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tips from the brides!

I’m so excited about this new little series! I’ve asked a handful of my wonderful brides and dear friends to share their top 5 tips from the planning process and wedding day! I can only offer advice and input on certain things when it comes to the crazy world of weddings since I haven’t gone through the experience of planning my own yet, but these are all brides who I completely trust to give smart ideas and insight to help make the whole process that much more enjoyable for you all!

First up is my dear friend Jessica! She and Clay were married this past December (you can click to see Part 1 and Part 2!) and the whole day flowed so perfectly that I knew Jess would have some great ideas for you all! So without further ado, I will let her take it away! :)

1. First of all, congrats on your engagement, bride-to-be! This is such an exciting time, and I hope you savor every minute of it! The engagement period goes by much faster than you can imagine, so I first recommend spending that time preparing for your marriage, not just planning a wedding! To do this, I suggest investing in professional premarital counseling. By working with a licensed counselor, my husband and I were able to effectively explore our strength and growth areas, strengthen communication skills, identify and manage stressors, develop a more balanced relationship, discuss financial and family planning, establish goals, etc. It was by far the best part of our engagement and has benefitted our marriage greatly!2. Regarding wedding day planning, the first things you should do is figure our your budget and your priorities. It’s difficult to plan a wedding without knowing what you’re working with and what’s most important to you. A budget will help you set your guest list, which will help you find your venue, which will help you determine catering and other vendors, and so on. Priorities help you spread out and assign max amounts to different items. (You can determine what you’re willing to spend more on, and then the cuts you may have to make to other “less important” items.) Oh, and don’t be wishy-washy with your budget – make one and stick to it! 3. Utilize Google docs/spreadsheets! It was so helpful for us to individually edit the same document and stay on the same page. We made spreadsheets for our invites/addresses, gifts, budget, day of timeline, etc. and edited them as changes were made. 4. If you plan to go on a honeymoon trip, give yourselves some time in between that and the wedding day. You’re going to be tired, physically, emotionally, relationally. If you have at least a day or two in between to rest, you’re less likely to be a stressed traveler and more likely to fully enjoy your time together! (We had four months in between, and our honeymoon was still incredible!)5. Finally, invest in good professional photography and videography (of course)! If Jessie is your photographer, you’re all set! She’s easy-going but organized, traditional but creative, talented but humble. You need to feel you can trust the people who are capturing your big day, and trusting Jessie was easy for us. When it’s over, your photos and videos are all you have to remember it! That being said, do an engagement shoot as well! We love having casual professional photos, and it was great working with Jessie before the wedding day.  6. BONUS! Breathe, pray, lean on your loved ones, and enjoy this new chapter of your life!

Thanks again, Jess! I so appreciate you being willing to share your advice!! :)

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