Four Wedding WarmUps You Need to Know

Pinterest has been around for SEVEN (yes, it's true, seven) years now, which, lucky for you, means seven years worth of pins, checklists, to do lists, flow charts, timelines and purple pie charts explaining how much you should spend on your dress and photographer. The list of wedding planning pins literally and figuratively goes on and on and on and on. With that being said, most "initial wedding pins and posts" contain the exact same information. With 7 years of the same old advice, I think 2017 is the perfect time to bring some pertinent, real, useful tips you need to consider when tackling your wedding.

*BONUS: Being all things events AND style, most of these can also be said for decorating a space, renovating a home, or even planning your next gathering. So, without further ado, here are my top four "Wedding Warm Ups" (In order of importance)

1. Do Your Research, Tailored to YOU Wait, let me say it again. DO YOUR RESEARCH, tailored to YOU. And by research, I don't mean googling how much the average wedding dress costs, the national average wedding cost (because,if you're going by "The Knot" they get their numbers from a survey of a whopping 18,000 brides, while nearly TWO MILLION couples had weddings in 2015*; so that 18K is less than 1% of the wedding population. Hardly a legitimate number to use when planning something of importance. I hate averages) or finding a "how much liquor do you need for your guests" post. *btw, that's literally never right, and if I could ban any and all of those posts on Pinterest I would*. Look up venues in your area and see what they cost. Call catering companies in YOUR area and see what they usually charge for a wedding per plate. And if you are between geographical locations call or look up their price lists online. Call florists. You would be so surprised to see the HUGE difference in price between florists just twenty minutes apart. Don't feel like you have to spend X amount on a dress or only X amount on flowers because that's what the purple pie chart online told you. Every bride is different, and every bride values different things. If you don't want to spend 10% of your budget on a dress, then don't! Think flowers are a waste? Scale back that cost, girlfriend. You DON'T have to have a wedding by industry standards, but you DO have to know what things cost, or at least a ballpark before you can even think about making a financial plan for your big day.

2. Take Out the Trash, On Pinterest. Here's the scenario: it's a few days (okay 45 minutes) after you get engaged. Hurriedly open up Pinterest on your desktop and scroll down to the "Dream Wedding" Board. 306 pins. Three hundred and six pictures of centerpieces, crafts, bride and groom signs, imported Italian lace runners with antique china, the whole nine yards. It's overwhelming, and for most people. it's not realistic to think you are going to fit every last idea into your day, and would you really want to break your back trying?

You've acquired a large collection of ideas, but lucky for you, you've schooled yourself on what things cost; making that 9 foot peony flower wall way out of budget, and, in fact, just a dream. (if it's not a dream however, please contact me at :) ) Go through all the inspiration you've collected and determine what's most important to you while also keeping in mind so many inspo pictures are styled shoots - more on that in one of my favorite articles here . Decided you're getting married in a barn? Toss the ballroom inspired decorations. Settled on a neutral colors? Throw out the blue suede tablecloths. You will feel so much more "in control" and much less overwhelmed. Promise!

3. Take Opportunity Cost Into Account Listen, opportunity cost is everything when you're starting to plan a wedding. While the ACTUAL cost is so important, underestimating how much time all of your do-it-yourself tasks are going to take has proved time and time again to be one of the biggest headaches of the brides I've worked with. You decide you are going to do your own centerpieces? While you may be saving cash by doing them yourself, you also need to take into consideration that you will spend most of your wedding morning, and the days before gathering, prepping and constructing centerpieces, elbows deep in eucalyptus. Until you have worked with large quantities of flowers, it's hard to comprehend HOW. MUCH. TIME. goes into making an arrangement, let alone 20 arrangements, not to mention the supplies needed to create most of the wedding centerpieces you see online; it's not just stems and vases, people! The same can be said about so many DIY projects on Pinterest. They LOOK like such a sweet, cute idea, but by the time you figure out the supplies needed, travel to four different craft stores, turn your dining room into a workshop, recruited every barely willing family member and friend to help out, and max out your credit card on 2 inch mauve yarn, you've exhausted yourself, your guests, and your wallet. Limit what you put on your plate, because being engaged is such an exciting time. You should enjoy it. Don't bog yourself down by having it filled with wedding work.

4. This Is A Marathon, Not A Sprint See why I called it "Wedding Warm Ups"? Get it? Because marathon? Ok anyway. It's easy to immediately want to get the ball rolling, and, if you're OCD like me, get those little boxes checked on your to do lists. However. Rome wasn't built in a day. This goes back to my research point, too. Try on more than one dress. If you've got a while until you tie the knot (say, a couple of seasons) give dress shopping some time, if you can. Styles change, and having a dress for too long sometimes leads to wanting to go out and look for something else. Retailers will tell you it takes MONTHS, but more times than not, in smaller cities, your dress will be in rather quickly. Sometimes going venue shopping can entail a pushy venue coordinator who wants you to book upon your departure, when you haven't even looked around! It's true that places book up, dates are taken so far in advance, but don't let that force you into a rash decision. Have your heart set on a few crafts and projects for your big day? This is where the sprint part comes in. While making signs and adding your own personal touch to your day may not seem like a huge task, you definitely DON'T want to wait until two months before to get cracking on all things crafty (Trust, you'll be busy with your seating chart). Don't sprint at the end, because you will be exhausted at the finish line. Fun example: I decided it would be a good idea to make "doggy bags" for our cookie table for our guests to take home as their favor. Simple enough, right? Wrong. 200 bags had to be hole punched twice, add twine, hole punch the tag, tie the tag on, and fold the corners of the bag. My sweet mother, who did most of the crafting, spent a couple weeks after work putting them all together. Something we DEFINITELY could not have saved for the month before. Craftin' ain't easy y'all. Hopefully this can give you some perspective, and give you more to consider after becoming a future Mrs. ..or Mr.! Also, Your best resource will always be your married friends. Ask their opinions, take their "if I had to do it over" tips. Have fun. Now, time to get out there and get to plannin'! *source:

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