LET’S GET YOU ORGANIZED - WEDDING PLANNING 101
Updated: Feb 13, 2019
To some, the planning part of a wedding is simply blissful and to others.. it is their worst nightmare. For those of you who are not in love with the idea of planning or coordinating your special day or any large event for that matter thats why we are here. We are here to ease your mind and spare you the headache with the helpful and effective tips to minimize all of your stress.
BEFORE WE BEGIN… WE WANT TO SAY CONGRATULATIONS!
Take in every moment of this planning process. No matter how stressful it may seem, this is the best time of your life and you will look back on all of this and relish on this time in your life! We know, already married family and friends are probably throwing a million ideas your way, and our word of advice is to take it all in but like them know you are also trying to relish in this new honeymoon engagement phase for now. That’s where we come in, and believe us you will want to take note of these helpful tips.. We promise you, we kind of know what we are talking about! We’ve done this a time or two!
First things first… ORGANIZATION IS KEY!
Whether you are the messiest or the most organized person on earth there are plenty of options to keep you on track during your time event planning. The more organized you are, well truthfully then the less likely something is going to go wrong! Between planning apps these days, and hiring event planners for help and organization it can all be budget friendly. Most coordinators today offer packages that work within your budget, whether it is full, partial, or month of coordination, most coordinators are there to make your organizational needs much easier. Check lists, and inspiration boards (like Pinterest) are an awesome way to start planning and stay organized. Spreadsheets will become one of your best friends during this process - keep track of amazing vendors that you love, manage your budget, even editing guest lists and registry becomes easier.
Day-of timelines for all of your vendors are key as well, but that isn’t a worry you need to have until later in the game - and if you do hire a coordinator make sure that, that is part of your contract with them.. After all, you are hiring them to make sure everything goes smoothly.
BOTTOM LINE: With or without a coordinator - we recommend keeping ALL receipts, contracts, inspiration boards, schedules, dates, times, and locations - literally anything involved in your wedding in a binder that is organized and is solely based around your big event.
Second of all, CHECKLISTS ARE GOING TO BECOME YOUR BEST FRIEND!
Picking a wedding date is where it all begins, after that personalized checklists to help you pick venues, vendors, and make sure you know all of your deadlines to keep you in check are so important. Whether you work with a coordinator to compile a month-to-month checklist for you to complete or if you find one that you feel fits your needs and budget online - stick to it once you've started it! Setting deadlines, becomes stressful and if we are gonna be real with you sometimes they get pushed back.. but that does not mean there is a reason to panic. Use these checklists to guide you through the stressful times, not stress you out even more. But as long as you stick to them, the planning process becomes a lot less stressful over time. Especially because the last few months before a wedding or a big event become INSANE, whether people tell you that or not. So.. As long as you stay on track with a checklist and a timeline, you will definitely be in better shape than you would have been without one! You’ll thank us and yourself for taking this advice one day.
Third, WE KNOW LIFE IS CRAZY, BUT MAKE TIME TO PLAN!
DEEP BREATHES. We promise your day is going to be perfect, but we know planning an event on top of every day life can be overwhelming! This is where sometimes if you budget permits, hiring a planner comes into play. They take away a lot of the stress for you. But for you DIY people, we have some helpful tips for you to make this process a whole lot easier. Time management is such a key element in this whole process. Our suggestion? Pick one to two days a week and a certain time frame in those days to ONLY focus on your event - hide away all other distractions. Yes, we mean it.. No Facebook, no Instagram, no texting (unless it is wedding related) THIS IS SOLELY FOR EVENT PLANNING. It sounds impossible but we promise you it is not,, and if you follow this regimen you will thank us in the long run. A little helpful tip for doing this? Do it in a setting that motivates you, not laying in bed in your relaxing down time - that leaves more room for distractions. Sitting at a desk or being in a coffee shop surrounded by people in a working environment will always motivate you to be a little more wedding oriented. During this time is also a great time to schedule meetings with your planner, or vendors, or anyone helping you with the event so that you know you are all on the same page.
Four, REMEMBER, POWER COMES IN NUMBERS!
We mean it.. You are not super man! It is okay to allocate tasks to others that you trust. This is the biggest day of your life and this is not something you can take on all on your own. Although like we mentioned before, do not let other people bombarded you with their past experiences. This is all about you and never forget that. But definitely don’t take on more than you can handle. You and your partner and whoever you want involved should both have a say every step of the way - this takes the ease off of you. Make a list of details to be taken care of, then divide the list to each person you think is capable of this. IF you do plan on hiring a coordinator they will be able to help you with this tremendously! Planning can get tough and when it does, take a break, take a deep breath and realize that everything will work out. You can always turn to online sites for tips and advice too.
Some of these sites may include:
1. Appy Couple
2. The Knot
4. Our Wedding Planner
5. iWedding Deluxe
Five, BEING FLEXIBLE GOES A LONG WAY!
Weddings and events can be super complicated, especially when your significant other and you do not see eye to eye on every detail. Our advice? Flexibility and compromise go a long way. Whether it be about color scheme or wedding cake flavor, give and take is key. Making lists about what is MOST important to each of you can make all the difference when it comes to compromising - be willing to bend! The key is to remember that even though something may be at the top of your list, it may be at the top of your significant other’s as well and working together is what this relationship is all about.
Six, DO NOT BE AFRAID OF CONTRACTS AND NEGOTIATIONS - VENDORS ARE USED TO IT!
Wedding professionals are all about being up front from the get go. No matter what your vendor is they should be able to hear your expectations and your budget and be able to work within that. IT IS KEY to be super upfront in your initial meetings, and always make sure that you and your vendors are on the same page when building your contracts. Be specific with your dates, times, expectations and locations, always! As long as you are on the same page with every detail that you are expecting of them, there should be no issues. We know, sometimes you may feel like you are being over baring or even nitpicking, but truthfully vendors love it. Speaking from a coordinators point of view, the more up front and honest a client is, the easier our job becomes.. because we can make your vision come to life.
Also, speaking from a event producers point of view (if you do not hire an event planner) do not be afraid to negotiate. We know that event costs can add up and you want the best amount of goods and services that you can get for the better price. But a word of caution, don’t just take the best deal because it is the cheapest. Quality is something you always want to take into consideration, and preferred vendors and recommendations from those you can trust are always a great idea to start with because most of the time they are people who know what they are doing! Be sure to read the fine print on every contract before you sign it, and make sure you're aware of cancellation policies and fees. Also ask if there's a grace period to cancel just in case you change your mind about the service, goods or even the vendor, or something happens and you need to postpone the wedding (better safe than sorry)!
Happy planning, and we are always here if you have any questions or need any tips!
All our best,
The AGP Team