We celebrated our 4th Anniversary on today (we have been together for 7 years)! It all seems surreal to me, thinking that I could ever find “my match/helpmate” however I did! In honor of my 4th year anniversary, I will provide a timeline of how I planned my own wedding (from our engagement to the end of our honeymoon) over the next few weeks. Please feel free to share your timeline with me, as I find it intriguing how brides (and families) plan for their weddings. There are so many fascinating ideas, thoughts, and concepts that go into that special day, therefore I look forward to you sharing your special day with me as I share mine with you!
The engagement took place in February of 2011 at Brigs (the first place we met, for lunch). After the engagement, we set the date and naturally, informed our family and friends that we were engaged. I’m frugal, therefore from this point on every step that I take for planning the wedding will be cost-effective (my love planned the honeymoon). Once we announced our engagement (we did not have an engagement party, our families reside in South Carolina and Illinois, we preferred to save everyone money by saving travel for the wedding day), we created a wedding website and informed all family and friends of the wedding website (through electronic Save the Dates).
Creating the wedding website and conducting as much communication as possible through the website will save you so much time and stress (PLUS it is a wonderful source of communication). We used “Our Wedding Day” website, however, I believe that Wedding Wire is one of the best! My recommendation is to compare all wedding websites (that are free, i.e. Wedding Wire, Our Wedding Day, The Knot, etc) and then create your site depending on which is best suited for your needs/goals.
After creating the wedding website, while simultaneously researching and booking vendors, we received congrats, acceptance/regretful declines from family and friends that could/could not attend the wedding on September 3, 2011 in Raleigh, North Carolina (this is a wonderful help for sending out announcements on a later date, this will save you time and money, given that you will not have to send invites to those that are unable to attend). A side note….please be sensitive to those that are not computer savvy/do not use computers (it cost very little to call them/create Save The Dates through Vista Print).
Your first four priorities should be 1) Announcing that you are engaged, and if possible the wedding date and venue, 2) Creating a Wedding Website, 3) Sending out Save The Dates, and 4) Researching vendors that will be within the budget that you set (I forgot to mention earlier, right before you send the Save The Dates, you should determine your budget).
I will use Lauren Conrad’s Wedding Planning Timeline to share my wedding planning process (I find it thorough, dainty, and user-friendly). We set our wedding date for September 3, 2011 (of course a holiday weekend can be expensive, to shed some of the expense, we had our wedding in the morning, 10 am at our church). A holiday can be convenient for most of your guests, provided they may have an extra day around the holiday to take off (with pay). My budget was set at 3,000.00 (in hindsight it should have been 4,000.00, 3,000.00 budget with a 1,000.00 cushion, there are always unexpected/miscellaneous charges that will “magically appear,” however I must admit that I did have a decent wedding budget and a beautiful wedding, as you can also).
The Do-It-Yourself (DIY) adventure was KEY to staying within my budget (I researched vendors that were within my budget, I shopped for decorations that were within my budget, I depended on the talents and gifts of many of my family members and friends, and I created my own wedding Announcements, programs, and purchased the thank you cards that matched with that set from Wal-Mart/JoAnn Fabrics). I certainly hope that you will be able to create your own budget-friendly wedding from what I share over the next few weeks (I also hope that you will share your experience with me, as other brides may benefit from your experience).
Bride on a Budget