I'm sure you've heard it by now––wedding planning is a full time job. So we asked our most trusted wedding planners their top planning advice for brides. Scroll down to see what our experts recommend.
Laine of Laine Palm Designs said:
1. CREATE A MOOD BOARD
It may sound weird, but create a mood board! Figure out the colors you want to use, and the overall look and feel of your day and stick to it! Share this with your vendors to help them capture your vision, so they have something to refer to.
With Pinterest and all of the blogs out there, it can be overwhelming to see all of the ideas that are out there. If you create a mood board, it will help to narrow your ideas. Along with that, clean up your Pinterest board once you have made some decisions and selected vendors. Picked a dress? Remove all the dresses from Pinterest. Picked your silverware and glasses? Remove everything else from your board so you can see everything that has been decided upon.
2. SCHEDULE A SPECIFIC TIME TO WEDDING PLAN
Instead of talking about your wedding all the time with your fiancé, schedule a time where you can talk through your checklist, goals, and set priorities for the month so it does not become all consuming. Make it fun by making dinner and a cocktail and setting stuff up. Assign tasks for each of you and set up another date for when they need to be completed by. That way, it’s a team effort, and you’re each helping in the process.
3. USE “ALL SEATED” TO MAP OUT FLOOR PLAN
All Seated is a great (and free) tool to use for a floor plan/seating chart when you want to start laying everything out. Select your tables and chairs set up, add in dessert tables, escort card tables, photo booth, etc for a visual for yourself and for the vendors when thinking about your day. This will also help you figure out what decor you need, and showing people where it needs to be set up!
4. SLOWLY CHIP AWAY AT BRIDAL PARTY GIFTS
If you’re worried about the cost of gifts for bridesmaids/groomsmen, figure out early what you want to do and purchase one each month. Thinking about robes but they may be a bit pricey? Keep your eye out for sales, and chip away by buying one each month until you have what you need!
5. MARRIAGE COUNSELING
It doesn’t have to be religious in any way, but find someone local who does it and set up a few meetings. You’re about to take a huge step in your relationship, and you want to make sure you’re ready. Besides planning a party, you are planning a marriage, and having someone look in from the outside is a really helpful way to see what you and your future spouse still need to tackle before the big day. Everything from finances, talking long term dreams, and balancing the household work just feels better when you know you and your partner are on the same page.
Angie of Hart & Sole said:
6. HAVE FUN PLANNING!
If it gets too stressful or is not fun, take a few days off and re-focus. You are planning your wedding with your best friend/soul mate! Have fun and embrace it!
7. ALWAYS MAKE CONTRACTS
Make sure to get contracts with everyone you hire - especially if they are family or friends! It's always a good thing to be clear what your and their expectations are and have them in writing.
8. WATCH OUT FOR ADDITIONAL FEES
When booking a venue or service, be sure to check additional fees for x, y, z. Sometimes the initial price point is great but then there are hidden fees for garbage/chairs/tables/particular room access, etc. or you have to buy photos from a specific location or don't get rights to photos. It ends up being a lot more on the back end.
9. FOLLOW A WEDDING TIMELINE
It helps keep you on track with certain priorities and helps you stay on top of the planning so you don't get behind and get stressed out.
10. CLARIFY WHAT YOUR VENUE’S EVENT COORDINATOR’S ROLE IS
If the venue has an event coordinator/facilitator -confirm what that entails. The most common question I get as a wedding planner is that they won't need a day of coordinator because the venue offers one. They likely don't. The event coordinator is there for the venue; to make sure paper towels are full, garbage is taken out, makes sure the place doesn't burn down. They rarely help with setting up or take down. Be sure to get this clarified for your big day as this could lead to a lot of additional stress on the day of.
Brittany of Simply Gypsy Events said:
11. TAKE TIME TO DATE YOUR FIANCE
Seriously. You have jobs and real lives, on top of planning, you still need to nurture your relationship and prepare for your happily ever after.
12. DIY...BUT NOT WITH EVERYTHING
Yes, you can DIY, but no, not everything. If you want to do some DIY, recognize what you're good at and do it. Are you in marketing and advertising? Maybe you should consider creating your own invite suite. Do you have amazing handwriting skills? Maybe escort cards and signage are your thing. Do what you're good at and leave the rest to the pros.
13. BACKDROPS > DETAILS
Your backdrop is the background for your ceremony, those pictures of your first kiss and exchanging vows. If you have to cut costs to keep the backdrop, cut from the centerpieces or nix favors.
14. ALLOW ENOUGH TIME
Add a little extra time for hair/makeup AND family portraits... both always run over their time slot. Yes, even if you're super organized.
15. FINISH THE LITTLE THINGS EARLY ON
The last two months fly by, and they have the most To-Do items on the list. Get whatever you can done early on so you aren't stressing later.
What wedding planning advice do you have? Comment below with your tips!