Happy Monday, Friends! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I thought I would share some of my wedding planning tips for all you blushing brides and soon to be brides out there. All of these tips are based on my personal experience from planning my own wedding and a few things that I learned the day of my wedding. Wedding planning can be stressful but I fully believe that if you hire the right vendors, know what DIYs to say no to, and have a good rain plan that you’ll be just fine.
Wedding Planning Tips:
Tip #1: Hire A Wedding Planner
- I know what you’re thinking! You’re currently in the thick of planning your wedding and you’re confident that “you’ve got it covered.” I 100% believe that you do, but will you have it covered the week and the day of your wedding? From my experience, you won’t and you really don’t want to. Wedding planners are workers of magic. You might not need a planner through the entire process but I definitely recommend a month of coordinator. They will help finalize all the nitty gritty details with your vendors and make sure everything is smooth sailing the day of your wedding. And that in itself is worth it’s weight in gold. I was so happy to not have to worry about who was taking care of what and making sure everything was going according to plan the day of our wedding. You want to be able to relax on your wedding day and having a planner will help you do so.
Tip #2: Don’t Do Something Just Because It’s Trendy
- Do it because YOU love it! Now if it just happens to be what’s on trend and you love it, great!! When I got married chevron print was ALL the rage and I LOVED it. When I look back at the pictures I smile because I loved and still do love the chevron. I’m not cringing because I chose what was trendy and now is out of style. Now I can’t say I’ll love chevron in 25 years but I know I’ll always love it in my wedding photos because it’s what I loved at the time.
Tip #3: Make Sure Your Photographer Will Have A Second Shooter
- I never even thought about this until I first met with our photographer and she mentioned that she would have one. I didn’t understand the purpose but now I totally do! Are you envisioning having pictures of your groom and you the moment you walk down the aisle? You’ll need two shooters for that. It’s also nice to have two people capturing different things at the same time.
Tip #4: Make A List of The Photographs You Want
- Since we just talked about having a second shooter, let’s talk about “the list” too. Now I’m not talking about having a list of specific poses, I’m talking about a list of the pictures you need with certain people. Grandma, Grandpa, Great-Aunt Sue, it’s helpful to have that list so the photographer can cross them off to make sure no one is missed that you wanted pictures with. I cannot stress “the list” enough because my own brother and I DID NOT get a picture together. <— Yes, you read that right. I have no idea how it even happened and that neither of us realized it. I can tell you that I was so upset when I realized that we didn’t get a picture together. Thank goodness there are a lot of group shots where we are standing next to one another that I was able to crop and make it look like it’s just the two of us.
Tip #5: Practice Your First Dance
- We didn’t do this and our song wasn’t a super slow song so it was hard to figure out how to dance. I was stepping on my dress the whole time and I felt like I was going to slip at any second. The whole dance was sort of a hot mess and one of those moments that I’m glad we didn’t have a videographer for. I’m 100% certain the dance would be even more awkward on film. Maybe it wasn’t that bad in person but it felt like it, haha. Anyone from our wedding want to chime in on that one? Haha!
Tip#6: Don’t Over Look Transportation
- Have this planned beforehand. This is one detail I overlooked and it caused unnecessary stress. In fact, if your budget allows I’d say go for a car service. So much easier!
Tip #7: Don’t Decide To Chalkboard Something Yourself Two Nights Before Your Wedding Unless You’ve Practiced
- The exact moment I realized how hard chalk boarding was exactly two nights before my wedding day. I had never chalk boarded anything before but just assumed it would turn out cute. What in the world was I thinking? I spent HOURS working on my chalk board signs only to have them look like a 5-year old did them. Moral of the story, if you don’t do something before your wedding normally don’t try and do it for your wedding unless you’ve practiced. The only time I cried during wedding planning was with these stupid chalk boards. I tried, I really really tried, but YIKES! Thank goodness there were only 2 chalk boards!
Tip #8: Break In Your Wedding Shoes
- I guess this one is a no brainer but I worked on breaking my wedding shoes in and it still wasn’t enough. They probably needed a good month of wearing for at least an hour or two each day to be wedding ready, not just a week. You know what though, I toughed it out almost all night in my shoes because **hello gorgeous!** I pretty much couldn’t walk the next day but it was so worth it.
Tip #9: Put Yourselves First
- The biggest thing you can do when wedding planning is to put yourselves first. Everyone and I mean everyone is going to have an opinion when it comes to your wedding and wedding planning. Not doing a grooms cake? GASP! No cake at all? DOUBLE GASP! You get the idea….It’s your wedding day and you need to do what you want and will ultimately make you happy. Both mine and Ryan’s families wanted to see certain things happen at our wedding but we didn’t do those things if they weren’t something we loved. The only thing we caved on was the cake. Both our parents couldn’t grasp the idea of no cake so we finally gave in. I mean, who doesn’t love cake? I just think it’s the most awkward thing cutting the cake together and then stuffing each others faces!!! Like seriously, is this picture below not the most uncomfortable thing ever?!? Haha! I actually can’t even believe I’m putting this on here because there is seriously nothing cute about stuffing your grooms face or my double chin questioning what the heck is happening (IMO).
Tip #10: Have A Rain Plan
- So obviously this only applies if you’re having an outdoor wedding. If you are, it’s important to have a rain plan if you’re getting married in spring, fall, or winter, or a rainy summer climate. Our wedding ceremony took place on a dock over the lake, you can see our wedding ceremony here with the reception taking place inside. Over hell and high water I was determined to make our ceremony happen on that dock rain or shine. My rain plan??? Put a tent on the dock! Not the easiest, but in my mind was completely worth it to have our ceremony take place on that dock.
Bonus Tip: Use HitchSwitch If Changing Your Name
- Okay so this isn’t a wedding planning trip per se, but it’s a good tip if you plan on changing your name. The actual act of changing your name is PAINFUL, shall I repeat, PAINFUL. I had no idea where to even start even after so many Google searches. I was almost more overwhelmed with figuring out how to change my name then I was planning a wedding. That was until I found HitchSwitch! HitchSwitch basically does all the legwork for you and all you have to do is go turn in the paperwork to the proper state departments. Literally, so easy! This isn’t sponsored, I just really think it’s amazing.
I hope these tips that I learned from planning my own wedding are helpful to you if you’re currently planning your own! If anyone else has any good tips, feel free to share the wealth in the comments section.