Easy Ways to Start Planning Your Wedding
So youve gotten engagedWahoo!! But now what? Do you have several to-dos already running through your mind?
Are there many things to do when planning a wedding? Yes.
Do the words wedding planning and stress have to be in the same sentence? No.
This report was written to start you along your way and help with the where do I begin, what do I do questions.
Solets get started!
Easy Way #1: Have a game plan There are so many parts of a wedding, you have to have some sort of game plan; some sort of system to help you stay organized. Whether you have a pen and paper system, an electronic system, or a combination of both, just make sure you have one and you use it. Having a plan will save you a lot of time and heartache later. I suggest a notebook simply because you will have several pieces of paper; grab your notebook and dividers and get started.
You may wonder why you need a notebook and what do I need dividers for? A notebook will allow you to keep all of your information in one location. The following dividers are helpful to have, of course tweak it to what you need,
eddings.com~Wedding Inspiration~Venues~Ceremony~Reception~Wedding Party~Wedding Attire~Timeline/Calendar~Decorations~Florist~Caterer~Transportation~Guest List~Photographer~Call Notes
You will need to refer to the information in this binder over and over again. Once you create a plan for yourself, stick to it. Putting holes in your Florist contract may seem like just another thing to do, but in the coming months you will be so happy that all you have to do is grab your binder off the shelf and you have everything right there. Hows that for super simple?
Easy Way #2: Set Your Budget
Sometimes it can be a sticker shock when it comes to fi nding out the cost of a wedding. According to the Wedding Report, the average cost of a wedding in 2009 was a little over $19,000. Of course depending on where you live, this amount could increase or decrease. A good source to have an idea to help relieve what I have listened to some of my brides call sticker shock is a
website called, costofwedding.com. There you are able to enter your zip code and fi nd out the average costs of the components that make up a wedding. This site also has a wedding cost estimator, based on how you answer a few questions; you will receive an estimated cost for your wedding; remember that the key word here is estimate.
If you have an unlimited budget, you are quite the lucky one and I say plan your fairy tale!
Most brides are on a budget. It is necessary to know who will contribute to this budget. Are you going to follow the traditional payment arrangement between the brides family and the grooms family? Will you and your Fianc pay for the wedding? Or will everyone contribute?
Although discussing money is a diffi cult issue, it is a conversation that you must have. If your parents are going to contribute, try to get a specifi c dollar amount. It is great that Mom and Dad want to help, but not knowing how much help they are willing to give can make it diffi cult to begin your budget. If you are not able to get a specifi c dollar amount, plan your budget as if you had no assistance. It is easier to add to a budget and upgrade later.
How do you know how much to spend where? Below is a guideline. Remember that based on your priorities, these percentages will vary. Whatever you decide, make sure to stick to it and if you are able to come under budget in one area, you can always move that overage to another category.
eddings.comReception: 45%Music: 7%~Flowers: 7%~Wedding Attire: 9%~Photography: 9%~Stationery: 4%~Ceremony Fees: 2%~Transportation: 2%~Gifts/Favors: 3%~Videography: 8%~Beauty: 2%~Rentals: 2%
See, budgeting doesnt have to be a bad word, now does it? Easy Way#3: Where/How Do I Find Inspiration?
Some brides have this day planned out in their mind and have had the idea of what their wedding will look like since they were small. If that is you, then you probably already know your theme or have a good idea of your theme. Do you have any ideas, items or colors that you know are just an absolute must for you?
If you do not fall into this category, that is okay. There is so much inspiration out there; you will probably have too much! There are several places that you can go to for this inspiration:
~Wedding Blogs~Wedding Forums~Wedding Magazines~Past weddings that you have attended~Interior design magazines
Give yourself time to fi nd these ideas and inspiration. Rome was not built in one day! I recommend once you have found something that you like, if it is a magazine, tear the pages out, if it is on the internet, print the pages out, and if it is from past weddings that you have attended, jot the ideas down. Keep all of this in a folder so that you can have everything together. Dont worry about, oh, that doesnt match the fi rst idea or I dont know if what I picked last time will match the other things I have chosen. Remember, right now you are looking for inspiration and ideas. It doesnt matter if things match or go together at this time. Imagine how much fun you will have looking at all of those fabulous pictures!
Easy Way #4: Have a Wedding Timeline
Of course all wedding planning does not happen in one day, or one month. It happens over several months and several people are involved. So as not to get overwhelmed, having a timeline helps to make sure that you are not as stressed and most importantly, helps to keep you focused. I am a checklist person. I can have several tasks to accomplish, but without a checklist, it is easy to forget something and/or get off track. A timeline and/or checklist allow helps to make sure that all of the needed tasks are accomplished; know that this is a
eddings.comguideline. You could be starting anywhere in the planning process.
You may fi nd a timeline that looks pretty generic to you. Just use it as a guide and customize it to fi t your wedding. How refreshing is it to check things off your list? Imagine sitting back in your chair with a big smile on your face because your to-dos are done early!
So, as you can see, just follow these steps and you are well on your way to enjoying yourself while you plan your dream day!
Lynn White, MBA Your Happiness Consultant-Specializing in BridesHeels Above Weddings firstname.lastname@example.org www.heelsaboveweddings.com
ABOUT LYNN WHITE, MBA
Event Planning entrepreneur, Lynn White, MBA, owner of Heels Above Weddings, a division of Heels Above Event Planning, LLC realized her true passion after planning weddings and events for friends, family, co-workers, and past positions. She has held positions in various industries, but these positions did not give her the joy and fulfi llment she has when planning.
Having been the Maid of Honor and the Bridesmaid in several friends weddings, She was happy to play such an important role in such a big day in their lives, but the one thing she noticed was that many of them were not able to have the wedding they wanted or the planning process left them stressed out, crying, and just plain unhappy. It was sad that such a joyous, memorable occasion left them so unhappy.
I make sure that my Brides are able to relax and enjoy the planning process. If I can hear the words, I feel so much better, or my nightmares have stopped about something not being done! from a Bride, to me that is one of the biggest compliments that I can receive. Regardless of a Brides budget, her wedding day should be magical.
Lynn has a Masters in business Administration and received her event and wedding planner certifi cations from US Event Guide. She has been featured on News Channel 8s Lets Talk Live for her creative decorating ideas.
eddings.comHere are just a few testimonials from some of our past clients...A friend of mine referred me to Lynn as my search for a well-rounded wedding planner left me frustrated and unsatisfi ed. Lynn was super responsive from the beginning and has continued to impress me with her eagerness to please me. She goes above and beyond to offer ideas and advice that is usually spot on to what Im looking for at my wedding. Lynn has a great work ethic and stays in close contact with me even though my wedding is still months away. I would say that Lynn is an expert in the fi eld because of how many resources she has to offer. If you have had any trouble fi nding the right wedding vendor for you, call Lynn! She has endless amounts of knowledge and loads of contacts in the wedding industry. I can honestly say that I am a picky bride, but Lynn has exceeded my expectations. My only complaint is that I hadnt found her sooner! ~Desiree, VA
Heels Above is a wonderful business. Would highly recommend her. Very professional and friendly. ~Renee, MD
Thorough, punctual and very attentive makes Lynn one of the best Event Planners in the Washington, DC area. I will recommend her to everyone I know. ~Eric, MD
You have been a pleasure to work with and Im grateful that you were able to work within my budget. I appreciate your ability to listen to my ideas and bring them to fruition. The outcome was wonderful! Your personal sense of style paired with my general "feel" for the gathering created an amazing atmosphere - it was the perfect party. My guests are still raving about it! You defi nitely exceeded my expectations. I wish you much continued success in the future.~Andrea, VA