Wedding Bells - managing your time

Wedding Bells: Managing Your Time (Part 4)

This one is closely linked with the Managing Your Events.  And I want to repeat myself – make sure to balance the “have-tos” with the “want-tos” and do not overextend your obligations.  I know we are tempted to keep everyone else happy but your mental and emotional well-being is important too.

The timeline for everything is important for several reasons:

  • Having schedules and checklists helps keep you on track.  And you don’t have to worry about keeping everything in your head.  Writing it down helps clarify the steps as well as frees your brain for other activities!
  • Schedules and checklists also help keep the expectations realistic – if you forgot that you have a fitting appointment in three weeks, you can check your schedule before you commit to a bridal shower that day.
  • Whether you use an electronic or a printable schedule, it makes it so much easier to share with other folks.  If it’s all in your head, how do you share that?

As you get ready for your wedding, time will move very fast and very slow.  Make sure that your timeline also includes time for yourself.  You don’t want to arrive at the big day stressed out, exhausted, and ready to strangle someone with your veil.  Whatever your self-care looks like, make sure to include it in your schedules.

But I would also like to give you a gentle reminder that you shouldn’t dawdle either.  Even if your wedding date is eighteen months after your engagement, it will truly be here faster that you realize.  If you wait to the very end to schedule key aspects of the celebration, you will be disappointed in what you are able to pull together.

Etsy wedding planner

If you are ready to start your wedding planning today, check out this beautiful planner full of timelines and checklists to get you started on the right foot!

Wedding Bells - managing your events

Wedding Bells: Managing Your Events (Part 3)

We’ve talked about managing the people of the wedding and managing the budget for the wedding, but what about the actual wedding celebrations?

There are lots of events surrounding the big event – parties and celebrations and showers and luncheons and more.  I wish I could promise that you have control over that, but you might not.  Especially if your hosts and hostesses are spread out around the country.  When our lives were more local, it was perhaps a little easier.  One combined bridal shower with everyone, perhaps a luncheon on the day of the wedding to make sure the bride eats, and then the wedding.  Now it’s harder with family and friends in all cities and states and countries, and everyone wants to celebrate with you.

I do recommend that you try to keep it “to a dull roar” if you can.  For example, try to make sure that your future mother-in-law doesn’t book a bridal shower on your actual birthday (hypothetically speaking of course).  Maybe instead of a formal bridal luncheon on the hectic wedding day, you simple arrange for a simple sandwich platter at the venue where you and your bridal party are getting ready.

One easy way to keep the cost down, whether for yourself or a host/hostess, is to carefully time the event.  A bridal shower at around 3:00 in the afternoon means you could serve a dessert selection and some punch.  Compared to one at 7:00 in the evening when your guests might expect a more substantial food menu.  And being from the south, I have to admit that potlucks are a favorite event of mine.   I read about the cutest idea that asks all of the guests at the party to bring a “family favorite” to the celebration with a card about the recipe and who it “belongs” to.

Just make sure to balance the “have-tos” with the “want-tos” and do not overextend your obligations.  I know we are tempted to keep everyone else happy but your mental and emotional well-being is important too.

One quick but important note regarding the timing of an event – Please make sure that your bachelor/bachelorette events are not on the night before the wedding.  It’s just not worth it and everyone is better off if you have those parties earlier.

Etsy wedding planner

To stay as organized as possible, I recommend using a planner to keep everything in one place!

Wedding Bells - managing your money

Wedding Bells: Managing Your Money (Part 2)

The biggest worry for most engaged couples is the budget.  It’s also the biggest worry for anyone who might be writing those checks!

From the beginning, make sure you know your budget.  It is much harder to keep everything in perspective if you don’t even know the dollar amount that you have to work with.  And then next thing you know, someone is upset because some aspect of the celebration costs too much.  But if you don’t know your limit when you go shopping, it’s hard to stay inside that limit!

The basic budget categories are ceremony, reception, dining and bar, floral, and bridal.  Depending on your personal situation, I would recommend not including the honeymoon since that usually falls outside the wedding budget.

  • Ceremony – While this is not normally a huge portion, it is an important one.  There is the venue, the officiant, and any other personnel that you may have such as musicians.
  • Reception – This can be one of the largest chunks of your budget however I have specifically divided out the catering aspects.  The reception can be as budget-conscious or as extravagant as you (and your budget) will allow.
  • Dining and bar – Food and drinks are a huge part of the largest part.  What will your guests eat and drink while they celebrate with you.  I have attended weddings that included a multi-course plated dinner and I have attended weddings with cake and punch.  And truthfully I have enjoyed both!
  • Floral – I have separated this out because the floral category spans almost all of the other categories (ceremony, reception, and bridal).  Generally, the floral “requirements” are guided by the size of the wedding and the wedding party.
  • Bridal – Ah the dress.  It deserves it’s own mention.  It’s potentially one of the most dreamed-about aspects of a wedding, at least for a young woman.  However, if you plan to get married in a sundress and flip-flops, then own it!

Etsy wedding planner

To stay as organized as possible, I recommend using a planner to keep everything in one place!