Congratulations on your engagement! This is an exciting time in your life, and your big day is just around the corner. I know it too with my own wedding coming in November! So I’m facing many of the same stresses and joys of the planning process right alongside you, especially if, like me, you’re not hiring a wedding planner. Planning your dream wedding by yourself is not only a great way to save on costs, but you also have full control over every little detail. For many brides, it’s the best choice. But to avoid feeling overwhelmed, use these tips to help you along the journey to the big day.
1. Use a Wedding Planning Tool
Just because you don’t have a professional wedding planner doesn’t mean you can’t stay organized like one. Today, 83% of couples do their planning online. That’s good news for the overworked brides and grooms who need some extra help getting their to-do lists done on time.
Wedding Wire is the best tool for finding the best vendors and reading up on reviews. You’ll also want to download WeddingHappy, an app that helps with planning your event. Manage anything from deadlines to invites. You don’t have to plan your wedding without help.
2. Create a List of Priorities
While we all want our wedding days to have every little thing we ever imagined, that’s probably not possible if you have any sort of budget. We have to pick and choose what’s most important on our big day.
Start this process by creating a list of your biggest priorities. Maybe you want a live band or you want to splurge on an open bar for your guests. Whatever your priorities are, it’ll be useful to plan your budget around these things. For example, have an open bar for a certain number of hours after dinner versus all night. It’s a great way to be generous within limits.
Another benefit of setting priorities is then you’ll know where you can cut corners. If something isn’t ranking high on that list, then those things aren’t going to be big expenses. For us, chair covers aren’t something we feel is necessary at the reception so we’re “X-ing” that item off the to-buy list.
3. Dream Wedding? Recruit Your Fiancé
Many brides automatically assume their fiancé doesn’t want anything to do with the wedding planning process. Usually, that’s not true. Many modern grooms are super interested in the planning process, and they might even have ideas of their own. For example, my awesome guy came up with a great idea for what to put at the place setting for each family or single guest as a personal gesture from us. Nope, I’m not revealing what that is until after the big day – wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise!
Work with your fiancé as a team during this time. Planning your dream wedding is a great way to get to know each other even more be a unified force. You’ll be a team for life, so this is great practice. And YES you can still be a strong woman when you’re in a relationship.
4. Shop for Dresses Early
Sometimes the most complicated process is dress shopping. Even if you know what you want to wear on your big day, make sure you start shopping early. Alterations, multiple dress fittings, and a million other little details will add more time to this process. The more time you have to ensure your dress is perfect, the less stress will be on your shoulders.
The same goes for your wedding party. Your bridesmaids will also need time to purchase, order, and custom-fit their dresses for your big day. To get started, shop for bridesmaid dresses online and see if you can find a color or style that suits everyone.
5. Build Your Registry Digitally
Using a digital wedding registry is more than all the rage. It’s also a big convenience for your guests. When they try to find a registry for an upcoming wedding online, they’ll search on popular tools like Honeyfund. From there, they’ll have more options for customizing a gift you’ve selected yourself, whether that gift is home goods or money towards a new home.
The sooner you can build your registry and send it to your guests, the more time they’ll have to prepare. You don’t want to leave your guests scrambling at the last minute to figure out what to get you on your big day.
Final Thoughts on Planning Your Dream Wedding
Are you planning your wedding all on your own? This is an exciting time, and you shouldn’t let the planning process overwhelm you as you prepare to say “I do.” Remember, the most important thing is that you enjoy your day. The small details won’t matter as long as you’re with your beloved sharing in the joy of matrimony.