Most brides don’t have event planning experience prior to planning their wedding. So trying to become a party planner can be a stressful and overwhelming process. And if you’re in the midst of it you know what I’m talking about! With endless to-do lists and constant decisions to be made you may feel like you’re in over your head several times throughout the process. Luckily there are ways to have a stress free wedding planning experience (and fun!). Here are ways to having a stress free wedding planning experience and make it just as fun as the main event!

REWARD YOURSELF FOR COMPLETING TASKS

Did you finally book the photographer? Reward yourself with a great bottle of bubbly! Or treat yourself to a new pair of pumps to wear to your bridal shower. If you reward yourself for completing not so fun tasks, having something to look forward to will make it more enjoyable to get to the end result.

FOCUS ON WHAT YOU LOVE AND DELEGATE THE REST

You don’t only have to delegate the honeymoon and rehearsal dinner to your soon to be hubby, if picking the music stresses you out, leave it to your fiance or even your father. If picking the bridesmaids dresses overwhelms you, have your bridesmaids or mother fish through thousands of options to find the perfect one. By delegating tasks you don’t love will allow you more time to focus on the ones you do.

 INVOLVE YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS

Your family and friends will be honored that you want to involve them, plus it’s a great way to bond with your future in-laws! Host a seating chart dinner party to the selected group and you will be able to iron out the seating chart issues in a matter of hours rather than thousands of text messages. Enlist your bridesmaids to help with putting your wedding favors together, just be sure to treat them to wine and dinner for their efforts!

MAKE IT A COMPETITION

Have a “stamp off” with your fiance and see who can stamp the most wedding envelopes. Or challenge your fiance to make the most tasty signature cocktail and have a party with your bridal party and see which one your guests like the best! Turning the planning process into mini challenges will make it more fun for everyone involved!

DON’T FORGET WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT

If you are feeling overwhelmed, hiring a wedding planning or even just a wedding consultant is always a great option. Having someone guide you throughout the process will eliminate a lot of the stress and knowing if you are checking boxes off your checklist in a timely fashion. Any bride or bride-to-be can attest to the fact that planning a wedding isn’t easy. If you start to feel frazzled, a wedding planner is always a great option. But, whatever way you choose to organize, never fail to remember you’re planning the best day of your life—and it will be so worth it.

TURN IT INTO DATE NIGHT

Don’t do all your wedding planning at home in your pajamas, set the mood by going to a restaurant with your fiance with great music when selecting the wedding songs for example. Picking upbeat locations will make you happier and may even create inspiration.

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There are may reasons why I love this lush California wedding. Starting with the coral peony bouquets, the blush pink bridesmaids dresses and the brides dress (swoon!), add a fur baby flower girl and you have me sold. Seriously the cutest! The bride let the bridesmaids pick a dress out of shades of blush pink and I think they nailed the mismatched bridesmaids dress trend. I love the contrast of the light colored dresses with the coral peonies.

The couple opted to do a first look before the ceremony so they could enjoy more of cocktail hour. A bridesmaid walked the fur baby flower girl down the aisle which was the sweetest moment of all. Then the pup sat in the front row to watch her parents say their I dos. What do you love about this colorful California wedding?

COLORFUL WEDDING WITH A FUR BABY FLOWER GIRL

PHOTOGRAPHER Rebecca Yale Photography | WEDDING PLANNER Encore Event Design | BRIDE’S DRESS Berta | VENUE Quail Ranch | FLORIST Unique Floral Design | INVITATIONS Minted | SIGNATURE COCKTAIL SIGN Etsy | BRIDESMAIDS ROBES Helena Quinn | BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES BHLDN | RING BOX The Mrs Box | GROOM’S SHOES Paul Smith | BRIDE’S SHOES Stuart Weitzman

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Your dream wedding is within reach – you just need a few saving strategies to make it happen. You’re engaged and ready to get the planning underway. It’s a fun process, but with the average cost of a wedding upwards of $30,000, trying to figure out how to pay for it can become a major stress factor. Avoid going into debt and feeling super over-welcomed with this guide for bringing your dream wedding to life without compromising your finances. Weddings are after all about the love your new spouse, not about how much or little you spent. Here are 5 wedding saving strategies!

5 SAVING STRATEGIES FOR PULLING OFF YOUR DREAM WEDDING

PRIORITIZE YOUR NEEDS

Together as a couple, decide what is important to you as a couple and then prioritize them. In my wedding budget breakdown, I list out a roadmap of how to allocate your budget. Take this as a jumping off point and then adjust for whats most important to you. For some that might be the dress and attire, for others that might be the decor and a killer venue, or the food and a band. Factor in your long-term goals when deciding how much to spend on your wedding.

SET A BUDGET

Set a realistic budget and stick to it. How much you need to save depends on your anticipated costs of the wedding. Be realistic and give a little cushion for unanticipated wedding costs.
You may need to extend your engagement to give yourself enough time to save to reach your dream wedding goal. A $30,000 wedding requires a monthly savings of $2,500 for 12 months. If your wedding favors or wedding invitations are out of your reach, try to DIY them.

START YOUR WEDDING SAVING STRATEGIES EARLY

As soon as you get engaged, start saving. Even if you’re not ready to start planning. The earlier a couple starts saving for the big day, the more you’ll be able to save. Try using an online savings calculator to reach the target amount.

OPEN A WEDDING FUND ACCOUNT

Open a separate account for you both to use solely on the wedding. If you are paying for things on your credit or debit card, you may forget to log smaller expenses that really do add up.

USE CREDIT WISELY

I get it, you want to benefit by using a credit card to rack up the points. It’s alright to do this, just be sure to pay off the balance off immediately. This is one of the best wedding saving strategies to avoid carrying a balance at all costs. If you’re unable to pay for the charge within the billing cycle, this is a clear sign you are going over budget.

Don’t only rely on your bridesmaids to be on wedding duty. In the basics of being a bridesmaid I breakdown what this entails, but there is still a lot for your families to help with. Members of your family and extended family want to be there for you on your special day too. Weddings are all about the joining of two families, not just marrying your love. There are many ways you can honor your families by incorporating them into your wedding day. By incorporating them into your wedding day, they will feel how much they mean to you on your big day! Here’s very meaningful ways to incorporate them.

HAVE YOUR MOM HOLD YOUR BOUQUET DURING THE CEREMONY

Dads get a lot of recognition from walking you down the aisle, making a speech at the reception and participating in the father daughter dance. Make sure your mom feels involved and have her hold your bouquet during the ceremony. The maid of honor will have her own flowers to hold, so instead of handing your bouquet to her, surprise your mom and hand it to her instead! Another fun alternative is to surprise both your mom and mother in law with their own bouquets.

LET YOUR SIBLINGS HOLD THE RING

If your brother isn’t a groomsmen, have him hold onto your groom’s wedding band. Or if your soon-to-be sister in law isn’t part of your bride squad, let her in on the wedding ceremony fun by having her hold your wedding band. When the officiant asks for the rings, your siblings can bring them up from the front row. Or if they are younger, make them into the flower girl or ring bearer to carry the rings on a wedding pillow.

HAVE YOUR GRANDPARENTS BE YOUR MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE WITNESSES

There is no more beautiful gesture than to ask your grandparents to do the honors of witnessing the signing of your marriage certificate. Even better? Have a special pen engraved for them to keep as a sweet keepsake.

GIVE YOUR IN-LAWS A MOMENT TO SHINE

The parents of the groom need to be recognized too! The parents of the groom don’t often get recognized so make sure they are taken care of, too! Whether you give them a special gift thanking them for raising their son right (so sweet) or even let them do the honor of walking their son down the aisle, make sure they’re part of the magic, too.

HONOR THOSE WHO HAVE PASSED

Even though some of your most nearest and dearest loved ones have passed, you can still celebrate them on your wedding day. Tie your grandmother’s picture around your bouquet with a ribbon. Have your husband wear his father’s favorite tie. Incorporate a special flower in your bouquet or boutonniere to remember a favorite aunt or uncle.

Finding the perfect wedding dress is arguably the most fun part of the wedding planning process. This is the moment when you will truly start to feel like a bride. But it can also be one of the most stressful. Stylists strive to make it a fun and painless experience focused on helping the bride find a dress she feels the most beautiful in and feeling like a bride. Here is the ultimate guide to wedding dress shopping and finding the perfect wedding dress for you!

START EARLY

Having a dress custom made can take six months or more, so you want to start your bridal dress hunt early. Plus your dress really sets the tone for the day and can help determine your dress code and wedding theme. Many brides don’t know what silhouette they want or may change their mind after trying on another one. If you end up getting a ballgown wedding dress, you probably wouldn’t want a beach themed wedding for example. Do your research, and don’t try to find the perfect dress. Try and find the perfect dress for you.

KNOW YOUR BUDGET

When breaking down your wedding budget, you will allocate a certain percentage of your overall wedding budget to your dress. Try to stick to this number or you may have to lower your allocation to other of your wedding costs. Wedding guidelines say 8-10% of your overall budget is a good number to go with, but of course you can adjust your wedding budget to whats most important to you. It is YOUR wedding after all! Also make sure you factor in alterations and accessories such as your veil, shoes, jewelry and clutch. These items can add up fast.

THE APPOINTMENT

For your first appointment, go to a salon with a lot of different silhouettes, price points and styles. You may be surprised by what you love and more importantly – what makes you feel like a bride. If you can narrow this down, it’s definitely a success and who knows, you may even find the one! But at least for your next appointment you’ll be able to hone in on what you know you want. Don’t stress and go with your gut – it’s usually spot on. Bring only the guests whose opinions really matter to you. Too many opinions can cloud the decision that’s right for you. And remember, you have the final say! (Pro-tip: wear nude undergarments!).

SIZING & ALTERATIONS

A guide to wedding dress shopping wouldn’t be complete without talking about sizing and alterations! Each designer has very different sizing so it’s important to get measured and size the bride to the designers sizing chart. Then the dress will get fine-tuned to fit perfectly during alterations. The seamstress will pin your dress to give you an idea of how it will look when the alterations are complete. They’ll add cups, fix the hem and/or add a bustle. ALWAYS try on your dress after the last fitting and bring your veil, jewelry and other bridal accessories to ensure you love the completed bridal look.