Thanks to technology, more and more brides are planning their own weddings. There are so many online resources to help brides. It can definitely be overwhelming at times! There are magazines, blogs, Pinterest, wikihow, and web resources available at the click of a button. While all of this is good, for some, it’s too much to handle. Wedding planners are such a valuable resource, but they are being pushed out of the way due to the DIY movement. I was one of those self planning brides in 2012. There were good things and bad things, but at the end of the day, it worked for me. Now, I had a day of coordinator that I could not have managed without! So, it’s not like I did everything myself. And I had the time to devote to planning my wedding on my own. I lived in Memphis, my fiancé was in Kansas, and I didn’t have much to do because I was only there for 1 year. So, after work, I would come home and work on wedding plans. All night.
Let me give you some insider tips for self-planning your own wedding:
1. My favorite resources as a bride
Sure, I used The Knot and Wedding Wire, but I also read through blogs and message boards for bridal advice. The Knot was my “go to” for most things. It had a to do list – some of it was good, some wasn’t applicable to me. It had good tips for how much of your budget should go to your florist, your venue, etc. It had great advice on invitation etiquette, who to invite, and how to host out of town guests. I actually used a lot of information I read from these sites to form what is now Wedding Under Control. Keep in mind, most of these services are free – so, you will receive a lot of spam e-mails and there is no customization or personalization to you and your unique wedding.
Who doesn’t love Pinterest?? I still joke about how brides had to plan weddings before Pinterest existed. I just don’t understand how they did it! I literally planned the creative aspects of my wedding from Pinterest. I made a Pinterest board of flower arrangements and showed my florist. I had a board for invitations. I had a board for the venue decorations – both inside and out! Pinterest was my lifesaver for getting my creative juices flowing!
3. How does Wedding Under Control help self-planners?
You need a way of managing your guests. Who’s invited to the wedding? Who’s RSVP’d? Who are you inviting to your showers? Who are you making goodie bags for (out of town guests)? What gifts did everyone give you? The list goes on and on! Wedding Under Control keeps all of the information in one spot. And it adds up your guest counts, and you can print just what you need. Or you can simply give head counts to your caterer. Oh, it can assign table numbers too.
Wedding Under Control also has the budget component. Whether your budget is $5K or $60K, you need to stick to it! There are so many things you don’t even think about that you must account for. This tool helps. And Wedding Under Control has what we call the “Task Tracker.” With this, keep track of your to do list. Use The Knot, Wedding Wire, wikihow, Pinterest, and whatever else you refer to and make your own to do list. Your wedding is unique, and so is your to do list. My actual to do list is featured on our website (click here to see it). The Task Tracker also has an agenda for your wedding week and wedding day. This is especially useful to print out and give to your bridal party and other wedding personnel. No offense, but especially the guys. If the groomsmen need to pick up their tuxedos or pick up the beer and take it to the venue, put it on there! Make sure someone brings the bride snacks on the wedding day – she needs to eat and someone needs to make sure she gets fed. Don’t forget about transporting your grandmother – who is going to do that? Put all of it on the agenda! There is also a Contact sheet with information for all of your vendors and all of your wedding party/personnel. Print this out along with the agenda and distribute it to EVERYONE who has a hand in your wedding day!
4. I need a wedding planner!
So, that’s how my product can help self-planners. But what if you need a wedding planner? Good for you! Hire a wedding planner that isn’t your best friend’s mom or someone who is doing it as a favor. Hire someone who has done this before. Some vendors actually request a copy of the contract from the wedding planner to offer a discount on their products. It’s better for them if someone reputable is handling your wedding – less stress all around! They have insider knowledge on the local market, and they will do the troubleshooting for you! So, if your cousin gets a little too tipsy or your bridesmaid’s boyfriend has too much fun dancing and spills beverages all over your new MIL, let your wedding planner deal with it. I will say though, Wedding Under Control comes in handy for wedding planners too. I’m in the process of trying to partner my product to some local planners.
If you want a happy medium, I recommend a day-of coordinator to be the point person for your wedding. I had a couple of ladies that coordinated my wedding day, and it saved me so much stress! They met the caterer, set up the linens, made sure that the crooked cake stand looked ok, helped the DJ set up, and made sure that we were staying on time. We met ahead of time so I could lay out my expectations, and they delivered!
At the end of the day, do what is best for you. If you have the time and patience to plan your own wedding, good for you. If you need a little extra help, hire a wedding planner. Either way, do what is best for you so your wedding is fun and stress free for you!