Three Steps That Need To Happen In The Beginning Stages of Wedding Planning

Ahh! First off, congratulations! You've probably heard that 1.8 billion times already though, so let's get on with it. 

Classic Bride and Groom photo Vancouver, Washington wedding photographer

Wedding planning is stressful. And what makes it so difficult is how different it is for everyone. There is not a #1 best recipe everyone can follow. And to top it off, you've probably never done this before! So many of my brides apologize for having so many questions. What I always tell them is: 

1. I love answering questions and making sure we're on the same page. Call me, text me, email me. I know wedding planning is crazy business, and I am here for you.

2. Uhh, this is your first wedding, so you're not supposed to know how to do this. And this is going to be your last wedding, right? So it's 100% okay that you have questions. 

I LOVED planning my own wedding in 2017, and I LOVE helping all my brides plan their weddings. So I thought I'd condense what I've learned from these experiences and share it!

3 tips for the beginning stages of planning your wedding:

#1 Find your support system.

Find the people in your life who want to help, and give them the opportunity to be a part of the planning process in ways that suit them. And then thank them.

My mom spent time crafting a family guest list. You wouldn’t think it, but this was actually very helpful and the perfect job for her. The fam is huge, and, while we’re mostly in the PNW, there are so many important members in Texas, New York and Sweden (!) that I didn't have addresses or phone numbers for.

Planning has also been such a blessing for getting closer to my future mother-in-law. We have both communicated our values and ideas for this wedding clearly, which has made planning very smooth. Whether it is right or not, everyone has a vision for your wedding. It's important that you express your vision to the people close to you, especially those who may have big opinions later on. Try to be open to other people's ideas, but of course, this is a celebration about you, so you get to decide how the day goes. 

As far as thanking these people goes, what we did was bought some flowers for them and wrote thank yous. We delivered the flowers and cards to them in front of family and friends at our rehearsal dinner. 

#2 Prioritize.

Weddings can get stressful and expensive. To prevent things from getting too overwhelming, I made a little list of what is the super most important to me. If there’s one thing I have learned from being in the wedding industry, it is that not everything is going to go off without a hitch on your big day. Weddings are a lovely bustling day of emotion, which makes them stressful too. Make a list of your most important aspects of the day, and refer to it if things are getting overwhelming.

For example, I had a specific date in mind. My photographer was #1 on my priority list though, so when she was booked for that date, I found a different date happily knowing that, to me, the amazing images are far more important than the date.  You’re going to have to compromise on some things, and the priority list helps make sure your day is still filled with what is most important to you.

#3 Keep your fiancé in the loop.

Anyone see Bride Wars with Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway? No? Just me? Cool.

I’m not huge into cheesey movies, and I usually only remember stupid movies like Step Brothers and Bridesmaids, but for some reason there was a theme from this 2009 movie that stuck with me.

Kate’s party-girl character didn’t really look like she was going to be settling down any time soon. Her bff, Anne’s character, was successful, more conservative and in a long-term relationship. Well they both get engaged at the same time. This is the part that got me though: throughout the wedding-planning process, Anne’s character and her fiancé drifted apart while Kate’s character and her fiancé became close. What.

Anne’s character obviously had the better relationship. Why was everything falling apart and why was her fiancé not giving a flippity doo da about their big day?!!?!

This isn’t the main plot of the movie or anything but it stuck with me. Sure, your wedding is just 1 day of your forever, but it really sets the tone. It is very important to me that Scott and I get closer during the planning stages of this wedding. To make it even more difficult, Scott and I are long distance for a few more months. He really doesn’t have a huge preference on the details, but it’s still important that I share with him what I’m thinking (with maybe a little bit of persuasion on top). Here’s the gist of a real phone convo of me trying to get Scott to stick to the wedding colors I picked:

Me: “So you definitely want to wear the same color suits as your groomsmen’s?”

Scott: “Yep.”

Me: “Okay sounds good. Babe, grey looks so good on you. Navy too. Make sure you figure out what color suit you want to wear before January 6th.”

End wedding convo. He’s gonna happily pick either a navy or grey suit because he really doesn't have a color preference and those colors really do look good on him. And he'll do it before January 6th (the date of the bridesmaids’ dresses appointment) because I’m going to nicely remind him 500 more times with a compliment on top until he does :) 

Bride and groom dip oregon wedding .jpg

Hope these tips help you, and I’m sending out good vibes to all you planning brides! You got this! And if you need someone to bounce ideas off of, whether or not you are a client of mine, please give me a shout.

<3 Lena