Oh’ how I love weddings, but you know what I love even more?? The planning and doing all the decorations!
Tips and Tricks to help you get started;
Go look for a venue ASAP:
I know this sounds crazy, you just got engaged and haven’t even thought about setting a date yet. Well… the best thing you can do in the beginning is to look at venues. Maybe there is a certain one you just fell in love with from another wedding that you recently attended. Go look at that one first, and always keep the options open to others. For myself, I think I wrote out 5 places that I really liked, and we went to all of them. Guess what?? The two of them that I really liked were already booked up for that whole next year! Then, a couple others that we went and looked at would definitely not even come close to being able to hold as many guests that we were calculating would attend. This is why it is so important to go look at venues as soon as you can because you never know what can happen the moment you get to one of them. Who knows? You may have fallen in love with the pictures you saw online, but then get there and absolutely hate it! Remember this is your big day and having a fairytale wedding of your dreams is something every bride looks forward too right?
Now Pinterest can be your best friend or your worst enemy when it comes to planning your wedding day. You got your board altogether and you just start pinning those posts to it like crazy. I think at times this can get overwhelming for some. I know it did for me! I had to take a step back and figure out what I actually wanted, not what everyone else wanted or liked. When I had my idea list and big binder started, then I went back on Pinterest and saved those posts and put them in certain parts of the binder.
Making items yourself:
Now because I love a good DIY project, deciding to make most of my wedding items was a no-brainer. I created my own bouquets, boutonnieres, I made my own table runners and so on. Guess what?? Doing all this myself saved us on funds for the wedding, I was able to use them elsewhere. Ryan and I also had amazing support from our parents and they had us with the funds as well. We could not have had a wedding without their support and hard work! To make my centerpieces, I knew I wanted mason jars and you want to know one of the best places to get them?? You probably won’t even believe me when I tell you, and if you have one around there is a gold mine there for many items you can create for your wedding. Okay, I think I kept you in suspense long enough. I got most of my items for my centerpieces, and the gifts for the guests at dollar tree. I purchased the mason jar mugs there and then created little chalk tags on my own for the guests to write their names on them.
Create your wedding guest list early:
This was another big accomplishment I knew I wanted to get done. We spoke with both of our parents and asked them to create a list and send it to us. Then Ryan and I went through the list and added people that we wanted as well. The best way to keep a list organized is creating an excel sheet, but if you are not one to do that on your own, you can click below and use the one that I have created for you all, to make things as easy on you as possible. Once you are completely finished and have a count on how many people you think you will want to attend, then it is time to think about getting names and addresses from all the people that you may not have them for. The easiest way that I found when doing this is through a Facebook messenger (for those that are on Facebook), then those that are not sending them a text message asking politely for their address.
Prepare a backup plan for your venue if it is outside;
Now, this right here is something you will want to keep in mind. I had a wedding that was set outside but could also be inside if I wanted it too as well. Living in Michigan you never have any kind of clue how the weather is going to go. It could be sunny out one second, then raining and hailing the next. For my venue, it was outside and we got very lucky, the day of the wedding was gorgeous, but the night of the rehearsal dinner was a huge rainstorm and we got rained out quick.
Come up with a budget;
Having a certain budget, or a number that you do not want to go over is always a good idea too. This can be hard at times because you just want everything and weddings can get pretty pricey. I had someone recently tell me that the average wedding is anywhere between 10k to 60k, I could not believe it! But when it is all said and done and you get your photographer, the DJ, the venue, etc… it all adds up pretty quickly. Down below I also created a budget guideline that I hope will help all of you with getting to your big day!
Remember that not everyone you invite will say yes;
There will be quite a bit of people that are not able to make it, or will not want to come. Just remember to prepare your mind for that rejection, don’t let that hurt your feelings because the people that mean the most to you and care will do their best to be there. Especially, if you are having an out of town wedding, or those destination weddings. Sometimes, people just cannot afford it and that is fine, they still love you!
If you do not want kids, write it in your invite;
This is a huge one! There are several people who have kids, and if you do not want to pay for a child, or you are going to have alcohol and just do not want kids around that, be sure to tell them! Now, do not get me wrong here, I love kids! Sometimes it is just nice to have an adults night, get a babysitter and leave the kids at home if you can. But, again you really need to let your guests know that there is no kids, and maybe just say it is 18 and up, or whatever number you decide is an adult to you?
Apply for a marriage license on time;
Go online and look at where you will need to go for your district to apply for a marriage license. Do not forget this step!!! Give yourself plenty of time in applying for this and have it ready for the wedding day.
Get the right accessories and tools for the wedding;
Are you having your wedding outside? Okay, so you will need the right speakers and equipment, you want to make sure everyone can hear you. No one likes a wedding where they cannot hear the bride and groom say anything to one another. We had the setup but something happened and the speakers were not turned up all the way, make sure to double check this! If you are having a video set up with a presentation for everyone to see, set it up at the rehearsal dinner if you can to make sure everything is working properly.
Have a list and picture ideas to give to the photographer;
Making sure your photographer knows all that you want, and some ideas ahead of time not only helps them, but it will help you as well. All those cute photo ideas you saw on Pinterest of what you see from another wedding, print them out, put them in a nice little-protected sleeve and give them all to the photographer. Before you even give them to him/her you might want to send it to their email address as well, just so they have a backup way of seeing them.
Take things slow, one step at a time. Slow and steady still wins the race;
Do not try and rush things, you want to make sure you have everything written out and doing things one step at a time. You do not want to miss anything huge for the big day. I created a checklist (click here) and start this to get you started to make sure you remember everything you can for the big day. Get a three-ring binder, then everything I have in here for you place it in there and it will make everything a lot easier for you, I promise!