Real Life Wedding Tips & Advice (Pt. 3 of 4)
2 TIPS FROM MY WEDDING THAT WILL HELP YOU PLAN FOR YOUR BIG DAY
He liked it and he put a ring on it. Yay!
First, you two lovebirds set a budget. You made some calls landing your top two vendors.
And now, as you focus on bae, you begin to pull all the details together.
Now, my two pieces of real life advice now, are this:
- Stay Organized
- Hope for the Best, Be Aware of the Worst
Organization: How I Did It
With so many details, I strongly suggest you keep a school-like binder of every aspect of your wedding day. I purchased an inexpensive 3-ring binder at Target, added large paper calendar sheets, and created several tabs within it including:
All Vendor Information
- Ask for cell phone numbers! On the big day, they’ll help you coordinate if there’s a delay or problem somewhere else in the plan.
- Pay them all upfront, if possible. AND keep a copy of the receipt. There’s a chance our sweet lil’ cake baker may have been paid $100 more or less – we still aren’t sure because we couldn’t find the first receipt and neither could she.
- Know their mailing address. You’ll want to send a “Thank you” with a possible tip after the wedding.
- Wedding Dress Boutique and Seamstress Information
- TIP: If you are traveling with your wedding dress, you can request that the airline place it in the pilot’s closet. No need to ship it or wrinkle it in a suitcase.
- The Grooms Digs
- Include accessory details and hair cut appointment date.
- The Bridesmaids’ Outfits
- Label each dress with the person’s name. Trust me. And have a plan for dry cleaning press or bring a steamer to the venue.
- Groomsmen’s Gear
- Confirm the pick up date of each groomsmen’s suit. Double check the Best Man has the correct wedding ring box he’ll need at the altar. You can ask the suit maker or rental place to call you as a courtesy when each person has picked up.
Wedding Guest Information
- I kept an Excel sheet of my almost 300-person guest list. Include their address, CORRECT NAME SPELLING, and email. I detailed if they were bringing children or not, and how many. I noted their age and how I knew them so I could seat guests with other guests I thought they would feel most comfortable sitting with.
- Keep a hard copy checklist of who has RSVP’d vs. not.
- TIP: DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT expect everyone to RSVP. They won’t. If you don’t care to lose a couple hundred bucks in postage, by all means, send the paper invitation. I designed my own invitations, and now think I would have only sent paper invites to those who don’t have email addresses. Evites are efficient and easily tracked.
Marriage Counseling and Marriage License Information
- Know how many months before you need to apply for the license.
A folder for Inspiration
- Along with Pinterest, I pulled magazine pages and kept potential vendor cards here.
Get Away and Honeymoon Information
- Car rental info + receipts
- Airline information
- TIP: Put one person in charge of getting your wedding night bag to the hotel. You may or may not want your contact solution that night.
All of these details and more go into planning the biggest celebration on your life. Having all of this at my fingertips, and seeing each detail laid out on a specific day within the calendar pages kept me from worrying at night.
Wedding Planning Reality
You can plan for a fairytale wedding, and enjoy a fairytale wedding even when everything is not perfect. Regretfully, we let a couple of things steal our joy on our big day. As with anything, life happens. Here’s hoping you can foresee some road bumps and make a plan on how to respond now instead of when you are swimming in a pool of seating cards.
Guests and RSVP’s
- Like I mentioned before, not everyone responds. And other people will tell you they are coming, but never show. Try not to be bitter, because you spent $100 on their food that now is turning cold. My real life advice regarding guests is this: if they are not close to you now, don’t extend the invite. If they didn’t play an important part in your life, don’t extend the invite. If you are on the fence about inviting someone, don’t extend the invite. And if you are worried someone will cause a scene, don’t extend the invite. If people RSVP for MORE people than the invite indicated, don’t extend the invite. The day should be about you and your significant other entering into a loving marriage, not whether your sister’s best friend’s uncle wants to join the party
Communicate With Your Party People
- Every wedding party member should have one task. From bringing refreshments to the bridal or groom suite, to making sure the catering arrives on time. Use the people you’ve chosen to help you get everything in its place for the big day. The wedding coordinator is included here. When they are on the ball, your wedding party is the back up. I cannot say enough about the incredible friends we have who stepped up for us. They helped us immensely! And we are forever grateful!
- I didn’t grow up with a loving father. And the only dad I knew was my grandpa smiling down from heaven on my wedding day. One of my uncles offered to dance the father-daughter dance with me, and I was so thankful. But I still had to cope with the fact that “my family” was not the best example of love on the most love-filled day of my life. Family matters will inevitable surface, even if you are not close to your extended family members. Looking back, I really wished I would have kept this thought in mind:
My husband and I are each other’s first family and most important family.
Of course we knew this, but I let a lot of family members affect me during the planning. Plan the wedding with you and your spouse (and God, if that’s your preference) at the center of the wedding. All cousins, uncles, aunts, siblings, parents, nieces, and even pets are not going home with you that night.
Congratulations on finding the love of your life in this crazy world! I sincerely hope these tips will give you some insight on how to plan that special say that is just right for the both of you!