There is a lot of wedding advice floating around the Internet. Problem is, many brides aren’t aware that the entire process is all about decision-making. First, you make the biggest decision of your life: should I marry this man? Then it moves onto, where should the wedding be? When should it be? How much will we spend? Do we get a band or DJ? What should our color theme be? What will I wear? Who will do my hair and makeup? The list goes on and on. This can be SO overwhelming for brides, and for good reason! While having an unlimited amount of information at your fingertips via the Internet to help you answer these questions is great, it can be more of a stressful “OMG” feeling if you’re unsure how to tie it all together.
Sure, those mason jars wrapped in burlap and lace ribbon are a cute idea on Pinterest, but it’s a good way to end up sobbing in the middle of your local Michael’s two weeks before the big day. To ensure that doesn’t happen, we’ve put together these simple wedding planning tips to help relieve unwanted stress. After following this list, you’ll find planning your wedding will be smooth sailing, and more enjoyable!
1. Choose Your Budget
You really can’t begin any planning until a firm budget has been set in stone. Sure, you could start pinning like crazy and dog-earring every other page in bridal magazines, but why put yourself through that torture if you’re unsure your budget will even allow certain “must-haves”?
To make a wedding budget, you’ll need to first tally up your savings. Remove your retirement funds, as well as “emergency funds”, and then ideally, whatever is left is how much you could put towards wedding costs. You should also set aside 10% of your monthly income through a direct deposit. If you’re parents are paying, engage in a meaningful conversation that politely asks how much they are willing to contribute.
Next, you should maintain a detailed spreadsheet so you can track your spending and ensure you don’t overspend throughout the planning process. Create three columns, Estimated, Modified and Actual. Keeping this organized all in one place will help you stay in line with your original budget. Last, prepare for any surprises. Vendors may have tiny “forgot-to-mentions” that you were unaware of, prior to signing the contract. Other hidden fees lie within vendor transportation, set-up/breakdown fees, custom cocktails, envelope stuffing and more. Try to budget out an additional $1K-$2K for this.
2. Create Your Guest List
Grappling with guest list anxiety? Organizing and cutting your guest list may not be as fun as choosing your bridal gown, however there are some helpful tips we can provide to guide you in the right direction. First, decide how you’ll divvy up your list – prior to accepting financial help. There’s no sugar coating that things can get messy if one or both sets of parents are contributing towards the final bill. It can be frustrating when your parents start to invite all of these people you’ve never even heard of. That being said, be clear about your expectations before you accept their help. Once you’ve started putting down deposits with someone else’s money, you’re in a bind, whereas before you start spending, you can still negotiate who will and who won’t be attending.
Once that’s solved, you’ll want to design your dream list. Jot down the names of everyone you could ever imagine attending your big day. Next, take your budget and venue into consideration, consider how much it will cost your caterer per meal, cake, rentals, etc. and then make adjustments where needed. The easiest way to do that is to make some cutting rules AND stick to them. Seriously, don’t budge on this. This can include no significant other (unless married or engaged), no children, haven’t heard from them in 3 years, never met them….you get the point. Finally, make an A and B list. This way, if you find out that an A-lister can’t attend early on, you’ll have room to move someone up from the B list.
3. Start a Pinterest Board
As long as you use it right, Pinterest is a remarkable planning tool. The social media site makes it easy to bookmark and categorize ideas and inspiration found online, allowing you to follow more wedding blogs than you’ll ever be able to read. However, the sheer volume of photos pinned every minute of the day can make Pinterest extremely overwhelming. To avoid this, keep your expectations in check. Collect gorgeous photos, but don’t be disappointed if you can’t get exactly the same thing for your big day. You’ll probably start off going on a pinning marathon, and that’s okay. But as you approach half-time, start editing your boards, and yes, start to delete unrealistic pins or ones you no longer crave as a must-have. In the end, you’ll have a board perfectly tailored to reflect your style and personality.
4. Get a Personalized Plan from The White Box
What exactly is The White Box? Well, if you’re new to our page, let us bring you up to speed! The White Box is a modern-day solution to designing your wedding like a professional, without the cost of a full-service planner. Each box is filled with personalized wedding planning tools, resources, inspirational ideas, and samples to help couples navigate the DIY wedding planning process with ease. Delivered within 3 weeks of ordering, our goal is to basically take your “Pins”, dog-eared pages and online bookmarks, wrap them up in a pretty white box, deliver it to your doorstep and provide a plan of execution to bring your ideas to life. We provide a helping hand, the guidance you’ve been searching for, tips to communicate to your vendors and so much more. Speaking of that……
5.Take Your Plans to Your Selected Vendors
Vendors are the people that bring your entire day together. And for that reason alone, means the pressure is on! You really can’t wing these sorts of meetings. While vendors are armed and ready to answer questions and lend a hand, not knowing what to expect or not having a plan of action that accurately conveys your needs will only frustrate both you, and your vendor.
The beauty of The White Box is that you’re literally provided every detail you’ll need to go into meetings, 100% prepared. Here are just a few of the many helpful tips and guidance you’ll receive in your box:
- Menu Ideas (Includes Appetizers, First Course, Main Course and Dessert)
- Signature Drink Recipe
- Cake Suggestions
- Décor Ideas
- Rentals (anywhere from couches and tables to linens and entertainment)
- Invitation Samples
- And more!
Even if you already have a wedding planner, having this information as your foundation will make both of your lives easier!
6. Handle All Details via The White Box’s Virtual Planning Tools
Now that we’ve reviewed 5 of our most important wedding planning tips, let’s tie them all together! When you purchase The White Box to help plan your wedding, you’ll be provided virtual planning tools to keep everything we’ve just discussed neat, organized and all in one place! This is your one-stop-shop, no other apps needed, to manage your to-do lists, tweak your budget, trim your guest list, confirm your style, and any other miscellaneous item on your agenda.
In today’s modern world, planning a wedding has never been easier. Follow these tips above and we promise you, you’ll have your very own stress-free fairy-tale wedding. Happy planning!