Planning a Wedding? 10 Useful Tips

September 15, 2016



Hey Lovelies!

I hope you are having an amazing week so far? As we know, planning a wedding can be really stressful. Especially if you haven't been around friends or siblings who planned a wedding. I am so relieved that our White Wedding is over. It was quite stressful for me, considering I was rounding up with residency, studying for my Family Medicine boards, and planning a wedding in London, from the States all at once. At a point, I became extremely overwhelmed! I even lost 12 pounds the week before the wedding. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't all negatives: I met so many amazing people, got even closer to my friends and sister, and bonded a lot with the hubby.

Planning our wedding, in no way, made me a professional wedding planner, but after planning a Wedding for 350 guests, I can definitely tell you a thing or two that will definitely be helpful. I had a Wedding planner, but I still had to do most of the work myself. A lot of my friends were helpful with giving me tips, but I had to learn a lot of things along the way myself.  Looking back, these were the most helpful for me, or at least things I wish I knew!


1) Save




If you are female or male, and you plan on getting married some day, the time to save is now! This was one of the things that I learnt the hard way! Yeah, I did save, but it was mostly for my shopping cart! I admit, I am not the best when it comes to saving, so when we had set the dates for the wedding, I started saving hard core. Which to be honest felt like going from one extreme to the next! LOL. Imagine, eating everyday, and then all of a sudden you stop eating, but for 8 months. (Not quite the same, but that is what it felt like). I had to go from not saving very much, to saving everything! Trust me when I tell you, that it was no fun. At a point, I became the person who says, "$5 for these pair of shoes?! No, thank you!". I laugh now, because I would usually shop most days. But while saving for the wedding I didn't shop for at least 8 months. Then one day, I had a "meltdown". I went to the mall, and bought EVERY SINGLE THING that I wanted! Key word is "wanted, not "needed". I bought 2 new pairs of glasses, a blinged out key holder, a fuzz ball thing for my handbags, some shoes, like 4 pairs, a handbag, I went crazy! LOL. I honestly thought I was loosing my mind that day, I even low key asked one of my doctor friends if she thought I was bipolar. But thank goodness, it was just a fix, and I needed it! Haha.

So, in order not to get yourself in that position, I would suggest you start early to save, and then be consistent! For example, if you save the same amount every month for your wedding, by the time it is time to plan your wedding, you would have had a good amount of money saved up for the things you want. Like I said before, this applies even if you are currently single. By the time you are ready, you would have had a lot of savings for your big day!

On the bright side for me, I learnt how to save from planning our wedding. And I have been good ever since! LOL


2) Set a Budget


Setting a budget for your wedding is important. I cannot promise that you will not go over it, because we did, but at least try to stay as close to it as possible. When you have a budget, it helps you to stay focused when it comes to each vendor, and how much you are going to, or are willing to spend.

You also have to be realistic. Ask your friends and family who have had weddings what it cost them for their vendors, and then you can use that as a bench mark for setting your budget. Make sure you shop around as well. There will be someone who can give you what you want, for how much you want to spend, but you have to look around. And remember, you get what you pay for. So if you have an unrealistic budget, and try to get things done to fit your budget, it may affect the overall outcome.

No matter what yo do, tailor your budget to fit you, and what you can afford. Make room for the possibility of going over your budget, as in some instances you will.

3) Stay True to your Style and Dreams


This is important! Your wedding is once in a lifetime (hopefully), and as much as possible it should be everything you have dreamt, or hoped it should be. I always wanted a colorful wedding since I was a little girl. So when we were planning our wedding, and I told people that I was having a multi colored themed wedding, they looked at me like I was crazy! Even my hubby, was like "OMG! I am going to get blind from all these colors!" But I was not going to have it any other way! Even when I was shopping for the Bridesmaid dresses, lots of people told me to just pick a color, as it would be difficult to find dresses in many colors. But on our wedding day, a lot of people had turned to believers! HAHA

Same thing applies to if you have always wanted a small, intimate wedding. It is your big day, so do not let any one tell you otherwise! Because, if this is you, and you end up having 1000 guests, you will be more unhappy on your big day than anything else!

Let your wedding be a reflection of who you are, be it fun, fabulous, colorful or classy! It is always worth it in the end!

4) Choosing your Vendors


Choosing and hiring your vendors is one of the biggest parts to planning your wedding. So make sure you pick them wisely! For the most part, you will be able to tell from the onset, which vendor you will definitely want to work with, by speaking or interacting with them. Most wedding vendors are pleasant, sweet, nice, and friendly! If you get a bad vibe off them, that is your signal to run! It will always feel right! I can't explain it, but it just does. It could be their personality, or the way they make your feel at ease, or how quickly they respond and answer your questions, you just know! Like I said, if you just get any bad vibe, do your self a favor and find someone else! For example, if they take too long to respond, or do not respond. Or if they give you the attitude of  "I am doing you a favor!" Run! Yes, they are doing you a favor, even though you are paying them for their services, but the good vendors won't be cocky about it.

When it comes to your major vendors, including Wedding Planner, Coordinator, Photographer, Venue Decorator, Wedding Cake, Florist, DJ, MC, and Caterer, make sure you actually speak to their previous clients, who are not their family or friends. This was another area where I learnt the hard way. I will not call out the Vendor, but if I knew what I know now, I would have never hired them. Do not just trust the reviews that you see on their social media pages, because it is all "Hype", and the last thing you want to do is waste your money on somebody who will not deliver.

5) Ask for Discounts


Do not be afraid to ask for discounts. We saved so much money by such asking., "Can we get a discount?", and negotiating for one. Be nice, beg, do whatever, but trust me, the money that you save adds up in the end, and you can use it towards other expenses, and there will be loads!

Like the saying goes: Ask, and you shall receive. It definitely applies in this case. Vendors understand that planning a Wedding is expensive, and they are willing to work with you. Think about it, they want your business, so they are willing to meet you half or three quarter of the way, so do not be afraid to ask.

So again, Bargain! Bargain! Bargain!

6) Do some research!




As a Doctor, this is the only time, I will tell you this: Google is your friend! This only applies when you are planning a wedding, but not to your health! LOL. Reasearch ideas, prices, items, whatever you need to make your wedding a success. All you need to do is type your keywords into the google search bar, and Voila! I found a lot of my vendors by searching through google. I got cheaper prices by searching through google. When it came to our wedding, I might as well have gotten a phD in google search.

Research prices. If your planner tells you it cost $2000 for an item, do some research, you might find it for cheaper. When it comes to your wedding, the only person who will really be looking out for you, will be you and your partner, and your good friends. Everyone else is trying to get paid, so do not hesitate to do some research!

I promise, you will thank me later! :) ;)

7) Be and Stay Organized


This is also important. The time goes by quickly, so if you are not organized and staying on top of things, you will miss deadlines, and it affects the outcome of your wedding.

Set goals, and deadlines and stay on top of them. If you are running behind schedule, ask for help.

You are going to need a planner of some sort to stay on top of things. Think about it this way, you will have a lot of vendor appointments, dress fitting appointments, payment due dates, how else will your remember all of this if you don't write it down somewhere. One of the helpful Wedding Planner/Organizers that I used were the Wedding Planner & Organizer and The Everything Wedding Organizer (see images below) which I both got from Amazon.





They were both great as they helped me plan my timelines and gave me ideas on what I needed to get done and when. So it was very helpful. The Wedding Planner & Organizer has a pocket where you can put scrap paper and pictures as you plan, which is fun!

I also had a regular Calender planner where I plugged in my appointments dates and times, and the dates the payments were due.

There are other great resources out there that you can use, including your phone. But the bottom line, is that you use something to help you stay on track. That way your wedding is organized and fabulous!

8) Compromise


This is Key. There will be times when you want something, your hubby wants something else, and your mother/ mother in law wants something totally different. You really have to compromise, because lets face it, you will not have it your way all the time. You are also going into a new family, and you really don't want to be perceived as selfish, even though you are not. When you get to such times, just ask yourself, "Is this something I can live without?", "Does it make my wedding any less fabulous?", "Will I be any less fabulous?", and my personal favorite, "Will I live?" If the answer is "Yes" or "No" depending on the question, then determine if it is a battle you want to take on.

For example, if you want only 200 guests, and you and your partner have budgeted for 200, but your mother wants 350, but is not going to help you with the bill, then this is one example where I would say, be firm in your decision. But if she is willing to cater for the remaining 150 guests, then at least be willing to reach a compromise.

There will be many instances that will come up during the planning process, and if you are not willing to compromise, there will lots of arguments, and headaches, which will be added to what is an already stressful time. So avoid it if you can.

9) Have fun!



Seriously! Have fun with it! It is going to be a short period of time, so enjoy it while it lasts.
My hubby was super hands on, and helpful, and we tried to have as much fun as we can. We bonded over soooo many things. For example, when we were coming up with ideas for our Guest Table names, we had such a laugh at some of the ridiculous ideas we came up with. In the end, we chose our table names to be "Island Names" (hubby's idea) because we Met on an Island (Grenada), He proposed on an Island (Santorini), and we went for our Honeymoon on an Island (The Maldives), in addition to some of the many Islands we would love to visit. We also got to share some of the great memories we had from each of those Islands, and bonded through it. :) :) :)

So whatever you do, enjoy the moment and have fun!

10) Enjoy your Big Day!


You have spent lots of years (for women *wink* ), months, and weeks, and lets no forget lots of money planning your wedding, so please enjoy every single moment. The day goes by soooo quickly, so if you do not take a moment to enjoy it, it will feel like it all passed you by.

Things may and will go wrong. Do not dwell on it! Nobody notices. For example, at our wedding, we had hired a photo booth, they came, but could not lift the photo booth up the stairs, due to a faulty elevator at the Venue. I started off by being pissed about it, but no one knew it wasn't there except the hubby and I, and the Wedding planner. Everyone commented on how beautiful the wedding was, at the end of the day, so thankfully, I did not spend the whole day sulking about it.

There were one or two other unplanned events, but in the end, it all worked out, it always does!

Just enjoy your hard work, enjoy your partner, your friends, and family, because when else will you have them all in one space at the same time, except at a family reunion, but it isn't really the same.

While you enjoy your wedding, do not forget to enjoy your marriage! You would have put in a lot of work for your big day, but remember you have to put in 100 times the work for your marriage!



Lastly, do not forget to ask for help. Ask a friend, sister, brother, anybody! If you get or are getting overwhelmed, just ask for help!

Thank you so much for stopping by. As always, your thoughts, comments, are always appreciated, so please leave them below.

If there is anything you would like me to talk about regarding wedding planning, or anything else, please leave it in the comment section, or write me at gucci.ezeala@gmail.com







Gucci.



Image sources : google images, amazon.com

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1 comments

  1. Thank yo so much dear Gucci for your really great tips, I will use it in future, cuz now I a looking for an Ukrainian bride at this dating website http://nikolaev-marriage-agency.com/ukrainian-women-dating-online/. I hope it is gonna help me to find my soulmate.

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