Wedding Planning Advice

That life changing moment when he pops the question is one you will never forget.  You will always remember where you were, what you were doing, who was there when he proposed and when you said, “Yes!”.   And, with that single word, you instantly step into the shoes of being fiancée with dreams of trading that title for the one of wife. But, first, you have a wedding to plan. How smoothly the process of planning goes depends heavily on your approach from the onset.  Most brides jump into their wedding planning with feet first without fully understanding the wedding planning process. I want to help you avoid mistakes that many before you have made because they got caught up in the excitement.

A wedding certainly does not come with a shortage of decisions and the planning can quickly become overwhelming if you have not thought through critical details before racing through the tasks. But, having a clear vision for your wedding will position you for the best wedding planning experience possible.

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Visualizing your wedding

Before you seriously invest too much energy in planning your wedding, it is important that you first take time to discuss your vision of what it should be. Talking with your hubby-to-be about the style of wedding you both want is important because while you may have been dreaming about your wedding since childhood, it is very likely that he has not. Understanding where your views are similar and different will help you make better decisions later in the process.

Your detailed conversations with one another will help define the who, what, when, where and how of your wedding.

Who will you invite?

  • Do you envision a celebration with just family and close friends or do you plan to dig up everyone from your past even though you haven’t spoken to them in five years?
  • Will you invite co-workers?
  • Will your parents have a say in who is invited?

No matter how big or small the guest list, be selective in who you invite to share your big day. Extend an invitation to people you know have your back and not those who would be taking up a seat purely out of obligation.

What style of wedding do you want?

  • Have you always dreamed of a big church wedding in the same place where your parents exchanged vows 30 years ago?
  • Or perhaps you are a bit more adventurous and modern in your views and imagine a rooftop ceremony with the city skyline as your backdrop.
  • Maybe your first date was at the beach and you can’t imagine not feeling the crunch of sand between your toes when you exchange vows.

Whatever look and feel you choose for your wedding, be sure it reflects your personal taste.

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When would you like to get married?

  • Do you have a favorite season or holiday?
  • Is there a date with significance to your relationship?
  • Maybe you desire to choose a date that is close to the 1-year anniversary of your engagement or maybe you’ve always wanted to be a June bride and would not dare get married in any other month.

The main thing is to choose a date that you know will give you enough time to plan and pay for your wedding.

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Where will you exchange vows and host a post-ceremony celebration?

Location, Location, Location!  It really is everything when it comes to hosting a wedding. Maybe you’ve always dreamed of getting married at a particular venue in your hometown or perhaps a destination wedding spells serenity for you. Whether you plan for a celebration that is near or far, be sure to base your decision on which will make you feel the least stressed during the planning. Destination weddings sound good in theory, but if you are extremely hands on and want to control the details of your big day, a destination wedding may not be for you.

How will you tell your story?

Think about how you want others to experience your wedding and what it is you want them to remember most about it. Always approach your wedding planning from the guest perspective because you will do a better job of including details they will be sure to remember for the right reasons. Include foods, colors, and other elements that tap into the senses that allow guests to get to know you better as a couple.

My wedding planning advice is to visualize and define your wedding early in the process. This will give you the clarity you need when decisions need to be made. It will protect you from “the forces” of well-intentioned family members, friends, and, dare I say, strangers who will offer suggestions whether you want them or not. But stay true to you, to your vision, and to each other. Your wedding is your day, so do it up your way!

Send me any questions or topics you would like to see addressed. See you next time!

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In This Issue

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  • VIDEO: What Do I Need To Plan A Wedding
  • Get Your Perfect Wedding Dress
  • Save On Your Flowers
  • Choosing A Wedding Caterer
  • Never Do This In An Argument [/sws_blue_box]

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What do I need to plan a wedding?

Guidance: What to Look for When Hiring a Wedding Planner

When asking herself, “What do I need to plan a wedding”, a professional wedding planner is perhaps one of the best investments a bride can make in her wedding.  However, many brides overlook the value of this resource because they don’t really understand the role.

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Unlike a photographer who takes your photographs only or a floral designer who  solely provides flowers, wedding planners tend to wear multiple hats. In recent years, these multiple hats have morphed into other roles like wedding coordinator, wedding designer, and wedding stylist to name a few; hence the confusion inside and outside the industry as people struggle to determine who is who. For the purpose of this article, I will focus on my personal idea of a wedding planner. Simply put, a wedding planner is someone a bride holdsresponsible for helping to identify and track all the tasks associated with planning her wedding and ensuring the tasks are detailed and managed through completion. For most professional wedding planners, “through completion” means ‘through the end of the wedding day’ which adds coordination of wedding day activities to the wedding planner’s responsibilities.

A wedding planner will help you avoid pitfalls

However, there are resources that focus solely on the execution of the wedding day activity itself and therefore market themselves as wedding coordinators. So, it is important for brides to be clear about where they want help in the process to ensure they are properly matched with the type of resource that can provide the services they need.

It is recommended that you hire a wedding planner before you begin making major decisions about your wedding. For the best results, start looking for a wedding planner once you’ve set the vision for the wedding and agreed on a realistic budget. Finding a wedding planner should be no more than a 21-day process as follows.

Days 1-10

Check out websites of wedding planners that have been recommended or ones you found from surfing the web, social media, etc..

Days 11-16

Narrow your options down to 3 wedding planners that you want to call and speak to each one directly to get a feel for whether you want to take the interaction further. Chances are, if you are not impressed by the phone call, you will likely not be wowed in person.

Days 17-21

Meet your top two wedding planners in person. These personal 1-on-1 meetings (also known as consultations) give the wedding planner more of an opportunity to get to know you and to share what they can offer


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for your wedding. But, it also allows you to test the chemistry you have with each individual since the person you choose should not only be highly qualified to perform the duties of their role, but they should be someone you like, trust and respect. Without all three, the relationship between bride and wedding planner will fail.

My number one answer for the question, “What do I need to plan a wedding?” is a wedding planner. Here are some quick tips to help you choose the right one.

Tip #1:

Training and experience

Wedding planners that invest in themselves by completing formal training programs and attending conferences and workshops offering continued education opportunities to build skills demonstrates their commitment to wanting to offer their best selves to their clients. Because wedding trends change, you want to ensure you are hiring someone who keeps their finger on the pulse of the industry so their knowledge is current.

Tip #2:

Vendor relationships

A sign of an exceptional wedding planner is one that has great relationships with reputable wedding vendors. The more vendor relationships the wedding planner has, the less energy you will have to spend searching for vendors on your own and possibly ending up disappointed with your selections. With an abundance of vendors in every category, it is difficult to distinguish one from the next. But an experienced wedding planner will know who is reliable and who will give you the quality of product and exceptional service you deserve.

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Tip #3:

Personality and reputation

When it is all said and done, it does not matter how experienced a wedding planner is if she or she does not have the personality for the job. Being a wedding planner is so much more than managing people, logistics and time. It is about being personable, flexible, patient, selfless, sensitive, and much more. A wedding planner has to be comfortable working with people and poised under pressure. Be sure to pay attention to how the wedding planner responds to your questions. If her answers are vague, rushed or filled with uncertainty, this is likely not the right person to trust with your wedding.

Exceptional organization and time management skills are important when it comes to planning a wedding, but what you need more than anything to plan a wedding is the right attitude. Protect your investment, protect your sanity and protect your relationships and consider hiring a wedding planner.

Thank you for joining me. If you have questions about this topic or others, send your questions to Until next time, happy planning!

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