Nicole is one of my many past beautiful brides.  She also happens to be a fabulous Blog Author, blogging in her own, The Fickle Nickle and appearing on numerous blogs as a contributor.  She was kind enough to take on the task of authoring one blog post a month for me, so I hope you enjoy her insights and tips!

So you’re gettin’ hitched, eh?

CONGRATS! The emotions that follow a proposal are unforgettable.  The joy of spreading the news, the thrill of buying your very first ‘wedding magazine’, and the blissful knowing that you are marrying an amazing person is enough excitement to make your cheeks ache from the incessant smiling.

Once the world has been notified about the good news, it’s time to start preparing for the BIG DAY (gulp).  Intimidation need not apply, as long as you are prepped with sound advice… AND who better to help you out than a newlywed herself? I was just in your shoes… er, wedding gown… and I’m here to assist you the best way I can.

A friend recently asked me what I felt was the most difficult part of planning my wedding. I admitted that the seating chart was more complicated than I had expected, and deciding what type of flowers were going to meet my needs was somewhat of an annoying, long-winded adventure, BUT neither of these things came close to my battle with… staying organized.

I cannot stress enough the importance of being organized.  Whether that’s by diligently utilizing a planning binder, hiring an event coordinator, or persuading your friend (who has OCD) to help… it must get done.All the way up to the day of the event, there will be checklists to complete, information that needs to be filed, and dates to remember. Not to mention, phone numbers, addresses, color schemes, vendor questions, etc. The best way to avoid losing your mind and keep your blissful emotions high is to store everything in a systematic order. I promise you that if you succeed at this… than your planning process will be less stressful, and way more fun.

Here are a few helpful ideas to maintain the order…

*If you see something you like in a magazine, cut it out. Savor these inspirations in a folder so you can easily reference back to them if need be.

*List all vendors and their contact info on one formal paper. Therefore, you don’t have to rummage around a million documents to locate what you’re looking for. You can also make a few copies for the wedding party in-case of vendor questions on the day of the ceremony.

*Get a patch of cloth, or a print-out of your color scheme. Keep it in your wedding binder, and bring it with you when shopping for the bridal party’s dresses and tuxedos. It will also come in handy when consulting with the florist and cake vendor.

*Keep all wedding supplies together away from any kids, pets, or snooping mother-in-laws. The last thing you need is anything to go missing.

*Expenses are so vital to keep track of.  Save receipts in a folder or plastic baggy, and make sure that it’s stored in your wedding binder always.

*Keep a small notepad and pen in your purse or wallet. Songs will randomly come to you that you want the DJ or live band to play. Jot them down as you go, and by the time the wedding is near you’ll have a perfect play list.

*The guest list will be your reference point many times throughout the planning process, as well as after the wedding.  I highly recommend printing out a free template online (MarthaStewart.com and Ourmarriage.com have great ones) that includes a section for the names and addresses of guests, as well as a corresponding area to check off when each guest’s RSVP has arrived, what their food choice is, what gift you received from them, and when the thank you note has been sent.

I truly hope these tips have helped!! I wish you a fabulous journey to the altar… and many blissful years after!

xoxo

-Nicole Carpenter