1. Before you finalize your wedding date, make sure you talk to those who you really want to be there (maid of honor, best man, bridesmaids, groomsmen, parents, siblings).

  1. Whether it’s a wedding planner book that you buy at Barnes and Noble or you create your own 3” binder, keep everything in one place (contracts, business cards, brochures, color swatches, etc.).

  1. Take advantage of all the online resources such as: herecomestheguide.com, brides.com, weddingwire.com, theknot.com, zola.com… where you can find your venue, dress, create your budget and find many articles. Be part of a wedding community like wedspace.com and meet other engaged couples, share photos and talk to your guests.

  1. Always start with a budget and try to keep to it. If you’re going over your budget, maybe you can have sponsors or family who want to help out? You can ask them to pay for a particular item (i.e. wedding cake, wedding flowers, transportation), but you handle the contracts.

  1. Always have a contract with your vendors, especially if friends are doing it for you (dj, musician, limo) or if it’s a gift. This avoids any surprises or problems.

  1. For invitations, if you have over 200 guests, have the ceremony time ½ hour earlier. For example, if it’s really a 2pm ceremony, put on the invitations 1:30pm… and on the ceremony program, you would write down the actual time, which would be 2pm for this example, so guests know you’re not running late. You want more guests seated as you walk down the aisle vs. them in the back.

  1. Always remember: there is no right or wrong in planning your wedding, mostly traditions and opinions. Don’t get lost in what others think. It’s your and your fiance’s wedding.

  1. Always overestimate time for everything throughout the wedding day. For example, if it takes 20 minutes to get from the hotel to church, plan 30 minutes for the limousine ride.

  1. Don’t go in debt because of your wedding. Be wise and spend only what you can afford or what people can help you with. AND… after the wedding, work as hard on your new marriage as you are in planning your wedding day.

  1. If your wedding budget allows it or you have a sponsor who can help, hire a professionally trained wedding consultant/coordinator from ACPWC (Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants) to help with your wedding day management, so we can meet with you 2 months before your wedding, create a detailed timeline from rehearsal to wedding day and communicate with your vendors, wedding party, family and friends involved in the wedding.

THIS TRULY IS THE BEST WEDDING GIFT FOR YOU AND YOUR FIANCE.