Hi & Happy New Year!
I can’t believe it’s 2020
& also can’t believe I’m going to be a wife this year!
So many of you are getting married in 2020 & it’s cool to do this whole wedding planning thing along with others!
I feel like I’ve kept my stress minimal & wanted to share with you tips that have helped me to ensure I’m not a bride with severe anxiety during this process!
1.) Set your budget first
During my first two months as a fiancé, we weren’t sure what our budget was going to be yet so I didn’t know how to choose a venue, how to look for a dress or really anything.. That was the most stressful part for me. Talk with yours and your fiancé’s families, look at your own personal budget & see what you all can bring to create your dream wedding!
2.) Find ways to save money
-Florals can be extremely pricey, so if you’re into it, opt for artificial! Depending on who your florist is, artificial can be more affordable. You can also do a mix of artificial & real florals as well as having your bridal bouquet be real & your bridesmaid’s artificial. It also helps to have some centerpieces for the reception be florals & some be a bundle of candles. You’re adding depth to your decor & saving money!
-For our Save the Dates, I actually designed them myself on Canva (using a similar design I found on Pinterest) then printed them off at Walmart! Walgreens has awesome deals too. There’s no reason to splurge on these because they just end up in the trash anyway 🙂
-Did you know people will spend over $1000 on wedding invites that once again.. wind up in the trash. I ordered mine a couple days ago from Etsy for $13, you can check out the design I ordered here! They’re sent to you in files you can download & edit with your own details! I plan to print them from Walgreens who does cardstock printing now. As for envelopes, I plan to buy mine from Amazon, you can get a stack of 50 for $20!
3.) Decide what’s important, what’s not & let go of your idea of “perfect”.
Originally, we planned to get married on the beach in Hawaii where we got engaged & get married on an “18.” Our first date was 2/18/16, we started dating 3/18/16, got engaged 8/18/19, I wanted to get married on an 18! While we love Hawaii & it’s always going to be our place, we decided it was more important to us who was there over where. We didn’t want to be sad that certain friends or family couldn’t make it because of the distance. If we decided to get married on an “18”, we would’ve had to wait until spring of 2021 & we just didn’t want to wait that long. There was only one time in Brian’s medical school schedule that he was able to get time off so we went with that! While it doesn’t look like my Hawaii Wedding Pinterest board I originally had, I’m so glad we chose to do it the way that we are.
Brian & I also made a deal that we each got to pick 3 things we wanted to splurge on & decided the rest didn’t matter. For me it was my dress, our photographer & videographer. For Brian, it’s our catering, photographer & venue. Since we decided what was most important, we are okay with spending less money on other things like my hair & makeup, the cake, invites etc & don’t have to stress about those little things being “perfect.”
4.) Purchase a wedding planning book
I bought mine from Paper Bound Love & it’s been the most helpful thing. It has space to keep track of your budget, guest list, vendors & their contact into, honeymoon planning section, space to write vows, song lists, what you should be focusing on each month leading up to your big day etc. Paper Bound Love has other color/style options but you can personalize it with your name on the front!
5.) Hire a wedding planner
This has been one of the most helpful aspects of wedding planning. We decided to hire Events by Rhetta who is based in Iowa but travels! She graduated from Iowa State University with her degree in Event Management & is more affordable than any other wedding planner I’ve seen! She’s professional, does everything in a timely manner & is able to answer any question I have. She has been able to help me finalize colors, helped me find my DJ, where to get my hair done, florist options etc. She will also be the one to create my wedding timeline, make sure I have everything I need She has multiple packages available for every need, I highly recommend her!
6.) Get the big stuff out of the way
The first thing we did was set our date then find our venue. Since it’s destination, I took a day to research venues, ran them by Brian, checked out reviews (this is huge!) then emailed them to view their packages. Once we decided which one was best for us & our budget, we went on to catering. A lot of venues provide catering & alcohol, but if yours doesn’t, research options on Wedding Wire or The Knot. Both provide great reviews of different vendors & you can search for options in your area. Once we got the venue & catering/alcohol taken care of, we were able to create our guest list. Once we had those three things down, the more fun stuff began! Like picking our photographer, videographer, my dress, our florist, our bridesmaids/groomsmen & asking them to share our day with us!
7.) Know that’s it’s YOUR day
With planning a wedding, there are lots of opinions involved from friends, family etc. Know that it’s yours & your fiancé’s day & no one else’s. You don’t plan a wedding for others, you plan it for you. If you want artificial flowers over real, do it. If you don’t want kids at your wedding & others want to bring them, too bad. If you want a DJ over a band, go for it!
You get one wedding in your entire lifetime, make sure you won’t regret your choices!
Lastly.. have fun! This process is meant to be fun & exciting. Not stressful & miserable. Ask for help when you need it, research ideas to help you get the wedding of your dreams in an affordable, sustainable way & enjoy your day!