Throw out the notion that your perfect day is going to be exactly as you see it in your head.
Girls tend to turn into bridezillas when what they've envisioned turns out to be unrealistic.
For my fiancé Evan and I, "go with the flow" was more our style. It allowed us to plan a wedding as unique and authentic as we are.
Luckily for me, Evan wanted to be involved and wanted to help (except with the little details. More on that in a later post). This day is just as much about him as it is about me.
Our first task was putting together an unofficial guest list. That would help determine the size of the venue we needed and the number of mouths to feed. The exercise also factors in the three most expensive components of a wedding: venue, food and alcohol. From there, we set a budget.
I wanted to cross off our major vendors first — and book them within weeks of our engagement, then have more time to worry about those little details.
Up first: the venue. I thought for sure I knew which venue I wanted, especially since Evan wanted the same one. After touring the place twice, we realized it was too small for the number of people we were inviting. We narrowed our search to venues that could accommodate our guest count and started shopping around. It’s important to actually visit these venues and "feel" which one is best for you. We decided on The Club at Indian Creek. Now, we could pick a date.
We opted for a Friday wedding — something I thought I would never do. “Fridays are so inconvenient,” I always believed. But as we dove into wedding planning, Friday became the logical choice.
We realized how many out-of-town guests we would have, and that we wanted to spend more time with them over the course of the weekend. We added a Saturday pool party to the itinerary for our guests to visit with us and relax after traveling and partying. Sunday would allow them to travel back home without the stress of getting in late and going to work the next day.
Indian Creek has a preferred vendor list and an exclusive caterer, which allowed me to cross off food and alcohol on my list, too. With referrals from the venue, friends and family, we met with a florist, baker and DJ in the weeks following.
For us, forming relationships with our vendors was very important. We met each one for coffee to discuss details. It was obvious who was a good fit for us and who wasn’t.
At our vendor meetings, we asked what it would cost to have the details of our absolute dream wedding, and we cut from there to live within our means. It's easier to cut once you know what your must-haves are.
Sticking with a budget can be hard, especially when you see more of your Pinterest dream board ideas fade away. But sometimes you have to change your expectation, or say no to an idea because of the cost.
Just remember that the most stressful details can be the small ones, which in the scheme of the entire wedding day aren’t that important.
The best part of planning is getting to enjoy the process and knowing that it’s going to culminate in a wedding day that is as unique and authentic as you are.