Whether you’ve been planning your wedding since you were a little kid or you just started yesterday, it can be an overwhelming process. Between all the details it can be a lot and easy to get lost in the chaos of it all. Planning your wedding shouldn’t have to feel like a second job and you should be able to enjoy it – after all isn’t your wedding supposed to be one of the best days of your life?
Julia here – after being in the bridal beauty industry for over 7 years, I’ve seen the stress wedding planning can cause and I’ve gotten first-hand tips from wedding planners, brides and bridal parties on how to prep like a pro for your wedding. I’ve put together the top 10 tips I have learned over the years on how to keep stress levels down and the excitement up when planning for your big day!
Setting a Budget – This is something I think people often forget about in the excitement of the engagement. Of course, your wedding is not something you want to cheap out on but also something you might not want to blow your life savings on. Setting a budget, or even a range of what you and your partner are comfortable with spending can make the rest of the planning process go smoother and help avoid overspending in the moment. It’s important to find areas to save money on and areas to splurge. For example, one of my past brides ended up saving thousands of dollars by getting stunning, very realistic fake flowers for her centerpieces while being able to spend more on her dress. It’s all a bit of a give and take (just don’t like this wording).
Finding a Venue – So you’ve got the ring but where are you going to say “I do”? When looking for a venue there are lots of things to consider. Do you want it indoor or outdoor? Destination or local? The list goes on and on but really, I think the most important thing to look for when finding a venue is does the space speak to you? When you walked in did you get giddy and excited or did you just feel neutral? Is it blowing you away or just convenient? Just like when you were picking your partner to spend the rest of your life with, if the venue doesn’t give you butterflies, it’s not the one sis.
Booking your Beauty Team – A lot of people wait to book their beauty team for their big day because they don’t feel a sense of urgency. But when you wait until the last minute and your top choice is booked up, you’re going to have regrets about not doing this sooner. Finding a beauty team whose work not only catches your eye but is also the style you are going for is extremely important. If you are looking for more of a natural and soft look you probably don’t want to be looking at artists who specialize in full glam and vice versa.
Booking Trials – I get asked about trials all the time–do I really need them, is it worth it? The answer is YES!! As someone who has been in the bridal beauty industry for years, I can honestly say that trials are worth it and every bride should book one. The look you have been eyeing on Instagram might look completely different on your face or hair. Better to figure this out when you have time to adjust before the big day to ensure you are happy when it counts. There is nothing worse than being unhappy with the way your hair or makeup turned out on the day of your wedding and not having time to fix it. A trial will help you avoid any disappointment and ensure you have left as a blushing bride on the big day.
Figuring Out the Vibe – What do you want the overall look and feel of your wedding to be? Are you a garden chic bride, clean and classic or bold and edgy? Whatever your style and vibe are it’s always best to figure this out early so you can plan your decor, dress, colours and even invitations to match. If you’re struggling to figure out what you want, Pinterest is a great place to start. You can search different wedding vibes and see what speaks to you and even get inspiration for your own wedding.
Ensure All Vendors are Booked – This one probably doesn’t come as a big surprise but it’s too important not to talk about. Vendors are anyone that you pay for products or services for your wedding. This can range from invitations, catering, photographer/videographer to attire (dress, tux and shoes), music, transportation and pretty much anything else you think you will need to make your wedding come together. Sometimes they need to be booked or purchased months in advance and some can be left until the last minute. My suggestion is to make a list of all your vendors and when each one needs to be booked by to ensure there is no last-minute scramble to lock something in.
Booking Accommodations – The day before the wedding is traditionally spent apart from your partner. Now you don’t have to do this of course but if you are, where are you going to be staying? Some brides like to stay with their parents or with a friend but I also know a ton of brides who like to get a hotel room with the bridal party and have everyone in one place. This helps make it easier on the morning of as there is less risk of someone showing up late and missing their glam sesh because they are already there! Now, if this is something you want to do it’s important to book a hotel in advance and get a headcount so everyone has a bed to sleep in and can be well-rested. Something else to consider is if you have a lot of people from out of town coming or if the location will require a place for your guests to stay, contacting a hotel directly can help you potentially get a group rate for your wedding! Your guests will appreciate it and it will ensure everyone attending has a convenient place to stay.
The Dress – Finding your wedding dress can be one of the most fun parts of planning your wedding. Getting to try on all the beautiful gowns and pick your favourite one surrounded by your loved ones. But did you know that most bridal boutiques recommend buying your dress 8-12 months in advance and bridesmaids dresses 6-8 months before the date to allow time for it to be ordered and make any necessary alterations? Now this timeline is if you are ordering dresses. If you are interested in something off the rack or thrifted, it’s still best to get it 5 months in advance in case you need to make any changes or get alterations done! It’s always best to give yourself extra time. It might take you a few shops to find your perfect dress and more time is always better to reduce any unnecessary stress.
Self-Care – Self-care is always important to prioritize, but if you are about to be a bride, you might want to kick things up a notch and amp up your routine. Things like facials and treatments should be started 4 months before the wedding as it can take about 3 months to see noticeable results and find the right routine for you. If you are thinking about making a change to your hair, you also want to ensure there is ample time between appointments in case you don’t like how it turns out. Things like your nails and eyebrow shaping can be done the week of the event but be mindful if you have sensitive skin to give yourself sufficient time for any redness to subside. Don’t forget your other self-care practices–drinking lots of water (your makeup artist will love you for this), exercising, mindful thinking and maintaining a good headspace are all pivotal when it comes to prepping for the big day!
Enjoying Your Wedding – Not everything is going to be 100% perfect but it’s important to enjoy the process. Weddings are a celebration of love between two people, so remember to take a deep breath and have fun! After all, this day is all about celebrating you and your partner!