Planning a wedding can be stressful, I am not even going to sugar-coat that. But it can also be fun – it can be bonding time for you and you fiance, your family and close friends. You are planning the start of a happy marriage so of course you want it to be perfect but you also have to keep in mind that things will not always go the way you envision it.
It has been 3 months since I’ve been married and around this time last year was when I started planning our wedding. So I decided to make a list that will hopefully help newly engaged couple and brides out there with planning their wedding.
Note: this is based on my personal experience while I was planning our wedding. We got married in San Antonio, Texas, so most of the vendors that I will mention will be local.
- Pick a date. Once your fiance proposed and everything has calmed down, it is important to pick a date so when you go to see a possible venue for your wedding, you have a date to work with. It might also be helpful to have a “backup date” in case the date you picked doesn’t work with the venue/church that you are looking at. As for me and my husband, it was very easy – he picked the date. Our birthdays are 2 days apart, his is Oct. 23rd, mine is Oct. 25th, so jokingly, he suggested we do it on the 24th. Oct. 24, 2015 was a Saturday so it worked out perfectly.
- Get a planner. Before it can get any more crazier, you should get a planner. It can just be a simple notebook or you can get a Wedding Planner – I recommend an Erin Condren Wedding Planner simply because I loooove Erin Condren planners in general. 🙂 As for me, I already have a planner, so I decided to use that instead of buying a new one. I am very OCD, so I write everything down. Appointments, vendor names and contact number, emails, everything.
- Set a budget. I think this one should definitely be one of the things that you and fiance should talk about early on– can you afford this wedding? Who’s going to be paying for what? How big is the wedding going to be? Of course it is hard to think about the budget after saying yes. Us girls we jump into the wedding planning right away — look for a dress, you want to get a certain band, you want flowers and streamers and all the good stuff you see online. We have to talk about money first because that is the deciding factor if you can even afford anything that you want. Weddings can be expensive, the minimum amount of an average wedding here in the US is $30,000. When I saw that, I immediately thought, heck no. I have money saved up and both me and my husband are working but there is no way I am going to spend that much just for one day. Good thing, me and my husband are on the same page, we both like simple things, so it was easier to plan our wedding without breaking the bank. Our parents helped us out too, which was awesome. But again, something to keep in mind — your wedding is just a party. You should be spending more time and money on your marriage. But hey, if you have the money to spend, do it.
- Decide on the venue – ceremony and reception. This is when you and your fiance decide on where your wedding is going to be – will it be a church wedding, held at a court house or a garden/outdoors wedding. If you do decide to do a church wedding, you have to talk to the church 6 months before you get married to book the date and do a marriage preparation class. You will also need your baptismal and confirmation certificates. Before we even got engaged, we’ve talked about getting married and I mentioned that I want a church wedding. So, even before my husband proposed, we already have the church, St. Matthew Catholic Church, booked, hehe. We were lucky that the date we picked was open and we got the 3:00pm slot. As for the reception, we decided on a hotel, Omni San Antonio Hotel at the Colonade. It is indoors and the package that we got, they took care of the decorations, food and set up. I loved this since I don’t have to worry about other vendors and set up time and all that other stuff. I did get to pick the color of the linens, how the table setup is going to be and of course the food.
- Join TheKnot.com. I believe that this is a must. TheKnot has everything – articles, vendor list, to-do lists, budget list, guest list format, all the lists that you can think of that’s wedding related. It helped me look at vendor reviews and see which one’s are good and within our budget. I’ve used their to-do list and I can customize it according to my needs. You can also create your wedding website if you do decide to get RSVP’s online. TheKnot is definitely a one stop shop for wedding stuff.
- Get your family/friends involved. Planning a wedding usually brings stress but this is also the time to spend time with your family and close friends. You can’t do everything by yourself, you have to have a good support group/team to accomplish some tasks. I went wedding dress shopping with my mom, sister and sister in law. I went with my bridesmaids to shop for their dress. Had cake tasting with my mom, mother in law and husband. I know girls usually don’t like to get their husband involved with the wedding planning process but you should. My husband and I planned our wedding together and it was awesome. We both had a say on every decision that was made for our day. I’ll say this — our wedding won’t be as special as it was if not for my family and his family being involved.
- Take a breather. I planned our wedding within 10 months. From getting the venue booked, meeting with musicians, sending out invitations and picking out flowers, it is a lot of work. This is where having a planner helps out a lot. You can easily look at your planner and see how everything is. With this in mind, if you have nothing to do and are just waiting on vendors to call back — relax. It is ok to relax. You don’t always have to be doing something. Towards the end of our planning, we were just waiting to put down payment on the venue and pay the band. So this was the time when I would just let everything be and enjoy the calmness. Remember, you still have your life to live, work to do and a lot of non-wedding related stuff to take care of.
- Take dance lessons. We took dance lessons to practice for our first dance. I think, if you and your husband can allot time to do this, you should. We did our lessons at the Austin Uptown Dance, 4 Saturdays before we got married. We learned our first dance routine and I feel like we got even closer. This is one of the fun things that you can do with your fiance. It’ll take all the stress away from planning.
- Enjoy the process. Enjoy planning your wedding. This is the most important day of your life, so it’ll be special no matter what happens. Keep in control but go with the flow, if that even made sense, lol. Don’t stress out too much, keep happy thoughts — you are finally going to marry your bestfriend and that is all that matters.
- Have fun on your wedding day. We had thunderstorms the day of our wedding. *cue in Ironic by Alanis Morissette* That didn’t change anything — we still got ready, drove to the church and got married. My husband was just concerned about the church part, which is an hour ceremony — because according to him, after we say our vows, we are already married. After that, the reception is just a big party with your family and friends. Based on my experience, your wedding day is going to be magical but it’ll be over before you know it. What’s next is the important part — your marriage. 🙂
- Church – St. Matthew Catholic Church
- Reception – Omni San Antonio Hotel at the Colonade
- Flowers – Weddings by Design by HEB
- Band – Buzz & the Blue Cats
- Save the Date and Wedding Invitations – Vistaprint; Minted
- Wedding Dress & Bridesmaid Dresses – David’s Bridal
- Tuxedo – Al’s Formal Wear
- Dance Studio – Austin Uptown Dance
- Guestbook – Peachwick
- Cake – Lucy’s Cake Shop
- Hair and Make up – Angeline at Go Salon
- Photography – Fotografias con Amor por Juan Y Marco Tenorio