So I planned for roughly a year for my wedding. I had been unemployed before hand and our savings was pretty much gone, but I didn’t let that stop me! I was getting married one way or another. I have quite a few engaged friends so I thought this would be a fun post to do to share my wisdom and experience.
1.) Research the bridal shop.
I didn’t and regretted it. The dress I got was beautiful and affordable, but I’m sure I could’ve gotten elsewhere without all the issues I went through. It was so bad I actually told all my engaged friends to never go there. Save yourself a headache.
2.) Spreadsheets are your friends.
I have about 5 on my computer. I used Google sheets and it was a life saver. I had bought a wedding book and that helped with multiple venue info and a checklist I could cheat from. For other things though this was handy (plus I could share over the net if needed.) I mainly used it for wedding guests, a mock up list, an official list, and then a checklist of who is coming and not with a total. Plus a nice checklist of all the things l had to do in a year with a roughly deadline. Loved it!
3.) You can ask for money elegantly
My husband and I paid for most most of our wedding out if pocket. We also have been living together for over 4 years, in a tiny apartment. So when coming up with a wedding registry (we used Amazon) we put some adult things needed but we never saved for (new towels), some fun things (camping gear), and a mix of super cheap and spendy. Our list was only 32 items long for a guest load of 98. Money would be the most helpful to help pay off any lasting costs or help float us till payday. To ask for thus without outright asking we used a smaller mixed wedding list to prompt people to ask if we would rather have money, though many knew our financial situation and sent some without asking. In return we would say money would be the most helpful immediately but we appreciate any gift they wish to give. Some people who had been through wedding knew the struggle and told us so when offering an early wedding gift of money. In the end we got a wonderful mix of fun, responsible, and cash gifts. So that’s my tip to you on asking for money. Also word of mouth helps. My mother was asked by others on what to get and she told then straight up money gifts would help us out s lot.
4.) Ask for help, friends have talents!
One thing that helped us out a tons is all the help coming from friends and family. As their wedding gift they did things we would normally pay for because they wanted to help us out and contribute their skill. Examples: our friend made our wedding cheesecakes, she is an amazing baker and knew how to make gluten free crusts for our guests. My friend used to do pin up photos and did my makeup while showing me how to do it properly also. My husband is friends with a brew master who made sure the kegs were tapped properly and transported on time. These friends helped us save a lot but it also made the wedding feel so much more personal too.
5.) DIY is great, unless it’s more work.
I am all about DIY for events to save money and personalize. However, you’re not careful it can end up costing more money, time, and adding unneeded stress! Like a friend who was going to make her groomslady outfit but I talked her out of it because the time it would take would cause her to stress and she wouldn’t enjoy being in the party.
We ended up with 98 guests on the final list. That is a lot of envelopes! Again with saving money in mind and really getting the look I wanted, I made my own. I did it in my wedding colors, a nice border, the venue info, catering and bar info, registry, when to RSVP by, and my contact info. It ended up looking rather nice! Yes it was only on normal paper I printed at the library, but you see so many people lose their invitations and end up asking you all the information again I didn’t see the point on spending a lot. Or in my case a dozen go missing in the mail, I can just print off more! I also did some by email for those who are of a different generation or prone to losing documents.
So I also made my own RSVP to fold and place within the invitation. Now if anyone I invited reads this they’ll learn a sneaky trick I did to keep our unexpected guest numbers down. I made 2 versions. One had attending, declining, number in party. I sent this to families and known couples. The second only had attending or declining. This is because we only had so many people we could invite and couldn’t afford the space or costs of everyone having a plus one. It ended up working out later a few could bring a plus one, but this way there is a bit of a buffer to also not make them feel obligated to bring a plus one.
9. It’s your party, don’t deal with drama!
Something stressful happen? Key member late? Flowers wilting a bit? Someone having an argument? Not your problem. I am all about hands on and fixing issues myself, but I had to be reminded this day was to be happy and little stressful as possible for the two of us. So I let go, and friends and family rallied to the call! One I stopped worrying so much it was more fun! See in the end, I was getting married no matter what. Mistakes happen and hopefully you can laugh them off. For example I slipped and fell flat on my back during my father daughter dance. It was hilarious! Made it memorable, and luckily no one was hurt.
Hope some of these tips help a little bit for you to be married folk! I may have more words of wisdom on another date!