My little sister flew in from San Francisco over the NewYear holiday. Her birthday is New Years day so her boyfriend wanted to make sure that the entire family came out to celebrate her 26th year on earth. We all gathered at Bella Bacino on Wacker Drive for a delightful dinner. After a fantastic meal and an even more fantastic desert, my sister’s boyfriend thanked everyone for coming. This guy is such a hoot; A total comedian. He went into the story of how he and my sister first met and he had the entire room howling with laughter. After a good ten minutes of laughter he finally got to the point….which involved him getting down on one knee and pulling out a ring.
The women in the room gasped as the children in the room questioned what was going on. This was all followed by the sobbing of every women in the room and countless pictures being taken. It was truly a joyfully splendid new year.
Today marks Day 6 of the wedding excitement for my sister, who has asked me to be her maid of honor/florist/seamstress/wedding coordinator…….this list just keeps getting longer. I’m so happy to help in every way possible but I’m trying to help her think about the important things first. She is full of amazing ideas but she lacks focus on the order, in which planning this large event, should happen. This got me wondering how many other brides are out there having similar problems?
I decided I would make a mini survival guide to planning a wedding.
First things first….you need to answer the following questions:
1. What is your budget?
2. What type of location are you considering?
3. How many people are you planning on inviting?
4. When is the date?
If you can answer these four questions, then you can proceed onto the next phase of planning.
With money being tight nowadays, most people are rightfully concerned about budgets. Think big while always keeping in mind whether or not you are going to be able to create your visions on your own. If you are like me, you probably grew up doing Girl Scout arts and crafts. Break out the glue gun ladies. Turn on Martha Stewart. Prepare yourself for a day of bedazzling!
A great way to save money on the overall cost of a wedding is to pull your resources. If your Aunt Edith owns an Italian restaurant in Indiana, you should consider asking her to use the space for a reception. Chances are, she will probably let you use the space free of charge and call it a wedding gift! That wedding gift would easily cost you around $1,500- $5,000 at a banquet hall. Thank you, Aunt Edith!
Weddings that consist of a formal, sit-down, dinner are becoming a thing of the past. Have you ever seen a bride turn into Bridezilla over the fact that her entire family from Arkansas failed to RSVP, but still showed up to the wedding anyway? These sorts of things happen ALL THE TIME! The best way to prepare for additions to the guest list, is to have a buffet or heavy hor’ dourvers. Buffets are normally far less expensive than individual meals. Hor’ dourves are even less! Less money? Less stress? I think the decision is obvious, folks.
Now, when it comes to choosing a date, you should have a few in mind. If you are set on a date but you are not sure about a location, you may be sadly disappointed when you discover that your “dream location” is booked solid. The first order of business, after the engagement, is to pin down a few date options. Once you have those in mind you can begin calling your location options and asking about date availability. The date and location are like the paint and canvas of your wedding. This is the beginning of your work of art!
My sister and her fiancee have their mind set on an authentic late 60’s styled wedding. My sister is not a complicated person but she knows exactly what she likes and dislikes. This is important. In order to help her, I’ve been forming a list of ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ and saving it to a file. I’ve also been putting together inspiration boards for her, in order to help others see what her overall vision should look like. My hope is that I can coordinate and plan things. If this turns out to be too overwhelming with my already hectic life, I can easily pass the torch to a planner located closer to her. In order to insure that this new planner is on the same page with my sister, I will be able to simply email all of the information and inspiration photos to the planner. Saving me and my sis a great deal of time and money.
So the goal should always be: plan as much as you can on your own! This is the ultimate money saver. Hiring a planning immediately after the engagement means that you are paying immediately. Ask friends and family to help. This makes it even more special when you can say that “we all made this evening possible”. Ultimately, you should have fun planning. Don’t stress out. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Don’t let others drive you batty. This is your day! Have a blast!