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Wedding Planning Made Easy

wedding planning tips advice ceremony reception perfect dayIt’s finally your turn to plan the perfect wedding, but where’s a girl to begin? While you may have a lot of ideas about the type of wedding ceremony and reception you’re hoping to plan, you’re bound to get overwhelmed without a clear plan of attack. These ten tips will help set you on your way to planning a fabulous wedding day that you and your soon-to-be groom will cherish forever.

1. Start with a Mind Dump
Whether it’s from little girl dreams tucked away in a crevice of your imagination or enough cracks at being a bridesmaid to add some credentials after your name, every bride begins to plan her wedding with some ideas of what would make the perfect day. So start your creative juices flowing with a gold ‘ol brainstorm session where you jot down every possible idea you’d like to see for your reception and ceremony. While you’re at it, you can even add ideas for your bridal shower, rehearsal and honeymoon.

2. Create a Detailed Budget
Once you’ve had a chance to be fanciful with a lengthy list of ideas, it’s time to move towards reality by creating a detailed budget. Make sure to include those who will actually be footing the bill, even if it’s just to get their final okay on the total. There’s nothing that’s more of a wedding killjoy than running out of dough part way into the planning. Having a budget will help you narrow down your list of hopeful ideas into a manageable list of to do’s.

3. Develop a Checklist
There are plenty of wedding planning websites and books that can help you develop a checklist of to do’s that will be just right for your needs. Since no two weddings are the same, and your plans will be modified along the way, make sure you can change this list over time.

4. Call in the Troops
The quickest path to becoming Bridezilla is to try tackling every part of wedding planning on your own. Get your posse of bridesmaids and family members who want to help together to sort out who can assist with each area of coordinating your big day. SignUpGenius provides great wedding templates. In minutes, you’ll be able to create a sign up with different responsibilities for your crew to volunteer for.

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5. Get Recommendations
Whether it’s the name of an amazing wedding photographer or ideas for creative centerpieces for the reception, you’re going to need some recommendations. After talking with friends and family members who’ve recently planned weddings, you can turn to the internet for more ideas. Make sure to keep all of them in a format you can easily access. Consider on online system for wedding planning or Pinterest.

6. Start with the Big, End with the small
Focus on the big areas like setting a budget, securing a ceremony and reception location, and creating a guest list first. These significant decisions will help narrow down a lot of the smaller ones, and you’ll feel like you have more breathing room to plan once they’re out of the way.

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7. Develop a Contact List
Put all of the contact information in one place for everyone who has any part in ensuring that your wedding is a success. Make sure to include their company name, address, personal contact name, phone number, website, and any notes about when you have interacted with them. Include a column for a list of to do’s for each contact and highlight those that still need to be done.

8. Use Technology
It’s hard to remember what it was like to plan a wedding before the internet. You now have at your fingertips online wedding planning systems, search engines, and social media to check out recommendations and run ideas by friends. Don’t forget SignUpGenius where you can organize everything for your wedding from a group of volunteers to help with your bridal shower to a set up and take down crew for the reception.

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9. Plan, but Don’t Overplan
With so many details to cover, the best way to avoid stress is to develop a clear plan of attack without becoming a slave to the plan. You may want to set aside a day or specific times every week to focus on wedding planning. That way, you can focus and cover a lot of ground while at the same time avoid having to be in wedding planning mode all the time.

10. Remember What’s Important
Friends and family may recall what a fabulous wedding you planned for all of a couple of weeks, but what needs to last a lot longer is your marriage. So when you’re tempted to freak out at your fiancé for forgetting the meeting with the florist, take a moment to breathe and remember that your love for him is the reason you’re planning the wedding in the first place.