With Christmas, New Year’s, and Valentine’s Day coming up, we anticipate many girls getting that glittering, shiny diamond to put on their ring finger! If you’re one of those lucky ladies thinking “it’s coming soon,” then here are a few things to consider once you say “YES!” ♥
~ Date and location/venue availability are where I would recommend starting. If you have a place you really must get married at, it’s good to be flexible with the dates. You may have wanted a summer wedding, but there aren’t any openings until November. Or, would you consider a Friday evening or Sunday afternoon wedding?
~ After you’ve decided on date and location you can plan a “theme” to work around: rustic or modern vibes for your barn wedding? Boho, beachy, or garden-inspired for your outdoor wedding? …or any mix! It will be easier to choose things like colors, dresses, flowers and decorations/accessories when you have this in mind.
~ The next step that naturally falls in line is your gown- now that you know where you’ll have the wedding, the season, and an overall concept, you can find a gown that you feel “goes” with all of that- but…where will you shop and who will you take?
Are you someone who needs every option available, or do you want a few options after you’ve narrowed down what you like? If you plan to visit a lot of bridal shops, start earlier than you think you need to. You’ll see so many gowns, it may take a couple months for you to get thru them all and narrow them down enough to make your decision. If you have one “favorite” at four places, that’s four trips to try on one dress each place. That is perfectly okay (don’t let anyone tell you different) -just keep in mind, it will take time!
When trying on, do you want just your mom and sisters with you, or every bridesmaid and your mother-in-law-to-be? Whatever you decided, keep in mind the more opinions you have, the harder it may be for you to make a decision. No one is going to know what you looked like in the fifth dress – you know, the one that was your college roommate’s favorite – but you went back and got the second dress, she didn’t love it as much, but you did! It’s not up to her, it’s your day, your aisle to walk down, and your pictures to look at for years to come! If you highly values opinions and want to please everyone, you will have a difficult time deciding. Only bring the opinions that matter the most, or the ones you most want to share this special time with. If anyone feels left out, they can help you when you decide on veils, jewelry, bridesmaid dresses…
~ We’ve got to address timing next- we often have brides who come in who have been discouraged elsewhere because they’re planning a wedding in 6-8 months. Planning a wedding in under 6 months IS possible. If you plan on ordering a gown, be sure that the bridal salons you visit can accommodate you. On our average, gowns take 2-4 months to arrive, however there are designers that take a strict 6 months, and there’s also the “not-so-average” time for us when it does take over 4 months. If you’re planning a wedding in under 6 months, be prepared to potentially purchase off-the-rack. You can often get a lower price, and we offer complimentary cleaning and checking over the beadwork to make sure you’re going to walk out with a dress that (besides alterations) could be worn down the aisle tomorrow.
We can also “rush” order bridesmaid dresses- so, while it’s not ideal in every situation, we could order for all of your girls 6-8 weeks before the wedding and have them here with a little time to get them altered (which is when pre-planning those fittings is helpful, and we’ll help you with that)!
~ Finally, ENJOY this time. Planning a wedding IS fun, but it can also be very stressful. Keep in mind that Pinterest is great for inspiration, but it’s not always real-life, not always cost-effective and you may see something that you can’t find in the US (example: Ellis, a London-based gown designer that is pulling out of the US, and will only be selling in Europe as of March 2019). Anticipate that there will be set-backs, anticipate that there will be disagreements, anticipate that you may have to compromise or concede on some things.
The more flexible you are, the easier you will find the planning process. If you’re convinced that ONE shade of pink is the only one you can use, you’ll probably have a difficult time finding that ONE shade. However, if you’re open to a couple shades, look at each designer’s color swatches, find the shade you like the best, and go from there! Your flowers will be in shades- no one flower is a solid color without some variations- even white roses have tinges of yellow, ivory, or pink. Being hard-set on something, and completely unable to compromise (especially when it comes to a color) will make planning a little tougher than it needs to be. That said, if there is something very important to you: a custom, a cherished item, or something with deep meaning- it’s okay to say “this is the way it’s going to be.” You won’t make everyone happy all the time, and as long as you and your betrothed are on the same page, that’s what’s going to make the day memorable!
Happy Planning! xo