From engagement to organized bride-to-be

Mr. right pops the big question and it is even more dreamy than you imagined. You scramble to reach out to your close friends and family with unfathomable excitement about getting to marry the man of your dreams. The day or night of the proposal is a complete blur, you are swooning over your ring and the vivid highlight reel of how he proposed. All seems right in the world. Then as time slows down, all of a sudden thousands of thoughts frantically drive their way into your head about everything you have to do in preparation for the big day. Reality hits you the next morning or week as you start thinking about a multitude of things such as who to have in your wedding party, where to get your dress, how many wedding invites, all the way down to every little detail making you question your initial enthusiasm of the sound of wedding bells that turned more into anxiety-driven wedding worry.

Congrats, you have joined just about every bride who experiences anguish at some point in the wedding planning process. It’s now time to take a step back and realize that what you are experiencing is completely normal and remember that the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time (you don’t want to actually eat an elephant before your wedding but after you will want to). With that in mind, here is a list of the bigger picture tasks that we consider the essentials of your first things-to-do list.

The first thing you will want to do is constitute a budget. Since most things in life aren’t free it’s imperative to decide what you want and what you can spend on throwing one of the biggest parties of your life. Establishing a financial outline will be a good guide to what is most important to you pending on where you see the value of allocating it.

The second thing is establishing what time of year you want to get married. This most likely depends on what season you and your beau would love to host your big day. Choosing a time of year instead of a specific week or month will help you work around the many moving parts of the availability of wedding venues, photographers, DJs and even holidays. When doing so it’s best to take into consideration the weather for outdoor pictures and more importantly travel conditions to ensure your guests can make it to your celebration.

Choosing a wedding date now leads to the last few pieces of the essentials puzzle. The ceremony location and venue are definitely top of the list. The earlier you can line up these locations the better chance you will get at landing your ideal wedding date and more at ease you will feel with that pillar in place. The venue will give you almost everything you need to know that will help organize how you want to do the rest. Venues have a list of what they can or cannot provide which in-turn lets you know what you can and cannot do. In most cases, this will be a larger chunk of your budget which leads to the remains of your finances and may help organize where and how you want to allocate the rest.

Setting the wedding vibe for your tribe

Food and drink are the next pieces that will be a good portion of your budget. Also, they are big contributors to what the guests remember most (or don’t pending on the copious amounts of alcohol your guests indulge in) about your wedding. Good food and plenty of alcohol can go a long way when it comes to putting on a good time. We all know the magic of booze and superpowers it has to get people to relax around others. Alongside the libations, delicious plates help set the tone for the rest of the night. The earlier you can get these decisions made in your wedding planning the better you will feel.

When it comes to establishing the vibe, the DJ or band that you choose is the other part of the equation. Knowing the particular music you want to play and finding the right person(s) you want to MC is highly important. The best DJs get booked fast so keep that in mind when you are trying to lineup the schedules of your big party.

The last thing part of the puzzle is the wedding photographer. That’s right, the person-in-charge of capturing proof of the day that became a complete blur to you and your now hubby. The photographer in some cases may have been booked before anything else when the thought of engagement pictures popped into your mind. Your photographer will become one of your best friends on the day of your wedding as he or she snapshots every highlight of your ceremony and celebration. That is why you want to make sure you get the right person to be available for the date you choose.

While your planning requires many more details as your mind creates, checks off and recreates your list, these essentials will help lay a solid foundation to engineering your ideal day. Once these are taken care of, the smaller items like the cake, Save the Dates, RSVPs, place cards, etc. will follow. If what you are reading sounds repetitive to what you have researched take that as a good thing. Take the time to ease your mind and remind yourself that you’ve got this!

-Text The Bride

Planning a wedding during the Corona pandemic

So you have been planning in your head and researching everything you want for your big day for weeks, months, even years. You have gotten some of the big things accomplished such as picking out the venue, colors, your wedding dress may be even sent out the Save the Date or RSVPs by now. Every task you check off your list feels like a sense of accomplishment as you tirelessly work towards making your wedding day everything you dreamed of since you were a little girl. All seems right as you start thinking about the smaller details such as name tag holders or party favors and then plot twist, COVID-19 happens. An invisible enemy snuck into 2020 and has shaken everyone’s livelihood from health to their careers, twisting and turning down every road leaving no stone unturned. As you flip through multiple news channels every day becomes more serious, eventually leading to a quarantine that seems like there’s no end in sight. The happy thoughts of your magical day have now have been interrupted with the threat of a virus that has now prohibited groups of people getting together to celebrate your love. Your mind is racing with so many unknowns as you continually worry whether or not your wedding is going to happen. STOP!

The first thing you need to remind yourself is that you are not alone. Just to put it into perspective, there are over 2 million weddings per year just in the US alone. With that in mind, you are in a very large pool of people having to make some major decisions on your wedding date due to a most unusual circumstance. With that mind, take a step back and take a deep breath. That’s right, you got this!

Change the Date and beyond

There are multiple things that you will most likely have to alter or change but keep in mind none of these details matter until you change the date. If your wedding is scheduled for May or June you might have already done so. If your celebration is later in the year you might be racking your brain over whether or not to wait it out or take action. One thing to keep in mind is that the further you push your wedding out the better chance the world has to catch up on learning about the Coronavirus, work around it, better yet, hopefully, cure it! From this perspective, the quicker you make an executive decision on changing the date the better chance you have of getting the next date you want. Once your mind is made up, then it’s time to kick your wedding planning into gear. Your venue and wedding location are now in place, now it’s time to lineup the DJ, reissue RSVPs (digital RSVPs are a great way to save time and money) and on down the line. Recreate your previous “to-do list” prioritized by level of importance and check off each accomplishment. Take your time and most importantly remind yourself that you aren’t in this alone. Everything will get back to a new normal and your dream wedding will be just as magical as you imagined.

-Text The Bride