You and your honey have been together for a while now, you know that he is the one and now he has finally popped the question and given you a ring. You are both happy and have been sharing your news with friends and family. Everyone has been asking “When is the big day?” and you have no idea. We all anticipate that getting married is something that we will only do once, so planning a wedding can be a daunting task. Wedding planning doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Here are some basic tips to get you off to a good start.
- Determine a Date Range – While you can’t nail down an exact date right away, you need to decide on a date range. This could be an entire month or a few weekends. This will also help you in determining your budget.
- Who’s Paying? – Gone are the days when the bride’s parents would pay for the wedding and the groom’s parents would pay for the rehearsal dinner. Many couples are waiting longer to get married and are more financially able to foot the bill for their wedding. Everyone’s situation is unique so work with both sets of parents to come up with a solution that works for everyone. Keep in mind, that if either set of parents is paying for a portion or all of the wedding, they will expect to have some say in how things are done.
- Set a Budget and Stick to It – Now that you know who responsible for paying, make sure and set a budget…. And STICK TO IT!! You don’t want to start off your life together surrounded by a mountain of debt. Furthermore, you don’t want to put a financial strain on your parents or his parents. Your wedding is a special day, but it is a single day. You have an entire life to live with your spouse and your families.
- Define Roles and Responsibilities – In the early stages of planning, define the roles and responsibilities of everyone who will be participating in the process. Once defined, communicate them out to everyone to make sure they are understood. For instance, if your Mom is paying for the flowers (role), make sure she knows that all final decisions or changes need to go through you (responsibility). By defining these roles and communicating them, you can help to minimize any issues or hurt feelings that may occur during the planning.
- Make a Plan – Whether you are “old school” and create a plan on paper or run your life through your phone, you need to make a plan. There are great guides and apps that can help you. Remember, a plan is only relevant if it is accurate and up to date. Make sure and update your plan as details come together.
- Take a Breath – There will be times and possible several times when you will get overwhelmed and want to throw in the towel. When this happens, take a breather. Whether it’s a long bath, a trip to the coffee shop or a workout, take some time to relax. Take a few minutes to get centered and remember that this day is all about your love for each other.
Planning a wedding is the first of many things that you and your spouse will do together. Learning how to work together as a team will only strengthen your relationship. Remember, no wedding is perfect and no matter how much you have planned every detail, something won’t go according to plan. Those “mishaps” are what will make your day special and will be the things that are remembered for years to come.
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