When I first got engaged, I was ecstatic! The man of my dreams proposed to me (in London at St. Dunstan in the East) and it was absolutely perfect. I couldn’t wait for our big day and to begin our future together (but not before enjoying the wedding planning process, of course). I had just finished graduate school, so I had some extra time on my hands before I started my new job.
During the first few months after our engagement, I spent my time flipping through wedding magazines and creating a wedding checklist. My fiancé and I selected a date, booked a venue and started visiting potential vendors. Although I began to understand why one year is necessary to plan a wedding, once I started my new job, I began to feel overwhelmed with how much I still had to do and with so little time to do it. So please, learn from my mistakes and take my advice on how to juggle a career and plan a wedding.
1. Get to know you
Although you may not be able to control your excitement and you may be tempted to dive right into the planning process, take some time to get to know yourself. What do you envision your wedding to look like? What is your style? What do you like? What do you dislike? This first step will help you figure out a theme that will guide the rest of your big decisions. Do you want a beach wedding with sea foam green and coral colors? Or perhaps you want a garden estate wedding with blush pink and ivory tones? (That was my pick!) Once you get ideas by looking through magazines or online (i.e., Style Me Pretty, Bridal Musings or Ruffled), you will save yourself a lot of guesswork and much needed time in the future.
2. Plan in advance.
Call me crazy, but I found a wedding checklist in the magazine, The Knot, and typed up a tailored version. It outlined exactly what needed to be done and by what date. I created mine month by month. I’m more old fashioned with my pen and paper list, but there are tons of wedding planning apps that serve a similar purpose. Some will even send you reminders or alert you of upcoming or overdue tasks to make sure you stay on track. #Winning.
3. Break it down.
Now that you’ve created your wedding checklist, look at the tasks that need to be completed each month and break those down even further. You can do this by setting goals to complete individual items and spreading your proposed due dates out over the course of the month. This will help you stay on track and it will become a lot easier to complete smaller tasks before or after work, or during your lunch break (i.e., getting quotes from florists or creating your “must play” songs on your wedding playlist).
4. Avoid Pinterest.
I am by no means bashing Pinterest. It is a great tool to use when it comes to helping you find your style and develop creative ways to make your special day unique. However, it becomes easy to get a bit carried away (and then overwhelmed). Try to maintain your focus on what’s really important. Do designs on your napkins really matter? Will guests really notice that your floral arrangements weren’t each comprised of the same number of roses and hydrangeas? My guess is probably not. Don’t create more work for yourself.
5. Enlist help.
You chose your bridesmaids for a reason! They aren’t there just to attend your bachelorette party and stand by your side on your big day in a, let’s face it, mediocre dress. They are there to help you! So if you need help picking a caterer, deciding what photography style you would like for your pictures, or if you need a second opinion on those floral arrangements, don’t be afraid to speak up! Just because you’re the bride, doesn’t mean you have to do everything.
6. Take care of yourself!
You may be tempted to spend every free moment planning. But don’t become so fixated on wedding-related details that your diet, exercise, or social life goes by the wayside. It’s all about balance. Make sure you take the time you need for yourself. Manicures and massages are always suggested.
Your checklist may be long, but don’t forget to enjoy the process. You (hopefully) only get married once. So, relish in the party planning! This is your time to steal the spotlight. Just make sure you’re not wearing a tacky dress.
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