We were married 10/13/12 and the day was ABSOLUTELY PERFECT. We could not ask for more and we both said for days and days
how happy were were with how everything went. We went over budget, but since we got everything we wanted and I have no regrets, I think it was money well spent. Advice?
1) Get a coordinator!!! I would not have had half the time to enjoy my rehearsal, prep or reception if it weren't for the fact that somebody else was taking care of everyting for me. I am very high strung and nervous and I was at ease the WHOLE weekend knowing she would put out any fires for me!
2) Barter with vendors! Be polite, but don't be afraid to ask for a deal. I got up to 33% off of some of my packages.
3) If you can afford it, take it easy on the DIY. I technically saved money doing my own stationery, but because I screwed up so many times I had to keep adding to the budget to buy more materials to cover mistakes. Not to mention the bottles of Advil for the self-induced headache.
4) Make small payments to your vendors throughout your engagement instead of trying to pay everyone off all at once before the wedding. Half our stuff was paid off a month or more beforehand because we took a little bit of each paycheck to go towards the balances.
5) Get a day-of hair and make-up artist. My MOH and I sat back, sipped coffee and laughed while we got pampered instead of running all over town to appointments. I splurged on red carpet service and had my MUA with me through pics and all the way up to the ceremony, and I'm so glad I did Many people told me I had never looked prettier!!
6) Get a videographer. I went back and forth on this for MONTHS and finally found an up-and-comer whose work I scoped out before I booked him. Even thoguh he was new to the biz, I liked his stuff and got him for cheap. I was so glad to have someone document me and my girls getting ready, and the ceremony and first look.
7) Know that some people will not live up to your expectations, but get over it. Some of our party was missing in action through the planning process and I was worried if they were a good pick, but they were on the ball the day of. Remember that the planning phase is your problem, not theirs. Just be happy that they show with a smile on their face and ready to help on the wedding day! I learned that lesson when I was pleasantly surprised with everyone the day of!
8) Some people will not give you a present. My hubby and I don't expect gifts, but were surprised when about 5 couples didn't even give us a "congrats" card.
9) Some people won't show. Forget them. I had about 5 couples not show up, and when I mumbled about the wasted money the morning after my husband reminded me that it was a beautful day, and that it was everything I dreamed of, so why focus on that one little thing?? He was right.
10) Eat, sleep and breathe! Try not to do too much in the days leading up so you can enjoy your celebration!!
11) Take it easy on the hubby-to-be. He's nervous and doesn't know what do do, so it doesn't help to holler at him and get yourselves both
12) Take time to soak in the little details. SMELL your flowers, TASTE your cake, and LISTEN to your music. It was the little things like that that put a smile on my face that day.
13) To avoid the wedding withdrawal, book a honeymoon, even if it is just a weekend away. My husband and I heard that it's not always good to take off right after the wedding, and we are SO glad we followed that advice. We took a week after the wedding to put presents away, pay some bills, catch up at work, play with our puppy, pack, and get travel papers arranged. Now we are rested and prepared to leave for Jamaica in four days. Instead of being sad that the wedding is over, we're as excited as little kids that we're going to be in the tropics in a few days!
Good luck to all you brides-to-be! I hope this helped a little!