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10 Do's & Dont's in the First 6 Months of Planning Your Wedding

Getting engaged is one of the most wonderful life changing moments that you will experience. You have just said yes to marrying the man or woman of your dreams, and you cannot help yourself from smiling every single day. Then you remember that you now have the responsibility of planning a wedding, and your heart starts to race and the feeling of panic may even overwhelm you. After these emotions have occurred, all I can hope is that you stop to remember the joy you felt after getting engaged, and realize that this process does not have to be stressful, in fact it should be fun. So here are 10 of my “Do’s and Don’ts in the First 6 Months of Planning Your Wedding,” in hopes that some of your worries will go away and you can go back to that feeling of joy you embodied, knowing that this time of your life is truly special.

1. Do: Think About The Aspects You Will Hold Onto Forever So many different details go into planning a wedding. From catering, to decorations, venues, etc., it can become overwhelming and hard to prioritize where to spend your time and money. I strongly encourage you to stop and truly think about the things that you will be able to hold onto forever. In 20 years from now, you will not have leftover food to enjoy, your decorations will most likely be gone or useless, and unless your venue happens to be your backyard, you will not be able to gaze upon the sweet spot you and your partner said your “I Dos” anytime that you please. However, the components you can hold onto forever, are your wedding pictures and video. There is nothing more precious than being able to relive the memory of walking down the aisle, your first kiss as husband and wife, the heartwarming speeches your best man and maid of honor spoke, and the first dance between you and the one you love. So trust me when I tell you that your time, energy, and money, should be spent on a wedding photographer and videographer, ones that will spend the time to make sure they capture the love you both have for each other, the laughter you share, and the moments that take your breath away. Because these are aspects that you will be able to keep throughout your whole marriage, not the food you ate, or the table runners you set out, but the memories that you made.

2. Don’t: Sweat The Small Stuff

I would be lying if I told you that there are only a few aspects of your wedding that matter in the planning of the whole day, because the truth is, every detail plays a role, and every aspect works together to make up the perfect event for you. But just as there are components that should be of high importance, such as the photography and videography, there are also those that play a smaller role, such as the day of the week you get married, and what side dishes are paired with your entrée. My advice to you in the first 6 months of planning? DON’TSWEAT THE SMALL STUFF. Your family and friends are not going to care that you chose mac salad over potato salad, they are not going to judge you for choosing to get married on a Friday because that was the only day your favorite venue was open, and the truth is, that even if they do, it doesn’t matter, because it is your day and in the end, you need to do what you have to do to make it the best day for you.

3. Do: Wait To Make Final Decisions On The Smaller Details When you begin the process of planning your wedding, there is no doubt that there are aspects that deem incredibly more exciting than others. Searching for the perfect color scheme on Pinterest and browsing through YouTube for the perfect first dance song, are much more captivating than looking through catering and venue options. And although the color scheme and first dance song are indeed decisions that need to be made, if you make them in the first couple months, you are going to want to change your mind the second you see or hear something you like better. With how quickly styles change and new trends come into play, it is entirely more beneficial for you to wait as long as you can to make these decisions. There will never be a shortage of colors and songs!

4. Don’t: Wait To Book The Most Important Aspects Of Your Wedding! The minute you get engaged, the excitement and anticipation of planning your dream wedding hits. Immediately you start discussing venue options, dates, photographers, videographers, etc. This happens so quickly in fact that your fiancé gets that look in his eyes as if something has completely taken you over and the words that are coming out of your mouth are a complete foreign language. I am here to tell you that if your wonderful fiancé utters the words to you, “we just got engaged, you don’t need to start planning right away.” DO NOT LISTEN. I was a victim of these emotions and yes, my fiancé was one of the many to accuse me of jumping the gun, but the minute I started to look at venues, over a year before our wedding date, I was finding that some of my favorite options were already booked! Just as I told you that there are components of your wedding that rank a higher importance than others, I am telling you that there are also components that need to be booked right away! With engagements lasting a year and longer being the new norm, soon to be brides are more and more often booking these components in the first few weeks after their engagement, meaning the sooner you begin to start looking, the better!

5. Do: Decide What About Your Wedding Is Important To You There can be a great deal of pressure to please everyone when planning your wedding. From what kind of food you will be serving your guests, to the aspects that you incorporate into your ceremony that will make your family proud, it is impossible to satisfy everyone while also making yourself happy. My advice to you is that you and your fiancé sit down and decide what it is that you want at your wedding? What is going to make you happy on your big day? Whether that be cutting the time on the ceremony so that you are able to place a great deal of time and importance on the reception, or ordering the kind of food and drinks that you enjoy, determine what it is that will make you smiling at the end of this long journey.

6. Don’t Incorporate Wedding Traditions That You Do Not Like Choosing and exchanging wedding bands, reciting traditional wedding vows, not seeing each other before the wedding, and wearing a white dress, are all wedding traditions that have been occurring for generations. Does this mean that you have to abide by all of these rules for your wedding? ABSOLUTELY NOT! We are lucky to live in a time where it is almost expected that you personalize your wedding just for you. If you don’t want a wedding band to be paired with your engagement ring, then don’t get one. If you want to share the moment when your fiancé sees you in your dress for the first time privately, go ahead and do it before the ceremony! There are no rules to the way in which you plan your special day. The more you personalize it, the more your friends and family are going to remember how unique it was and how much your personality shown through.

7. Do: Sit Down And Create A Budget After preaching to you that you should jump on booking aspects of your wedding such as your venue, videography, and photography, I am going to take one small step back and advise you to first sit down and make your wedding budget. It is incredibly difficult to be able to predict all of the costs of your wedding, as most of us do not even know what a typical videographer or venue costs. It is important to remember to include all of the little details like save the dates, postage, and dessert options as they add up more than you'd think! I recommend determining the price point that you would like to stay within, so that when you are searching for your perfect venue, you know to not even stop to look at those that cost what you were hoping your whole wedding budget would be.

8. Don’t: Forget that Weddings Are Expensive! While sitting down to determine your budget, remember, weddings are expensive! Like most, you will go into the wedding planning process hoping to cut costs, do all the planning yourself, and DIY all of those decorations, in hopes of keeping your budget very low. Unfortunately, even with this mindset, booking a photographer, videographer, venue, and caterer alone, even with countless hours of attempting to search for decent pricing, is going to put you back quite a bit. The intent of bearing this bad news, is not to discourage you, it is to simply say, it is okay! So before you try to cut costs on your dream dress or the exact dessert you want remember this is your wedding day, one of the most important days of your lives, and the money you spend will create memories that will last forever, so treat yourself. It is perfectly normal to feel emotions of guilt, just as long as you get over them and remember that you deserve this!

9. Do: Take A Minute To Enjoy Being Engaged! Out of all the Do’s and Don’ts of wedding planning and all other advice you will read and see regarding preparation of your big day, this is by far the most important. It is true that the second you get engaged, you have then inherited the responsibility of planning a wedding, but what we often forget, is how wonderful it is to be engaged, so enjoy every second of it! Fantasize about a fairytale honeymoon, throw around the word fiancé as often as you can, and have your man take you on a date to show off that beautiful ring. You are only engaged for a short time, so don’t take for granted the butterfly feeling it gives you because sadly it will all be over before you know it.

10. Don’t: Forget All Of The Other Support Systems You Have During This Time! Just as you should enjoy the entirety of the engagement with the one you will be marrying, don’t forget about all of the close friends and family that will be by your side every step of the way. Appreciate quality time you will get to spend with your mother picking out your dress and shopping for decorations. Savor the moments that you and your friends will share searching through pinterest for fun bachelorette and bridal shower ideas. These are people that have experienced major moments in your life with you, and they are going to shower you with love and support throughout this whole process, so never take the time you have with them for granted, and enjoy every moment of it!

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