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10 Tips to Plan Your Wedding in Style

10 Tips to Plan Your Wedding in Style

So, you’re engaged — congratulations! Now the only thing between you and happily ever after is planning the big day. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the different pieces of the wedding puzzle, but these tips will be sure to save you some stress!

1. Budget

In addition to setting an overall amount that you’re willing to spend on the wedding, you need to break the budget down so you know how much you can afford to spend on individual pieces like the reception or the venue. A good rule of thumb is to allot half of your budget to the reception and another 10 percent each for flowers, attire, music and entertainment, photographs, and invitations and gifts. Also, be sure to leave some leeway for extra expenses that could pop up unexpectedly along the way.

2. Organization

Whether you decide to use a wedding planning application, track everything through Google spreadsheets, or go old school and store your notes and plans together in one big binder, you need to keep track of everything you plan and store the information in one central location. This is good for your sake when you want to double check how many invitations you ordered or exactly when you told the caterers to show up, and it also means that you have proof of any agreements just in case.

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3. Schedule

Once you’ve figured out a budget and a method for tracking your expenses and plans, you’re ready to start laying out a timeline of events. Save yourself the headache of having too much to decide too close to the wedding by setting smaller deadlines along the way for things like hiring your caterer or booking the band.

4. Guests

When determining who to include on your guest list, prioritization is key. Create a list with most important family members and closest friends at the top and neighbors, coworkers, and other less crucial people at the bottom. Then cross names off starting at the bottom of the list until you’ve reached a comfortable number. And remember, often a quarter to a third of the guests you invite won’t be able to come anyway.

But don’t worry too much if the final number ends up a little higher than you were hoping — at least you can be happy knowing how many of your friends and family cared enough to make your big day a priority!

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5. Vendors

When it comes time to choose vendors, be sure you’re paying attention to the people you’re hiring, not just the product. If you find a caterer who cooks amazing food but who is totally unwilling to budge on small details, don’t hire them! You want people who you can trust to have your back and help make your wedding go smoothly.

6. Dress

If you’re like many brides, you’ve been imagining your wedding dress for ages. Don’t let that perfect image in your mind keep you from shopping around in reality, though. Try on a lot of dresses and visit a lot of stores. You never know what you’ll find — the perfect dress may end up being something totally different from what you were picturing initially.

7. Gifts

The gift registry is an important way to make sure your guests know what to get you so that you get things you actually want and need, but not everybody wants new kitchen appliances or household items. If that’s you — don’t worry! There are plenty of less traditional gift registries out there, from honeymoon funds to charitable donation plans. Search around a bit to make sure you find a way to get gifts that you’ll appreciate and that your guests will feel good about giving.

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8. Honeymoon

You want your honeymoon to be exciting, relaxing, and special, but with all of the wedding planning to take care of beforehand, you might feel overwhelmed trying to plan the honeymoon, too. One increasingly popular way to get around this problem is to postpone your honeymoon by a few months to give yourself time to recuperate and focus on the honeymoon itself. Definitely consider this option if your nerves or your finances are feeling the strain of wedding planning.

9. The Day-of

Even after all of the details you’ve taken care of in advance, from arranging vendors to booking hotel rooms to putting together gift bags, there are still a number of things you simply can’t take care of until the big day arrives. From doing your hair and makeup to greeting your guests, you’ll have your hands full from dawn ‘til dusk on your big day. To ensure that you have time for everything, schedule the whole day in advance and make sure to hand off any responsibilities you can to a trusted member of the wedding team.

10. Relax

Even if you’ve only just gotten engaged and haven’t really started the planning process, the mere thought of all the pieces you somehow have to put together to make this wedding happen could be getting to you. Don’t worry! Really, this is supposed to be a special day celebrating your happy union. Whenever the stress starts getting to you, focus on that and let the little details zoom back into perspective. No matter what, at the end of the big day you’ll be happily married and surrounded by friends and family.

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There are a million different ways to plan a wedding, from a tiny ceremony to a giant, fancy party to an exotic destination. When you’re planning yours, don’t feel like you have to conform to anyone else’s expectations. Stay true to what you want and that will make all of the effort way more fun and worthwhile.

Featured photo credit: fotomelia via fotomelia.com

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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