While doing research for another article, I came across a wedding planning website that had an online budget- maker for the bride and groom-to-be. I thought to myself, "Why not? Let's give it a whirl." So, I entered the amount that I spent on my wedding and took a look at what the figures it spit out were.
To my dismay, I did not agree with what I saw - at all. Probably what I disliked the most was that it had 5-10% of my budget going to a wedding consultant. Sheesh! What does a consultant do that can't be done by you or me?
So, here's a way to save a quick $1500 on your wedding - don't hire a wedding consultant. Be a do-it- yourself-bride. I think you will be glad you did. I know that most women are extremely busy these days, but it personally brought me a lot of joy and a sense of accomplishment to plan our wedding. (And it wasn't that difficult - a bit stressful, maybe, but not so hard.)
So, buck up and let me help you begin consulting for your own wedding. First, we need to begin with your attitude and expectations. Your attitude should be this - a wedding is a day, a marriage is a lifetime. Your expectations should be this - there is no such thing as a fairy tale wedding. You make it perfect because of the personality that you add to it. Things go wrong everyday, why wouldn't they on your wedding day?
Once you have adjusted your attitude and expectations to be those of the above, you will find it a lot easier and less stressful to plan for your wedding. If you are an absolute perfectionist then, believe it or not, I still think you should plan your own wedding - it's the only way to guarantee that you will plan it the way that you want it, and if anything does go wrong, you will have no one to blame or be mad at.
Next, sit down with a blank calendar, your PDA, or an organizer, and begin to map out the months between today and your wedding. You might want to start by writing a list of the things that you will need to do. If you need a little help with this, go to a local wedding vendor (of any kind) and I can almost guarantee that they will have a wedding guide or planner booklet free of charge.
But don't forget, these booklets want to sell you their services, so they often tell you that you are going to need everything under the sun - just remember your budget - be creative and come up with your own ideas. If the booklet says make appointment for wedding cake and you are inviting 75 people, instead write in your organizer, "Contact Aunt Jane to see if she will make her famous chocolate chip cookie bars," etc.
Checklists are very handy and will help you out with your planning. In the coming months, make sure to bring your organizer with you everywhere - or at least a pen and paper. That way, when you have a great idea you can write it down right away. And, if you accomplish something you can cross it off your list.
Planning your wedding is going to be a lot of work, but I think that you will find that it is not as difficult as you might think. Most wedding vendors are open late in the evening to accommodate your busy schedule - just be sure to make appointments early on, so you can get the time that you want and the attention you deserve. And, you will probably find that there are a couple friends or family members who will stick by you and help you out with anything you need.
Just keep the right attitude, stick with your budget, keep a pen and paper with you at all times, and plan, plan, plan. Most importantly, have fun! Hopefully, this is the only time in your life that you will get to plan your wedding, so enjoy it!
And, if you need any advice, I am here to help. Until next time, good luck and happy planning!