Congratulations, you’re engaged! After all the years of attending friends and family members weddings and being in wedding party after wedding party, it’s finally your turn. Wedding planning is no joke. Take it from me. As a bride once myself, it’s all fun and games until you actually have to start making big decisions and narrowing down options like finding the perfect dress that’s fairy princess status – yet affordable, a cake that’s pinterest worthy – yet not over the top and the perfect nail color that’s not to nude but not too pink. *le sigh* There are tons of books and websites out there that can help you with every single planning detail of your wedding, but I’ve gathered some helpful tips simply from personal experience that are guaranteed to help your day/planning journey run smoothly.
Tip #1: Get engagement photos done I remember thinking engagement photos were unnecessary and an added expense I just couldn’t justify adding to the budget. However, engagement photos are not only great experience in front a camera for your wedding day, but you can literally use these photos for anything. Throw them on your save-the-dates, your bridal shower invitations, your wedding website, print a few off and mail them to distant relatives and post them all over your social media to let the world know you are marrying the best person in the world!
Tip #2: Take your time planning There is absolutely nothing wrong with a long engagement. If you don’t feel like you’re totally ready to start planning and choose to focus on other things (career, family, travel, school), do that. Even if you’re not sure what your bridal style is – take time to research and really immerse yourself into the process. Of course when planning anything in general, there will come stress but there is no point to planning a wedding if you’re feeling rushed or pressured. Your wedding planning journey should be fun and exciting and nothing short of magical.
Tip #3: Don’t do or use anything you’re not used to For most of you, this is your first time being a bride. Therefore, we feel the need to realty take it up a notch with our beauty routine, hair, makeup, spray tans, mani/pedi, etc. My personal advice on this is to stick to what you know. Use what you know works for your skin and hair to avoid reactions, breakouts or looking back on wedding photos like…“what was I thinking?” If you are going to try something new, do it a few months (minimum) ahead of time so there are no surprises. This includes facials, new skin/hair products, nail colors, hair cuts/colors, spray tans or even new makeup.
Tip #4: Do a hair & makeup trial Hair and makeup for your wedding is something you’re likely not going to be used to. Makeup artists use techniques specifically designed for photography, you’ll have 200 bobby pins in your hair and, oh yeah, a 3-6 foot piece of tulle coming out of your head. Doing a trial takes so much stress away on the morning of your wedding because you and your stylists know exactly what to expect. Plus you’ll feel a lot more comfortable rocking your bridal look.
Tip #5: Hire a day-of coordinator If you are planning your wedding sans wedding planner, another option would be to hire a day-of coordinator. They will typically be available to you anywhere from 2-4 weeks before your wedding to gather all your vendor information, do confirmations, set up/tear down of equipment and honestly give some great advice. I know its hard to hear, but there is always a slight possibility that something might not go your way during your wedding and you should not be responsible to deal with it. “Well my bridal party or parents can deal with it”… No. They are also there to enjoy the day and be with you worry-free. Believe me, it is worth every penny!
Tip #6: Hire a videographer One of the very few things I regret not doing for my wedding. There will be a lot going on once your day arrives and it’s very easy to forget tiny things that make the day so memorable. Hiring a photograher is an absolute must but if you have some room in the budget, a videographer can really capture the energy and happiness of some precious moments during your wedding.
Tip #7: Honeymoons are optional Don’t feel that you have to spend all this extra money on a honeymoon just because “that’s what you’re supposed to do”. If you find yourself stressing out more than looking forward to a vaycay after your wedding, hold off. Book a small “mini-moon” get away to wind down and save up for a more extravagant trip down the road.
Tip #8: Soak in every second of the day Okay, this sounds cheesy and obvious but on my wedding day I constantly found myself literally just taking it all in like an absolute weirdo with a massive grin on my face. Take two seconds to look around and appreciate everyone that is there to celebrate YOU and your big day. The day that you’ve spent months (maybe years) planning and perfecting is happening. Right. Now. Trust me, you will blink and it will be over so soak it ALL in and do anything possible to slow down each step of the way. Ps. Wedding blues are real.