I’m a wee bit behind on updating this blog–so much has been going on! From my first bridal shower, to my lingerie shower, to meeting with the wedding coordinator, to picking out my flowers, to packing, etc. Needless to say, I’ve been busy.
As all this wedding planning is coming to a close, I cannot help but to reflect on the planning process. There have been ups and downs to planning a wedding in such a short time (I had a little over 4 months). Some of the downs, I believe, are common things all brides will deal with–whether they’re engaged for 4 months or 4 years. And they’re things that I never thought of until I was in the middle of it. So, I decided to make a tip list for newly engaged ladies who are trying to figure out how in the world to plan for their start to “happily ever after”. Let me know your thoughts!
1. Book your venue quickly as possible and READ the contract. You need to know which decorations the place will allow you to have, fees for bartenders, how much time you have for set up and clean up, if they allow candles or sparklers, etc. You don’t want to have your thoughts going one way and finding that the venue will not allow certain things–it’s a bummer. Find a venue that fits you and your style, then book it, and figure out all the ins and outs.
2. Instead of spending the extra money to have return RSVP envelopes, consider setting up an email for people to RSVP to. It may also be wise to include a phone number for those who do not have email or rarely check it.
3. Still on the topic of RSVPs, set the final RSVP date earlier than you actually want people to respond by. If you set the date at the very last day possible, you will still have people who have not responded and you’ll be trying to figure out how to give a final head count to the venue and caterer.
4. Set up different email folders. Your email will be filled with things from DJs, venues, caterers, bakeries, etc. If you have different folders for each thing (such as “DJ”) it will make it easier for you to check appointments and past conversations. You will have your hands full with other things–you don’t want to have to resend an email asking for something that has already been answered.
5. Don’t allow too many cooks in the kitchen. Meaning, don’t ask the opinions of too many people. The more opinions you have, the more you’ll begin to question what you want vs. what others want. Or, if you’re like me, you’ll stress because you’ll try to please too many people and you simply can’t. I suggest having your fiance, mom, and MOH being your “go to” people.
6. Make use of wedding websites, such as The Knot. It will help you organize different things and remind you of little details you may have over looked. I used it mostly for the guest list–which has different features to allow you to select who has responded to your RSVPs, if you have received a gift from someone, and if you’ve sent a thank you letter. They also have a free app that syncs to your website–awesome!
7. Use an agenda/planner. Girl, you will have so much stuff going on and sticky notes just won’t do it. Invest in a cute planner to mark appointments and showers. I also liked to set monthly goals of things I need to have done by the end of the month. It’s also fun to see your wedding day getting closer and closer.
8. If you’re moving, pack before the wedding. You don’t want to have to worry about packing when you get back from the honeymoon. If the two of you are getting a place together, try to close on it a couple weeks before the wedding so you can even move your stuff in there. That way, when you get back from the honeymoon, you’ll already be settled.
9.Have your bridal shower before a lingerie shower or other intimate showers. This way some of the girls who may not know one another have an opportunity to get to know each other in a less awkward environment. Then, when it comes time for the crazy showers and parties, people already know one another and you can just enjoy yourself.
10. Keep receipts. Seriously, just keep them all. Even ones you think you won’t need.
11. Start writing thank you notes right after your first shower. If you let them build up, you’ll get overwhelmed and not put that “personal touch” in the notes because you’ll be too tired. Also, in case you were thinking it, don’t skip on the thank you notes. A lot of the traditional stuff can be skipped, but this is one that must stay. People expect them AND it’s the least you can do to show your appreciation. Oh–and remember to send thank you notes to people who also give you money. It’s still a gift.
12. Remember that you’re wedding may not go exactly how you thought–but that’s okay! The most important thing is that you get to marry the love of your life.
Pictures from my showers: