Emily Carlson

Almost one year ago, my fiance and I got engaged. Since that chilly September day, we have packed up all of our belongings, moved three hours east to live with family while we build our own home here in Cohasset. Needless to say, it has been busy. We recently set an official date for our wedding in August 2020. With less than a year to go, we have already learned so much about the wedding planning process. I wanted to share some of the lessons we have picked up along the way for any of you who may be in the same spot as us.

Lesson #1- Always, ALWAYS, tour your venue in person

This spring, as we were looking at potential venue locations for our ceremony and reception, we found a place online that looked like exactly what we envisioned. Excited, we called and soon booked the venue. Our mistake was not going on an actual tour of the space to get a feel of everything in person. Fast forward about six months and we finally get around to visiting the venue. To our disappointment, the venue did not live up to the image we had in our heads. We were lucky, though, as the majority of our deposit was refundable at that point. We decided to cancel and since then have booked our new venue. Don’t worry, we actually went to see this one first.

Lesson #2- Determine a budget, then determine your priorities

The best step we took when beginning to plan our wedding was establishing our budget. After determining how much we wanted to put toward the day, we were able to see how much we wanted to put toward each category. The next step we took was deciding priorities. My mom gave us each a piece of paper to write down our top five priorities for the wedding. We had to write them separately to make sure there was no bias. Then we could see what was the most important to the both of us in order to break up the budget accordingly.

Lesson #3- If you are stressed, it’s time to take a break

No wedding is worth losing your sanity over. Before I was actually engaged, I had been thinking about wedding details since I was a teenager. This meant watching all of the bridal shows on TLC and seeing how easily the planning process can go wrong. I told myself that if at any point, I felt overwhelmed or too stressed, that meant that I needed to take a break from planning. Believe me, those moments have happened. Sometimes my mind starts to race and I begin worrying that I haven’t planned enough yet, or that we are going to run out of time. In those moments, I force myself to stop and do something else. No good decision can be made when stressed. On the other hand, if you are relaxed, decisions can flow smoothly. This was the case for when I picked out my own wedding dress. I had been to a couple stores with family members to start getting ideas. I then went to one more store with just my mom and sister. Us three were able to calmly look through the options and I know I picked the best dress… but I am biased, of course.

I hope for all of you who are planning a wedding, know someone who is planning one, or who may be planning other types of events find value in the lessons I have already learned. Remember to take deep breaths, step back, and enjoy the journey. Oh, and make sure to take advantage of any free tastings you can get.

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