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Weddings 101: Top 10 planning tips

Every DIY bride wants to plan the most perfect wedding.  More importantly, they want to do it as stress-free as possible.  While this can be an overwhelming task, I’ve put together some of my best tips for saving money, saving time, and saving stress.

10.  Make spreadsheets for everything: budget, vendor contact list, payment schedule, guest list, etc.

9.  Keep a file for all receipts, contacts, coupons, orders, menus, etc.

8.  Go wholesale: They’re usually a lot cheaper.

7.  Come up with fun alternatives for fresh flowers, which can be really expensive.

6.  Shop discount stores: Home Goods, Marshalls, and Steinmart have great items for reception décor for much less than craft stores.

5.  Recruit your talented friends:  graphic designers can help with programs and custom invitations; crafters can help with floral arrangements and party favors; techies can help you create and run music on itunes instead of using a DJ; and public speakers can make great emcees.

4. Come up with something for your guests to do while they wait for you to arrive at the reception: words of wisdom cards, trivia games, picture collages, candy station, small hors d’oeuvres, etc.

3. Make an idea book with magazine cut outs, sketches, and paint swatches.  Organize them by category.

2.  Create a list for your photographer so your picture session goes smoothly and quickly, and you can join your guests sooner at the reception.

1.  Create a master to-do list and timeline (one for planning, and one for day-of), and share with all of your helpers, and especially your day-of coordinators.  Additionally, take photos of a table setting you wish to use, so your helpers can execute this quickly.

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