HOW TO: Plan a Wedding for 2015

I am getting married next year. It will be a blessed event filled with family, friends, and pretty flowers (white and blue). I am new to this whole wedding planning thing and although my fiance thinks that it is all very overwhelming, I’m secretly having a blast. #allthegirlythings

It’s still weird calling him my fiance and we are still a little green around the ears when it comes to this stage of our relationship but I have already learned a few things about “planning a wedding“. I’m sure that I’ll continue to learn about the process these next 10 months. Yes, we finally picked a date! I’ll have to send out “save the dates” soon.

#1) Know What is Important for You

When I say “you”, I mean “the collective you“, of course. While everyone likes to tell us that the wedding is all about ME, I like to think that it is about the celebration of our love. Also cake. It is about fancy, layered cake.

We’ve determined that while we would love to have everything at our wedding so that we can ensure that everyone has a great time, we just can’t afford it. We’ve had to cut back on certain things in order to splurge a little on the things that mean the most to us. He wants an event that everyone can enjoy and I want to make sure that we capture all of those happy memories with some great photos.

DID YOU KNOW THAT: “In a recent survey conducted by The Knot, it was revealed that the average wedding is now about $28,858. However, bear in mind that weddings cost more in large urban areas.”

– theknot.com

That’s a brand new car. Or five used cars. It’s also around the average dollar amount of a student loan in the United States. My point is, I was surprised to see that dollar amount pop up, mostly because we are, ahem, thrifty… I would rather put most of that money into my relationship with my fiance: surprise day trips, small “just because” presents, board games that we can play together…heck, even rent. A roof over our heads is something that keeps our relationship strong. What can I say — we have simple tastes.

#2) Find a 1-Year Checklist

There are some great checklists out there. Of course, they are all catered toward the weddings that cost $29,000 but just because it’s on the checklist, doesn’t mean that you have to do it. I’m not getting an ice sculpture of Madonna. *crosses off the list* Nor am I going to get a wedding planner. *crosses that off the list too*

If you don’t know where to look, why not start off with this one from Real Simple, this one from Martha Stewart, or this one from The Knot. Each checklist is a little bit different. If you don’t think any of these suits you, keep searching. There is one out there that will help ease the pressure, don’t worry.

#3) Don’t Talk About THE WEDDING All the Time

This is one mistake that I’ve already made. I often get so focused on one particular project that it is all I can think about. My fiance already knows how much of a schemer I am (he already knew what he was getting into beforehand) so I know that he expected it from me. Truth be told, I was the one that had to pull the reins back a bit. Between the move and the new responsibilities at work (not to mention the upcoming writer’s convention next month) I was stressing myself out even more by focusing on something that’s not actually going to happen until next year.

However, I did write down the various tasks from the checklist onto my calendar so that I know when I should start looking for vendors, shopping for a wedding dress, and calling the venue to set our reservations.

It’s still new to us so whenever I do bring it up, my fiance is still happy to hear my enthusiasm. He doesn’t want to strangle me yet. Yet…

Now it’s your turn. What tips do you have for the readers out there (or me!) who are planning a wedding? Were there things that you wish you could have done differently? Were there things that you were glad for? Did you hire a photographer? Did you splurge on the venue? The food? Did it rain? What wedding horror stories do you have?

Well, it’s back to the word mines for me!

Love, Joy

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