Congratulations on being one of the many couples that got engaged throughout the Holiday Engagement Season! It is the perfect time to take the first step towards your happily ever after while being surrounded by family and friends.
However, once the first few hours and days of excitement, tweeting, Instagram ring selfies, status change on Facebook and touching base with all your besties has passed the stress of planning a wedding quickly sets in and can overwhelm you if you aren’t careful.
Ten tips to help newly engaged couples manage the stress of planning your wedding and honeymoon:
1. The first thing you should do before you start planning your wedding is have a conversation with your fiancé about the type of wedding you want to have. So many families have all kinds of family dramas, religious or other expectations that need to be addressed, you may have had your wedding scrapbook put together since you were a little girl, so before your feelings get hurt because your fiancé wedding plan ideas do not fit into the wedding video that has played in your head forever, remember to be kind and flexible, think before you verbally discount his/her thoughts and remember you designed your perfect wedding scrapbook before you ever met and fell in love with your fiancé.
2. You must discuss a target budget, are you paying for everything yourself? If your parents are helping with the cost of your wedding, before you spend their money get a ballpark of how much money they have put aside for their children’s wedding, so many of my clients assume their parents have much deeper pockets than they really do. These conversations need to be had before you discuss venues, guests list and so forth. Is your honeymoon more important than your wedding? If so, have discussions with an experienced honeymoon planner, know what your dream honeymoon will realistically cost you and this will help you stay disciplined with your wedding expense budget and help you make those tough decisions of where to cut cost so that you do not have to forfeit your dream honeymoon.
3. January to March is traditionally bridal show season, so it would be worth your time to attend a couple of shows to learn more about current trends, gather contact information for top vendors in your area- don’t feel pressured to make any decisions quickly just think of it as a learning exercise, and for many of my brides, a great way to spend time with your future mother in law and she will be touched by you including her.
4. One exercise I have many of my couples do as they start the search for a venue and to get a ballpark budget is for the bride and the groom to each choose a venue and all the components needed to have a wedding at that venue, this exercise helps to quickly understand the need to really think about your guest lists and the cost associated with a larger guest count. Other things to consider as you look to choosing a date and venue are weather – if you are considering an outside venue, flowers in season, availability of your venue, favorite photographer and other wedding professionals – I suggest you hire a professional wedding planner to take away some of the stress if you are getting married locally – they know venues, which vendors are the best to work, the ins and outs of vendor contracts, and have amazing connections with local wedding professionals.
5. Once you have chosen your wedding date and venue, set up a wedding website such as with TheKnot or Weddingwire, these are pretty simple templated websites that you just drop your information into. This is a great way to share all your wedding information and keep everyone informed of upcoming events.
6. Start to think about your bridal party as soon as possible so that they can budget for their attire, make travel plans if needed – and you will able to share fun events like gown-hunting, checking out vendors, creating decor if doing a lot of DIY projects, lots of my brides/grooms are hosting Pinterest sip and search research parties, scrolling through blogs, wedding boards and helping brides/grooms plan by creating his/her dream wedding Pinterest boards to help him/her stay focused.
7. If you are not hiring a professional wedding planner – create a to do list for both the bride and groom, there are lots of helpful on-line tools to help you manage your budget, timeline, keep track of payment due dates and cancellation penalties for vendors. Having a plan and staying organized will prevent you from being overwhelmed, stressing out and taking it out on each other, and the reality of it is that you probably have a full-time job that requires attention, so you don’t have the time and energy for a part time job of all consuming wedding planning
8. Don’t become a bridezilla, those closest to you including your fiancé are so excited for you, remember the marriage and your relationships are more important than the wedding itself, no matter how hard you plan, something unexpected will happen, but the key to happiness is to be able to roll with it. Chances are if you budgeted for a wedding planner, you will not even know about it until after the wedding.
9. Remember you can always elope or have a destination wedding in a tropical location-I have helped many stressed-out couples over the years, escape the craziness, drama and expense of planning a wedding at home by planning their tropical elopement or Destination at Sandals & Beaches Resorts, as well as other popular all-inclusive resorts and then they come home and have a party and show the video.
10. Once you have the wedding details ironed out – then it is time to focus on planning the honeymoon – again you need to have conversations about budget, how long you can be away, if you both have or can get passports, are vaccinations required? An experienced romance travel specialist, has great working relationships with the most popular resorts to make sure their clients receive honeymoon and bespoke amenities.
Congratulations again on your engagement, after planning honeymoons and destination weddings for almost thirty years and listening to many stressed out brides/grooms , I hope you find some of these points helpful and you will be able to enjoy yourselves throughout the wedding planning process.
Email [email protected]
Direct Line 704-486-7264