As promised a few weeks ago, I wanted to share some wedding planning tips with anyone who might be engaged or helping plan a wedding. There’s a ton of wedding advice out there already, but there were a few tips that I found really helpful. My husband and I did not want a super fancy wedding; we had a more casual, outdoorsy celebration, and we focused more on the people than the decor or the food. So if you want a more laid-back wedding and don’t want to break the bank, this is for you!
Without further ado, my top 3 tips for wedding planning:
- I know this might sound cliche, but… make a planning schedule before you start! You don’t have to stick to it exactly, but it will help you feel more in control and ensure you aren’t forgetting things. One of the best things I did was to schedule the planning to be complete one week before the wedding so that I wasn’t rushing around taking care of last minute details right before the big day. Instead, I was able to relax and just let myself be excited instead of stressed. I highly recommend using theknot.com’s wedding planning checklist; it is very thorough, it helps you determine what things need to happen early on and what can wait, and it’s free! It’s also free to create a personalized wedding website through them (complete with online RSVP so you don’t have to send RSVP cards!) and so much more. I’ll link the planning checklist at the bottom of this page so you can check it out for yourself!
- The best piece of advice I was given before I started wedding planning was to plan your reception to be fun for your guests. They are there for longer than you will be, especially if you have a cocktail hour at the reception venue. Plus, you won’t remember all the fun stuff because you’ll be busy cutting the cake and talking to everyone, but they will– it’s the highlight of their night. We had a photo booth, which was a big hit, along with a bonfire outside and dancing. (We also made our guest favors little s’more kits so everyone had s’more stuff for the bonfire.) We got so many compliments that our reception was one of the most fun ones people had been to, and they loved that there were things to do for those who don’t love dancing. This is the one day that all your friends and family are in the same place at the same time, and it made me so happy to see everyone having a good time.
- The reception may be more focused on your guests, but when it comes to the ceremony, that’s all about YOU! Your friends and family are there to witness your vows and support you, so you can make your ceremony exactly how you want it. We were intentional about having a Chrisitan ceremony to show our guests what we believe and hopefully even inspire already married couples to think over the meaning of their marriage again. But each element was still focused on us and what we wanted to do together. Pick the music you like, write your own vows if you want, choose an officiant who will display your values, do a unity ceremony or don’t: the choice is yours! The ceremony is short compared to the reception, but it is really the most important part, since you’ll walk in as fiances and walk out as husband and wife!
One final bonus piece of advice, especially for Christians: don’t spend so much time focusing on wedding planning that you forget to prepare for your actual marriage. Weddings are fun and memorable, and your day should reflect that. But at the end of the day, your goal is to get married, and STAY married. So talk about the hard things, go through some premarital counseling, and maybe read a book or two on marriage (I’ll leave some good titles below). Put some effort into investing in your marriage so your beautiful day remains a happy memory long into the future; after all, your wedding day is one of the best days of your life!
Link to the Knot’s wedding planning list:
Recommended books on marriage:
“The Meaning of Marriage” by Tim Keller
“Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts” by Les and Leslie Parrott
“Sacred Marriage” by Gary Thomas