedding gifts together! I’ll teach you how to do that in another blog post 😉
DON’T- forget to plan on spending 2-4 hours at each store you register at. According to realsimple.com, you want to register for 120 items per 100 invited guests!
DO- DIY as much as you can! Make your own bouquets, wedding favors, bridesmaids gifts etc. There’s no reason to spend all sorts of money on things you can easily make yourself. For example, I bought four (4) $8 colored button up shirts from walmart, and ironed on $1.99 monograms to the back of the shirts. I gave them to my bridesmaids and MOH to wear while they were getting their hair and makeup ready. They loved it! And I didn’t have to spend $40 a shirt on Etsy.
DON’T- forget to try shopping at yardsales for reusable things like burlap, mason jars, or even table cloths.
DO- have transportation planned out for your ceremony/reception. Think about who you will ride with to the ceremony. If you are driving yourself, consider whose car you will drive there and also whose car you will leave in. You should ask someone to drive you to the airport so you don’t have to leave your car somewhere for a week and get charged ridiculous parking fees.
DON’T- forget boarding passes, plane tickets, passports, etc when you pack for your honeymoon!
DO- remember that this is YOUR BIG DAY, and it flies by! So have fun and enjoy this special moment of uniting in holy matrimony with the love of your life 🙂