"The real act of marriage takes place in the heart, not in the ballroom or church or synagogue. It's a choice you make - not just on your wedding day, but over and over again - and that choice is reflected in the way you treat your husband or wife." - Barbara De Angelis
Now as I was voted the calmest most organized bride I thought I would share my tips on how to keep everything organized, simply and ensure you have a stress free day.
Before I start a bit of a disclaimer, I did not do my wedding on my own I had a team of planners who set up the day and highly recommend getting a wedding planner, event planner or a wedding stylist, I understand that this can be out of budget sometimes but trust me when I say it will make your day less stress full, also some venues do the wedding decoration set up so always ask.
Now to the tips.
1. Pick your venue first or pick your date first don't do both. For me I was lucky that my venue was actually the first wedding there ever so I could go with whatever date but picking the venue first can determine your date or picking your date first can determine your venue and if you have your heart set on a date for a reason and a venue because it has a meaning you could be disappointed when you find out that the date is taken, or the venue is way out of your price range. If you have a set date keep your heart open to lots of venues and keep looking until you find a venue that is free on your date, you love and is in your budget. If you are set on a particular venue and it cannot be anywhere else (this was my case) then just pick the date they have available that works for you. BONUS TIP - if you find that the venue you really wanted is out of price just look around you may find something better, don't blow your budget on a venue when they money could go to much better things, like food, dresses, and wine.
2. Once you have a date get the dress. For any bride, the dress is the best and most important part and if you are getting one that needs to be made to your size it could take up to 9 months to make it and that's before any alterations. So just pick a day where it is all about the dress. Most places you will need to book an appointment but that best part about wedding dress places is that you can usually find them all in one street or one suburb. So book as many appointments as you can for that one day and just get it done. Believe when I say that when you find the one you, no, but if you don't find it on that day and you haven't had that "oh wow" it's ok to book another day with different places, it will happen. Now if you are buying online I think it's a great way to save some dollars plus get something that you love just make sure you get some to measure you correctly and your aware that more alteration maybe is needed when it arrives.
3. Next the bridesmaids and Groomsmen. Now for my bridesmaids I had some difficult situations, I had 2 over east, 1 pregnant during the whole planning year and only my sister who could do a lot of the stuff. The groomsmen were also difficult with 2 over east and only my hubbies best mate here who got stuck with a lot. Never the less we got it done. I used a simple crate system. Each person including myself and hubby got a crate that featured our
names and when each element of the outfit was done it was placed in the crate. For example, once we picked the shoes, the right sized shoes got put into the right crate, same with robes, lapels, and jewelry. It kept everything organized and neat and each person just got given their crate on the day including there outfit meaning it was my responsibility to have everything, not the bridle party ensuring me they all had everything.
4. The emergency kit. If you are having a location wedding a highly suggest this but it would be good for any wedding really. I had my dream wedding in a tiny beach town in the middle of nowhere, so we couldn't just pop down to the shops if something was forgotten. Once again I had 2 crates one for us girls and one for the guys filled with emergency items. This included shavers, deodorant, hair ties and gel, painkillers and everything you could possibly need. Our kits where defiantly used and I am so glad I made them. Even if your wedding is not location this is a great idea, you are meant to be relaxing and getting beautiful not rushing down to the local deli to pick up toothpaste.
5. Picking a Photographer. Wedding photos are so important but don't just go on the work of a photographer, go on how you feel about them. My photographer was a long time friend of my husband and now someone I cherish greatly. Our photos turned out amazingly just because of how comfortable we are with her and her soon to be husband. Try and have a small shoot with them a few times before the day. It could just be a family shoot or pet photography just get something, it will really determine if you are going to have a good connection and get some great pictures on the day. I personally had her do our engagement party and then 2 small photo shoots beforehand. Do this before you book them and don't be afraid to try a few you will get some nice shots in the meantime and it will ensure you will be comfortable on the day.
6. One thing at a time. Don't get caught up trying to plan everything all at once. Get the main things out of the way first, venue and date. After that just pick one thing to do a week and slowly chip away. This will keep you calm, it will ensure that everything will be done and if you order the list from most important to least as well you will get the most important things out of the way first meaning you can work on the minor details.
7. Recruit and delegate. If you have read my World's Calmest bride blog then you would know that I delegated, the reason is Rome was not built in a day or by one person. Do not think you can do it all on your own and no matter how OCD, uptight or crazy bitch you are, you need help so anyone who is willing to lend a hand and make your life easier take it. Also always give bridesmaids, mothers, and mother in laws jobs, it will keep them off your back with the annoying "what can I do" questions, get in before they do it will save you a headache and keep them included.
8. Take the advice. No matter how much you want to be original and do it all how you want, take advice from the brides who have done it. They have been through the issues and the stresses, take what they are saying like it is gospel and use it, don't make mistakes that could have been avoided if you just got off your high horse and listened.
9. Pinterest and Google are your best friends. If you are not creative like me and have an idea of what you like but not really. Google and Pinterest like crazy women their people who are creative and have shared that with the world. You will get every idea you can think of with just a few keywords. Once you have your board don't forget to go through and delete and clean it up so you don't get overwhelmed with things. Use it as a way to have your ideas and thoughts in one place or even a checklist like once that part is complete delete it off your board.
10. Lucky last one is..... Don't let anyone tell you how YOUR day should be. have things how you want it and enjoy the planning, the day and most importantly your married life. Anyone who tries to ruin the day or upsets you well go read my "Wedding and Drama go together like wine and chocolate" blog and tell them to read it to.
Until next time. Be Fearless