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Whether you have two years for wedding planning or two months, you’ve probably experienced a few late nights trying to pull together the wedding of your dreams. You’re spending every waking moment trying to find the perfect florist and scouring Pinterest for ideas on how to hang that tulle backdrop that you’re dying over!

While having all of these things hovering over any bride certainly doesn’t make you feel like taking a break and relaxing, you have to remember in the midst of all of the stress to treat yourself well! You will only be able to call that special guy your fiancé for so long, make the most of it!

I have compiled a few tips and tricks for making your engagement feel a little more fun, and a little less strung out, while still achieving the look you want for your big day!

1. Hire Professionals Who You Trust

This one may seem like a given, but it is amazing how often brides fall victim to “smoke and mirrors” in the wedding vendor world. As someone who recently went through the ordeal of wedding planning, and am part of the vendor world myself – I’ll be the first to say it is really tough! There truly is a HUGE range of types of vendors, aside from just their cost and experience. One of the most important pieces in planning my wedding was hiring vendors who I trusted, and could create a relationship with. And that doesn’t always mean hiring the most expensive vendor, or the most well known vendors! Pick vendors who share a similar style as you, or that you are able to talk to frequently and get to know them personally! Those are the ones who are most likely to carry out your visions the way you wanted, and most importantly, the ones who are going to fight on your behalf if something goes wrong! 

2. Limit the DIY Projects

This goes hand in hand with hiring professionals that you trust! In the age of Pinterest and YouTube wedding planning, we are all inspired to follow “these 5 easy steps” to create the perfect centerpiece. I’m certainly not bashing the DIY route, as I think it’s an incredible way to personalize your wedding and add your own unique touch. But, it is important to limit the number of DIY projects you take on. Spread them out over the course of your engagement so that you aren’t burning yourself out, and pick things in your area of strength. For example, if you’re computer savvy, design your wedding website. If you’re good at sewing, create a one of a kind belt to wear with your dress!

And if you listen to nothing else I say, listen to this! The time to DIY ends the week before your wedding! After that, put the paint brush down, step away from the ribbon and enjoy your time with your soon to be hubby and family and friends who have come into town to see you! Which leads me to my last suggestion..

3. Hire A Wedding Planner

While this may not be a possibility in every budget, it is something to seriously consider. A wedding coordinator / event planner has already done the research that you are doing, and knows who the most trustworthy, tried and true vendors are. They can help you make decisions on everything from vendors to decorations to the timing of your day! Their wealth of expertise keeps you from spending countless hours researching vendors, and trying to figure out the order of your ceremony. Some of my favorite wedding planners in the Hampton Roads / Richmond area are Courtney Inghram Events, Kelsey Ann Events, Hannah Hildebrandt Events, Blush Events Planning and One Sweet Day in May! These ladies (and many more!) have the expertise you need to find the best, most reliable vendors who will deliver your dream day and fit your budget!

My biggest regret from my wedding was not hiring (at least) a day-of coordinator. The morning of the wedding, my parents, my husband’s parents, other family members and even my husband were frantically setting up decorations and putting the final touches on everything! It was no way to start off such a momentous day. At the time it seemed like just another cost to tack on to an already expensive wedding, but looking back it would have been SO worth it. Give yourselves and your family members a gift and hire a day-of coordinator to style all of your day of details, and coordinate with your vendors!

I hope that these little tips will help you fully enjoy your engagement while wedding planning, and give you a little extra “you” time for pampering and relaxing!

XoXo,

lauren