Wedding Planning - The Early Stages | Tips + Tricks

Hey guys - Welcome back to this week’s blog!

I have been dying to write a wedding post ever since I got engaged and I’m so excited to finally bring you the the first one today! I’ve been engaged for a little over a month now and my head has been spinning thinking about all the expenses, planning a massive party, sorting through dozens and dozens of venues… It all gets to be extremely exhausting. So - I’m here to help you simplify the beginning stages of planning a wedding!

I’m not going to lie - Edwin did a LOT of the planning and organizing. Like a LOT of it. It wasn’t until the last few weeks that’ve really started solidifying certain aspects like wedding parties and booking venue viewings that I started to get into the bride stride. Here’s a few of my tips to get organized and stay on track with your wedding planning.

Give Yourself Some Time

If you only take one piece of advice from this whole post let it be this one - GIVE YOURSELF TIME. I understand getting married is exciting and it’s tempting to want to plan a wedding in a year or less but give yourself some time to let your likes change, explore options, build up your savings, and make sure you have some sort of budget. Make sure what you like now is what you’re going to like two, three, or five years from now. You’ll have less regrets if you go with trends you know you truly love rather than just going with what’s “in” that season (*ahem* mason jars).

Trends change. People change. Lives change. If you can afford to spare a few extra months or even a year, do it. Edwin and I have decided to take two years to plan our wedding. It might seem like a long time but booking a venue alone is huge undertaking. Give yourself some time to find something timeless, within your budget, and honestly, learn how to haggle. The first year might seem like it’ll drag but with all the planning to do the second year, I promise you the time will fly by. Not only that, you’ll have the wedding of your dreams without feeling rushed to do it. 

Pinterest / Create Your Vision in Detail

I know what you’re thinking - “Typical. Everyone goes to Pinterest for their weddings.” Actually, everyone goes to Pinterest for just about everything. But for good reason! Honestly, Pinterest has become such a big resource for us. It’s helped us find a ton of venues we would have otherwise never found. Well before Edwin and I got engaged we had the bulk of our wedding actually planned. We picked out color schemes, decided on a wedding style, time of year we’d like to get married and so on and so forth - all thanks to Pinterest!

Over the last year, Edwin and I would sit and browse the app for hours picking flowers and table decorations while brainstorming all the things we’d want for our wedding. By the time we got engaged, we already had a lot of big details solidified. Remember - keep your Pinterest Wedding board organized! Create subcategories like decorations, venues, bridal party, etc. within your board so you can easily browse them with your significant others. 

Organize the Crap out of Everything / A.K.A. Create a System

So this one sounds a little vague. Let’s start at the beginning. My lovely fiancé took a page out of Jane Villanueva’s book (Jane the Virgin, anyone?) and started writing lists and creating spreadsheets. Honestly, this is why I love him. 

We started with a Google Spreadsheet that would house all our wedding information. We created a master spreadsheet with our budget breakdown. I suggest accounting for everything in your budget even if you don’t think you’ll end up getting it or paying for it. It’s better to be prepared! I would suggest creating spreadsheets for:

  • Your budget (as best as a you can - budgets can be overwhelming and tricky)

  • A ranking system for your venues (provide website links, links to pictures, and the bride and groom’s rank next to each venue so you know where you both stand on a venue). This will also help when deciding which venues you want to go see first.

  • Your guest list - write absolutely everyone down. Yes, even what I like to call the “filler” guests which might include friends of friends, or people you haven’t talked to in a while that you might think you would want at the wedding. Create a ranking system based on “must invite” or “would like to invite” and see who it is you really want to be there for your big day. 

These are just three suggestions but I feel they’re the three big undertakings in the wedding planning process. Some other ideas might include seating charts, vendor lists, a payment plan for what you’ve put deposits down for and what still needs to get paid and so on and so forth. 

Ps. I created a simplified list of questions to take with you when you go look at venues! Easily ask and write down responses to questions while keeping track of things like which venues you looked at, when you looked at them, how much the deposit is, and when final payment is due. Try creating your own system. When I took my "worksheet" with me to the venues, everyone was surprised at how organized I was when taking notes and already had a list of questions ready to go.

Don’t Let ANYONE Tell You How To Plan Your Wedding

Weddings are exciting! But, as I’ve discovered, people might get a little overexcited and start offering advice when you didn’t really ask for it. All of a sudden everyone is an expert in planning weddings because their niece’s cousin’s boyfriend got married back in 2005 and they had the best caterer and the best venue and they can hook you up.

I swear the most aggravating thing I’ve heard since before I even got engaged was “don’t spend a fortune on a wedding. It’s just one day” You know what I say? Screw it! Honestly, the whole “I can’t spend too much money on a wedding” mentality totally sucked the fun out of wedding planning for me in the beginning. Instead of getting excited I would get overwhelmed at the sheer expense of catering or an officiant or just about anything else that goes into a wedding. 

Weddings are going to be expensive. Do they have to break the bank? Absolutely not. Can you still have a beautiful wedding on a budget? 100 percent yes. So the next time someone tells you who you think you should book or where you should look for venues, smile, nod, listen to their advice, and go do what you want to do. 

With all that being said, enjoy your wedding planning process. It'll be stressful and hectic but it should also be fun and exciting! if any other brides out there have any tips for me PLEASE let me know! Until next time.

Love Always,

The Honest Pisces