Our wedding was 9 months ago but I took a blog hiatus last year, so I wanted to do a quick post with some tips. Obviously different things work for different people and many factors go into how you plan your wedding, but I think there are some general suggestions that are helpful for everyone.
- Spreadsheets. They are your friend. Even if they aren’t very detailed I highly suggest a spreadsheet for various aspects of planning: comparing venues and/or vendors, budget, timelines, deadlines, checklists. Being organized will help keep you sane. We used Google docs so everyone involved in certain parts could have access to what they needed.
- Coordination. No matter what your budget, you need a day of coordinator. I can be a professional. It can be a friend of a friend who is very organized and who wouldn’t have been invited to the wedding anyway. But you, the bride, do not need to be thinking about details the day of the wedding. And your mother or mother-in-law, or anyone already involved in the wedding shouldn’t have to either. If you’re in the Atlanta area or North Georgia, I highly recommend White Vine Weddings because they were amazing.
- Food. Obviously you want it to be good, but rarely do people remember the food. We hired a caterer and hadn’t even tasted the food but they had great reviews. There are numerous wedding websites now that have reviews of any company that does things wedding-related. Use them. In the end, there were a few things we would have changed about our catering experience, but it did not make or break our wedding. People ate, enjoyed the food, and the service was good. Check out Zest in Atlanta!
- Friends. If you’re like me, you had a number of friends get married before you. Ask them questions, ask for recommendations, and ask for help. I don’t think I asked for much help (though my friends may remember differently) but I did ask one friend in particular a lot of questions. She had gotten married in the same city about a year and a half before me. She had great recommendations and we ended up using the same DJ, who people still talk about today as being the best wedding DJ they had experienced. DJ Spontaneous will not disappoint!
- Decor. It can be simple or it can be elaborate, but make it what you want. It’s your day. If you have the budget, rent items so you don’t have to figure out what to do with them afterward. If you lucky enough to find a company that does multiple things, you can cut down on vendors. White Vine Weddings (read coordinator above) also did beautiful decor that can be customized just for your wedding! See photos below of signs and flowers that they did.
- Photo and Video. These are the things you will have from your wedding for the rest of your lives. Make it a planning and budget priority. Use reviews and recommendations. Every person I asked when my planning our wedding said they either regretting not have a videographer or that the videographer was the best thing they spent money on. We were lucky enough to have connections for both of these things. My friend did our photography and my husband’s coworker shot video. Then if you’re even luckier, like me, your husband can edit the video and you get a perfect, personalized reminder of your special day.
In the end, you want your wedding day to be exactly what you want and not what other people want (except maybe ask your fiancé’s opinion occasionally…I guess it is his day too). Make it perfect for you and enjoy the process!