Engagement season is here, and, if you give your partner a ring over the holidays, you’ll likely have a number of questions running through your head when it comes to wedding planning. Obvious tips and tricks are easy to come by. Everyone from your parents to friends to trusted wedding websites will have plenty of general knowledge to share with you. So, today, we wanted to focus on the less obvious tricks of the trade.
(1) Take One Month Off
The second you share news of your engagement with friends and family, you’ll hear one particular question again and again: “Have you set a date?”
All of that pressure can lead you to believe that you should start shopping for venues and solidifying dates right away. We, on the other hand, tend to think the most important thing you can do to ensure you start wedding-planning efforts off with a calm, centered and clear mind is to simply do nothing wedding related for the first month of your engagement. This includes staying off of Pinterest. Enjoy your time as a newly engaged couple. You can have fun, have a few date nights, and explore new places together. just try to resist the urge to think about venues, themes, colors or dates. This is a hard rule to follow, but it helps to ensure that you take time to just enjoy being engaged. Once you dive into the planning, you’ll start to value your down time even more.
(2) Give Your Bridal Party a Trial Run
This sounds pretty funny, but we are really serious. Deciding on your bridal party members can be one of the toughest parts of planning a wedding. Engaged couples often let the excitement get the best of them. They line up their party way too soon in the planning process. Giving your bridal party a “test run” before actually asking friends to be in your wedding is a good idea.
This is an especially important if you’ve got friends who’ve never met each other and ones who you yourself haven’t seen in awhile. We recommend using an engagement party as a sort of trial. Watch how everyone interacts with one another. Are there two potential bridesmaids who clearly butt heads? Are you and your best friend from college still getting along like you used to? Take these things into consideration before asking friends to be part of your bridal party. Remember, once you ask someone to join the wedding, you can’t really revoke the invitation. It's best to be absolutely sure first.
(3) Hail the Power of the Cloud
Nothing will be of more use to you throughout your planning process than cloud technology. Aisle Planner is one of our all-time favorite cloud-based wedding-planning programs, but other similar tools work too. Something as simple as Google Drive can be a great resource when it comes to wedding planning. The ability to access your files (budget, images, contacts, guestlist, etc.) from anywhere with WiFi is key and will come in so handy throughout your planning process. We can’t stress this one enough.
(4) Try Planning without Pinterest
This is probably the most shocking tip of our roundup today, but we���re sticking by it. Don’t get us wrong, Pinterest can be a great resource for creative DIY ideas, but we don’t think you should derive the entire look and feel of your wedding from this one site. Instead, think about what passions and hobbies you and your fiancé share. Do you love to travel? Why not work a worldly theme into the event? Do you both have Italian roots? How about opting for a lemon-and-olive-leaf themed affair that celebrates your heritage? A wedding will always feel more personal if the foundation of the event comes from the couple, rather than from ideas found on social media. Once you’ve solidified the foundation of your event’s aesthetic, then you can search Pinterest for help with DIY’ing smaller items (but try not to get sucked into the 24/7 Pinterest vortex). Set aside an hour a week where you allow yourself to browse, and leave it at that. And remember, if it’s posted on Pinterest, it’s been done before. Weddings should be unique to the couple being celebrated.
(5) Venue Shop Till You Drop
You may fall in love with the first venue you see, but we recommend seeing about ten more. Yes, ten. Most experts will tell you to narrow down your list and only look at your top 3-5 in person, but we disagree. The venue sets the stage for your event. Regardless of how amazing your florals and decor are, without the right venue, the wedding can fall flat. You’d be surprised at how many venues look beautiful on Instagram, but leave something to be desired in person (and vice versa). We also recommend seeing a few venues that you don’t think necessarily appeal to you. Not a barn kind-of person? Challenge yourself to take a look at a barn venue--it could completely win you over when you see it in person.
Do you have some "secret" wedding planning tips that you want to share? Use the comments section to let us know about them.