For those of you that don’t know, I got married 2 months ago. So I just finished planning a wedding. I'm not the most organized, but I've planned events before so I figured this wouldn’t be too different. Boy, was I wrong! Wedding planning kicked me all down the block. Some mistakes were avoidable while others were not but I'm here to tell you the things I wish I'd known before I started planning.
1. Learn to make quick decisions that you can stick to.
The most important thing I learned was to make quick decisions. First of all, I'm horrible at making decisions. I even have trouble choosing candy bars in the gas station. Even when I do make a decision there's no guarantee that I won't change my mind immediately afterwards. If you have a tough time with that as well then plan either a very short one to force yourself to pick and choose things to care about or a long one so you have time to care about everything. I had 7 months and that was just long enough to give me a chance to change my mind but short enough to not let that changed decision actually occur.
2. Ask vendors for references.
My first photographer disappeared without ever even giving us our engagement pictures. It set us back on sending out our save the dates and has caused a lot of head aches with trying to get our money back. Luckily, we found a replacement photographer (obviously). But I was turned down by loads of photograhers because it was so close to the big day. We only found one by asking for references once they let me know they were unavailable. All of this could have been avoided I'd realized how important it is to have references. Ask a trusted, married, friend who they used, look for testamonials on your potential photographer's website, ask if they have bride they’ve worked with that you could speak to, look at their social media to see how many followers they have. Do your due diligence before hiring! Trust me, it saves you a ton of work on the back end.
3. Don’t look at wedding planning websites/books unless you have a full year.
Looking at those things caused me so much crying and anxiety in the beginning of the process. You're already overwhelmed when you get engaged and having a website tell you that you should have booked a venue, found your photographer, and picked your dress 4 months ago does not help. Theknot.com is the one I ended up using but only after months of other planners reminding me I was way behind. The knot works within the timeline you give them and tells you when you need to do things during that time frame. You can even remove tasks that are not relevant. After all, it's you that's planning this wedding not SherryKnowsWeddings.com*.
4. Pick a style and stick to it.
There are thousands of different ideas for weddings. Pintrest has made those beautiful ideas much more easily accessible. Go ahead and scour all the different magazines, blogs and pintrest boards your little heart desires in the beginning. Once you pick the mood you are going for do yourself a favor and don't look around anymore at other ideas. I cut pictures out of magazines that went with my chosen vision to make a mood board. I made a powerpoint with pictures of all the bridesmaids dresses and floral arrangements I had to match my inspiration, and I kept pintrest boards to keep the direction true to what I had chosen. All decisions should be made based on that inspiration. Don’t get sidetracked but the stunning all-white table centrepiece that your sister just sent you.
5. Remember what's important!
You're getting married to the person you love!!! So if and when something does not go according to plan you can take a deep breathe and roll with it. In 20 years, you'll be asking yourself why you chose those bridesmaid dresses anyways, but hopefuly the person you chose will still be standing beside you.
Thank you Compass Wedding Collection for coming through in the clutch and taking our pictures!
*Made up wedding website. Don't be offended Sherrys.