10 Tips to Make Your Wedding Go Off With(out) a Hitch
You’ve found the one. Now it’s time to throw one of the biggest parties you’ll ever plan. Make sure it goes off without a hitch, your guests have a ball, and you keep your sanity. Can all of these things be done? Here’s 10 things you can do to reduce stress and plan the wedding of your dreams.
1) Set a Budget
Perhaps nothing causes more stress than being financially overburdened. Before you begin worrying about venues, music, or flowers, understand what you are comfortable spending. It’s not the most fun part of planning, but it must be done first.
2) Create a Vision
If you’re like most brides-to-be, you have a vision for how your wedding will look and feel. With your budget in mind, spend some quality time thinking about a theme and overall feel for your wedding. Inside or outside, season, time of day, etc. But remember… BE FLEXIBLE!
3) Make the Guest List
Logistics and costs differ dramatically for an intimate 50-person wedding than for a lavish 250-person affair. Agree on how many people should be included, as this will influence your choice of venue as well as other vendors.
4) Find a Venue
This is a bit of a tricky one because only certain venues will have availability in your chosen season, and ultimately venue availability will determine your date. Read online reviews and make a list, then go visit your venues in person. If it’s a popular wedding location, you may have to book well in advance so don’t put off this task too long.
5) Set Your Wedding Party
Decide who you would like to have standing beside you on your special day. Then ask the members of the wedding party to mark your date in their calendar so they are ready to take on that special role.
6) Dress Shopping
Keep your venue and season in mind as you decide on a dress, but don’t overthink it if you find “the one”. A simple wardrobe change after the ceremony into a more comfortable “reception” dress is an option so you can have your perfect wedding gown AND dance the night away without hyperventilating. When you do find the right dress, remember having it tailored can take months so give yourself plenty of time.
7) Book the Vendors
This takes a lot of coordinated effort, and may change depending on the size of your wedding. You may need a caterer, a florist, a baker, and a DJ as a start. Work with your vendor, read online reviews, and get referrals to find who does quality work. Advance notice is the key so you can get all your vendors on the same page for your wedding day.
8) Find a Rehearsal Venue
Traditionally planned by the groom’s family, make sure that the rehearsal hall is adequate for the size of your wedding party and, if you choose, out of town guests. Don’t worry too much about decorum, rules of etiquette, and traditions if that’s not your style. It’s your day!
9) Get Your Marriage License
Make sure you know the rules where you are getting married. Some states have a waiting period! Study up so that you can get your marriage license and have it ready for your big day.
10) Plan the Honeymoon
Although your wedding day is probably taking the bulk of your planning time, if you are taking a trip right after your big day, make sure travel arrangements and accommodations are booked. Be sure that passports and travel documents are up to date if needed.
There you have it. Ten things you can do to minimize your stress and maximize your peace of mind during this hectic and frantic time of planning your wedding. By giving yourself plenty of time and following this outline, you will be able to organize the wedding of your dreams. Happily ever after!