You're engaged! Now how do you begin to plan a wedding?

You’re getting married! And now begins the most exciting part of all, wedding planning! Whether you’re going to plan your wedding on your own, hire a wedding planner, or work with a day-of coordinator here are some tips and tricks that you can start off with that will make your life easier and more organized.

Make an email account that can be accessed by both you and your fiancée. My sister-in-law gave me this advice originally and it has since become a life saver for my husband and I. As you plan your wedding and inquire to all the various vendors and venues to gather information you will need to provide them with an email. Email is such a popular form of communication now a days and you will get more wedding related emails than you ever thought possible…fair warning. I can’t stand a cluttered email inbox and as the wedding emails started pouring into my inbox I couldn’t keep all the information straight. The joint email address allowed us to sort all of our information by folders and give us a one stop place to find whatever it was that we needed. Since our wedding the email address has since been turned into what we use for all of our utilities and anything that requires both of our attentions.

Designate a notebook for all of your wedding notes and ideas. Again, not the originator of this idea but it was seriously helpful. A friend of mine had a small notebook that she wrote everything down in when planning her wedding. It could be a complete sentence, a list, incoherent ideas, key words, and anything else you can think of. The point is to keep everything in one place so that way you are only responsible for one item. I took this notebook to all my meetings with potential vendors, venues, and anywhere I went in case something struck my fancy. I littered it with post it notes, paper clipped photos and clippings, and stapled swatches of dresses and colors. I chose a notebook that was small enough to fit within my purse and easy enough to keep on the dash of my car so I could always have it near and dear.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help but don’t ask too many people. Weddings can involve a lot of opinions, especially if you have a large and super involved family. You can feel pressured into choosing what other people want and not what you really want. Remember, this is your wedding, not theirs. That shouldn’t mean that you need to carry the burden on just your shoulders though. Ask people for help and but only ask those who are close to you, that you trust, and have a like mind as you. There was only about five people I ever went to for help when I was planning my wedding and those five people were individuals I trusted completely, understood my vision or at least my own style/personality, and would be respectful of whatever end decision I came to. I purposely chose not to involve too many people in the planning process because at the end of the day I still wanted it to feel as if it was my wedding and the wedding was truly reflective of myself and my now-husband.

Trust your vendors. After all, they are the professionals. Both my husband and I loved all of our wedding vendors. They felt like friends we felt completely comfortable contacting them if we had a question about something but we never felt like we had to tell them how to do their job. What’s the point of hiring a DJ if you’re going to micromanage the playlist and give them an Ipod filled with 6 hours of music that you deem acceptable? I mean, you wouldn’t. The point of hiring these vendors is to make your day easier. To eliminate the stress and worry of those aspects. They are professionals and creatives within their field. Let them be creative because it was their creativity that got them to where they are in their industry. You typically hire a vendor because you trust them. The trust you have that makes you decide to book them shouldn’t change once you do book them. If you don’t trust them then I suggest you keep looking because that mutual respect, agreement, and understanding between all parties contributes to the overall aesthetic and good-vibe feeling of your big day.

Lastly, but most importantly, keep realistic expectations about your wedding. It's so easy to fall in love with the Pinterest inspired wedding themes and have multiple vision boards for your big day. Pinterest is great and it can be an amazing resource tool but Pinterest can also be deceiving. All the things you see on Pinterest comes with a price and there is no perfect price range. To each his/her own. Choose what is comfortable for you, right for you, and will best suit you. That is what will make your wedding great and uniquely your own.