Planning a Wedding Done Right

by Melissa on September 22, 2011

Last month, I announced our intention to have, with just a few necessary exceptions, all wedding-related tasks done by mid-September.  Now that we are in the home stretch of meeting that deadline, I can say that, without a doubt, it has been the BEST decision we have made during the entire wedding planning process.  While we haven’t made our exact “September 15” deadline, we will make it within the next week or so.  Here are a few reasons why it has been a good decision.

1) To state the obvious, I’m not stressing or panicking over details at the last minute. In fact, these past few weeks have been the most busy and harried during the entire wedding planning process because we’re rushing to meet our self-imposed deadline. And you know what, I feel good that it’s happening NOW and not two weeks before the wedding instead!

2) It’s saving us money. I’m not having to pay for rush shipping charges for anything. For example, a lot of cute wedding-related items on Etsy can take sometimes four weeks or more to ship because they’re custom made. I ordered one of these wedding hangers back in July.  It took nearly five weeks to get it (which, of course the seller had clearly disclosed).  If I had waited until the last minute, I would have been paying rush charges and stressing about whether I would get it in time.  Same thing went for some rustic table number holders I ordered.  Also, an Ebay seller “forgot” to ship two large chalkboard signs that I ordered, so that was a significant delay. By thinking about everything really far in advance, I’m saving a lot of money and avoiding last minute headaches. Although I must say, money has been flowing freely out of our checking accounts as we’re in this push to get things done.

3) Tasks always take significantly longer than you plan.  For example, you can’t just “make escort cards” in one sitting.  It takes several steps.  First you have to design a template, then import or mail merge all your guest information, then do a test print, and then probably another test print. Then it’s possible that you run out of ink.  Which, in fact, is what happened when I tried to print ours just last night. As part of our self-imposed deadline, I’m printing escort cards for all our invitees and will just throw away the cards of those who RSVP no. When I tried to print the cards, the ink was low and it took about three ink jet cleanings to get it to work again. I’m glad I’m doing that now and not a week before the wedding when that would be a much bigger imposition.

4) Thinking through all this stuff now helps me combine wedding-related errands. Although I have had to make a bunch of trips to JoAnn fabrics and other craft stores recently, I’m glad I’m doing it all now that way I’m not having to drive all around this city right before the wedding trying to track down some last minute craft or supply.  In fact, if all goes well, this Friday should be my last trip to any craft stores!

Now, of course there are still things that I’m going to have to do much closer to the wedding, like my dress fitting, buying our pumpkin centerpieces, and getting a keg of beer. But I’m glad there will only be a few things to focus on in those last few weeks, and not tons of different tasks.

The only downside has been that we are really just guessing what our final guest list will be when it comes to ordering things like our favors. We’ve been saying 150 guests all along, but we invited well over 200 people. So, if more than 150 adults end up coming, I’m not sure what we’ll do about ordering more favors since we only ordered 150 of them.

But, that’s the only downside! So future brides, take note! Set an arbitrary deadline for finishing wedding-related tasks two months before your wedding. With any luck, you’ll meet it, or at least be very close!