There is a lot of wedding advice that will be doled out as you start planning for your big day, but sometimes the basics are overlooked. Here are a few simple tricks and tips to get the most out of your dream wedding.
1. Start early – The better the planning, the more you will be able to relax when the day arrives. A full 12 months is recommended to ensure that everything goes off without a hitch. That doesn't mean weddings haven't been pulled together in a fraction of the time. But it also means that taking your time and slowly getting everything in order is far less stressful in the long run.
2. Remember that you can't please everyone – Someone is inevitably going to be unhappy with the menu or the seating chart or how warm the sun feels. But at the end of the day, it doesn't matter. Sure, you want your guests to be happy and comfortable but first and foremost the day is for the couple and should be designed based on their dreams and desires.
3. Work together and enjoy each other through the process – For some couples, this may be first time they've tackled a large-scale task as a team. Be open to each other's opinions and enjoy each other's company as the planning process evolves.
4. Don't sweat the small stuff – And it's all small stuff, right? Prioritize what is most important to you and spend the mental energy where it counts. Perhaps the location and getting all your sisters together is more important than anything else. Make sure that happens and don't sweat it if the roses you ordered a lighter pink than anticipated.
5. You can't do it alone – So don't think you can. It takes a small army of dedicated folks to put together a wonderful wedding. Recruit your mom, you bridesmaids as well as your fiancé to get everything in place. From choosing the dress to addressing invitations, pull together help when you can to help alleviate stress.
6. Take advantage of technology – From providing directions to the wedding and reception location to listing local hotels for out of town guests, a wedding website is ideal for getting information out to both guests and members of the bridal party instead of repeating the information over and over to each person who asks. In turn, Google Docs and dropboxes are great for planning purposes. Want to share a couple of menu options with your parents or your maid of honor – simple create a document that is shared among the bridal party and they can check it regularly for updates.
7. Prepare for unforeseen emergencies – A wedding is just an upset waiting to happen. From spills and wardrobe malfunctions to hang nails, keeping an emergency wedding kit on hand can help take the worry out of any problems just waiting to arise. Tampons, a mini-sewing kit, bleach pens, socks, deodorant, bug spray, hairspray and bobby pins, eye drops and bandages are just a few of the items you may want to consider.
8. Break in your shoes ahead of time – And pack some flats just in case. We've all had those hellish shoe days where you find yourself wandering around work in your bare feet. Avoid that on your wedding day by spending plenty of time around the house stretching those new shoes to perfection. Keep flats, or even some sleek slippers, on hand as a just in case so blisters don't put a damper on your mad dancing skills.
9. If you forgo the wedding planner, hire a day-of coordinator – If planning a large wedding, a planner is really a must. They have the ability to bargain with vendors and have great tips and tricks that can save you a world of stress on the big day. If you're determined to go at it alone, a day-of coordinator is great at managing the wedding day flow. From making sure everyone is exactly is where they need to be when they should be to prompting the band for the father-daughter dance, having a traffic cop on hand ensures that everything flows exactly as it should.
10. Eat – It seems so simple, but you would be amazed how many brides and grooms spend the entire day without eating a real meal. Start the day with a high protein breakfast to boost your energy and make sure you take time during the ceremony to sit down and enjoy the great catering. You'll be glad you did.
11. Relax – Once the business of the day is behind you, take time at the reception to put your feet up and take it all in. Odds are, in retrospect, the day will be a whirlwind of activity. Take the time to step back and look around you – smell the roses, enjoy the guests and revel in the magical day you have created.
12. Have boxes on hand to take everything home – You inevitably leave the wedding with a lot more than you came with. Having some boxes on hand makes it easy to load up the gifts, flowers, centerpieces and any other items you have collected along the way – a task that usually falls to the best man and groomsmen. If you are leaving on your honeymoon immediately following the ceremony, make sure that someone has access to your home to deliver everything.