My name is Kelly and I used to plan and coordinate weddings. I like naps, pugs, Chandler Bing and anything pink. I believe anyone can plan their own wedding, so my blog is all about sharing wedding planning tips with you!
As someone who has planned her own wedding and lived to tell the tale, I thought I’d share some advice to help newly engaged couples plan their own wedding!
I planned and coordinated weddings for years before getting married, but there is something fundamentally different about planning your very own wedding. Planning someone else’s wedding meant I could be objective about things. It’s much more difficult making decisions when it’s your own wedding. So, even though I had an advantage by being in the industry, I feel your pain when it comes to all the overwhelming decisions you need to make!
1. Weddings are freaking expensive
OK, so I knew this before planning my wedding, but the thing I didn’t realise was just how hard it is to stick to a darn budget. We came up with a budget early on and this helped us to select the right venue and make some really important wedding planning decisions. Yet, somehow we ended up wanting things that didn’t quite fit into our budget, which meant we had to save money elsewhere. Creating a budget at the beginning of your wedding planning journey will help you save money in the long run.
Do yourself a favour and start by creating a budget for your wedding. Account for everything you can possibly think of, and be slow to spend more than you should. But also, be willing to change it up. If your dress is a little more expensive than you thought it would be, buy it anyway and save money on wedding stationery (for example).
I’ve got an awesome wedding budget tracker in my Wedding Planning Starter Kit. Find out more about this right over here.
2. Finding vendors can be hard
Never ever book a wedding vendor without meeting them first. Recommendations from friends – or better yet, from other vendors you trust – is huge! Take all the advice you can get, but don’t forget to meet up with all your vendors before confirming their involvement in your wedding. This is where you get to see if your prospective vendors have the style you are looking for, if you are compatible and if you get along well.
It’s totally ok to start finding vendors by doing a Google search – we all do it – but make sure you know what – and who – you’re paying for. Meeting face to face means you get the opportunity to share your vision with your vendors so they are able to deliver a service that meets your expectations.
There’s a chapter in my Wedding Planning Starter Kit that will help you to find the best vendors. I’ve also included a pack of questionnaires that will make sure you know everything you need to know about each vendor before paying their deposit. Find out more over here.
3. Everyone has an opinion
You’ll find that everyone thinks it’s ok to tell you how to plan your wedding. You’ll hear everyone else’s idea of venues, photography styles, where you should be spending money and what type of dress you should wear. Distinguish between those whose opinions you value and those whose ideas you will politely ignore.
You’re going to want to bounce ideas off of people, so choose them wisely. Create a mood board of ideas you like and include things like your colour scheme and any pretty details you’d like to include in your wedding. That way, once you’ve shared ideas with your parents or bridal party, they know what your ideal wedding is meant to look like. It’s a lot easier to give an objective opinion that way.
4. You don’t have to include every tradition under the sun
We certainly didn’t. We changed it up with our confetti, we didn’t throw the garter and bouquet, we had multiples cakes instead of just one, we didn’t do a first dance and there were no flowers at our wedding. It took a little while for us to be ok doing things our own way and I’m so glad we did! There were some traditions that we loved, so we kept them, and we threw the rest out the window.
5. Delegation is huge
Even a professional wedding planner (ahem… me!) needs help. Don’t try to do it all on your own, while working a full time job and trying to maintain some sort of social life. Get your family and bridal party to pitch in and help wherever they can. In the week before your wedding get other people to do the running around and fetching decor items for you. Women have a tendency to become more like “bridezilla” as the wedding day draws nearer if they are trying to do all the wedding planning alone.
6. There’s a lot to keep track of
Planning your own wedding means keeping track of paperwork, email conversations, payments, RSVPs and all the hundreds of decisions that need to be made. Having files, spreadsheets and magazine clippings is important, and so is the ability to make lists and stick to them. If you’re not a naturally organized or admin oriented person, you might find this really difficult, but I promise you, you can do this! All you need to do is keep a checklist and stick to it.
I’ve created a 12 month checklist that will tell you which decisions to make and when to make them. This way, you won’t have to worry that you’ve forgotten something. No more sleepless nights – hallelujah! You can get your own copy of the very checklist I used to plan my wedding, right in your inbox, by clicking on the image below:
Happy wedding planning, ladies!
Things may seem a little overwhelming, but you are totally capable of planning a kick ass wedding.
I’ve got another tool you might be interested in. It’s called Wedding Planning Starter Kit and it’s an eBook that covers everything you need to know about the beginning stages of planning your wedding. Which vendors to book first, which decisions to make first and which decisions to save for a few months time. I’ve included an awesome Printables pack which has questions to ask each vendor (so you know you’re booking only the best) and a wedding budget tracker (so you don’t overspend) among other things. Find out more about Wedding Planning Starter Kit right here.