35 Tips from Newlyweds on Planning and Having Your Dream Wedding

Weddings can be stressful. You have to find the right dress, make sure you invite all the right people, and save some time in between for the one you love. You know, The One, or whatever term you have for your lifetime partner.

We’ve decided to put together a list of advice from newlyweds because, after all, they’ve been where you’re going.

So, to keep the wedding ceremony and its preparations full of bliss, take a gander at these tips. Are there any that you’re already implementing? If so, touché. We applaud you, and that’s before the ceremony.

Take your time planning

If you want your wedding to be as amazing as you dream, you need time. Time is, as we all know, a precious commodity. Imagine what you could do—all within your budget—with the time to plan your wedding with the details that you want. If possible, make time for … time. Time allows for cutting unimportant details and adding special touches like remembering to add a special gift like an inexpensive tote for bridesmaids, for example.

Don’t be a perfectionist

Basically this will apply to your marriage, too, but, first—baby steps. Choose your battles because, yes, some things do need to be perfect. Other things, not so much. So decide what is most important to you because, essentially, the key is to make sure the wedding is a true expression of who you and your beloved are. Anything else is superfluous. (Yes, we used the word superfluous.)

You’ve got to have faith

So, in between whatever meltdowns you could potentially have or not have, you’ll have to believe that, in the end, things will work out. The proof, of course, will be on your wedding day, when all the flowers are set as the perfect accents, and the guests are seated and waiting attentively for you both to read vows.

Do something memora

Personal tends to work in this regard. Do you have a special quote from a novel that you both love? Or lyrics from a song that speak to you? The visual aesthetic is one thing, but the personal is yet another. Leave your guests with something special so that when the video comes out, they’ll be posting meme after precious meme to your wall, and theirs.

Don’t stress out

The best way to prevent yourself from being too stressed is to delegate, delegate, delegate. It is a not so simple admission that you can’t do everything by yourself. You will have to trust the people you’ve decided to share responsibility with, and also be clear in what you’d like them to do.

Prioritize

Prioritizing will help to eliminate the need to have everything perfect (See #2). What parts of the wedding are most important to you? What are you not willing to compromise on? Make a list, and, when it comes down to it, be willing to compromise on what you haven’t listed.

Don’t be a people pleaser

If only we could be liked by everyone, then there wouldn’t be a problem. But for your wedding, it’s all about you … and “Bae” (Before Anyone Else). Obviously, be willing to compromise on the small things, but for your overall goal of putting on a wedding that will represent you both, it is fortunately about you. You get this opportunity very few times in life, so take it.

Work together as a team

No matter how annoying it is, most people are offering their opinions to help. So the intentions are generally well-meaning. With that being said, work with your fiancée to determine which advice is helpful and what advice isn’t. Then keep it moving.

Take things one step at a time

This is pretty simple advice. Rome is still standing. The Colosseum is still a main attraction throughout the world. But, as we know, Rome wasn’t built in a day. And neither will your soon-to-be marriage. So, your wedding day won’t be, either. Develop an overall plan, and then decide what you’re going to finish each day

You’re busy, but still enjoy each other’s company

Wedding planning will probably end up taking up a lot of your time. So, each time you see your significant other, you’ll probably have lots of wedding decisions to make. Still make time to hang out the way you always have and have time for yourselves without thinking about the wedding. Keep the foundation of your relationship strong.

Be sure to eat on the day of your wedding

If you’ve ever forgotten to eat during a long day at work, you understand how easy it is to get away from nourishment. You. Just. Forget. So, remember to eat something before you’re busy running around and become exhausted, dehydrated, or any number of things that can occur from not eating.

Look at the big picture.

Keep the extra emotion and tears from flying by staying focused on the goal of having a beautiful wedding day. Keep in mind that the craziness is for something, that you do have a goal. It might put things into perspective.

Have a day-of coordinator

It can either be a part of the budget to hire someone, or someone you trust that you’ve worked with along the way that is aware of all the major components that need to go smoothly on the day of the wedding. You won’t have any time to focus on these things the day-of (obviously), so plan in advance by delegating this task appropriately.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

There will be things that go wrong or aren’t perfect. This is what happens when an event goes live. How many concerts have you seen that you’ve enjoyed, and, meanwhile, there’s mistakes all over the place backstage, and even onstage? But the show goes on, and you are still entertained. Also, this includes the budget. Don’t sweat a small budget because there are still ways to have a bomb wedding on a budget. See here.

Find the fun in everything

You’re going to have lots of appointments—for flowers, for the venue, for your dress, and the dresses and accessories of everyone else. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. It can become tedious, so decide to have some fun with it. Turn it into an event and celebrate in whatever way this means to you before or after.

Be creative

Don’t be afraid to let your creativity flow. Generic is for the mundane. If you’ve got a personality, let your wedding have one, too. Own who you are.

Keep it simple.

Is there anything that you don’t need, and we mean really don’t need? Decide if there’s something you can do without to make your work a little easier. And, if not, figure out who to delegate the task to. You’ve only got two hands, but with another person, you’ve instantly got two times as many.

Don’t believe the hype

$55 billion dollars are spent on weddings in the U.S. per year, which is a pretty hefty number, if you ask us. We want you to be happy, but still, that will depend on your definition, and not what the peanut gallery says. So, if there’s something that’s unconventional that you like, do it. The one rule is, that it’s your day, so, technically speaking, you don’t have to have rules if you don’t want ‘em.

Finish things early

Punctuality is great in life in general. You’re less stressed, and you have the ability to maximize your efforts. So, for that list of things that you need to go ahead and complete ASAP, don’t put it off until tomorrow. Do it now. As the big day draws near, you’ll have so much to think about that your initial To Do’s become secondary.

Do a guest count

Punctuality is great in life in general. You’re less stressed, and you have the ability to maximize your efforts. So, for that list of things that you need to go ahead and complete ASAP, don’t put it off until tomorrow. Do it now. As the big day draws near, you’ll have so much to think about that your initial To Do’s become secondary.

Double check the date

Ask the hotel staff or check online to see if there’s a conference or other big event that could conflict with the day of your wedding. This will prevent conflicts, especially with hotel accommodations. Change the date to a day that is free of other events that will also be in town.

Don’t be afraid to ask

If you love the photographer you have, see if they know a florist you might also love. Don’t be afraid to ask. At the very worst, you’ll have to do your own searching, which is what you were going to have to do initially, anyway.

Make a less expensive staff meal

Let your guests eat the lobster, and the band eat pasta. Still, treat everyone working with you as a team that deserves to be treated well—and providing good quality food counts. However, know your budget, and be fair to the event by feeding the people that you’ve hired and are already paying relative to your budget.

Organize notes

You’re going to be interacting with a lot of vendors, and you’re going to have notes probably from all of them. Create folders to organize the information, including important notes and photographs.

Budget for extra expenses

Let your guests eat the lobster, and the band eat pasta. Still, treat everyone working with you as a team that deserves to be treated well—and providing good quality food counts. However, know your budget, and be fair to the event by feeding the people that you’ve hired and are already paying relative to your budget.

It’s kind of like rejection, but not really

Rejection can be pretty depressing, sometimes, but don’t look at it like that if someone can’t make it to your wedding. If you weren’t close with someone to begin with, don’t feel rejected if they opt out because you decided to “reach out.” Second, people do have busy lives, too, and, like you’ve been planning your wedding for a year, maybe they’ve been planning a vacation. Or maybe the location is a bit pricey and out of their budget. Still, you’ll have a gorgeous wedding and will have many people there who love you.

Have activities for kids

Do you remember when you attended events with only “adults”? It could get boring, especially with the dated music, bad humor, and conversation about work. Have things that cater to kids depending on their age. Hire a performer, include a DJ that has music that caters to under 18 (and the different groups even within this), or have an area designated for kid’s activities. Make this day memorable for them, too.

Release extra rooms

Once you have an accurate guest count, find a hotel that will work within your budget. Then, a month before, release any rooms that aren’t being used. While you can leave a little fudge room to accommodate guests at your wedding, don’t feel obligated to have a reserved hotel room. Do your best to accommodate everyone, but, if a deadline passes, they will be okay making their own reservation.

Provide accurate driving directions

Google Maps might be trustworthy, but give an added touch to your wedding by remembering to provide directions to the different venues for the event. Your guests will appreciate the extra attention given to making sure everyone can arrive easily, and, if they’re still lost, they won’t mind checking with Maps as an alternative.

Keep a paper trail of everything

Handshakes are good for introductions, but, for agreements, you need to keep a written record of everything. In this way, you’ll ensure that you’ll have the spaces you want with the accommodations the way you want them. Also, what if the original contact no longer works there, and the new person has no idea what was originally agreed upon? This is a very possible scenario when weddings can be planned for months or even years in advance.

Get a list of rules and restrictions

Get a list of rules and restrictions for the location of your wedding. If it’s outside, does the event space allow for tent stakes on the lawn? What about the style of dress in a church? Are there rules for the style of dress? Is flash photography allowed? Lots of questions to consider before deciding on a venue!

Prepare an emergency contact list

Prepare an emergency contact list the day of the wedding. Keep the numbers of important people, and give them to all of the people who are coordinating your wedding. This way, on the day-of, there is always someone to call if there is an emergency.

Budget

The average wedding costs more than $26,000 in the United States. For many people, this is an entire salary. Don’t bankrupt yourself and begin this stage of your life on shaky financial ground. Begin by specially budgeting for each part of your wedding. How much do you want to spend on your dress? How much do you want to spend on the venue? How much will invitations cost? How much do you need to keep aside for miscellaneous expenses (remember, 15 to 20%). If $28K is in your budget, beautiful. If not, check out this article on how one couple threw a $4,000 wedding for 100 people.

Party

Your bachelorette party is your last day as a free woman, kind of. So live it up. Don’t do anything that you’ll regret, but still have the time of your life.

Budget

Thank the vendors, band, priest, DJ, florist, photographer, flower girl, ring bearer, and everyone who helped to make this day real.

Board games aside, getting married really is a milestone in life. Prepare properly, and, in a metaphoric way, you are preparing yourself for a well-planned future which might consist of a few bumps along the way, but ultimately will consist of a solitude, peace, and happiness that comes from seeing the big picture.

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