Happy First Friday of the Year! Yeay! In 2017, I wanted to shift my business a bit to not only share beautiful moments and showcase images from past photo shoots and weddings on my blog and social media, but to also be a resource and provide useful information and helpful tips to my blog readers.
It is no secret that wedding planning can be extremely stressful for many. But it is not impossible to have a stress-free wedding planning experience either. As a close friend, mentor, and bridesmaid to Brittany, I was able to witness firsthand the ease and joy that consumed Brittany throughout the months leading up to her wedding day. I was amazed at the fact that she was able to spend the last few weeks before her wedding day not having to focus on finalizing details, paying vendors, or coming up with new ideas because something fell through. And I was even more amazed at how everything moved seamlessly and came together beautifully on her wedding day.
I am excited to share this feature from someone very dear to my heart, and someone who has proven to be very knowledgeable on this topic. Being engaged should be one of the most exciting times in a woman’s (or man’s) life, and I am confident in saying that following Brittany’s tips can help one to ensure that this time is indeed exciting and enjoyable! See Brittany’s tips for a stress-free wedding planning experience below.
Thanks for allowing me to share my wedding planning experience and how I managed to maintain a stress-free planning tourney for the past 8 months. Even before Phillip and I got engaged, I knew I didn’t want to have a long engagement, nor did I want to insure any debt from our wedding. I have also heard “horror” stories from previous brides about how they “couldn’t wait until it was over,” and I vowed not to have that attitude toward my own wedding. I am a Project Manager for a living – so, I approached the wedding planning like I do all of my corporate projects – ensure everything is completed on time and under budget. I was finished with all of my planning and final touches for the wedding more than 30 days out from our wedding date, which allowed me to spend the rest of the time focused on spending time with my fiancé, family, and friends leading up to the wedding. However, you don’t have to be a Project Manager to have a stress-free wedding planning experience – and, I believe my tips will help future brides out there!
1. Eliminate decision fatigue!
One of the most exciting things about being a bride is having a full array of options to choose from to create your own idea of a “perfect” wedding. From you wedding colors and flowers, to you bridesmaid dresses and cake style – it’s like being a kid in a candy store when it comes to making your infamous Pinterest page come to life once you’re engaged and have started the planning process. However, having a ton of options can actually be a big form of stress and will create decision fatigue. When it comes to making a decision related to your wedding, narrow your options down to a maximum of 3. You can almost always eliminate 1, which will help you to focus on making a choice between 2 of your favorites.
2. Only splurge on and include items that are important to you and your fiancé.
The key to staying within your budget and not incurring debt is to avoid spending money for things that are not particularly important in helping you and your fiancé to have a special day. Aside from food and alcohol, the minute expenses that add up quickly typically surround the decor and personal details – such as flowers and stationery. There is absolutely nothing wrong with splurging on decor and personal details, if your budget allows, however – make sure you’re only including items that you’ll treasure and look back on with delight in your photos. We ditched a lot of “traditional” things that guests don’t usually pay too much attention to (i.e. favors, programs, a guestbook, and menus), and invested nan outstanding photographer and whimsical stationery.
3. Invest in makeup and photography.
I cannot stress it enough – do not skim on makeup and photography. Your wedding day will arguably be the happiest day of your life – and, you do not want to look back on your photographs with regret at the quality of your makeup and images. Your wedding photographs are what will make your wedding a timeless story that can be told for generations to come. With regard to makeup – as a bride, you should feel beautiful – inside and out. It is a luxury to be pampered and not have to feel pressed or worried about completing your look on the morning of your wedding. Research and hire a makeup artist and photographer that appeals to your style as a bride and groom. Flawless makeup and a talented photographer will certainly enhance your day – and, your future self will be thankful.
4. Make a weekly to-do list for every month leading up to the wedding, which includes breaks.
We all know there are endless versions of to-do lists and mobile planning apps out there to use as a guide in planning your wedding. Here again – eliminate decision fatigue. I purchased one book from www.TheKnot.com and tailored there 12-18 Month Wedding Planning Timeline to my own engagement timeframe (which, by the way – they need a timeline for shorter engagements, ranging from 6-9 months), along with one other book from Premier Bride that had another 12-month timeline that I received from a bridal show. Using both books, I customized my own to-do list based on the things we were and were not including in our wedding. After doing so, I split up every item on the list into mini-tasks (i.e. booking a vendor, calling a vendor, following up with a vendor, etc.) by week into an Excel spreadsheet. It sounds a bit complex, but it just takes a bit of effort and organizational skills. Make sure to include a week in each month when you don’t do any wedding planning to avoid burnout.
5. Relax! Relax! Relax!
Don’t you dare become a Bridezilla – it’s arguably not that serious. I had a very relaxed attitude during the wedding planning experience- mainly because I was organized and had very willing and helpful friends and family members. Before you flip out on your best friend about the colors of your bridesmaids dresses, or cry to your fiancé that the flowers you want are not in season, realize that none of the above matters when you’re walking down the aisle towards the love of your life.
Phillip and I had a gorgeous, romantic, emotional wedding that will remain in our hearts and minds (and our photographs) for as long as we both shall live. Our friends and family had such an enjoyable time – and, we still have not heard the end of the compliments and “hats off” to our wedding day. Our day was seamless – no glitches, issues, or complaints – and we started and ended our wedding day on time! I am not a professional wedding planner, but I have to attest that the above tips really allowed me to stay calm and enjoy the moment with my family, friends – and, most importantly – my now husband. Cheers to the new brides-to-be out there. May your planning process be stress free and your wedding day be glorious and filled with joy!
By the way – Brittany is a bit shy and failed to mention that she handpicked and designed ALL of her floral arrangements for her wedding! Be sure to check out her work and new business venture on Instagram at @BloomsByBrittany.