So after we soaked up all the fun and love of being engaged we (mainly I) started planning. He provided input but I was definitely the one more into all things wedding related. Hubs answered my incessant questions pretty well and didn’t complain about me watching every wedding themed show on TLC, Oxygen, etc.
While planning for the event is amazing, make sure you plan for the marriage as well! Marriage counseling was important to us so we attended classes through our church and a great organization called First Things First.
I wasn’t originally thinking of hiring a wedding planner but when my mom and future mom-in-law both suggested it I listened up and started my research. After all I was finishing up grad school. And even though it can be lots of fun, wedding planning can also be a great deal of work. I looked up a couple different people and scheduled meet ups at Starbucks. I think it’s important to meet in person. You will be trusting them with a very important day.
Types of wedding planners (from my experience)
– Full wedding planner: handles practically everything; budget, securing vendors, scheduling meetings, day of planning
– Partial planner: manages vendors after you secure them, budget & handles day of planning
– Day of planner: handles only Wedding day coordination
We went with partial planning to save a little money. I will say from my experience it was ABSOLUTELY worth it to hire a planner.
I purchased a wedding planner binder off Amazon. I used it somewhat to help organize my thoughts and it did have helpful information but there were some sections I didn’t utilize. The Bride to be Book is more of memory book to keep photos and thoughts in. The 5 Love Languages is a good read for anyone but definitely someone in a relationship.
Vendors & Wedding Shows
When it came to finding vendors (caterers, florists, etc.) my wedding planner provided a list of suggestions and I did some research on wedding sites like The Knot and Wedding Wire. Reviews can be crucial and give you some insight about what you could be dealing with. Message boards can be a big help too! Once again it’s important to meet up with these vendors when possible before making decisions about who to go with.
Go to all the wedding shows you can! They are the best place for freebies, ideas and meeting vendors. We met our Photo booth guy at a wedding show.
Stationary & Websites (or Apps)
Many sites will send you free samples of wedding invitations, save the dates, etc! Check out sites like Magnet Street , Minted and Wedding Paper Divas . I got all the freebies I could before making a choice on who to go with. We bought magnet Save the Dates and sent them out 4-5 months out. We sent invites about 2-3 months out.
We made a wedding website and app with AppyCouple. It is a paid site but there are free websites available as well. The app helped me organize guests and was super easy to use. To me it was definitely worth the pay and I found a discount code!
*Speaking of apps there are tons of wedding apps to use while planning and coordinating. My favorites were…
– The Knot Wedding Planner
I found my dress the weekend of our engagement party at the White Room in Lebanon, TN. I went through about 8 dresses before deciding. My mom, aunt, cousin, future mom-in-law & future aunt were there. 🙂 I ordered shoes from Zappos.
My bridesmaids lived in 4 different states so I let them pick dresses from Weddington Way . I picked about 8 dresses in my color choice (after getting a swatch in the mail) and the ladies picked from those. I wasn’t picky about shoes. I ordered jewelry for them and myself from Charming Charlie for a pretty reasonable price.
I ordered my flower girl dress from Etsy. Etsy was the go to on lots of other wedding stuff like her flower girl basket, the broom we jumped, and more.
Hubs had the guys send measurements to a local tux shop. He picked out navy suits and coral accessories and the shop ordered them for us.
Next up…the Big Day 🙂