If you ask any bride, planning a wedding is not easy.  From building the guest list,  to the venue, to the dress and more.  Working on a budget,  and trying to make everything perfect.  It can be very stressful to make the wedding of your dreams.

Give yourself Time

A long engagement isn’t so bad. It will give you time to get to know your spouse better.  Long engagements also keep the stress of planning the wedding down to a minimum, you are less likely to fall behind.  Breathing room to plan the wedding is a great thing for the blushing bride.  There are other pros to having a long engagement, including finding out what it is like being married to your spouse.  Sorting out what you both want after the wedding, where you plan on living, children (if you want some, how many, and when you both want to start trying).  You can tackle a few projects early: finding your photographer, a DJ, booking your venue and working on your guest list and working out the budget.  Having more time before the wedding can save on venue costs as long as your vendor costs.

Write a Planning Schedule and stick to it

You can build the schedule for planning your wedding.  I’ve found that Wedding Wire has some good planning tools and it’s free.  They have a one stop shop for everything from planning checklists to venders, building your own website for your wedding, and bridal catalogs.  After you pick your planning schedule stick to it, the schedule is there to help keep you from falling behind.  As some of us have realized staying on schedule isn’t easy, we use our phones to keep us on track.  www.weddingwire.com lets you use their app on both android and iPhone.  Along with the website and app you can build your guest list, build your budget and work on your wedding planning.

Finalise your guest list ASAP and keep them informed

As we all know the guest list can be one of the hardest things to agree on.  As stated in the previous section weddingwire.com helps you build one.  For tips on making a list you can go to The Knot. A quick rundown is: start with each of  building your dream list.  From there you can whittle down the lists to a realistic number.  Before you cut down your list you should set some rules and stick to them.  Also you should split them into 2 lists, you’re a-list (the people who you absolutely want to come) and your b-list (you want them to come but it’s not as important).  Keep the people on your “A” list informed, if some of them can’t make it you choose one from your “B” in the order of importance to you.  That way you can keep the number of people going to your wedding at your perfect size.

Investigate wedding blackout dates

There will many days throughout the year that will be just no good for your wedding. These could be national public or local events, like a sports final or an election, or something personal to your friends and family, like another wedding or holiday season. There are websites you can go to that will help you with this but really  you just need to sit down and think your way through the year, considering your guest list.  Typically holidays and daylight saving time are blackout dates due to people having other plans on Holidays and more likely being an hour late or early during daylight savings time.  

Subscribe to wedding blogs and read them regularly

Wedding blogs are a wonderful way to get informed and inspired about your wedding.  There are plenty out there and you just have to find one that suits your personality – my blog of choice is Farewell Fiance, but there are so many out there you just have to put in the time to read a few articles on each.  The nice thing about the blogs is they can give you ideas and inspiration that you wouldn’t have thought of before.  These blogs range from rustic to rock-and-roll to budget brides.

Leverage the power of Technology and Apps

We all love our phones, tablets, computers and apps, it’s the technology that makes our lives better and easier.  There is a wedding themed app for just about everything these days, just check out this huge list of wedding planning apps.  You can also go to the Apple App Store or Google Play and find more.  This includes but isn’t limited to: David’s Bridal (for your dress), DIY wedding planner (for those do it yourselfers), Wedding cake design, Wedding nail design, and how to budget your wedding.  

Outsource to friends and family

Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your friends and family.  They may offer some advice and their help if you listen.  Outsourcing to them means letting them do some of the work and also doing some of the planning.  Sometimes your friends and/or family members have connections and discounts you wouldn’t get otherwise for vendors or venues.  Use your social media for ideas also, it can be a useful resource and a fast way to outsource some of the work that needs to get done.  Facebook friends and Twitter followers also can be a great help when planning and getting ready for a wedding.  The key to any outsourcing is the ability to network with people.

Take advantage of vendor Relationships

When you decide on a vendor, ask them for recommendations on other vendors that may be able to work the wedding.  Usually with their recommendations will help you have a wedding that runs smoothly since most of the time they have worked with those people before.  Since we all want a smooth running wedding we would do anything to make sure it will.  Do your research.  Not all vendors are the same even if they work the same job.  Make sure they are the right fit for you and when they recommend somebody make sure they also will fit well.  Relationships are a strong part of working a wedding make sure you have a good standing relationship with them also.

Be selective with your DIY

Weddings are expensive and because of that, we try doing more projects ourselves.  As appealing as it may seem and money saving it’s usually not.  Do it yourself weddings are more expensive because there will be projects that you have to buy the supplies again because it got messed up the first time.  If you want to do something yourself for the wedding here are some ideas that might come in handy.  Make your own save the date cards, you can make them from a photo kiosk at most stores.  Make your own Invitations, also can be made at most photo kiosks at the store.  Make your own decorations, able to find at any craft store.  Lastly you can make your own place cards if you decide you want them.  The little things can be a DIY and it can save time and money if you know how to do it.

Decide what the most important things to you are

Everybody find certain parts of their weddings important, it depends on the bride.  Some say the dress is the most important part of the wedding and want to put a large portion of the budget towards a custom-made, designer wedding dress.  I’ve known others say it’s the music and who is coming.  Again it’s all up to you but keep your most important ideas for the wedding at the top of the list.  The fact of the matter is, though – you can’t have it all so you need to know what are the first areas you will cut corners when that becomes necessary.

Don’t get caught up in perfection

We all try and make everything perfect for our weddings, honestly though it’s not that easy.  Don’t push perfection, sometimes weddings are better with some imperfections.  I’ve never known a wedding to go completely as planned, but it was still fun and worth every moment.  Don’t stress the little things, make sure the big things go as planned but don’t force the little things.  Not everything is going to be in your control, plan for the worst hope for the best.  Make what you can control perfect but the rest you have to not worry about.