Where to Begin?

As I previously mentioned here my best friend/moh is engaged and I was speaking to her about all that will be coming her way I began to think of what good advice I could give her so that things don’t seem so overwhelming. I soon realized that if someone would have given me some advice about the process then I would have saved myself a lot of time trying to figure them out. So here is the knowledge that I gave her or somewhat what I call a road map of where to begin the planning process.

1. Create an email account strictly for the wedding. (This helped me stay organized when I needed to refer back to something a vendor said.)
2. Use search engines like Here Comes the Guide to begin to look for a venue. (This is where I found our venue and its great because you are able to find different types of venues and email them.)
3. Use a website like Wedding Wire to get yourself organized and keep things together. (Since she has an Iphone it works great because she can use their application. Oh and this way you can begin to organize your guest list and your budget. The more organized you are the less chaotic things will be. If you keep a clear head and have a way to tract things then they won’t get out of control. )
4. Begin to think about your budget and set a realistic goal not what you think it should cost but what you can afford to spend. ( Just because different magazines say that the average wedding cost is $20,000 don’t be fooled and set it that high unless you can truly afford it. You don’t want to start off your marriage being in debt. Oh and be prepared to negotiate/compromise with your fiance. For those of you that are interested yes we did go over our budget by about 1% but since we paid for almost everything using our American Express card and we received 1% cash back things evened out. One of the things that helped us out was locking in a CD at 5% a year before our wedding. Don’t hesitate in negotiating with your vendors, for example we were able to get a 10% discount when we paid cash for one of our vendors. I am a firm believer that if you can’t afford to pay for it in cash then you don’t really need it. If you know someone that just got married don’t be afraid to ask them if they can either lend you some items or if they wouldn’t mind donating them to you. Debt free is the way to be!)
5. Use your resources. (What I mean by this is if you have a friend that recently got married ask them for some pointers or for some recommendations for vendors. If you have a friend that knows calligraphy let them know ahead of time that you might need their help. If your friend is a photographer ask them for their skills, a discount, or some tips in finding your wedding photographer. If your great aunt bakes amazing cakes well guess what let her know you’re engaged and that instead of a gift you would like a cake. Things of this sort will help you out later when you truly need these individuals. Odds are if you let people know ahead of time they might actually be inclined to help you out.)
6. Pick a theme and what is important to you. (Our wedding was mainly about food and sweets. Once we realized what we wanted it was easy to find a venue and everything else seemed to flow from there. One of my cousins wedding was mainly party based so they opted for a huge hall where they could have a band, a mariachi and a dj.)
7. Choose your bridal party carefully. (You shouldn’t just pick your best friends to be part of your bridal party but individuals who you know won’t add to your stress level. I’m so thankful to all my bridal party because they were simply amazing. Think about it if you pick some of your friends who you know are always late, “flakers”, or simply irresponsible what are the odds they are going to change their personalities just for your wedding. You don’t want to be stressed on the most important day of your life. If you don’t want to exclude a particular friend but know that they have some skill then give them a special assignment.)
8. Have fun and remember its your wedding and no one else’s. (This is your wedding you’re planning and everyone is going to want to give you their two cents but the good thing is that you don’t have to listen to them. If you’re family can afford to and offers to pay for it tell them that things have to be done your way otherwise figure out a way to pay for it yourself. Enjoy yourself and the time you have planning it. Have fun and try not to stress out so much. If you’re feeling overwhelmed take a break away from the planning process.)
9. Plan early. (The sooner you begin the less stress you’ll have trying to finish everything. Time passes by fast so as you’re attempting to enjoy everything start early. I found our venue a year before we booked it and I kept in constant contact with the management theme making sure our date was opened.)
10. Weddings are one day but marriage is forever. (Just keep this in mind as you’re planning and maybe you’ll save yourself some fights.)
Well ladies this is my list but by no means is this the only advice I will be giving my moh. Please feel free to let me know what I have left out or any other words of wisdom I should pass along to her.
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