HOW TO PLAN YOUR WEDDING WITHOUT A WEDDING PLANNER

WEDDING PLANNING STARTS YESTERDAY. Whether you’re a 2019 bride/groom or 2020 bride/groom (BTW freakin’ CONGRATS), you’re going to be taking away tips from todays post. Guaranteed.

This time of year inspired me to write todays post because it brings back all the exciting, stressful (in a good way???), busy bee feelings I was having just 1 year ago. 

Now, I’m faiiiirrrly organized but the tips and tools I’m sharing today really got me through it all without breaking a sweat. I DID end up having a day of coordinator which I booked very last minute and I’m SO glad I did. Marilia just made sure my day flowed without any hiccups…. well, I’m sure there were minor ones but I didn’t know about it! I was the bride who had basically everything down to the minute (cue giggles from the wedding party, i know i know) scheduled and planned. Let’s just say I live my life around the quote “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”.

DON’T PANIC. If you are NOT the planning type, I’ve got you covered. Use these tools and you’ll be fine!

GET ON PINTEREST

So after we got engaged, literally moments after, I started doing two things. Emailing wedding dress shops for appointments and starting my wedding Pinterest boards. The Pinterest boards are not just for browsing and dreaming, it’s the most crucial planning part. This is the backbone of your dream wedding. Not to mention, it makes your life easier and vendors LOVE IT. Trust me, nothing makes vendors happier than a happy bride and to have a happy bride is to deliver her dream wedding. I made my boards private and labeled them “WEDDING DRESS”, “WEDDING FLOWERS”, “WEDDING DECOR”, “WEDDING HAIR + MAKEUP”, etc. Pin your inspiration to its appropriate board and hit save. Now you have how you envision your wedding. Next, the easy part, meet with each vendor and just show them your boards. Let them scroll. Now you are all on the EXACT same page! You can even send links to the boards so they have something to go off of. THEY WILL THANK YOU. 

TECH IS YOUR FRIEND

Embrace technology. It’s going to make life easier. No more pen and paper. I honestly sifted through SO MANY frickin wedding websites and did allll the research (OCD much??). Minted is hands down the best. It is the most user friendly and the nicest to look at aesthetically. Everything from e-vites, stationary, website and even wedding decor is all in one place so you can keep one theme throughout the entire process.

Okay so hotel blocks… who knew that was a thing? Well I did but I mean I had no idea where to start with booking them… or quite frankly how. Of course I googled it and found the most amazing site. Hotel Planner makes it SO easy. Like 3 seconds and 2 clicks easy. You pick your event date/weekend, add the city/vicinity you’d like hotels in, price range, etc. and hit search. Sit back and let the site do ALL the work. Instead of you contacting them, the site does and the hotels respond with their best price per night and any perks along with it. Look for free parking and breakfast included!! I picked my fav two deals, emailed the hotel contact and it was done!

Ahhhh registries. Who else is struggling so bad with this? I didn’t have anything I really wanted because I felt like I was furnishing a kitchen and house that I won’t be in for forever. It seemed pointless. I found out that Crate & Barrel has an app where you can easily edit, add, delete items in real time. AMAZING. I picked a bunch of pretty serving platters for charcuterie and entertaining that I will love forever and hit save. DONE. They honestly have the best stuff AAAAND you can always return something for a gift card that you can use whenever you’re ready to furnish your home! It was the best option for me hands down. You can actually hit the ‘Wedding’ drop down menu above and see mine for ideas!

SAVE WHEN YOU CAN, SPLURGE WHEN YOU WANNA

PERSONALLLYYYYY, I didn’t need fancy save the dates. I wanted to spend more on champagne and less on paper, but I did want to have printed invitations. It’s all about balance people. A few budget savings options are Vista Print for anything and everything like place cards (I used for rehearsal AND wedding), save the dates and invitations… the best part? They CONSTANTLY have 50% off coupon codes. Constantly. Go right now and sign up for their emails, probably the one and only time I’ll ever recommend doing this lol 

Search for trunk shows!! Your local dress boutiques will be having them I guarantee it and who doesn’t want another 15% off? 

Cake cutting. Please think about this. There are ways around that $5 per person cake plating fee. (BTW $5 x 150 ppl is $750…… $750 worth of champagne). Opt for doughnuts or cookies that still can be customized, your guests will love and they are also way easier for people to take or leave so no waste!

ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE

When it comes to vendors, (I made a huge post on my vendors awhile ago) get on Instagram and search! Use it to your advantage. Search hashtags like #weddingphotographer #yycphotographer #yycwedding etc. That goes for everything, hair & makeup, venues, florists and pastry chefs too. Do not be afraid to reach out to them. I must have emailed every vendor I found on Instagram asking for a price list. When it comes to planning and budgeting, do not be afraid to ask. If there is something you’re unsure of or that you don’t need and it’s included in a price, let the vendor know!! If it doesn’t work it doesn’t work but 9/10 times they have a solution! Remember they are the professionals and literally do this for a living. They have solutions or options up their sleeves. This happened with my day of coordinator. We went back and forth until I literally explained to her, listen I have a day of event coordinator from the venue, but that doesn’t involve set up and take down of our seating chart and other minor things. Instead of paying a full day, could we do hourly or a set up/take down fee? And guess what…. she could! It all comes down to just being open and honest.

SKIP EXPENSIVE DECOR

Ikea is your friend. I searched for hours and rental companies had so many fees and surcharges. After calculating everything, Ikea is the cheapest place for decor and THEN I kept some and sold some on Kijiji after!! Winning. Other things like seating chart templates and cocktail sign templates you can find on Etsy. Download the digital for a small fee like $5-$10 and then you can print from Staples using their online printing service or legit I have emailed files to UPS print shops or called printing studios and they can print it perfectly for you. So simple.

Best advice I received while wedding planning?

Don’t spend time on little details that honestly, won’t matter.

I said it. I’ll probably get comments about how it’s a special day and little details matter, but pick where you want them and make it easy on yourself! Deane House printed our menus and let us leave a small message and quote for our friends and family which was so sweet. Do not spend hours creating intricate little projects that will stress you AND your family/wedding party out to complete. I know a girl who did and those small little quotes they spent hours on were totally disregarded and strewn across the floor. She was so sad.

Also find everything online. I found this sweet wedding colouring books for our flower girls and ring bearer that I printed and made in minutes. They loved it and it gave them something to stay occupied with during speeches. 

THE HOLY GRAIL

Where you will keep everyyyything in one place. The WEDDING WIRE app. It’s so easy to use and you can even invite your wedding party, mom, fiancΓ© to join and see what you’re working on. It has a huge list of things to do and remember, place to keep all your vendors and my favourite, a timeline for the wedding weekend. I love that. With exact times for everything. You can choose who is participating in what (groomsmen vs bridesmaids) and then it will formulate a role specific timeline for them! I printed them out and emailed them to the wedding party so everyone had it with them for reference. I even printed it out for my family and vendors. 

ANY QUESTIONS?! I feel like I’m forgetting something. Ask away!!! Likely, I have an answer for it.

If you enjoyed todays post check out my Wedding Part 1 and Wedding Part 2!!

xxoo Drea Marie

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