The holidays always inspire engagements, which means we're ready to kick-off planning season over here! We asked some recent brides for a few of the best pieces of advice they would give to girls currently planning their weddings, and here's what they shared:
-Sit down and write out the top 5-10 "must haves" as a couple and work around making those happen. Also, ask recently married friends what they wish they had done differently. If you get the same answer multiple times, make sure to address it. One of the best things people told me was to have someone video the ceremony so you can watch it back. -A.S.
-If there are things you can't live without (a venue, photographer, DJ, coordinator), reach out to them early before you've set your date. If you have some flexibility and they're not available on your first choice, you may still be able to reserve them for your backup dates. -C.G.
-While it's very exciting to look for a venue first, start with your guest list. The number of guests is going to impact your venue choices, budget, and much more.-T.T.
-Don't feel pressure at a dress store to make a decision. You can walk away and come back if needed. -K.M.
-Your wedding day will go SO fast. Don't be afraid to pay a photographer to capture the memories because you'll want to relive the magic after it's over. -S.A.
-If you have an idea, let your coordinator and venue know. Some things may seem impossible, but they're there to help make your day what you want, so give them a chance to make your dreams come true! -S.Y.
-Keep an organized binder of to-do lists, budget, guest list, contacts, etc. You can also use online programs like GoogleDocs to invite others to see these lists in real time. -V.T.
-Open a notebook and run through your wedding day in your head several times. Think about what your wedding party will be doing, what your vendors will be doing, what your guests will be doing...If there is something in your timeline that doesn't line up with your mental timeline, figure out in advance how to fix it or ask someone to help make it happen. -C.G.
-Put someone in charge of helping clean up after the wedding and collecting lost and found items. Daughters, your parents will thank you for designating a "helping team" when you've made your exit and they're not left alone getting everything cleaned up. Also, put someone in charge of making sure gifts get where they need to be. -S.A.
-Have someone be in charge of the little details on the big day (flowers, programs, guest book, making sure everyone is where they need to be.) It is worth paying someone to do this to save your sanity! -V.T.-Include your fiance, whether it is having him pick out the bar menu or DJ, it is good to make sure they feel included in some aspects of the night. After all, it's about you as a couple! -S.Y.
-Don't let people influence you into making decisions that you don't want. A wedding should focus on the couple and no one else. So, if you want a big wedding, make it happen. If you want a small backyard wedding, make it happen. -A.S.
-If you're worried about hurting people by wanting a small and intimate wedding, consider a destination. You don't have to travel far, but this helps keep the invite list (and expense) geared toward the most important people in your lives. Lake of the Ozarks is a beautiful spot! -S.P.
-Schedule in a little time with your parents or those you love before walking down the aisle. They may be so busy you won't see them unless you make it a priority. -K.M.
-Pray about it. Pray about it often. -A.B.
-Have someone make a to-go box of food for you and your spouse for after the wedding. I barely had time to eat because I was talking to people and was SO hungry after. -A.S.
-Don't let a little detail ruin the day. Remember that at the end of the day, you will be married and not much else will matter. -S.A.
-Have fun with it all. This is the best time of your life. Remember to have fun and enjoy each moment. -S.Y.
What questions do you have about planning?
Blog post courtesy of The Party Proper