Yay, you’re engaged! What an amazing and exciting time for you. But first, you have to plan everything and prepare for this magical day. First things first, HIRE A WEDDING PLANNER!!! Yes, finding a dress and a venue are important, but having a planner is absolutely vital. The planner stays on you and makes sure you’re meeting deadlines and staying on track of the timeline of things to get done before your big day. Planners can also help direct you to the best vendors based on your style and budget. Planners are the ones who makes sure everything is in place and take an enormous amount of stress away during the planning and during the actual event. It’s always better to hire a professional planner who knows the business instead of getting a friend or family member to do it, when they should be enjoying your celebration with you.
My second tip to you new brides is something you need to remember throughout the whole planning process: IT IS YOUR DAY!!! It is about what YOU and YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER want, not about anyone else at all!! I’ve seen a few brides who say “I don’t want this but my mom does” or “I really don’t want to have green as my color but my sister says it’ll look best.” Don’t ever get in this situation because it’s your day, it’s your memories you’re creating and will have to look back on. In addition to that, don’t let anyone knock your dream or vision. If you have ideas, be outspoken about them. If you and your honey love an idea and your soon-to-be mother-in-law frowns upon it, or thinks it won’t turn out nice, thank her kindkly for her input, then forge ahead, because she doesn’t know (unless she is a wedding planner) and no one can know until you try it. Get ideas and suggestions, but let it be known that ultimately it’s not about the wants of anyone but the bride and groom. Just confirming this alone can take off a lot of stress you may have had about trying to please everyone.
My third piece of advice is to continually communicate with your vendors. Also, make sure you try to meet them in person and have several conversations with them before booking them as your vendor to ensure they fit your event and that they will be a quality vendor. Not having a quality vendor, whether it be in their attitude or the delivery o their services, can greatly impact the flow of your event. Make sure the vendors know what you want and how you want things to look. Don’t just tell the florist your colors and leave it at that -- tell him or her about the flowers you like, and be as specific as possible. Don’t just tell the DJ you want your first dance to be Stand by Me by Ben E. King, tell them the version you like best, how long you want to dance to it, and where you want the song to end. Try your best not to leave anything up to interpretation or to be assumed. You want to make sure your day is how you want it and you can’t be mad at a vendor when something doesn’t go how you thought it would because you didn’t tell them. Having a planner will help with this because if your planner is a good one, he/she will lead you to ask the right questions, and will follow up with the vendors themselves. In addition, make sure that you communicate ANY changes, big or small, to your planner. This way you will be on the same page and he/she can notify the other vendors of the changes.
Number four, make sure you read over the timelines given to you by your planner. The timeline is like your wedding day bible. You need to know it like the back of your hand so that you know what’s going on and how long it should be going on for. The timeline helps you to understand the flow of your event. It is something your planner puts together and sends over to you for approval. If you don’t even take a look at it or think it’s too much to read, you won't know what to expect on your wedding day. On the other hand, make sure not to fret about time too much because the timeline is just an idea of how long you should take on certain task, but it is okay if you get a little off track. If your planner put it together correctly, he/she will build in extra time for things like bathroom breaks, traffic, and other potential delays.
Finally, my last piece of advice to all the soon-to-be wives is that this is one of the greatest days of your life. You can either look back on this day and say it was nice but I was so mad the napkins weren’t folded nicely, or you can look back and say everything was so beautiful and know you truly enjoyed your love day. My point in saying this is that during the planning process you focus on the details and every aspect of your event you can. However, the day of your wedding is about looking at the big picture and not focusing on little things or worrying over things you can’t control. The day of your event you are supposed to enjoy every moment of it and take in all the love, laughs, and good vibes of the day because it is just one day and it is going to come and go. Not only do you want to be relaxed and enjoy your event, but you want to ensure that you actually get to spend time with your friends, family, and guests, and most especially, your new husband. Plan a "sneak-away" time for a private moment where you and your new hubby can just talk, laugh, and share the bliss of your love day. A lot of time weddings can be so eventful, that you barely get time to soak it all in. Plan some time to "breathe." This day will be the day you feel the most love, so take all of that in, forget all your worries, and just enjoy.
All in all, my advice from seeing over a dozen weddings take place, is to have fun and enjoy every moment of the celebration. Pay attention to details during the planning and make sure you’re reaching the vision of your event. But once the planning is done, step back. This is a big moment in your life and an even bigger one for you and your love as you begin your life. Love those around you, laugh as much as you can, and create memories that are worth remembering.