Wedding Season

Let the wedding planning season begin!

June and August may be the wedding months, but January marks the beginning of wedding planning season. Come January, all those New Year’s Eve engagements and June weddings produce a flood of brides with wedding fever. I’m surprised Pinterest hasn’t crashed! 🙂

If you’re recently engaged, I’m sure you’ve noticed that wedding expos are popping up at every local convention center and hotel and your mailbox is beginning to overflow with shiny flyers and tempting coupons. You can even get your copy of All Things Are Ready at a discount this month!

Those who may have already purchased All things Are Ready will know I would be suggesting a March rather than June date for all those girls who got a ring for Christmas. However, regardless of your wedding date, a whole lot of you brides out there are getting busy!

Here’s a few tips to keeping you from getting swept away as you wade into the wedding season. These are all discussed in greater detail in All Things Are Ready:

  • Beware of wedding-show Steals-and-Deals. A wedding expo, convention or trade show can be a lot of fun. You can glean lots of great ideas in just a few short hours of browsing. Going with your mom or girlfriends can be a fun get-the-creative-juices-flowing event. However, it’s very easy to get carried away by all the “Buy Now and Save” speeches you will hear from eager vendors. I suggest a plan of action before you go so that you don’t spend money you weren’t intending because the deal was just “too good to be true.” Take your notebook, your iPhone camera and your mom or maid-of-honor. Agree ahead of time that you won’t sign any contracts or make any purchases at the show. Collect dozens of flyers; try the samples; talk to the professionals. Don’t believe them when they say their best prices is, “Only available at the show!” However temptingly presented, a show price isn’t always the best deal, and if you go back to any of the those vendors a month later, ready to sign a check, and tell them you want the show price, you’ll get it.
  • Remember your venue determines just about everything else – what kind of reception you can have, how many people you can invite, what time of year will work, whether your first-choice of wedding date is available. Don’t lose track of that first priority of securing your venue(s) in the excitement of more romantic events like wedding dress shopping.
  • Do shop the January sales at the bridal-wear retailers. I’ve known a few brides who’ve found their perfect dress for a perfectly ridiculously good price off the winter clearance racks. Don’t reject the big-box bridal stores out of hand. A quick hour will show you whether you really can’t find a unique dress you love there and the off chance of discovering a gem at a huge savings is worth investing a little time.
  • Collect ideas and “style board” them before you start shopping in earnest. If you are anything like me, everything looks pretty! It’s just that everything doesn’t look pretty together. Whether you use Pinterest, a notebook, or an actual style board, put ideas together and look for themes and colors that start to emerge. Try and get a general sense of the look, feel and atmosphere you are going for in your wedding style before you get out there and find yourself submerge in beautiful wedding samples. Keep to those things that are on your list or fit your style and resist the temptation to buy everything you fall in love with while shopping. If it doesn’t “go,” it’s out!
  • Above all – have fun! If wedding expos, shopping or even just “Pinteresting” stresses you out – take a break. Get help. Ask a friend. Go on a date with your honey and don’t talk wedding. Do what is enjoyable and what has to be done. Don’t go to every wedding-planning event you’re invited to just because it’s the thing to do. As in so many areas of life, don’t let the fads of the day dictate what you do and what you let run your life. Enjoy this season!
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