When the person you love gets down on one knee, holds out a ring, and asks the most important question of your life, you’re probably not thinking about all of the time, effort, and money that will go into planning a wedding. And yet, once you say yes and put that ring on your finger, you’ll have no choice but to pick a date and throw yourself into the process of preparing for your special day, including choosing a venue, a dress, your bridal party, and a wedding song, not to mention hiring myriad vendors such as an officiant, a caterer, a florist, a photographer/videographer, a DJ, and more. Then there’s the guest list and seating charts to attend to. And who knows when you’ll find time to put together a plan for the honeymoon. The point is that you’ll have a lot to do when it comes to planning your one and only wedding day, so you can see why most couples shoot for a long engagement. But the process can be made easier if you follow a few simple guidelines.
Here are some essential tips that will benefit every bride-to-be
Planning a wedding is certainly a time-consuming process, with so many details to attend to. But the main reason to start at least a year in advance if at all possible is to ensure that you are able to secure the many services you’ll need on your wedding day and that your top picks are available on your chosen date. This is especially important where the venue is concerned, and doubly so if you’ve chosen a popular date (during the summer season or the winter holidays) and/or a popular venue.
Set a budget
It’s all too easy to go overboard when you’re preparing for this once-in-a-lifetime event, but if you want any cash left over for your honeymoon or a down payment on a house, it’s a good idea to take a look at your finances before you start making purchases. With a firm budget in mind and funds allocated for various expenditures, you should be able to avoid major debt before you even tie the knot.
Adopt a “less is more” attitude
There are so many traditions and trends you could employ in the course of your wedding that it can get a little hard to see the forest for the trees. But if you want your wedding and reception to be beautiful, elegant, and even fun, you need to stay your hand and stop yourself from going overboard. Instead of creating a ceremony that’s an hour and a half long by adding every tradition in the book (the unity candle, the lariat, jumping the broom, and so on), limit yourself to just one or two that hold the greatest significance for you and you’re betrothed.
Heading to the bridal salon and wedding fairs is a great way to sample products and services for your wedding. But if you’re short on time and money, think about letting your fingers do the walking by comparison shopping online. You can find virtual galleries for photographers in your area, wedding gowns galore, and even fun items like bride and bridesmaid robes from reputable sites. And you’ll have access to pricing and ordering options that can seriously reduce your stress, your expense, and the time required for shopping.
You don’t need a professional planner, but it helps
Let’s face it: most brides are ill-prepared for planning an event of this size. And while you’ll certainly pay a little extra for the professional help a wedding planner provides, you’ll benefit in ways you can’t even imagine when you decide to hire an expert for the purpose ofplanning your wedding. You’ll cut back on stress, for one thing, but your wedding planner will also attend to every detail, provide you with limited choices (based on your stated preferences), and clue you into trends and traditions you may not even know about. You’ll get your money’s worth and potentially even save on other expenses when you opt to go pro.