It’s been three months since Chelsea proposed to me from a vista in Wisconsin (I still can’t believe it!). So much has changed since that moment, when the two of us were crying on a cliff. We have both of us started our last semester of college and new jobs, among other things. What hasn’t changed since October? My excitement for the wedding or my love for event planning.
Here are a couple tips I have based on our wedding planning experience so far:
Patience pays off
Initially, I was very frustrated by the venue search. Every place seemed to have ridiculously high rental fees or insane catering minimums. For a while, I felt like I was going in circles, looking at the same webpages over and over again and having no luck. I finally decided to take a break and that’s when I stumbled across the venue we now have secured.
Chelsea and I are going to say ‘I do’ (or something to that effect) at a shelter in an Indianapolis park. I was only able to secure this spot so early because I was patient and persistent throughout the process. When I first inquired about the date and shelter, I was told that I couldn’t book anything yet and they weren’t sure when reservations would be available.
This is where being an avid planner comes in handy.
I kept in contact with the park’s representative and checked back in a couple times over the course of the next month and a half. It was certainly a frustrating process, because for a while I couldn’t get a definite answer from the rep. Eventually, he commended me for my patience and persistence and allowed me to the book the venue in advance!
While I can’t say that this would play out the same for any venue, being nice to vendors you’re working with is very important – especially when you have strict limitations that must be met. In our case, we knew we wanted a venue that was inexpensive, outdoors and had no catering requirements. It can be difficult to find everything you want or need in one place, so when you do, it’s important that you’re kind to people.
Save on your Save the Dates
Because there’s little wiggle room in our budget, we are DIY-ing this wedding as much as possible. After looking into the proposed costs for having Save the Dates printed, Chelsea and I decided to nix our original strategy and take a trip to Hobby Lobby.
We were able to find a package of 5×7″ card-stock that matched one of our wedding colors. Even better, it was half off! Before heading home, we also snagged a heart-shaped stamp and two chisel-tipped markers. The rest of the process was really a matter of finding the time between Chelsea and I to sit down and put all 50 of the cards together.
Using rubber cement, we attached small squares of printer paper to each piece of card stock and then wrote out the details as delicately as possible. Even with my few trial-and-error cards that we couldn’t use, this method was cheaper than printing.
In total, I would say that all the purchased materials for this project were around $15. Beat that, FedEx!
There’s no right (or wrong) way to have a wedding
The majority of my frustrations at the beginning of planning our wedding came from the expectations I was putting on myself. Magazines, TV and Pinterest all make it seem like you have to do things a certain way to have a good wedding. You’re supposed to hire a caterer and have an engagement party and pay thousands of dollars for a dress… blah, blah, blah.
The majority of the time I’ve spent talking to other women about their wedding experience, they complain that it was too stressful. And too expensive.
Don’t let all those perfectly edited pictures online get to you.
Try to focus on the reason why the wedding is happening in the first place – because you love someone so much, you want to stand in front of all your friends and family and declare it officially! Weddings are just a big party to celebrate how awesome your love is. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself or your “big day.”