Congratulations! You’ve said yes and you’re excited to start planning for your important day. But you're already overwhelmed with everything that comes with planning an important event. So where should you start and what can you do to create the best bash ever while staying healthy and happy? Read on for some tips for brides-to-be!
1. Don't Put the Cart Before the Horse
First thing's first. Announce your engagement! Whether you tell all your friends and family by phone, Facebook or a formal announcement, let the important people in your life know that you said yes! Sit down with your partner and make a list of friends and family who should hear from you first. You can add on your list and use this later as your guest list for your wedding.
2. Set a No-Budge Budget
Money is one of the most stressful things when it comes to weddings. Before getting ambitious with all the possibilities for your wedding, plan a budget with your partner and families and stick to it. Know what areas of your wedding are worth more to you (photography, dress?) and which are a little less important (high-end linens, shoes you'll only wear for a few hours). Research the cost of wedding planners, photographers, venues, rentals, stationery, caterers, etc., and divide your budget accordingly. Were your thinking, "Money isn't really what's worrying me...it's time!"? Not only is it important to stick to your financial budget, it's also important to budget your time and create a wedding planning calendar.
3. Don't Leave Out Important People
Once you decide on a wedding date, make sure people in your family and wedding party are able to attend. Double check your date with holidays, seasonal events and, yes, even sports calendars. Trust me, Superbowl Sunday could ruin your beautiful winter wedding! Besides the must-attend family and friends, make sure to start researching services. Wedding season is CRAZY. Planners, photographers, calligraphers, venues and caterers may booked up to a year or more in advance so the sooner you book, the better. But make sure to check reviews and ratings and stick to your budget when booking!
4. Don't Compete
"This is going to be the biggest, bestest wedding EVAHR!" Okay, okay, yes, it is. But make it amazing for your and yours and don't compare your wedding to Kate Middleton or the Kardashians. Remember those high-end linens I mentioned before? Forget them. Unless you have an endless budget and the highest end planners, caterers and guaranteed spot in a spread in Martha Stewart Weddings, keep it real. You will be in such a joyous blur on your big day that you will most likely not even remember all the little details of your wedding. Sticking to your budget and realistic plans doesn't mean your wedding won't be the best. If a planner isn't in your budget, enlist the help of your wedding party and family to set-up tables and decorations. Does your cousin do calligraphy? Ask them to create signs, placecards and address your envelopes as a wedding gift.
5. Stay Healthy & Happy
Though your wedding will very well be the most important day of your life so far, it may also be the most stressful. So what can you do to make sure you still have fun and stay healthy when planning? Make sure you're taking time for self-care and quality time with your partner that doesn't involve wedding talk. Take a mini weekend trip camping, have a spa day, enjoy wine tasting without considering a few bottles for your big-day dinner. Grab your party for bridal yoga and bubbly the morning of the big day! If you're feeling in over your head, get your wedding party to help with planning and coordinating. Assign tasks to family and friends. Not only will you lighten your load, people will be happy that they were involved in creating a spectacular event.
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