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You are Engaged!... Congratulations!... What To Do Next?!

What a happy time - so much excitement and joy and anticipation! The man of your dreams has asked you to share your lives and all your hopes for your future are running around in your head and heart. Now you need to plan a wedding - but how?!!

I came across a wonderful article on just this very thing today when reading a blog post by Rachel Hamm, one of our local wedding planners at Bliss by Sam. Her article speaks to the heart of what you are facing now - your excitement and maybe a bit of trepidation - so enjoy her post and take advantage of her expert advice. The post is included here in its entirety.

The Do's and Don'ts of Planning a Wedding 
by Rachel Hamm

Dilemma: I just got engaged on Christmas. My mom and I are so excited but I have no clue where to start! Can you give me some quick tips and how not to make mistakes during the planning process? Signed, About-To-Be-Stressed-Out Bride

The Solution: Wedding Planning can seem incredibly overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. I've collected a few quick tips for you to help simplify the process:

DO create a budget. It’s probably the hardest part of planning a wedding and the part most couples try to avoid, but if a budget isn’t created from the beginning, every other step in the planning process is going to be more difficult and you’ll end up spending MORE money than you would if you had given yourself a goal/limit to work with in the first place.

DON’T assume people won’t come. After your budget, the guest list is the next important thing on your to-do list and will affect every aspect of the wedding planning. Be realistic- write down every single person you plan to invite and then estimate that 80% of those people will want to come. You can’t assume that out-of-town guests won’t come. If your guest list is too high, start cutting! Most guests are more understanding about children and dates in today’s economy, so feel free to start there.

DO ask for your in-laws’ opinions. This is the ideal time to set the foundation for your future relationship. Don’t feel obligated to ask your new MIL for opinions on EVERY decision, but figure out which ones mean the most to her and ask for her thoughts. Invite her to meetings. Make sure she doesn’t feel left out. But…

DON’T forget whose wedding it is. Don’t let your parents or your in-laws take over all the decisions. The wedding is about you and your fiancé and should reflect your tastes and values as a couple.

DO compromise. While you are working on your budget, take the time to figure out what parts of the day are the most important to you and to your fiancé. If music is the most important thing to him, then defer to him when selecting the DJ or band. If flowers are the most important thing to you, he should be willing to accept your elaborate centerpiece designs.

DON’T agonize over every little thing. Yes, it’s the most important day of your life, but it still is only one day. If you really can’t make up your mind about something, ask your fiancé to make the decision for you. No decision you make should stress you out. Go with your gut instincts- don’t let yourself mull over decisions for too long or you’ll end up over-thinking and over-analyzing.

DO ask for help! You have bridesmaids and groomsmen for a reason. Delegate tasks you don’t have time to get done. Your event professionals have been hired to perform a service, let them! On the wedding weekend, give control to a non-family, non-bridal party person and let them serve as the point of contact for the day so you can relax, get ready, and enjoy your wedding!

DON’T forget to have fun! It’s your wedding, after all! Eat, drink, and be married!

Blissfully Yours, 

Stressed out from planning your wedding? Get their FREE e-guide; 

Bliss by Sam is one of the most sought after event planning firms in Durham, NC, and the surrounding areas. They have now expanded and opened an office in Chicago in April 2012! Samantha Dockery and her team work with busy, discerning brides to reduce stress throughout their wedding planning process and on their wedding day, so they can relax and enjoy the moment. Bliss by Sam has won awards from the National Association of Catering Professionals and the Forever Bridal Wedding Show. Their weddings and events have been featured on WRAL TV,, Weddings Magazine, Southern Bride and Groom Magazine, The Knot North Carolina Magazine, and Durham Magazine. For event planning tips, check out their blog, Daring.Devoted. or visit their website.


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