Tips for Future Brides - Part II

This is part II of the "Tips for future brides" series. See Tips for Future Brides - Part I here. 

Limit your DIYs. 

Stick with your area of expertise and know what will just be an added stress. As much as I seriously considered the idea of making my own centerpieces, I came to my senses. I am however, pretty handy with some graphic design software and figured I could put that to use by making my save the dates, ceremony programs and menus. I also rigged up a weird light-box thing in my living room to do my own calligraphy on my invitations. The key is to pick things that won’t take more money (remember time = money) than they end up appearing to your guests. If you have some Photoshop skills NextDayFlyers has a great product line at really affordable prices. If you're a novice designer looking for something pretty basic, Vistaprint has some decent offerings as well. 

DIY  save the dates, ceremony programs, and menus

Stay organized. 

I was a big proponent of spreadsheets as an organizational tool. I had a spreadsheet for my to-do checklist, one for the budget, and other for the guest list (which turned into the RSVP tracking sheet as well). Whatever your organization method may be, make sure you’re staying on top of it. I also had a binder to keep all receipts and contracts in one place. See my month-by-month to do list for wedding planning. There were many websites and books with various checklists but I found that none of them were comprehensive enough for me, so I made my own. The bottom line is, you should use whatever organization method that works for you.

Be ready for stressful moments. 

You will likely have tricky RSVP situations, disagreements about the guest list, and last minute additions and cancellations. Realize that these are natural and unavoidable things, and try to make those “situations” last for the least amount of time possible. Work with your fiancĂ© and family to come up with a solution and determine who’s responsible for taking action on it. 

Choose your vendors wisely.

I cannot stress how important this is. Your hair and makeup team are some of the first folks you see on your wedding day, are they going to keep you relaxed, make you laugh, and help you feel beautiful? Mine did, they were absolutely fabulous and I couldn't have picked a better team to work with! Your photographer is going to be by your side all day. Are you comfortable with him/her? Does he/she mesh with you and your groom's personalities. While there are lots of choices and reviews out there, one of the best sources of info about prospective vendors is your friends and family. Find out who they used, whether or not they liked working with them, and whether or not they'd hire them again if they had to do it all over again. 

I can honestly say that all of my vendors were amazing and I would hire them again in a heartbeat. I'm going to write reviews about each of them, when I do I'll come back here and provide the links directly to my reviews. 

Let your fiancĂ© have his things. 

Once your guy does all the hard work of picking out the perfect engagement ring for you, the spotlight moves away from him and onto you. It’s easy to get wrapped up in all the things that you want, that you fail to ask him what he wants. Do the occasional check-in, “Hey, do you want to help me pick out the invitations/centerpieces/bridesmaid dresses? No? Okay, I got it covered.” There were some things that BryGuy really cared about, the music and his attire. So I let him take the lead in both of those areas. Ultimately, it took some things off of my plate and gave him an important role in the wedding planning.

That's James Bond, not my husband...my husband's tux was way better.
See Tips for Future Brides - Part I here. Also, you might be interested in finding out how I'm getting over post-wedding depression

Did I miss any good advice that we think future brides out there should be aware of?!


  1. dont skimp on your photographer! Abbie and I hired a photography student who had done nice abstract pieces we liked...well weddings were not a specialty. She shot in all JPEG which limited our ability to do any post editing and images were very noisy due to high ISO. Photos are the most important memory you will have of that day!

  2. Josh - great advice!!! That's probably another thing I should've mentioned PRIORITIZE! Decide what's most important to you. Originally Bry and I weren't going to get a videographer, but then we started thinking about it and really wanted some of the ceremony captured. Even if we only watch it a few times in our lives, we wanted the option to dig it out, dust it off and probably laugh hysterically. But we didn't want to spend a lot, so we negotiated with vendors about a simple package that would work for us. So, if photography, or video, or food, or whatever are most important to you, that's where you should be willing to invest your money.


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