10 things that I have learned about Wedding Planning:
1. Send the Save the Date things. It may be a pain in the tush at first but it helps to get everyone's addresses that you think you have correct actually correct. Keep it simple. Send a cute card not some novelty item and even when you think it's simple, take a second and think it through completely.
2. Join some free website like The Knot or Brides. It has a ridiculously massive checklist of things to do by month. You put in all your information and it will organize it for you. Feel free to check off the crap that you are either not going to do or that is just in the way like: Relax, enjoy the day! Duh. You probably won't be walking into the reception with the checklist so just store those sort of reminders in your head somewhere.
3. Watch Bridezilla. It keeps you in check. No real person is that insane. It's TV. They are making it up because they get some sort of throw back. Seriously. Oh and if you are watching some girl lose her mind over something dumb like bathroom baskets and you have no idea what the hell that is, let it go. Chances are its dumb for a reason.
4. Groom can do things. Eliot has been a saint and an amazing partner in this process. There is a reason that you plan to marry this person and if you can't trust him to call and pay the video guy or send a cranky email to the venue, again, then you have bigger problems.
5. Be sure to give your mom some tasks that way she isn't consistently asking what she can do. Whatever you ask her to do more than likely she will enjoy and want to do it so well that it will distract her from other things.
6. Who ever are the ladies that you have chosen to be your lovely maids, trust them. This is kind of like the groom one. You can't trust these women to do things like get their dress, throw the shower or bachelorette party then why are they in your wedding? You have to allow the people that love you to have some say AND there is no reason to lose your mind attempting to control every single little thing.
7. If you say 130, shoot 150 in your purchases. That long lost second cousin twice removed that hasn't seen you in 5 years that you think is never going to make it and you feel like you should invite since you have shared eons of family functions....will come. That nutty neighbor will come. You will be touched and surprised about the people that want to be there. The other option is to go for the tiny wedding, mid-sized is actually quite big range of numbers possibilities. Oh and don't believe those "experts" when they say that only 70% will attend---you can NOT predict people.
8. Talk to your vendors. Email them. Organize their numbers so you can have then handy. Be sure to have clear expectations. Find a friend that you trust and adore; who also has no problem being assertive, to be the contact person on that day. Oh, and be sure that where ever you are having the reception, especially if it's a hotel, that you get a clear idea about the room reservation procedures. Get it in writing. Make then stick to it.
9. Just as more isn't better....you also get what you pay for. I don't suggest breaking the bank but pay the extra to save yourself the hassle every time. In the long run, you will be happier to have a competent florist and a reliable DJ then getting some two for one deal to save a buck. You may save a buck on one end but end up dancing all night to Elvis' least memorable hits.
10. For the love all that is good be sure that you love that man! Be sure that there is no one else you want to be with ever and that every possible conversation that could be had has been had: finances, children, personal goals, family, end of days preferences, religious ideals , is he gay?, does he ever want to be a woman? I mean these days you gotta ask. And I say this because all the crap that one puts into one day for a wedding is exhausting and at times stressful but is nothing compared to a marriage to the wrong person, I imagine. So I lucked out.