Our beauty contributor Erin Sousa pulled off a completely dream-worthy ceremony when she tied the knot last August. By combining her savvy organizing skills with her impeccable taste, Erin ensured that her wedding went off without a hitch (well, except for one, anyway!). Below, she shares five pieces of wedding-planning wisdom.
When my now-husband Roberto proposed to me in December of 2013, I was over the moon. I had known he was the one forever. The engagement also meant I could act on all of those wedding plans that had been swirling in my head since adolescence. But planning a wedding on budget and within the constraints of my taste? That was going to be tricky. Fantasy and reality don’t always match! Since I’ve come out on the other side, however, I wanted to pass on a little pre-wedding cheat sheet to all of you beautiful brides-to-be. (Hint: Don’t stress!)
Define your priorities.
We outlined the things that were important to us right off the bat (for me: videography, photography, flowers, venue; for him: his tux, the music, me being happy, staying within budget). This helped us choose the areas on which we wanted to spend money first, creating a smoother road for us down the line. Once both parties feel like their interests are going to be met, disagreements can be avoided. And, hey—this can also serve as a distraction from all of those extra projects (thanks, Pinterest!) that inevitably add up (time- and cost-wise).
Set your budget (but be prepared for it to fluctuate).
Often the dreaded budget is the biggest stressor of a wedding. Money can be worrisome, and exceeding your budget can happen fast. After you’ve set your main priorities, have an honest conversation about money. Discuss who will be paying for what. If you plan to ask for help, each person should be responsible for talking to his or her respective families. Ways to keep costs low include limiting your wedding party, choosing a venue with a small (or nonexistent) corkage fee so you can bring your own spirits, employing DIY elements, and using a wholesaler for florals (and then arranging them yourself!).
Disorganization almost always leads to stress. Use a workbook that tracks your budget, to-do’s and guest list—it will give you peace of mind! The members of your wedding party (and the groom) are there to help, and they want to. Delegating items from your never-ending list will alleviate some of your stress. Sharing a secret Pinterest board with your team will help you all better communicate and streamline ideas, too.
Keep track of your vendors’ on-site visits.
In the weeks leading up to your wedding, you’ll be working on the finer details and ensuring that your vendors—especially the photographer and videographer—have made site visits. These visits will help them assess angles, lighting and hidden spots so that they can give you a more polished final product. On the day of, they’ll be leading the way—make sure they are prepared to capture those memories seamlessly!
Be “in the moment.”
As stressful as it can be, the planning process is over in a flash, so try to stay “in the moment”—especially in the final days leading up to the wedding. Handing off your list to a capable coordinator will protect your experience and let you kick back during those precious moments before the big day. Have a spa day, spend time with family and friends, and soak in all the goodness and memories. On your wedding day, your coordinator will take on all of the stress so that you can simply enjoy every second!
Photography: Sweet Life Photography
Videography: Capture the Moment Media
Invites and stationery: Love by Phoebe
Frames: Bespoke Decor Rentals
Blooms: The Flower Factory
Table settings: Pedersens Rentals
Catering: The Lazy Gourmet
Décor rentals: Éclat Décor
Planning assistance: Countdown Events
Cake: Sweet Bake Shop
Sparkling wine: Steller’s Jay Brut
Table linens: Taffete Designs
Hair: Chris Funk
Makeup: Emily Cheng
Hotel: Fairmont Pacific Rim
Venue: The Hycroft mansion
As seen in: Real Weddings Magazine