10 Simple Secrets To Help You Enjoy Planning Your Wedding!

You're engaged - congratulations! You have just experienced one of the most memorable moments of your life, and now, you get to begin thinking about the most memorable day of your life. But first, a few tips for taking charge of your special day so that it doesn't take over you in a negative way.

  1. Soak in the experience of what just happened. It's easy to jump right from the engagement ring being placed on your finger, to thinking about how, when, where, and how much - whew! Bask in the simple beauty of the fact that the love of your life has declared his desire to spend the rest of his life with you. This simple fact should be savored.
  2. Partner with your fiancée for your special day together. Many times, brides-to-be assume that their grooms want nothing to do with the planning. This may be true for the most part, but be sure to take the time to throw out a few ideas to see where his ideal location might be, or if he would like to be in charge of planning the honeymoon. Allow him to take part in his own wedding; this will draw you closer together in the planning process. If there's something you disagree about, agree to take a break from the topic for a few hours or even a few days and come back later to settle on it.
  3. Decide Together What Your Budget Is And Stick To It. Often times, we have planned in our hearts what our day should look like and there is nothing wrong with this; but the reality is that you must choose how you want your money spent. You will better enjoy the process once you decide how much you both want to spend. There is nothing wrong with having a smaller budget wedding so that you can use the rest of the money for future big purchases. Whatever your agreed upon amount, stick to it; being on a budget forces you to venture into the creative side of planning - embrace it.
  4. Reserve A Venue (Or Destination) And Book A Photographer. Once you have decided on the venue and your deposit has been sent to reserve the date, now is the time to begin interviewing photographers. Make sure to look at the photographer's work before booking; you can also look at their website galleries. Make sure that these pictures are taken by the photographer you are meeting with, and not examples from another photographer's work. (You know who to call.)
  5. Check References. Unfortunately, there have been instances where caterers, florists, bakeries and other vendors have taken the deposit and have either run off with the money or did not deliver what was promised for the big day. Politely ask for a list of references, and take the time to make a few calls before signing those deposit checks.
  6. Create Your Timeline, A Checklist And Move Forward. At this point, you will decide whether to hire a wedding planner or to recruit a few bridesmaids or relatives to help you in the process. You are the bride, but you do not have to plan this event alone! You will begin by outlining what is most important (ie., visiting floral shops, bakeries, dress shops, etc.). Invite your fiancée to taste wedding cakes after a lunch date together. Take your maid of honor to help you choose flowers and try on wedding dresses. The point is to not get overwhelmed - don't let the small things take away the enjoyment of each step in the planning process!
  7. Show Your Appreciation And Be Flexible. There have been many television shows and personal testimonies about how once sweet and charming brides-to-be can become awful, demanding, and angry, leaving everyone around them (especially the groom) wondering, "What happened to her?!" It is not worth sacrificing your relationships so that you can have every single detail exactly as you had pictured it. Since it's not realistic to expect perfection, the key lies in how you will respond to changes or disappointments. Keep your expectations realistic of those around you: your bridesmaids are doing you a favor by being in your wedding (the dress, shoes, bridal shower gifts, hair, and make-up do add up rather quickly); your wedding planner should be treated with firm kindness, letting her know what you need from her, but also expressing how much you appreciate all the hard work she is doing (yes, even though you're paying her). Don't let yourself become so wrapped up in making the day perfect that you forget to be flexible when situations arise which require you to make some adjustments.
  8. Smile. It is not unusual for well meaning friends and family (and family-to-be) to offer their opinion about what they think you should have at your wedding (particular foods, music, flowers, centerpieces, etc.). You will probably hear others' "suggestions" more than once during this process. Take a slow and deep breath. Smile. Thank them for their kind suggestion and say nothing else about it. While they may not be minding their manners in keeping unsolicited advice to themselves, you can mind yours by responding graciously.
  9. Schedule A Practice Run. Yes, it will cost you a bit more to have your hair and make-up done several weeks before the wedding, but this is something you will not want to skimp on. Make sure that you feel comfortable with the stylist, and bring pictures to show her the hairstyle you're looking for. The same goes for the make-up artist. Be willing to kindly decline the heavy eyeshadow and let her know that you'd really like to keep the deep red lipstick for your big day.
  10. Plan Ahead For Your Honeymoon. Ensure that you have plenty of time to wash and pack your clothes for your romantic getaway. This could be easy to overlook with all the wedding planning, but make sure that you're prepared. Some couples even decide to wait a day or two after the wedding before the getaway, just so they can soak in the afterglow of their memorable wedding.

Let us know if there was anything you have experienced that might help us make this list even better for the next bride.