If you are anything like me (an OCD, organizational freak) the chaos of planning a wedding is daunting until you get organized. This doesn’t only mean getting a file or binder prepared to get contracts, brochures and menus in order – it also means getting your thoughts in order. If you’ve ever dreamed of your wedding there might be a number of different themes, looks or places that you love, and you can’t seem to choose which one to go with.
My best advice is start making a wedding ideas/inspiration scrap book. This will lay out for you all of the different possibilities you could follow and will help you make a final decision. It will also help remind you of the ideas you saw in magazines months ago that you definitely want included in your wedding (with all of the zillions of elements that could be a part of a wedding it can be very easy to forget something).
For your binder I without a doubt recommend the Martha Stewart Keepsake Wedding Planner. Not only is it pretty and something you can display or keep but it has useful and important information that so many planners are lacking. It has great clear zipper envelopes for bits of ribbon, brochures or fabric swatches as well as a decent amount of business card pockets that you will find are invaluable.
When beginning the planning process, get to the wedding shows to give you even more of an understanding of what is out there and to get ideas for decor and services that you might not have thought you may need.
However, be careful because there are some HORRIFICALLY TACKY shows out there. The ONLY two I would recommend in Toronto are The Wedluxe Show and The Wedding Co. Show. These are both held only in the winter. Hopefully they will figure out soon that these shows need to be held twice a year but for now it’s just once a year. Because of this, I strongly advise that even if you’re not engaged yet but know it’s coming soon – get to one of these events (maybe just don’t mention it to your boyfriend).
This is why: if you get engaged right after these shows you will be engaged for a full year before you can get to one. You will likely have planned the majority of your wedding at this point and will have missed out on incredible contacts and information that will help you make better decisions. Plan accordingly!
My last bit of advice is TAKE YOUR TIME. I was engaged for two years before I got married. The major reason for this was that we were still living in Europe for the first year, but in the end I was SO thankful that I had the time to sort out exactly what I wanted my wedding to look like. We didn’t have to make decisions quickly and we signed with all of the venues and suppliers that were our first choice (many get snagged early so if you have lots of time this is not a worry). Planning your wedding is supposed to be one of the most exciting times of your life. If you are stressed because you don’t have enough time it will NOT be fun.
Think of it this way: You will be a wife for the rest of your life, why not enjoy being a fiancee?
My final reason for giving this advice is this…
Everyone thought I would be a bridezilla (including me) because I am such a control freak. You know what? I avoided it completely by giving myself lots of time (might want to check with my MOH just to confirm 😉 ). Sure there were moments when I was feeling a little hectic and stressed, but there was no point during the process when I thought I was going to have a complete break down (believe me this happens with more brides than not).
Give yourself time so that you can be relaxed during this amazing time in your life.