Just Engaged And Totally Overwhelmed? Read This First
March 24, 2018
Simply put, the key to a glitch-free wedding is smart planning. Spare yourself multiple headaches by making a plan and sticking with it.
First of all, congratulations! If you haven't started basking in the glow of being engaged yet, we highly recommend it. And while family members and friends will definitely want to know all the details and plans (you know, the ones you haven't made yet), don't be afraid to tell them you're just enjoying this special time together for now. And when you're finally ready to start wedding planning, let me help. So, first things first..
Start Your Checklist
Once you determine your wedding date, create your wedding checklist to figure out what your to-dos are on a month-by-month basis. Don't stress yourself out in the beginning by setting deadlines that might prove to be unrealistic—let us guide you on which essential tasks to do when. And we know that it may seem a little scary to try and get as much done as possible in the first few months, but that way, the last few months won't be as hectic. You'll thank yourselves later—promise.
Set Aside Weekly Time to Plan
Choose a day or two during the week when you'll focus on wedding planning (or choose a time to do one or two things every day if you're pressed for time). It's also good to sit down together and plan. This eliminates confusion—i.e., one of you thinking you're supposed to call and check on hall rentals when the other's already narrowed it down to what will suit their needs. Whether you're searching for style inspiration on The Knot Real Weddings, Instagram feed and Pinterest boards, or finding local vendors, clearly allocating time for wedding tasks can only help you in the long run.
Divide and Conquer (While Communicating)
This is the best way to get things done. You and your partner should both be involved every step of the way. Make a list of details to be taken care of, then divide the list in half and choose what you each want to do—your partner may not be concerned with exactly which flowers you carry, and maybe you're not picky about what your partner's wedding party wears, but even though you have your checklist, it's good to over-communicate. If you're sharing duties, you should also be sharing the details. It's okay to take care of certain things by yourself, but don't neglect to tell each other about it so the caterer isn't contacted twice.
Be Flexible and Fair
So, you really didn't want the ushers in tails and top hats. And maybe your partner doesn't want the wedding cake to be lemon with pecan icing. Each of you is going to want things the other doesn't care for (or care about), but flexibility is a must, so be willing to bend. If you really object to something, let your objection be duly heard and noted—and have a good reason for it.
Details, Contracts and Negotiations
When dealing with wedding professionals (caterers, florists and so on), be sure to clarify all the details and your expectations during the initial discussions. Make sure you always, always get a contract specifically stating dates, times and locations—in other words, spell everything out. It's not about nitpicking, it's about paying for and receiving exactly what you want to make your day spectacular. Try to negotiate the best deal for goods and services, but don't sell yourself short on important things just to get a better price.
Most importantly, be sure to read the fine print on every contract before you sign it, and make sure you're aware of cancellation policies and fees. Also ask if there's a grace period to cancel just in case you change your mind about the service or vendor, or something happens and you need to postpone the wedding (better safe than sorry).
*Information from The Knot, which is also a great resource for planning!