Let The Wedding Planning Begin (Tips Needed!)

Calling all married or engaged ladies! I need your help!

Now that the holidays are coming to an end, I finally get to think and be about being engaged! I mean, I’ve been unbelievably excited since Jimmy asked me to marry him two weeks ago, but we’ve been so busy that we haven’t even had a chance to think of a date we’d like to get married, let alone where. And trust me, dozens of people have been asking since he the moment he put that ring on my finger! I’m excited to get married, but I want to enjoy being engaged and planning our wedding as well. Being engaged is wonderful! Many people have said that it’s no different, but I disagree. Jimmy and I both are happier, more in love, and always smiling. It’s so much fun!

So, now that things are calming down, it’s time to plan! As you may know from previous blog posts, I have been to A LOT of weddings (22 to be exact) over the past few years, so I have been a part of the planning process quite a few times. I’ve also seen many things that I loved and others that I didn’t, which I think will come in handy while making arrangements for our big day. And with a background in event planning, I am ready to rock this engagement thing’s world! But since I’ve never been engaged before, nor have I planned a wedding on my own, I want advice from those of you who have.

Call me smart or call me crazy, but I want to hear it all. What did you love about your wedding, and what would you have changed? How did you stay organized during the planning process? What are some things you know now that you wish you’d known then? What worked best and what didn’t work as planned? What’s worth splurging on and what’s not? What would you do the same all over again if you could? Any money or time-saving tips? What is your biggest piece of advice for us during this exciting and overwhelming process?

If you could take just a second and leave any tips, suggestions and advice for me in the comments below, I’ll love ya forever! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

Thanks in advance for helping me plan the wedding of my dreams 🙂
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  64. Beth Anne
    January 19, 2014 / 7:06 pm

    Don’t stress out about having a “pinterest perfect wedding” because it won’t happen. I’m not even dating but all these ppl are all your wedding is going to be SUPER EXPENSIVE…these opinions are based off my pinterest boards yeah uh that is just stuff I pin for fun HA

    We’re in the middle of planning my sisters wedding and the biggest tips I would take is don’t procrastinate and make a schedule of things that need to be done so your not like my sister 60 days away with a ton of stuff they haven’t even done yet because they procrastinated.

  65. January 6, 2014 / 2:04 pm

    Yay! I’m so excited for y’all! I would communicate to each other what is most important on your lists. For Nick and I it was to have a full open bar, good food, and a live band. There are ways to cut costs on everything else. For example, my centerpieces for the reception were 3 different styles so that when looking at the room as a whole, it did not feel skimpy. An easy trick is to take a flower or two (like an orchid for ex.) and completely submerge it in water. It gives a cool, ethereal look while not costing as much as a full arrangement.

    I also agree with your friend Calli regarding the DJ. My sister just got married last August and the DJ did not play 1 song from her list and he was one of their friends! Get everything in writing.

    Don’t stress if the time of the ceremony is a few hours earlier than your reception. Ours was at 1:30pm and the reception started at 6:00pm. I made a list of things to do in the area (getting a bite to eat, drink, etc.) and put them in the welcome bags for our guests upon checking in to the hotel.

    Lastly, it will be hard to stop and take a breath on your big day but just enjoy each other. I was so caught up with making sure everyone else was having a good time that I did not want the party to end. Which come to find out meant that I was neglecting my new husband the whole night. 🙁

    Take your time and enjoy the planning! That was one of my favorite parts!

    • January 6, 2014 / 2:05 pm

      Oh, regarding the organization since I am a freak about that. I bought a wedding planner binder. Most bridal stores will have them and look for one that includes a checklist.

      • Blakeley
        January 8, 2014 / 8:08 pm

        Great tip! I didn’t even know you could buy ready-to-go wedding binders. I was just starting one from scratch, but sounds like that will be much more helpful!

    • Blakeley
      January 8, 2014 / 8:09 pm

      Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!

  66. January 6, 2014 / 11:00 am

    If you are getting a DJ and are at all particular about music, make a playlist and put it in the contract that the DJ basically stick to it. I had to get a little bridezilla when “The Wobble” came on for the third time.

    Make sure the venue is handicap accessible. And if there is a chair lift or something, make sure you discuss whether that lift is staying or not. (long story)

    Another thing that I really appreciated was taking portraits before the wedding.
    We did a first look, which was very intimate and a beautiful moment for just Steve and I (and the photographer). It also allowed us time after the ceremony (during the cocktail hour) to eat alone and have some time to process what just happened. The rest of the night was a whirlwind, and I’m so thankful that we were able to enjoy the delicious spread that we’d agonized over for so long and that we got some lovely private moments together.

    So happy for you guys!

    • Blakeley
      January 8, 2014 / 8:09 pm

      Thank you, lady!! All great tips. I know it will be perfect to matter what, since I am finally marrying the man of my dreams 🙂 And great tip about the chair lift. Haha!

  67. January 5, 2014 / 10:04 pm

    Hey girl! I just got married 2 months ago and loved every part of my wedding. We wanted simple, budget friendly, and very personalized. One part that we changed was having silk flowers instead of real ones for bouquets (Hobby Lobby…every other week is 50% off floral) and picked out what we wanted and arranged them ourselves so they were all different and unique. We did this with the intention that we would be able to use them as decorations in our house…and they are beautiful! Oh and one of my favorite parts was we used Spanish moss (can get it clean in a bag at Hobby Lobby also) as part of the filler and had it placed in different areas to represent Georgia for me. My husband also put together the bouquet I carried which meant a lot.

    I would say to budget, spend money on the things that will last and the parts you love. You will have an absolutely beautiful wedding! It will come together even more beautiful than you can imagine!

    Congrats! Marlee Reif (Kincaid)

    • Blakeley
      January 8, 2014 / 8:10 pm

      Thank you, Marlee!!! Very helpful. Congrats to you, by the way!

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