Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Top 10 DIY Wedding Planning Tips

...courtesy of DreamGroup's Principal Planner, Geneve McNally:

1. Find yourself a reliable Wedding Planning Workbook or Checklist and USE IT!! This is a sure fire way to ensure you are not forgetting anything along the way. DreamGroup's Step by Step Guide to Planning the Perfect Wedding is a fantastic e-book for the busy bride who has bravely decided to tackle the planning of her wedding herself! It is filled with terrific tools, planning tips, DreamGroup FAVs, links, and advice to help get you through the planning process with as much focus, encouragement and direction as possible.

2. Take the time to Create an Estimated Wedding Budget Breakdown of all desired products and services for your wedding with REALISTIC cost averages. If you are unsure of the costs call up a Vendor and ask what an average might be for your guest size and needs. Just because you want to spend $1500.00 on flowers does not mean that what you want will be able to be done in within that amount.

3. Schedule a Wedding Budget discussion meeting with your Families (either separately or together) to confirm exactly what amount(s) or portions of the Budget they will be covering.

4. Confirm that the amount you have to spend is in line with the bottom line on your Estimated Wedding Budget once you have factored in Family contributions and your own budget contribution. If it's not in line, then go back to Budget Breakdown drawing board and discuss your priorities... reducing or omitting certain products and services attuned more so to an unlimited or larger budget.

5. Start Interviewing Vendors (2-3 in each category is plenty to get an idea of popular costs and the best style of service for you). The best way to approach this step is to be honest with the vendors as far as what you are hoping to spend in that particular area so that they can help you make the most of that amount or advise you as needed in the event that your vision and budget parameters are not realistic.

6. Hire Your Vendors. It is a well known fact that the best outcomes are a result of first hiring reputable professionals, detailing your wants and expectations for the wedding and getting it in writing to ensure everyone is on the same page, and then stepping back and allowing those chosen professionals to bring your vision to life.

7. Do not procrastinate! Follow your Checklist and try your very best to stay on track and attend to the suggested tasks as directed. There is a method to the madness and every task has a time and place to be considered and addressed. Procrastination is one of the top three reasons couples experience stress during the planning of their wedding. This can be avoided by "not putting off today what you will have to end up doing anyway tomorrow".

8. Keep communication lines open! Make sure everyone involved in the planning of the wedding is "in the know" as far as what tasks are being handled by each person and when they need to be addressed. Never assume someone knows what you are thinking or how something needs to be done. Communicate clearly your needs and desires for a particular task and don't forget to say please and thank you! :O)

9. Respect your Mother! Or at the very least make her feel she is respected by allowing her to be involved with some of the decisions and or "jobs" at hand. This may sound like a strange planning tip, but I assure you it is an important one. Depending on a bride's relationship with her mother this "task" will become more of an issue for some than others.

10. Enjoy the process! This may be the last Tip, but it truly is one of the most important ones. Planning a wedding will bring with it many Ups and Downs especially where Family Dynamics and Budget Stress are concerned, but it's important to remember the reason you are doing all of this to begin with and to take time to embrace the experience -- because after all is said and done you will miss the planning drama! Make time for your fiancé and have date nights that do not necessarily involve wedding discussion as this will be a sure-fire way to remind each other why you have chosen to get married and unite in all the wonderful moments to come.

FYI: In addition to Full Planning and Wedding Day Management packages, DreamGroup offers two very popular and inarguably valuable services -- Blueprint Package & Milestone Meetings. These services are geared at couples who are planning their own wedding, but want to ensure that they have a realistic and well represented plan in place with the right tools to make the planning experience and final outcome everything it should be. Read more about these services and everything they include here.

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