Getting married soon? Know someone who is? Our friend Crystal Gordon, lead consultant at Montana Wildflower Weddings gave us her top 5 tips for a successful wedding.
You are newly engaged to the person you’ve literally dreamed of and waited for your whole life. Soak yourself in the joy of it all, tell everyone, show off that shiny bling and ride that cloud- well, for a while at least. Once the fairy dust settles, take a step back and gather your wits. Planning your magical day without losing yourself (or your partner) in the process requires a full set of senses! Here are some tips to help get started:
BUDGET. This is my number one for a reason. Regardless of circumstances or where the moola is coming from, putting together a budget is the first, right step to take! Starting a budget is super simple! Create a spreadsheet (or use one from the internet) then gather some basic intel: who is paying for what? are parents or other family members contributing? how much do you and your beau have to spend? Break down the incoming funds before you focus on where money will be spent.
GUEST COUNT. The obvious, understated rule: your guest count will literally drive every part of your wedding from start to finish. Take time to sit down with your partner over a cup-o-joe and put together a guest list. It won’t be pretty or terribly accurate but you’ve gotta start somewhere. Since many venues have a maximum capacity, it’s smart to have a ballpark idea of how many people will be attending before you make any inquiries. And, by the way, as badly as you want to invite your first best-friend-ever from 2nd grade you haven’t seen in 17 years because they moved nine states away…yeah, maybe think twice about that. Don’t feel compelled to invite everyone you’ve ever known, focus on the people most important in your lives.
VENUE. Whether it’s a backyard, the family farm, a destination getaway, or the Ritz Carlton: choose the venue that best suits the overall vision of your wedding day. This is one of the toughest choices to be made but essential as all the other details depend upon the location. Start calling or emailing venues, request information, schedule tours (the fun part!), and ponder the pros & cons of each place. You are sure to succeed in finding a venue that is the perfect fit!
PRIORITIZE. Back to that budget you started. Now that you have an estimate of guests who will be attending, do yourself a gigantic favor: Spend your money on what is most important to you and your partner! If you want jaw-dropping pics of your wedding day, choose an amazing photographer. If you’re a foodie, spend more of the budget on hiring that insanely talented caterer. And obviously, if your greatest desire is for your guests to be talking about the splendor of your uniquely fabulous venue for years to come, call me (wink, wink).
DON’T LOSE FOCUS. The most important part of this is to make a concentrated effort to keep your MARRIAGE a priority over your wedding!!! I know, I know. You can’t believe those words are coming from a wedding planner. My passion is for couples to have the best marriage possible, not just the best wedding day. If you want your marriage to last longer than your 15-minute ceremony or that 1-year old freezer burned cake…make sure the future you are planning with the love of your life is the ultimate goal. NEWSFLASH: you and your partner two will spend the remainder of your days on earth experiencing life together through all things good, bad, and ugly. Doesn’t it seem shrewd to learn how to navigate rocky waters beforehand?! Ask a wiser, walked-thru-the-fire married couple to mentor you or consider pre-marriage counseling to work out any kinks beforehand.
Planning a wedding can be wildly overwhelming if you let it. Don’t get so caught up in being a bride for a day, that you forget you are a bride for LIFE. After all, love is an action…a choice you’ll make from this day forward.