Br Rebecca Padgett Frett
As someone married within the past year, in Northwest Florida at that, I feel I’m in the unique position to offer some insight on what is important to remember when planning a wedding. Each wedding and each experience is unique, but these are my takeaways, the advice I want to give readers in hopes that they, too, will experience their weddings as one of their most cherished days.
1. Details Matter
If they matter to you, that is. I was often told, “Don’t sweat the details,” but to me, the details are what made my wedding unique. Possibly, it’s because I’m a detail-oriented person, creative and nostalgic, but I loved looking around on my wedding day and noticing all the details that I had included.
2. Surround Yourself with Support
As much as you may tell yourself you have this under control, there will be times when you may need a helping hand, a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on. Sometimes, all three at once. At first, it was hard for me to ask for help, but I soon learned I wouldn’t make it without my support team. This could mean assigning tasks to your significant other, enlisting the help of your bridal party, asking advice of your family, or hiring a planner or day-of coordinator.
3. Do Your Research
I cannot say this enough. In fact, I state it in almost every story I write. We have access to so many research tools — websites, word of mouth, social media, online reviews, magazines and more. Learn all that you can about your potential vendors before committing. It is wise to have first and second options. Your first option could be unavailable on your date, or you might not click when you meet.
4. Make A Budget
I know — you hear this from every wedding source out there. Take an evening, get a glass of wine, sit down with your partner and determine what’s important to you. What do you want to prioritize spending money on? What will you not budge on? Where are some areas you could see yourself budging if you have to? Have you accounted for extra fees or tips?
Do what suits you, but organization is key especially in the month before the wedding. Whether digital or print, keep all of your contracts and paperwork in one place. Excel, Word and Google Docs are great options for simplified sharing. Many wedding website platforms have built-in to-do lists, guest list organizers, seating charts, gift registries and more.
It is important to have a timeline for your wedding day to ensure nothing is missed or misplaced. When making a timeline, allow yourself a little more time than you think you need. Make the timeline as a couple, with your maid of honor or your planner. From there, hand it over to your planner, officiant, photographer, videographer, caterer and any other vendor who may need it. After that, forget about it. Seriously, forget the timeline. You have handed the timeline off to others, so you don’t have to worry about it on that day. I suggest not even checking the time on your wedding day.
7. Pack Ahead
Pack ahead, and pack a bag for every occasion. This could include the rehearsal dinner, a bag if you’re spending the night before the wedding away from your fiancé, a day-of getting ready bag, a wedding bag and a honeymoon bag. Extra points if the bags are easily distinguishable.
8. Take It All In
This is a once-in-a-lifetime day. Take every single moment you can to absorb the beauty of this day. Get your parents out on the dance floor. Hold your grandparents’ hands. Take shots of tequila and laugh all night with your best friends. Say thank you over and over again to your vendors. Kiss your new husband or wife at every possible opportunity. Express your gratitude to these wonderful people you have in your life, and don’t take for granted this day spent with them. ▪