Wedding Checklist

You're Engaged!! ...Now What? Kicking off Your Wedding Planning

Your significant other popped the question...you said yes...Now what??  It can seem overwhelming deciding the what to do first, but if you take things one at a time it'll help cohere the wedding planning process into something manageable.

Create a budget - preferably with a pro's help.

Photo by Sally Pineira.

Photo by Sally Pineira.

You don't need to hire a full service pro for wedding planning to get the most valuable aspect of their services - setting a realistic budget.  Many times, couples underestimate their budget, because people just don't realize how much these damn things cost.  Hire a planner on an hourly or a-la-carte basis to discuss your ideas on decor, venue, time, date, and main components of the event, and have them create a budget scenario so you know what to expect. You may decide to postpone the wedding planning until you save more money, or it could help show parents and relatives the true cost and formalize any contributions.

Don't get carried away by Pinterest.

You will see so many great ideas on Pinterest, and the next thing you know you're pinning everything in sight and have 500 photos, that all represent different ideas and themes. Instead, pick your aesthetic (modern? Vintage? Rustic?) and let that guide your venue choice, and wedding decor, and don't get distracted by anything that looks off-theme.

Consider a small bridal party.

Anecdotally, I'm finding more and more couples are doing this.  It cuts down on the workload of wedding planning considerably - managing tuxes, gowns, and navigating inner-circle drama takes up a lot of time.

For more tips, visual inspiration, and just social media fun in general, follow us on Instagram.

Streamline your Wedding Design for Less Stress

It seems these days, that more is more when it comes to wedding design.  Instead of a guest book, have a Polaroid station with glue sticks, scrapbook, markers, and tape.  Instead of a plate, how about 4 stacked atop each other, with a floral treatment?  Why stop at a few votives when you can mix in tall hurricanes and tapered candlesticks as well?

Adding "more" in these situations isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's good to know when to stop.

Don't overstuff your tablescape.

Too much stuff on the table has become a trend - from lots of candles, multiple pieces of glassware, placemats, lots of dishes stacked up.   People can't even rest their forearms at their placesetting if there are too many items!  Consider the size of the table, rent larger tables if necessary, and treat it like putting together an outfit: the rule of thumb is, look at yourself in the mirror and remove one piece of jewelry so you don't overdo it.  Same thing with wedding design - if you've got tons of candles, lots of plates, 3 glasses...remove a glass, trim a few candles, and cut it down a bit. Consolidate - perhaps use table numbers that can fit inside the centerpiece, for example.

This photo by Brady Puryear features a floral centerpiece by Floral Event Production and a die cut wood table number that saves space on the table.

This photo by Brady Puryear features a floral centerpiece by Floral Event Production and a die cut wood table number that saves space on the table.

 

Consider the elements.

If your ceremony space is windy, you want a really stable arch versus centerpieces precariously placed on pedestals.  If your reception space is outside, escort and seating cards will probably blow away; consider a framed seating chart or tuck name cards in a folded napkin.

With a breathless view like this, decor isn't even necessary, and this space tends to be windy as well. Photo by Dave Richards. Venue: Malibu Rocky Oaks

With a breathless view like this, decor isn't even necessary, and this space tends to be windy as well. Photo by Dave Richards. Venue: Malibu Rocky Oaks

 

No more favors!

This blog post from the awesome site the Budget Savvy Bride features some great planners and event pros that say, 'nix favors'!  They're often unpractical, or hard to travel with (I've seen many a mini succulent left behind). Technically there is 100% no need to offer favors at your event, so no need to consider them when planning your wedding design - so don't bother unless it's something you're really passionate about.

 

Organizational Skillz: How to keep track of wedding planning details

Planning weddings is a little bit like a game of wack-a-mole: you tackle one big detail - like your venue - and suddenly a bunch of other details that need to be resolved, rear their heads.  The venue now needs you to get vendor certificates of insurance, and deliver a timeline and diagram; you need to hire a florist; your tall bridesmaid can't fit in the dress that everyone else likes and is on sale for just one more week; etc etc. And don't get me started about all those wedding checklists out there on the world wide web - there are so many, and some of them are exhaustive (and exhausting). Having a system to stay organized is the best way to keep productive and sane.

Get a Binder and use GoogleDocs.

Binders are the best - you can print out and store contracts, timelines, and all other paperwork in divided sections.  Also, start storing your guest list on googledocs so you can update it at anywhere at any time.

My beloved Trapper Keeper.  Allows me to take files from the office to the home, and keep my ongoing paper to do list safe and sound.

My beloved Trapper Keeper.  Allows me to take files from the office to the home, and keep my ongoing paper to do list safe and sound.

 

Find a good checklist.

There are a few good checklists out there - Aisleplanner.com is a web-based professional-grade one worth investing in, and serves the same role as googledocs, but like, on steroids. 

But, there are a few online wedding planning checklists out there that are over the top. I think they are written by folks who are into providing content as much as they are in providing an efficient framework.  My checklist is just one page - the broad strokes - and keeps it fairly simple.  Then my clients don't get buried in minutae. This one by Real Simple is very clear, non-overwhelming, and timed fairly well.

Delegate.

Send your fiance to research cake and invitations; your mom to order and assemble the favors.  Delegate a few small things so you can focus on the bigger elements; you'll be grateful for the help!