You’re engaged! (Whoop, whoop!) Now, you’re probably thinking, OMG, what do I do now?? What’s next?!
Don’t fret, I got you!
Day by day, you’re piecing important components together to make your wedding day run as smooth as possible. Way easier said than done, right?
I know first hand just how stressful the planning can be. Endless nights were spent browsing Pinterest for inspiration, making lists, doing crafts, contacting vendors, getting addresses, so on and so forth. You can only imagine how much wine was consumed.
It wasn’t easy, but I figured out how to make planning easier and how to save money! With less than one year to plan an entire wedding, you’re a little crunched for time, which also means you have less time to save. A few tips and tricks in particular REALLY helped me save time and money – two things I really wish I had more of during the wedding planning phase. The key is to be as efficient as possible.
How I Planned My Wedding in 9 Months
Get organized & write everything down. This is SO, SOOO important. I kept a binder specifically and only for wedding planning. Make sure you have one that’s big enough to hold everything (I highly suggest a 3″ ring binder). Write down all the ideas you have for a color scheme and the overall wedding theme. I also designed a wedding planning template, then printed it, stamped three vertical holes, and used it to organize my plans.
Don’t be indecisive. Pick something and go with it. Too often brides get caught up in wanting to incorporate everything into their wedding theme (I’ve totally been here). You just can’t, it’s not realistic. There are endless options for wedding themes, but don’t get lost or stuck between all of them. Pick roughly three favorites, write them down and your ideas for each, then pick your favorite. After you go dress shopping, stop looking, stop searching, stop Pinteresting. Just stop. Don’t look any further – you’ll seriously question yourself and your first dress choice. (Even if it was your dream wedding dress, it’s just something your mind thinks about.) Just don’t do it. You’ll save yourself from A LOT of stress.
Make daily or weekly to-do lists. And actually do them. Start with priority, then get into the things that don’t necessarily have to be done right away. Write everything down (obviously important if it’s listed twice 😉 ) Organize with bullet points by importance. Write large tasks in your daily planner. I LOVE writing down everything I need to complete daily AND weekly in my planner, the layout of mine is similar to this one here. When looking for planners, I always go for one that has a page for each month, then the following are by day. How awesome is it to keep track of monthly, weekly, AND daily to-do’s?
DON’T multitask. Yes, I’m serious. Quite contrary to what we’ve been taught, complete one task at a time. Wedding planning is hard enough as it is – work on contacting vendors, for example, then move onto painting wine glasses or figuring out your centerpieces. Don’t do both at once. You’ll actually get less done because you’re not investing all your time and effort into one task, completing it, then moving forward to something else, then completing, etc.
This took me awhile to figure out, but I got so much more done when I completed task by task. You won’t be as stressed about the tasks that aren’t completed yet.
DON’T ask for too much advice. It’s nice to receive advice here and there, but everyone has their own opinion. Just remember, you can listen to others’ advice, but hearing too much will just make the process more confusing. The faster you make decisions, the less likely you’ll receive too many opinions on how to celebrate your Big Day.
Be flexible with your vendors. Already on short notice, you’ll want to be exceptionally flexible with your venue, caterer, DJ, etc. Many vendors have advanced bookings, ask for referrals from your favorite vendors if they are unavailable.
Shop Etsy and other helpful resources. I didn’t do this enough… and now that I think back on it, I wish I had. I spent a large portion of my time making my own crafts. I honestly thought I was saving money going the DIY route. After it was all said and done, I had calculated materials spent to make those products and the cost was seriously, about the same. Etsy is an awesome resource for brides planning their own wedding. Whether you need printables for décor or beautifully crafted centerpieces, Etsy is a bride’s wedding planning heaven.
Ask for help. There’s no shame in asking for help on, quite possibly, the biggest day of your life. You’re only one person, not to mention you’re short on time. Delegate tasks to your significant other and ask your mom, aunt, sister, best friends, bridesmaids, or maid-of-honor to help you on the weekends. More help = more tasks completed in a quicker amount of time. I’m sure they would be happy to help you, too!
DON’T overthink. I know this concept is SO hard. Much of your time will be spent planning and thinking, then planning and thinking some more. Wedding planning is all about figuring out what you want for your special day, but too often, overthinking is a huge issue during the process. Like I said previously, once you’ve made your decision on something, stick to it! You’ll be less likely to waste precious time that could be consumed working on something else.
Use Amazon’s Wedding Registry. Another thing, when all said and done, I wish I had incorporated into our wedding. If you think about it, who hasn’t purchased items from Amazon? A large portion of your guests probably use Amazon, too. You can find nearly anything on Amazon, so naturally, what an awesome way to make it, not only easier for you, but more convenient for your guests and the gifts they’ve been longing to give you on your special day.
ENJOY wedding planning! Quite possibly the most important piece of advice I could give you is… Enjoy this time when wedding plans are entirely your own! Unless you’re a wedding planner, you’ll never plan another wedding again. Although you’ll be spending many weekends vicariously planning every little detail of your Big Day, make sure you’re taking some time to yourself and away from planning. Take small breaks when needed and make sure you’re having fun while doing so!
Have other questions or comments? Feel free to email me at email@example.com. I would be HAPPY to help you with any additional insights not listed in this article. <3
Let’s be friends! I’d LOVE to hear from you!