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The Best Wedding Planning Tips and Advice (Part 1)

photo taken of a bride in her wedding dress

Planning a wedding can be stressful and daunting for couples, but the good news is, you don’t have to take this (seemingly) insurmountable challenge that is wedding planning. Wedding planners are here to rescue you from the perils of planning your own wedding and there is no one more knowledgeable and more well-versed about the wedding industry better than these paid professionals. These are the people who have planned dozens (if not hundreds) of weddings and they have seen gorgeous and elegant weddings, and weddings that turned into disappointments. They have tried and seen wedding elements, components, and details that work and go with each other and the celebration, and those that don’t. 

Since the day that he proposed, you probably haven’t stopped mesmerizing about the thought of planning your wedding, which would be an endless and continuous chain of decisions to be made. This can feel overwhelming for some. From choosing a wedding venue to choosing the centerpieces, there are a lot of decisions to be made in the months leading up to the day of your wedding. Even systematized couples also get stressed by the sheer amount of decisions and managing every element of their wedding. This is the biggest day of your life after all. So it has to be planned meticulously. It is a formal event that your guests will have big expectations - so the pressure might get to you.

You can choose to hire a professional wedding planner to help you manage your time and plans, but still take on the major decisions on your own. You might have a limited budget or you might really want to DIY your wedding centerpieces and decor. Always remember that organization is key when planning your wedding. The most crucial part of wedding planning is starting early and making sure that you have plenty of time to plan. And do not forget to involve your partner in every decision you make because marriage isn’t just about one person. Your wedding should reflect both of you as a couple. Here is an amazing list of the best wedding planning tips and advice.

Create a wedding planning timeline (and do it early on)

By the time you announce to your family and friends that you are engaged, you will be flooded with questions from them - all of them will most likely ask when the wedding day is or if you already decided on a date. But the thing is, you won’t really have a date set this early on in your engagement. What you may have is a desired date. But ultimately the final date of your wedding day will mostly depend on some of the major decisions you will have to make i.e. season, venue, theme, and availability of the venue. You can also select different wedding dates and narrow it down to a range of dates that you both agree on and are comfortable with.

Most engagements last about 15 months, plenty of time to think about what season you'd prefer, any major holidays or family events you'd like to avoid conflicting with. Right now you might be thinking of marrying in the Fall of 2022 as your ideal wedding date, but it doesn’t mean that you have to wait for 2021 to roll around before you start planning. The earlier you go about your wedding plans. The easier and less stressful it is - you can break down the wedding planning process into smaller and more manageable processes and decisions. Already having an established plan before you start will also help you get on top of everything and will make sure that you won’t forget anything.

… And involve your partner in every step of the process

Marriage and weddings are about you as a couple, not about either one of you. And how you go about the wedding planning process is a reflection of both your marriage and wedding, thus it should be approached in the same manner. Always involve one another when making decisions or sharing ideas for your wedding. Confide with your partner along the way, their insights will be invaluable and it also makes wedding planning more fun when you are doing it with the person you love the most. Working towards a common goal not only further bonds you and your partner but also helps you grow as a couple with every issue you tackle as a team.

Setting a realistic budget 

Before you make any decision with regards to your wedding (especially decisions that involve money), you have to sit down and talk with your partner about your wedding budget first (1,9). You will base most of your decisions on your wedding budget, so it’s obvious that it should be discussed first. Weddings costs can easily pile up and exceed your projected wedding budget so be sure that you have a spending limit. We often see couples getting disappointed and frustrated because they chose a wedding element (i.e venue, wedding dress, entertainment, etc.) that doesn’t fit into their wedding budget. So do not spend anything until you have set a realistic budget. And it’s common not to take into account the small details thinking that these wouldn't amount to much individually - but for the budget to work, you have to factor in every detail

You should also sit down with both of your families if they want to contribute and how much they are comfortable spending for your wedding. This will also affect your decision on how you plan your wedding and the purchases you will be making. Yes it is a very uncomfortable conversation to have, but an important one nonetheless - and it’s also better to do this early on so you will have a realistic image on how much you can spend. You can also ask if they would want to pay for specific items and elements rather than just giving you money (5,7,8)

Choose your style and theme

a stunning wedding marquee

Look for sources where you can look for bridal inspirations and wedding themes that you like best. These sources could include Pinterest, Instagram, magazines, and other bridal sites so you can start researching. But do not go overboard and overwhelm yourself with all of the wedding inspirations. Create boards on Pinterest or a compilation for the styles and themes that you want for your wedding day. These boards will help you sort and figure out what type of wedding style you really want for your wedding. And having a detailed idea of what type of wedding style you want helps greatly once you start for wedding vendors. Once you are set on an aesthetic, style, and theme, it’s easier to make design decisions, and this will naturally make everything look more cohesive (5,9). When you have narrowed down your wedding style then finding venues, florists, photographers, and other vendors and suppliers will be considerably easier. 

Be clear and straightforward when communicating

It can be very easy to be indecisive when choosing wedding elements no thanks to the endless stream of wedding-planning inspirations out there, you will have to commit to a decision eventually. Once you have decided on a theme, a color scheme, and your inspiration on your Pinterest board, stick with those ideas, stop researching and scrolling through bridal inspiration sites to avoid spiraling into that rabbit hole of second guessing your decisions. Be verbal with these decisions. If you are not communicating with your wedding vendors about these ideas, they will not be able to visualize and understand what you are truly looking for, and you’ll end up disappointed or frustrated. It is very crucial that you communicate clearly what you envision for your wedding with the people who are working with you. Communicating clearly also includes telling your vendors what you don’t and do like (1,6).

Focus on the wedding ceremony

a beach wedding ceremony

The wedding ceremony is the center of any wedding. Do not make the same mistakes some couple made of putting all their energy and resources on the designs, decor, and reception. We understand. Receptions are to please your guests and you would want them to have a good time and this is why receptions are a big deal. But without the ceremony there wouldn’t be a reception. Focus more on your vows, the actual ceremony, and how to make it personal, unique, and memorable. Remember that the ceremony will set the mood for the whole day.

Marriage is your priority

In the middle of the wedding planning process do not forget your priority. Do not forget why you are having a wedding in the first place. The marriage that comes after the wedding is more important than the wedding itself - think of the lifetime you will spend with one another. Your wedding is just the beginning and the celebration of what is to come. You will have disagreements during the wedding, but always make your marriage the priority, because at the end of the day the day the details of your wedding are just that, details.  

Be in the moment and feel the love you have for each other. Stop worrying too much about the specifics of your wedding that aren’t perfect enough for you. Your guests wouldn't pay much attention to these details anyway, what they do notice is an out of sync couple who is stressed out by all the details. Relax and enjoy your wedding day, and appreciate all these special moments with your loved ones. Your wedding day will pass by very fast - ask any married couple - so make the most out of it. Steal moments throughout your wedding day to  spend candid moments and express gratitude to your guests and families. Whether it is an intimate and private moment before the actual ceremony, during pictorials, during reception, or before the send-off, be intentional when you want to share thanks and joy.

Go with your instincts 

Research thoroughly and diligently when choosing and booking wedding vendors, and always follow your gut. Do not settle for vendors with mediocre personalities because you will end up with mediocre service. Make sure that the vendors that you work with are the ones that look out for you and are helping you achieve your wedding dreams and vision. Do not work with people you think are just thinking about their business, you do not need these types of people for the biggest day of your life.

Keep the day as personal as possible

As we’ve said before, your wedding is all about you and your partner, and you should personalize as much of your wedding elements as you can. Pick your favorite colors as your color palette, book your dream venue, and show your story as a couple through these wedding details. What you don’t want is having a wedding with recycled ideas from other weddings - something just doesn’t sit right with these types of weddings. You should draw inspirations from your own stories, stories of how you met, where you had your first date, where you traveled, and how he proposed. There are lots of details that you can draw from these stories that can also be used into unique and fun wedding elements. You can also add wedding cultures that your family have or any customs that have special meaning, or you could also start your own tradition for future generations (5).

Don’t focus on the small stuff

Set your mind that there are some elements in your wedding that won’t be perfect - but don’t set the bar too low either. Not everything will go as you planned and envisioned on your wedding day. If you find yourself getting too immersed in the details, take a breather and remind yourself of what this day is all about - marrying the love of your life! Embrace the fact that there are things you cannot change. Keep your perspective and remember that marriage is the goal of this celebration. Surround yourself with people who will support you in every step of the way, and will remind you not to worry about anything else. Enjoy what you have planned because the day will pass by quicker than you think (1,4,6).

Recreate wedding elements that you love 

Think about what you enjoy the most when you attend someone else’s wedding or what you see in wedding inspiration blogs. Is it the venue, the color palette, the theme, the wedding cake? Keep this in mind when you plan your own wedding. 

Be patient in choosing a wedding dress 

Before you even start shopping and entering bridal boutiques, make sure that you have done your research on wedding gowns. Learn about the terms used when shopping for wedding dresses for you to communicate better with the staff in the boutique. Read about silhouettes, necklines, body types, hues, etc. that will flaunt your body and beauty. Search for images of wedding dresses that you like and make a compilation of your favorites, and take them with you when you start shopping.

The season and month your wedding day falls into will most likely affect the dress of your choice. If you are getting married during the summer, then it is only logical to go with lightweight and breathable cloths for your wedding dress. If you are having a winter wedding on the other hand, choosing heavy fabrics to keep you warm would be most ideal. Shop as early as you can. You should also make sure to communicate with your partner about their wedding outfit plans. This is to make sure that your outfits complement each other.

Buy them off the rack or on sale 

If you are also the one buying your bridesmaids’ dresses, then you definitely want to save money on these items. Avoid buying custom-made dresses. What you can do instead is go to a few boutiques with dresses that are on sale and look for something off the rack. This is a money-saving trick that most brides ignore. You will be surprised to see the number of gorgeous dresses just sitting there. But this works best if your colors are chosen ahead of time and if the store you are shopping at carries different sizes. Doing this requires a lot of patience, time and luck - so be sure to always keep an open mind and be patient. Another wedding tip that will cost you nothing is to have your bridesmaids wear a particular color dress they already own rather than buying new dresses.

Sort out the big decisions first 

Brides are known to be overly obsessive about details. Whether it’s the color of one of the bridesmaids’ dress or how the florists arranged the flowers or anything along those lines. But if you ask any expert or professional? These details are not very important until you decide on the major details first. Before you even try on a single wedding dress, book a wedding planner, hire a band, or have a tasting for your wedding cake, look at the big picture and try to imagine how you want your wedding to look like. Once you've figured out what kind of wedding you want, the other components of the wedding will naturally just come to you (2,7,9)