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Wedding Planning 101

Wedding planning is supposed to be fun, right? But you rarely hear about the stress, worries, and sleepless nights that go into planning a wedding. Over the next 6 months, I'm going to share with you some of the best advice I have for future brides, current brides, or anyone helping a friend plan a wedding. Sharing my journey to #BecomingMrsMahon will hopefully ease some of my stress and help others have a good laugh along the way: from decorations, hair & makeup, dress shopping, vendors, and all things bridal...

Let's be honest, my ultimate dream wedding is the kind of weddings you only see in movies, People magazine, or on Pinterest. Not born in the right tax bracket for that kind of extravagant soiree, I'm sharing some of my newest and best hacks to pulling off a gorgeous, budget-friendly wedding.

1. Pinterest is Your Best Friend

This is a no-brainer, but get inspiration from Pinterest. With so many creative people out there in the world, use their trial-and-error DIY projects to fuel your wedding plans. Decorations, bridal showers, bouquets, and even dresses can all be found on Pinterest. From there, I have found easy and inexpensive ways to create decorations that are simple and (hopefully) stunning. Our centerpieces are all DIY. Our reception decorations are all DIY. Our seating chart and place cards are all DIY.

2. Stationary is NOT That Important

In a perfect world, I would have a perfect stationary kit: invitations, RSVP cards, ceremony cards, place cards, etc.- but let's be honest... no one remembers your invitations and they will end up in the trash. So when it comes to all the paper goods needed for a wedding, which adds up to a lot, you don't have to go all out with the foil pressed, die-cut edged, linen-cotton blend paper with personalized calligraphy. There are so many options online that offer affordable options (and a lot of times, they have coupons and coupon codes) that are lovely and won't have your wallet singing the blues. Or, if you're handy, go DIY. There are tons of creative routes to go if you decide to handmade your stationary: stamps, Cricut templates, or if you're more tech savvy, design everything on Adobe Illustrator or InDesign! That gives you a lot of freedom to use whatever paper you want, font you'd like, colors, and touch of uniqueness that will reflect you and your future-hubby!

3. Don't Worry About Designer Brand

Unless you are a celebrity and will have a 3-page spread on your wedding in Brides Magazine, no one will know whether you are wearing Alfred Angelo, Alexander McQueen, Vera Wang, or a David's Bridal gown. Wear what you are comfortable wearing. If you find a gown that is on sale, comfortable, and makes you feel like the Queen of Everything, buy it. If having something designer is important to you, use that opportunity to accessorize with SJP shoes or Swarovski jewelry. Accessories can be worn again - so this is where you can get something special or have the groom gift you with something special... which brings me to my next point:

4. Set a Budget for Bride + Groom Gifts

Brides and grooms show affection differently, and sometimes having a budget can ensure that everyone stays reasonable with their gifts and one of the newlyweds doesn't feel "outdone" with gift-giving. Brides, if you set a smaller budget, you can still get something really special and personalized for your groom. Personalized decanters, cufflinks, or even a nice bottle of whiskey can be very special paired with a loving letter to your almost hubby. For larger budgets, there are loads of options, but make sure you stick with something that your groom will love and cherish.

5. Have Only Your Best Girls

I can't stress this enough. It does not matter how many "BFFs" you have - or how many fair-weather-friends you have. Pick you best, your forever-and-always, and your ride-or-die girls to stand by your side at your wedding. There is so much to be done before the wedding day that only the greatest of friends will be willing to help with (aka - late night texts or phone calls and bridezilla moments). In the end, you will have a ton of pictures with these girls and you want to make sure that you have the best and the greatest standing next to you. Don't look back in your photos and say, "oh, we were friends in college, and we don't talk anymore..." about any of your bridemaids. Make them the best of the best.


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