Updated: Mar 21, 2022
Wedding Planning Tips From My Experience
My husband, Joe, and I had a summer wedding on July 2, 2011. Here are some of the things we did to prepare for our summer wedding: We went to several bridal shows, booked major vendors several months in advance, created an email account for wedding-related emails, communicated frequently with each other, used Google Docs to record RSVPs for our invitation lists, and hired a day-of wedding coordinator.
We discussed with our florist about what flowers would be in bloom and stay fresh during a hot summer day. The fabrics for the bridesmaid dresses, table coverings, and chair sashes were light fabrics and not heavy fabrics that would convey winter. My husband even wore a white tuxedo.
We knew we had to book major vendors early since our wedding was during the 4th of July weekend. Joe and I booked our ceremony site, wedding reception site, DJ, and wedding photographer all within the first month we were engaged, which was October 2010. What helped us with this was going to a bridal show the weekend right after we became engaged. Fortunately, these days, you can type the terms 'bridal show' or 'bridal expo' and the name of a city to find local bridal shows.
After our first bridal show, we followed up with vendors by email or telephone immediately. We contacted reception venues we were interested in and set up appointments for tours and taste testings. We reviewed the websites for DJs and photographers we liked and arranged for telephone conferences if we had further questions.
We made reservations for 2 different hotels at least 6 months in advance so that our guests would not need to scramble to find a hotel near our wedding.
For each bridal show we went to, we focused on certain aspects of our wedding. For example, for our first bridal show, we focused on the reception venue, DJ, and photographer. We would gather vendor business cards and flyers from florists, formal attire, and invitation vendors, but we would not talk extensively with them. For other bridal shows we went to, we focused on different aspects such as finding a day-of wedding coordinator, bridesmaid dresses, and limousine services.
Joe and I lived about 80 miles apart before we were married so we'd phone each other, email each other, or communicate by webcam when discussing wedding plans. We had created a new email account with both our first names and used this account when we emailed vendors. We wanted one place to see all our wedding-related emails.
We wanted to be able to track RSVPs without having to email back and forth about which guest RSVPd for our rehearsal dinner, our wedding, and post-wedding brunch. So, we created one spreadsheet in Google Docs to record RSVPs for these events. On this spreadsheet, we also recorded special needs for diet with color-coding.
We hired day-of wedding coordinators who took care of coordinating the events during our wedding day such as making sure flowers went to the correct people and placing our favors and name cards at the tables for our reception. With the wedding coordinator doing these things, the bridal party and relatives of the bride and groom would be happy and not have any extra anxiety. The wedding coordinators made sure we ate a little and had enough water before the start of our reception. They had also provided some white nail polish when some of my polish chipped and Tylenol for Joe's mom.
I liked that Joe was hands-on with planning and preparing our wedding. He came with me to a couple of the bridal shows. We both talked together to the photographer, videographer, and DJ. Joe came with me during tastings and even to pick out flowers.
Of course, there are lots to do to prepare for a wedding. I kept my wedding planning paperwork altogether. We were organized with our communicating with each other. We planned methodically and stuck to a schedule. Planning in an organized manner helped us have joy in the journey to prepare for our wedding.