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{January 21, 2015}   Wedding Planning: First Things First!

Make A Plan:

I developed my own wedding timeline because none of the timelines I’ve found online really cater to the short amount of time I’m working with. I will make sure to post that at a later date. Also while making a plan, come up with a theme. A theme will help the planning process stay focused. I knew I wanted my theme to have to do with travel as my fiance and I both love to travel, we decided to get married while traveling, and hopefully we will spend the first few years of marriage (at least) traveling. However, I didn’t want to go overboard and have almost a costume party or something cheesy with passports and luggage all over the place and in the decorations. So I focused our theme on what we’d like to share with our family and friends.

Because our courtship was so short, most of my friends and family don’t know my fiance, nor vice versa. So the wedding seemed like a perfect opportunity to allow them a glimpse into the atmosphere that solidified our love… Europe. We love Europe! He would like to live there permanently, and I don’t know about permanently, but I wouldn’t mind living there. I didn’t want to just focus on Paris, its a little cliche. Plus there are so many other wonderful cities that make Europe an enchanting place. So we decided to feature our favorite European cities in the food and decorations. The wedding itself is fashioned after a Parisian tea party, in style and dress. I love the 1940s so my dress will fit that era.  For me it is important to keep in mind that my theme is just that a theme. Its guiding my plans but my plans don’t all have to fit into the theme, just compliment the theme.

Make An Announcement:

So for me the very first thing I needed to do was make an announcement so people could start planning to save the dates. I have always hated a Facebook engagement announcements but they’re cheap AKA free and they get the word out quickly. Within days I had a ton of addresses I didn’t previously have which is Step 2: Gather address. This is critical, I gave family and friends a deadline, because honestly invitations need to be out like yesterday.

Order Invitation Samples:

While I waited for my addresses to come in I started ordering invitation samples. I always thought that I would make my own invitations, but honestly who has the time for that kind of detail? I’m a perfectionist, I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it in that amount of time. Another piece of advice for wedding planning is to set your budget early. This should go along with your plan. After all years of planning meant nothing when my plans didn’t fit my budget. So honestly you should probably budget before you plan.

I knew I was not going to spend the recommended 10% of my budget on the invitations, more like 5% because I wanted to use the money elsewhere. I order samples from the websites: The American Wedding, Ann’s Bridal Bargains, Wedding Paper Divas, B Wedding Invitations, and Exclusively Weddings. I limited myself to 5 websites because you can order samples for a month without making a decision. I made a couple mistakes in this arena. First, I looked at invitations that were outside of my budget, don’t even entertain the thought because after that I kept trying to find a cheaper version of what I really wanted. Second, I looked at invitations that didn’t fit my theme. Be brutal with invitations. If they don’t fit the budget or theme, they don’t get a second glance. If you entertain thoughts of invitations you’ll never have it will throw you off track. This is like a marathon, you have to stay focused. Invitations are too early in the game and too disposable to cheat the plan or the budget. STAY FOCUSED. Here are the invitations I looked at from each website.

I also decided early on that I was not going to have reply cards. This is a big deal for me because I’m old fashioned and I think old-style etiquette is losing in this day and age. However, I took a clue from helping my sister plan her wedding. Very few people used the card to respond even though we supplied stamped envelopes. Many called, and even more had to be called to get their RSVPs. So I said skip the hassle. People are on the internet anyways, why not have them RSVP electronically?

Create a Wedding Website:

Which is the next “to-do” on the list: Create a wedding website. I used theKnot.com because I’ve had an account with them for about 5 years… I kid you not! Yes, I’m THAT girl. *shrug*

The website is time consuming, but it will hopefully save me a lot of time and hassle. All of the information will be available to my guests, many of whom are from out of town. Plus using a platform like the knot is a great way to have all of your information in one spot.  I was excited that they had a wedding app for my iPhone but I have found it is not very helpful. Some of the most important features on the website are not available on the app, like updating my budget. For a budget bride like myself this is crucial because I am literally keeping track of every dollar.

My wedding website is: http://Dadrick-and-Caryn.ourwedding.com

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