Did you know that one-third of people get engaged between November and December?! According to Facebook, Christmas Eve is the most popular day to get engaged, followed by Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Now that the holiday season is officially behind us, it’s time for all the newly engaged couples to kick off wedding planning.
And, trust us, we know that it can be an overwhelming process!
Today we wanted to share tips, which we learned the hard way, when it came to planning our wedding.
1. START PLANNING NOW
There are secret Pinterest boards for a reason!
I was very adamant about not ‘planning’ my wedding before I got engaged, even though my husband and I dated for many years. And, honestly, I majorly regret it. I always knew that my wedding would be out of state and I learned the hard way how difficult it is to plan a wedding when you live far from potential venues and vendors and have no clue what you want! – Erica
Unfortunately, Pinterest was still in beta when I was planning my wedding, so I had to plan the old-fashioned way: magazines and wedding websites! When planning, keep an open mind and give yourself time to change your mind! That poofy princess dress you dreamed about as an eight-year-old might make you look like a toddler in a tiara at age 26. – Rosie
2. HIRE A PLANNER
We both wish we hired a full-service wedding planner and did not just rely on the venue’s day-of coordinator. They are the experts and will be able to give you advice on the best vendors, best deals and really bring your vision to life.
Sure, they aren’t cheap. The average cost of a wedding planner is $3,000. However, in hindsight we would have rather scaled back or done without other things to fit a planner in our budgets.
I didn’t know that the day-of planner was just there to point our vendors in the right direction would not actually help with the set up or clean up! Poor Rosie ended up setting up, refiling and cleaning up our Candy Bar! Thank goodness for her, but I really wish that my guest could have just enjoyed herself. Also, me and my parents, who shelled out big bucks for the wedding, ended up having to clean up and load their car with a bunch of stuff at the end of the night. – Erica
My venue’s “on-site wedding planner” (yup, I just used quotations) had a really rough wedding the night before ours – it unseasonably POURED torrential rain and the winery had to shove all 100+ guests inside a teeny space. I later found out that the planner was not only kicking back glass after glass of pinot noir, but that she FORGOT to send the ring bearers and flower girls down the aisle! My sister, and matron of honor, just about had a heart attack when she had NO clue where her children were! Lesson learned: do NOT rely on on-site coordinators. Hire a professional. – Rosie
3. LITTLE DETAILS GO A LONG WAY
Although we want to have it all, unfortunately most of us can’t when it comes to our wedding. While letterpress and gold foil invitations are absolutely beautiful, they will cost you. Instead you can add little details like envelope liners, wraps or stickers which will help you kick up your invitations up a notch.
Also, when it comes to reception décor, if flowers are an area you decide to cut back but want to make sure your tables make a statement, consider placing menus at each seat.
I became obsessed with envelope liners through my wedding planner process! They are such a simple detail but provide such a nice impression upon opening an invitation or card. I now always include an envelope liner with all cards that I send! – Erica
We had a silhouette bird theme carried through our wedding – as did the venue! We’re not ornithologists, so we didn’t go over the top cray cray, but used them in subtle ways that would catch your eye in a fun, sweet way. It was pleasing to see a cohesive theme carry through from our invitations to the winery’s branding! – Rosie
4. PRIORITIZE YOUR BUDGET
This is probably THE most difficult part of wedding planning. Managing your budget. It’s crazy how everything adds up. Know what is most important to you (and listen to your gut) but be willing to compromise on everything else.
One of my biggest regrets, in addition to not hiring a planner, was not booking the photographer I wanted. Wedding photographers seemed outrageously expensive to me so I settled on one who was good, and recommended, but ended up not being the exact style I really wanted. At the end of the day, we were way over budget anyways… I just wish it was because I stuck to my guns on what I really wanted. – Erica
Mr. Architect and I were big-picture people when deciding what to spend our (and our parents’) money on. We wanted to prioritize the part of our wedding that would last – memories of good times. So, we put the venue, DJ and photographer at the top of our budget. It’s been almost 6 years and friends still talking about the beautiful winery, the most entertaining, sweet, personable, talented DJ in the Bay Area (shout out to Ron Grandia!) and the pictures we cherish oh so much. (Tonhya Kae, xoxo!) – Rosie
5. PLAN A KICK A$$ BACHELORETTE PARTY
Whether it be a destination getaway with your gal pals or a night out on the town, a fun bachelorette party will be majorly needed to help get your mind off the stresses that come with the planning process.
While I’m extremely grateful for our beautiful wedding, my Bachelorette party was one of the best trips I’ve ever been on! It was laid back, tropical and the highlight of all my wedding festivities. – Erica
And… don’t have it so close to your wedding day! I had a great time with my bridesmaids, but in hindsight, I would have recommended that we NOT paint the town red the night before the rehearsal dinner! – Rosie