Tip 1: BUDGET YOUR TIME!
I had one year almost to the date to plan my wedding and I did not utilize the entire year. I went through a time for about 3 months where I absolutely refused to even think about the wedding. Well, that was a big mistake. Budgeting your time will keep you from turning into a bridezilla. I did just that; I turned into a bridezilla a week before the wedding because there were a bunch of “little” things that needed to be done that could have been done long before now.
Tip 2: MAKE OUT AN ITEMIZED LIST OF ALL YOUR NEEDS AND WANTS!
The list is essential and you must recognize what is a NEED and a WANT! Knowing the difference can save you hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars.
Tip 3: BE REALISTIC!
Okay, yes it’s your wedding and hopefully, you will only do this once. But you want to eat and live after your day has come and gone, right? SO, with that in mind, always stay realistic in the planning and execution of your wedding. Don’t give into trends and minute details that no one will remember the next day. Don’t make impulse purchases, sleep on if for a night and see how you feel in the morning and if you still feel the same way about the item, then purchase it. It is very important to stick to the list that you have made of your needs and wants and once all of your needs have been met, that is the time to put your wants into priority and if money permits, get the things you want then.
Tip 4: DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP!
That is what friends and family are for, especially that maid of honor (MOH)! Please do not be like me and try to be super wedding planner! I know it is costly to hire a wedding planner, and I was lucky enough that I did not have to do that. But you should consult with the church that you are having the ceremony, more often than not, they have a wedding planner that comes with the church (at no cost). Also, ask a close aunt or close family member or even a friend to help you plan your wedding. More than likely, they would be honored to do so. Your key phrase would be DELEGATE DUTIES!!!!!
Tip 5: UTILIZE THE INTERNET!
The internet is a great source for wedding planning. You can find so many ideas, and great deals on the attire for the big day, stationary, and so much more. Make the internet your virtual best friend during this process.
Tip 6: LOOK FOR THE SALES!
Decorations are a big part of the ceremony and reception. Personally, I did not want to hire anyone and have him or her charge me an arm and a leg to decorate for my big day. So what did I do? I picked out my favorite flower and I set the theme around that. I also use artificial flowers, but they were of great quality. I got the flowers on sale!!!!! I looked for them throughout the year and each time they were discounted, I purchased as many as I could afford to at that time. I did the same for all of my decorations. And please do not forget to look in the dollar stores. My centrepieces for my reception came from a dollar store and it was still very elegant. Mirrors and candles make for a very elegant and romantic setting!
Tip 7: BOOK YOUR VENUES AHEAD OF TIME!
I saved a lot of stress, money and time by booking my venues over six months in advance. As soon as you have set your date, you should choose where you want to get married and where you want the reception to be held. Ideal places to hold your ceremony are at the church were you or your fiancé are members to. Other great locations are at park, mountain, cabin, or in a family member’s home. Great locations for a reception are at a fellowship hall of the church where you held the ceremony, hotels, and clubhouses, even your backyard!
Tip 8: STAY ORGANIZED!
Keep a book with you that list all of your thoughts and ideas for you wedding. It will be easier to have everything in one place. Keep your receipts for EVERYTHING that you purchase in a safe place. Keep contact names and phone numbers for EVERYONE who is playing a part in your wedding. This includes the wedding party, family and friends, photographer, bakery, caterer, anyone!
Tip 9: CHOOSE WISELY!
Choose your photographer, caterer, baker, anyone who you are paying for services, VERY wisely. Do not be afraid to research and ask for references. Please do not hire the first person you meet. It’s always best to talk to a few people and then make your decision. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for a discount, they can only say yes or no!
Tip 10: REMEMBER, IT’S YOUR DAY AND NO ONE CAN TAKE IT FROM YOU!
After all of the planning, nervousness, fighting and nail biting, the day has finally arrived. Make sure you get a good night sleep, eat breakfast in the morning and just remember to enjoy the day. All of your hard work will pay off and it will be the most memorable day of your life.
I hope my tips have helped you move in the right direction. Just remember you cannot do it all by yourself, delegate duties and keep the lines of communication open at all times. Always know your plan and how to execute it, be wise in your decision-making, and always look at the bigger picture. You and you future husband will get through this!
By Natasha Baker
Photo Courtesy- Soji Oni Photography