Wedding Tips From A Recent Bride

Hey guys! Happy Friday 🙂 How did the week go?

We’re finally back into the swing of things here in LA with work and such, and I’m ready to enjoy the weekend a bit with my husband 😉 (<– I like the sound of that!)

Before I turn the page on all the wedding recaps, I wanted to write one more post from my own perspective on wedding planning. Though planning your big day can be daunting (even though you may, like me, have ample time to pull it all together), I think some of these tips may help you brides-to-be with the task at hand.

I was a pretty relaxed bride (until a month out) and definitely far, far, far from being a bridezilla, haha! But, nonetheless, I get the stress that comes with planning. It’s one of the biggest days of your life and you want it to be perfect and to have full control over the look and feel of everything.

So here are some of my own planning tips to help you future brides stay on track for a smooth wedding of your own!

1. Stay organized.
This applies to everything. When you’re juggling many vendors, dates, and payments, you’d be smart to keep a binder with everything printed out and clearly labeled. This helped me so much. I could quickly refer to anything and any time, especially when planning from across the country. Don’t stress yourself out over all the details. Take it month by month, follow The Knot’s timeline (like me!) and just stay on top of deadlines. You got this!

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2. Ask for help.
It’s okay to ask for a hand with your wedding planning. Without my mother, mother-in-law, and Sam’s help, I would have been one lost pup. My mom handled the florist and bakery completely after my initial meetings with the owners. That took so much pressure off me knowing my mom had those two things covered… among many other details she helped with. Sam’s mom and dad threw us an awesome rehearsal dinner and we’re so grateful for their assistance, too.

3. Book your date/venue ASAP.
This may be a no-brainer, but if you have a specific venue in mind/a time of year you want to get married, book it fast. Some venues can fill up a year or two in advance especially during peak times like early summer and fall when the weather is ideal. Book your favorite spot quickly and if it’s already taken, be flexible because… at the end of the day, it’s about you guys, not the venue.

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4. Communicate well and often with your vendors.
Throughout the planning process, and especially during the final few weeks before the big day, it’s important to email and call all your vendors. They, like you, are juggling a lot, and they may even have a few weddings booked around the same time as yours so there’s no doubt they’re bu-sy. As your wedding date approaches, be sure to communicate any changes/details to your big day with them and finalize their payments.

5. No wedding is perfect.
Remember when I said most brides’ aim is to have the perfect day? Well, here’s the thing—no wedding is perfect from start to finish. There may be a hiccup or two throughout the week/big day, but it’ll be forgotten when you look back at the day as a whole. No one else will notice that things have been rearranged differently or that something detail was misplaced. They’re noticing you, your groom, and the love.

6. Your to-do list may dwindle in the middle of your planning and that’s A-OK.
We had a full year to plan (June 2016-June 2017) so once we booked all our vendors in 2016, we had a bit of down time during the winter months. I remember thinking, “Should I be doing more?” and “Why do I feel so relaxed when I’m getting married soon?” but the truth is, it’s okay if you find yourself caught up and on-timeline. It means you’re doing things right and you can sit back for a little well-deserved chill time. Things will pick back up, unless you have a short engagement… haha… then you’re go-go-go all the time, I’m sure.

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7. A wedding planner isn’t necessary but a day-of coordinator surely helps.
Our wedding venue included an experienced on-site coordinator for our wedding day which was awesome. I’d highly recommend seeking that out if you can. Personally, I don’t think having a full-time planner is a must because everything can be done on your own and with help of your groom/family. But, hey, if wedding planning scares the crap out of you and has no interest to you, you do you!

Our day-of coordinator handled a lot like the food, the coordination of the vendors, ceremony set-up, setting up the bridal suite, and wedding day timeline/coordination. She really had it all figured out and we walked into our day knowing everything was going to run smoothly because of her expertise.

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8. Shop around and explore your options.

Weddings are pricey, we all know that. And, wedding vendors know that people will pay for their services, so do your homework and read the fine print. Ask a ton of questions and make sure you aren’t getting overcharged for things.

Just a couple notes: It’s overall cheaper to get married on a Friday or Sunday than a Saturday; some venues allow outside catering while others don’t; some venues charge an insane amount to simply get married on their property; and dress hemming can cost a fortune. Just be smart and shop around. It’ll be worth it if you’re on a budget… because really, who isn’t?!

9. Your wedding should reflect you and your partner and no one else.
What I mean here is, everyone that hears about your wedding will have an opinion. It’s fine to listen and make adjustments here and there as you see fit, but your wedding day should remain true to who you and your partner are. If you have favorite colors, tunes, and flavors—honor them. It may be hard to say “No” to a friend or family member about your wedding details, but just be polite and stay true to your taste.

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10. Let go.
When the wedding week/day approaches and all your planning is close to completion, let go. You’ve done your work, the day will be amazing, and there’s not much left you can do now but… get MARRIED! Every detail will be great and there’s no use in stressing during the happiest moments of your life.

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Hope these ten tips were eye opening and fun to read. I really do stand by each and every one of them.

Would love to hear your wedding tips if you’re married, too!

Take care and see you Monday,
Ari

Other wedding-related posts:
#PartyLikeSamAri: Wedding Day Recap
Jamaican Me Crazy: Honeymoon Recap
Be Back Soon!
Our June Wedding

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