1. Guest List Manager
Sounds simple, right? We know it can be an exciting time to pick out colors, styles, flowers…you name it, but without a guest list it’s hard to make any definite arrangements. This is always the first step we tell brides to get nailed down. The way to start a guest list is to have the guests arranged by tiers. For example, Tier 1 is your immediate family and wedding attendants (bridesmaids, groomsmen, etc.). Tier 2 are aunts, uncles, cousins, best friends, that you couldn’t imagine not attending your wedding. Tier 3 is your lowest tier with coworkers, friends of your parents, distant college friends. To cut the list, start with the bottom and move up.
Some very popular websites will provide these checklists that have, no joke, 500 items! That is simply ridiculous and talk about overwhelming! Isn’t the point of these sites to relieve stress, not add it? Our favorite is from Real Simple.
3. Budget Manager
This is essential to stay on track with where your money is going. You can easily create this yourself in a spreadsheet on Excel or Numbers (if using a mac). If you want to see projected costs in your area, check out Real Simple (they just have great resources) and Cost of Wedding.
When in doubt, check out Martha Stewart. She has a huge team with plenty of advice and design ideas. You can get a jump start by starting with Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine or by simply looking at her website.
This is an amazing resource for all things homemade. No, it’s not what you’re thinking…it isn’t only crocheted potholders like you made in 3rd grade, there are so many expertly crafted items, along with plenty of vintage and antique décor. Anything from a bridesmaids hair accessories and jewelry to wall décor to a vintage bicycle, etsy.com will suck you in!
7. Local Wedding Magazine, Websites and Blogs
A lot of online resources can give you immediate answers to some of your general advice or design questions, but in order to get specialized information based on your area, check with your local resources. Start with websites and magazines, then check out some locally written blogs for the best tips and trends in your area.
8. Facebook and Twitter
Social Media has taken over the marketing world and while sometimes it’s easy to get sucked in and spend 3 hours on facebook or twitter (omg I can’t believe she said that!) it also can be an excellent resource for you to find advice and sometimes, new vendors. This is also a great way to view what others are saying about your hired vendors and view more of their portfolio.
9. Google and Google Images
When you don’t know where to go or what color matches what…google it. It is one of the quickest ways to get an answer (of course by a trusted source) and check out images of your color scheme. Use descriptive words to find pictures on google images like “photo booth props” to get the most out of your searches.
10. Your Local Vendors
Who knows best but professionals? Start by asking the vendors you’ve hired (or haven’t yet) for advice. They know the area best and can recommend vendors for you, tell you where to go and see, and really are an excellent resource. Don’t be afraid to ask, that’s why they are professionals!
Love, Laughter, and Joy,