We're back with another #WeddingWednesday post as guest bloggers and wedding experts for Wonderland Bridal! Congratulations, you're finally engaged! As the engagement celebrations start to die down, you may be wondering…what comes next?! Well, welcome to the wonderful world of wedding planning. For some, wedding planning can come quite naturally, but for most the timelines and restrictions can come as a shock. For example, when Lindsey got engaged she couldn't wait to start planning and thought she would love every minute of it! Eh....not so much. For those of you who don't know where to begin, this post is for you!
Create a Pinterest Board
Chances are, you already have your dream wedding all planned (pinned) out on Pinterest, but now everything seems a little more “real” that you’re engaged. Start designing your dream wedding by categorizing your boards based on the different aspects surrounded around planning a wedding. Wedding dresses are always the first things brides start to pin. You will start to see a trend in the dresses that you pin, which will keep your thoughts organized and focused on what’s most important to you.
Make an Appointment at Wonderland Bridal
Once you have your Pinterest board going, the first thing you’ll want to do is to shop for your dream wedding dress. One of the most important things we can share about that is MAKE AN APPOINTMENT! We can’t stress how important that small detail is. You’ll want to prepare for that special day, not walk into a bridal store last minute looking to be seen right away. In Wonderland, they value the time we have with our brides and plan something differently for every single one of their appointments. If you plan ahead by making an appointment, you will find that VIP treatment and undivided attention.
Order your Dress!
By now you know that dress shopping is one of the first things on your long list of things to do for your wedding. One of the reasons we recommend dress shopping right away is because of the amount of time it takes to order your dress and go through fittings. Give yourself 9+ months to order your wedding dress and receive alterations.
It’s Time to Accessorize
During your bridesmaids’ appointment we also recommend shopping for your bridal accessories and jewelry. Wonderland carries some of the most beautiful bridal accessories in the industry. Whether you’re in need of a belt, necklace or hair piece, we will have something that compliments your own personal bridal style.
Here are some additional ideas and tips we recommend during the first phases of wedding planning…
Start a Wedding Folder or Binder
Wedding planners can get expensive, so we always recommend purchasing a paper version of a wedding planner, aka a wedding folder or binder. There are a ton of options out there, all of which are very helpful and useful during the wedding planning process. Our favorite is from Little White Book.
Figure out your Budget
This is probably one of the worst parts associated with wedding planning, but it’s always a must. After getting engaged, you should sit down with your fiance to discuss not only your budget for the wedding, but your entire financial situation. Merrill Edge has advisors that specialize in helping newly engaged couples and newly weds discuss their finances and save for their dream wedding. According to Merrill Edge, a streamlined investing service with access to Merrill Lynch investment insights and the convenience of Bank of America banking, newly engaged couples should also consider discussing their finances. The online platform offers plenty of resources for newly-engaged or newly-wed couples, reminding them that healthy financial discussions are part of a healthy marriage. According to the Merrill Edge website, “being open and honest with each other can improve your ability to work together toward your goals and help avoid some of the stress that money issues can bring into a relationship.” Want to know what to ask, especially as you begin to navigate wedding costs, learn more here: Engaged? How Well Do You Know Each Other’s Finances?
Start the Guest List
You will have many different versions of your guest list, so it’s important to start this early. Sit down with your fiance and family members to set a budget and configure the first of many drafts of your guest list.
Picking your Wedding Colors
So, what should you do first? Start with what you’re most excited about! For a lot of brides, this is picking a color scheme. Chances are you have an idea of what you want your wedding colors to be already, but now it’s time to create your ideas into a reality! These colors can come from anywhere, but it’s important to have them reflect your personal style, the time of year you’re getting married and your venue. For example….
Keeping it in the Family
It’s difficult (and impossible) to keep everyone happy as you plan your wedding. Time and time again we have brides come in to Wonderland with mothers and/or grandmothers that are pressuring them to wear their wedding dresses. What if we told you that it was possible to find the dress of YOUR dreams, while incorporating a family dress into your own? We’ve seen brides sew a portion of their mother’s dress into their veil or inside of their very own gown. Another option is to have your bridal bouquet wrapped in an old family dress as well. This gives you the opportunity to have your very own dress, while keeping the traditional women in your family happy at the same time.
This is another task that newly engaged couples love to do right off the bat. Do your best to find a photographer that will be with you from start to finish. Most photographers will provide special packages or pricing for couples that shoot their engagement photos and wedding photos with them. There are so many talented photographers in South Florida. Do your research and find one that speaks to you and your fiance!
These are some of our tips when it comes to the first stages of wedding planning. Try not to get overwhelmed and enjoy every moment of this exciting time in your life!