Pre-Wedding Planning Learning Experiences (so far....)

Could we be more disinterested in each other? Sheesh.
I've been in the event planning biz for going on ten years now and I'd always thought that my wedding would be a cinch to plan. Hell, I've planned events for 1200 people so 150 was going to be a walk in the park. Oh boy, was I wrong. Very wrong. Here's my top pieces of advice for preparing to get hitched without losing your f-ing mind! **Please note, I am still 6 months out from our wedding date so I suspect this list will get bigger.....oh gawd help me. 

1. Get started on that guest list ASAP and hold strong with your guest count. You'll be surprised how quickly the names start to add up. Create your big wish list - making sure to get your parents lists too BUT emphasizing that this is a WISH LIST ONLY. Not everyone on this list will be invited. For some reason this got lost in our messaging and we had some hurt feelings early on.

2. Get engagement photos! It's not often that you are in front of the camera for two hours straight. Use those pics as reference for what to do and not do for your wedding photos. We both had quite a few weird looking faces in ours so it was good to see that on film. Who knew that was you were thinking at the moment would register on your face like that?! And those kissing, lovey-dovey ones just weren't "us" which was good to find out now vs. a month after the wedding when we get our professional photos back.

3. Don't make him do things he doesn't want to do. I know my man well, and I know that there are many things around a wedding that he will either 1) not care about or 2) just won't want to do. I made sure I knew up front what he wanted to be a part of and left the rest in my court. It just makes all parties involved miserable when you drag him to look at linen colors or to the 30th potential venue of the day. But if your man digs that sort of stuff then by all means bring him along!

4. Make things fun! You don't have to have the typical bachelorette party or registry. Think outside the box ladies and gents! Do you love to travel? Pick a honeymoon registry! Hate the bar scene? Grab your BFF's and hit the trails for a day of hiking instead. Who says you have to do things by the books? I guarantee that all parties involved would like a break from penis necklaces and registry hand towels.

5. Hire a travel agent for honeymoon plans. The last thing you want to do is plan a vacation on top of a wedding! If you and your man aren't the best travel arrangers leave it to the experts. We did just this, and a few easy decisions later and we had our honeymoon booked! No searching the 100 different airfare sights, no reading the reviews on Trip Advisor….it was really a dream come true! The best part is, we didn't have to pay the agent - the properties pay her! And while you are at it, be sure to check your passport expiration dates now. Dealing with an expired passport right before the wedding is something you don't need to be doing.

6. Consider your finances post wedding. You're going to have to file your taxes together next tax season! Say what?! Have that money talk early on. Hire a financial adviser or seek out an accountant so there aren't any surprises come April. The fiance owns his own business so combining monies isn't going to be very easy. I was glad to get a head start on this.

7. Remember, this is YOUR wedding. Not your mom's, not your cousins....but yours. Even if the parentals are helping you foot the bill make it clear (in the nicest way possible) that this is your day. If you don't want a sit down, 10 course meal then speak up. If you really aren't the traditional wedding dress sorta lady, then speak up. If the color purple makes you want to barf, speak up. This is a one time deal and it should be you and your future husband's vision. I've felt the pressure and the judgement from time to time and you just have to brush it off and move on. Trust me, they'll get over it.

8. Start upgrading/updating your honeymoon wardrobe now. We're headed to Jamaica in November and I'll be closely watching the sale racks in August for those cute summery dresses and discounted bathing suits. I usually have 1 or 2 main bathing suits for the summer and come fall, they'll be looking a bit tired. I'll be glad to have a fresh lookin' one at a cheap price so we can spend more money on those rum dranks!

9. Google Docs is your friend. Your very, very best most organized friend. We're keeping our guest list, budget and notes all in one nice shared document. Updates are instant, all parties involved can check things's really a great way to get your wedding in line. Plus, you can access it from anywhere so you don't have to worry if it's saved on your computer or not. I've paired this doc with's online checklist and am feeling pretty unstoppable these days!

10. Take up the offers to help. I'm a professional event planner by trade but there's never a time where I don't rely on a team of peeps to help make an event a success. If a friend or family member offers to help...say YES. Even if you are a perfectionist like yours truly, there are still things you can delegate fairly easily - researching transportation companies, stamping and stuffing invites, etc. You're going to burn yourself out if you try and tackle this yourself! 

What are your wedding planning tips? Does this crazy, nutzo feeling go away or does it just get worse?