My friend Marine is getting married this week and I absolutely can’t wait to be with her on her wedding day. I’ve followed her couple’s journey since the first encounter and this Saturday is finally the Yes-day. A few months after her, my boyfriend was also asking me to marry him so I joyfully jumped on the “bride-to-be” train with her.
This pre-wedding excitement made me want to dedicate a post to wedding organization, and especially to the very first things to think about when planning your special day.
Am I really getting married?
After the “Oh my god!”, the tears of happiness, the many kisses, and the ring pictures, this is the thought that comes to every newly-engaged woman’s mind. So yes, you’re in it! And if you have no clue of where to start, just keep reading.
The very first steps of organizing a wedding
#1 – Create a budget
Either you or your parents (or both) will fund your wedding, you need to define how much money you will need and when. A wedding means a LOT of money and different service providers hence tracking is mandatory. The deeper you will go into organization your wedding, the more you’ll find yourself tempted to spend more, and more… To avoid that, trust Excel, your new best friend.
Among the “must have” categories to include in your Excel file, there should be:
The church for religious ceremonies (it is never free), and the place to celebrate afterward.
Sometimes even the mean to transport your guests from a place to another.
Food, but also beverages and alcohol. Possibly a lot 😉
Or both. You might also like to add an “engagement session”, they are going strong right now.
The classical white dress and veil (or else!) as well as the suit, underwear, shoes, jewels…
Many of them… at least for me!
From the church to the car and the location. Not forgetting the photo corner.
Save the Date, invitations, ceremony booklet, menu, seating card…
Hair and make-up, manicure, pre-wedding beauty treatments…
… only if you plan to make a special entrance.
For the guests, and why not something also for your bridesmaid/groomsmen?
DJ and animations.
Paperwork, music copyrights, babysitter and all the things you couldn’t think about.
#2 – Establish a timeline
In life, being organized is key to avoid stress and for that, you need to follow a schedule. In the same Excel file as your budget, I suggest creating another sheet with your retro-planning (a sort of countdown with tasks). Draw a column for each remaining months until the wedding and a line for each thing to do. Then, insert what to do to complete these tasks in the right column (i.e. research the dress in February, buy it in May). Not only will it help you to keep track of the time you have at your disposal, but it will declutter the big, scary “wedding planning” thing in smaller tasks more easily manageable.
#3 – Identify your main sources of inspiration
Pinterest, Instagram, wedding blogs, your parents’ wedding pictures… inspiration can come from everywhere. Personally, I narrowed down since the beginning the number of sites and apps I visit for inspiration because I felt like I was presented with too much information.
For example, Pinterest boards are nice but instead of fostering my creativity, they are telling me that one thing and its contrary are cool and I end up wanting it all, forgetting what I really wanted in the first place. Plus, I feel like everyone is going there for inspo and finish having all the same things!
Instead, I use much more Instagram where I follow a few of my favorites wedding organizers and ceremony clothes brands as well as photographers and florists. When I like something I save it and once in a while I check all the saved pictures and try to find a common thread between them. That’s when I know I really like something!
#4 – Start building your armor
Listen to that great advice. You will see that as soon as you will announce that you’re getting married, many of your friends, relatives, colleagues or else will want to get involved. God knows how much you love them but, what Aunt Bertie prefers to eat or what kind of dress your neighbor thinks you should wear, should have no influence on what you and your fiancé want. Same thing with your “investors”: helping you financing your wedding doesn’t mean they have a word to say on everything.
Listen to every suggestion politely (they are just excited for you, after all) but learn to shut your ears and say “no, thanks” or you’ll be overwhelmed by too many “good” advice. Always remember, your wedding should look like YOU and no one else.
#5 Have fun!
This might be the only time you get married so catch the opportunity to have a lot of fun and let go your creativity at full steam!
To finish, always remember that #loveistheanswer.