So he popped the question and you said YES. Congrats! You have changed your facebook status and your ring tone - what do you do now?
DON'T FREAK OUT!
I know, wedding planning can seem horribly overwhelming and stressful, but it truly doesn't need to be that way. I'm going to tell you a secret that most Brides would kill to have. This is not a joke and it is not over-hyped. If someone gave you the blueprint to stress free wedding planning, would you take it?
OF COURSE YOU WOULD!
So, first, I am a wedding planner and I would be remiss if I didn't tell you to check us out. Even if you never thought about hiring a wedding planner. You might be surprised by what we can do and how much we can do it for. Plus, I'm a hoot to work with. Seriously, and I'm good at what I do. I'd love to work with you. Blissfully Simple Events. BUT, I digress...
What if you are on your own, can you still have a stress-free planning process?
This is actually very easy. You are going to start thinking of your wedding planning in 4 phases. I call it the Bliss Method, and it works if you are planning in 2 weeks or 2 years. Now, here's the secret: imagine that planning your house was like building a house. It is basically the same thing. Once you read it all, it will make a lot of sense and also, hopefully, slow your heartbeat a little because you can actually SEE the phases of your planning rolling out in front of you.
Phase 1: PURE BLISS - The excitement phase. Where you are telling everyone, "Hey! We are building a house!" But you don't go straight into carpet and colors do you? NOPE. First, you need to decide how big your house will be so you know if you need a city plot or 5 acres in the country. This is your guest list. Not fun or sexy to do, but crucially important. You don't want to rent a quaint little venue when you have 300 guests. It won't fit and you will lose money. So in this phase, you need to consider how you are going to build your house, where it will be, how big it will be. It is the FOUNDATION, everything builds on this. Get it?
Phase 2: OVERWHELMING BLISS - So you have your land and you are ready to start framing. This is when you need to book all your vendors. Each one (planner, caterer, venue, DJ, florist, etc..) all need to fit together to create this incredible "house" you are building. Make sure to do your research on these vendors. You want a team who is qualified, insured, and who will work together to make your vision a reality. Be careful on looking for the least expensive options. You get what you pay for and you don't want your "house" to suffer. Most likely, this is the time to get your dress and the Bridesmaids dresses as well. This phase can be very overwhelming, but you can do it!
Phase 3: EXPRESS YOUR BLISS - Alright! This is the fun part. NOW you can talk about colors, decorations and making it yours. Most Brides want to start here and you just can't. Make sure your "house" has a good solid foundation, is framed and ready to go. Invites, favors, decor and tuxes are in this phase. A warning not to go too crazy or over-think your options. Pinterest can be a good thing, but it can also be a bad thing if you take it too seriously. Take your time. Choose together and make it a team effort. Enjoy it.
Phase 4: COUNTDOWN TO BLISS - OK, it's called this because everyone just wants in the house! It seems to be taking so long to get there and you just want it done! I get it, but this phase is very important. It is where all the little details come to play (making your house tech ready if you will). Who will get Bride to church, who will have the rings, who takes decor from church to reception, parking issues? etc.. It doesn't matter how organized you are, this phase can be stressful and hectic. But you've got this! You are just days away from realizing your vision and it will be amazing!
It really is that simple. If you have a question if you should be doing anything, think of the house. Where are you in the "building" of it. It gives you a visual of what your next steps are.
If you are sure you don't want a planner but you would like more details on the Bliss Method to help you plan your wedding, check out my book, BLISSFULLY SIMPLE ENGAGEMENTS. It has the Bliss Method and much more to help you have a wedding planning experience that is Blissfully Simple.
Now you are armed with the basics that you need to start planning so go get 'em!
Here's to Bliss!