GUYS, Matt and I are officially under the six month (almost five month) stretch to our wedding date! To many of you this is probably still a long time OR potentially even the length of your entire engagement. But if you’ve been following along, we got engaged December 30th 2016 and found our venue approximately one week later – finding our venue was easy (I fell in LOVE with it the moment I walked through the doors) but with eight weddings in 2017 (being a Bridesmaid in two of those) we completely ruled out 2017 and the best available date was September 29th 2018 – we quickly wrote a deposit and started our 638 day countdown til we would say I Do.
Well right away I started hearing from people (mind you.. who I never asked for their opinions, I learned you get a lot of that in life *insert smirk here*) ‘OMG, that’s so far away, you have forever’, ‘Wow, you have so much time’, and any other opinion on booking a wedding date so far out in advance…
But regardless of their ‘advice’ I jumped into wedding planning – I started making a checklist of things I wanted, needed, and didn’t really care too much about. Being chill AF throughout the entire process was top of my list – as little stress that I could encounter would be my goal! I’m sure you’re thinking – SAMESIES, who would want stress? Well I’ve compiled a quick ‘cheat sheet’ on how I’ve managed to be a Chill AF Bride thus far!
Tip ONE: Enlist the services of a Wedding Planner.
This is the most important tip (you could probably stop reading after this tip, but don’t 🙂 ) and the tip that I will give every single person again and again. A day of planner – a month out planner – a full planner – any of these work! And if we’re being real – there’s really no such thing as a ‘Day of Planner’ – you’ll meet with them a month or so out anyway to go through everything and delegate the specific tasks.
Don’t rely on your Mom, Bridesmaids, or Fiancé (especially the day of) to be your third party voice of reason – you know in case the DJ doesn’t show up, the caterer forgets the seating chart you sent over a week ago or your transportation drivers get lost on their way to the venue.
PRO TIP: Interview a bunch of wedding planners to find the o n e. That’s what I did! While I won’t share all the one’s I researched and didn’t go with (for various reasons, they were all amazing!)- I will share that Diana Venditto of Eventi Planning & Floral is my planner and I fell in love (sounds dramatic but it’s true) with her and her associate planner LynnAaron the moment we sat down with them. Legit couldn’t stop laughing and felt so comfortable with them. You want someone who you trust can understand your vision and someone you just feel comfortable with; this is Diana and LynnAaron to me. Our wedding day isn’t even here and I already have found them to be ‘my people’ – which I don’t even know how to adequately describe that to the extent that I feel. I truly value their expertise and input but their genuine down to earth-ness (is that a thing?) is unmatchable.
LynnAaron Nichols (Associate Planner) & Diana Venditto (Creative Director & Founder)
Image via Instagram.
Tip TWO: Create a budget.
This will help you prioritize your wants and needs. Weddings are flipping EXPENSIVE – in case no-one ever told you this. There are plenty of wedding cost estimators out there the Knot and WeddingWire to name two – this will help you allocate specific percentages of your budget to where you want to focus and help figure out where you might want to put more money or where you want to save.
PRO TIP: Invest in a trusty notebook planner. This will help you not only create a checklist to remind you of things you may have not thought about but they also usually have a calendar aspect to help you plan out the months and what to expect 9 months out, 6 months out, a week out, etc. Two of my favorites are:
The Joyful Wedding Planner by Southern Wedding Magazine
The Ultimate Wedding Planner by Erin Condren
*My personal fav because my MOH gifted me this one at the beginning of our planning!
Tip THREE: Space our your ‘to-dos’ as best you can.
Stress is typically caused by having too many things going on at once right? So space out the big things as much as you can! This will help you feel like you’re getting things done but still not to a point of overwhelming anxiety. Since we’ve had so much time this has been very easy for me – and also Diana has been amazing at helping me prioritize over the months (ahem: back to tip one, get that planner!).
PRO TIP: Celebrate each thing you book. Secured your venue? Have a date night with your fiancé! Sent out your Save the Dates? Pop open a bottle of champagne! Found your bridal party attire? Go grab dessert from your favorite restaurant! You get the idea. 🙂 Make your to-dos fun and they won’t feel like to-dos!
CHILL AF Bride Tank: Taylor Wolfe Shop
That’s it all! Simple right? 🙂 I say it every time but remember – planning your wedding is meant to be an experience you only get to do once – enjoy it! And know that a little stress is sometimes good too – just don’t overwhelm yourself and start throwing temper tantrums inside the local bakery – because at the end of the day, Bridezilla is never a good look on anyone.