Stop the presses, it’s finally happening! After years of growing and glowing together, you just got engaged to your favorite person on earth.

There is nothing more exciting than looking forward to forever with your soul mate. Once the planning process is underway, however, things can understandably become a bit more stressful. From meeting with vendors to finalizing your color scheme, the process may not be as blissful as you would have hoped.

While you weren’t expecting a perfect engagement, you’ve now found yourself under mountains of checklists, appointments, and unsolicited advice. To cut out the noise, we’re sharing the most effective tips that will actually help bring your vision to life.

Check out our time-saving guide below to find out exactly what to do when planning a wedding!

The do’s and don’ts of wedding planning

Do: Set a realistic budget (and stick to it!)

As you begin the wedding planning process, one of very first steps to take is working out your budget. Figuring out how much money you’re willing to spend on certain goods and services can help you to plan and save accordingly.

The average cost of a wedding in Florida is about $30,000, so you can expect the final tab for a full-service event to be within a couple thousand dollars of this estimate. If you’re planning an elopement or destination wedding, however, your bill may end up being significantly higher or lower than this.

Note: Disagreements about money can end up being a real deal-breaker, so it’s important to remember that communication is key. Talking openly and honestly about your wedding budget can set you two up for a lifetime of trust when discussing finances.

Don’t: Skip out on services that really matter

On the topic of money, we highly recommend discussing which goods and services are at the top of your list. This will help you to determine where you’d like to invest more of your budget and where you can afford to be more conservative.

For example, if you want a lasting reminder of your wedding day, you’ll want to invest in lifetime services such as photography and videography. If you’re more focused on creating a dynamic party atmosphere, most of your budget may go towards booking a live band and/or hiring a top-tier bartending team.

Whatever your preference is, you and your partner will need to decide which elements truly mean the most to you. From there, you can determine how to use your wedding budget wisely.

Do: Settle on your style

Now that you’ve worked out the budget, the next step is developing your wedding vision! This is the fun part, as you’ll have the opportunity to learn so much more about yourself during the process.

To find your wedding style, we recommend starting with a curated Pinterest board. We know this seems simple, but that’s totally the point! Starting with Pinterest means that you’ve got a low-risk, high-reward method for designing the wedding of your dreams.

When searching for wedding inspiration, you should consider a wide range of design elements, including venue, attire, floral arrangements, tablescapes, and wedding stationery. Once you’ve got a solid starting point, you can tailor the board to fit your ideal wedding theme.

Don’t: Tie yourself to tradition

As we frequently tell our couples, “your wedding day should be a reflection of YOUR story.” This means that, while we all have some of our favorite traditions, you should choose those that are most meaningful to you.

To that end, you should also feel free to make your own traditions, or go for something completely different. From wedding rings to paper rings, we believe that your special day should be a perfect reflection of your love for each other.

Do: Get to know your dream team

When selecting your wedding vendors, it’s important to make sure that you can relate to and connect with them on a human level. If their personality and branding don’t align with your vision, it may be difficult for them to bring your dream wedding to life.

For this reason, most vendors offer a free consultation prior to continuing the booking process. Makeup artists, for example, typically offer a makeup trial in order to show that they can provide the exact look you’re going for.

For wedding photographers, doing an engagement photo shoot can be a great way to help you better understand their process. You’ll learn more about their editing and posing methods, which can determine whether you feel comfortable working with them in the future.

Don’t: Hire vendors from a 3rd party

Over the last couple of decades, wedding planning sites like The Knot, Wedding Wire, and Zola have become wildly popular. Unfortunately, this has led to a web of miscommunication and dishonesty in the wedding industry.

While The Knot can be a great resource for creating your wedding website, we do not recommend finding your wedding vendors here. Unclear pricing and lack of accountability mean there’s no guarantee that what you see is what you get.

In addition to providing misleading pricing estimates, these sites’ vendor listings are rarely updated. This means that when you think you’re getting a great deal, the venue or vendor may not even be in service. Save yourself some trouble and do a quick Google search, then review the results based on your needs. 

Do: Stay organized

From finalizing your wedding guest list to arranging (and rearranging) your seating chart, there are so many moving parts to creating a well-planned wedding. Staying organized will help you to manage these pieces without becoming overwhelmed.

It’s helpful to keep your wedding registry, timeline, and related checklists all in one place, whether it’s a Google Drive or a wedding website. This will help you avoid managing several different passwords, apps, and communication systems.

All vendor appointments should be scheduled with plenty of time before the wedding day. Early, consistent communication with your team will give you more time to relax as the event draws nearer.

Don’t: Overwork yourself

Instead of spending your engagement worrying about wedding invitations and catering options, you need dedicated time to spend with your fiance. After all, overworking yourself will only lead to increased stress and could affect the way you remember your special day.

When it comes to wedding planning, we believe in normalizing self-care as a part of the process. Your engagement should be a joyful experience, but the only way to appreciate this season is by making time for yourself and each other.

So put down the wedding planning checklist and trust that the wedding favors can be prepared later. This is your moment to celebrate with your partner, sharing your excitement for the incredible days ahead.

Do: Lean on your support system

For continued joy beyond the wedding day, it’s essential to have a group of people that you can trust. Whether it’s your wedding party or close family and friends, every couple needs a support system that they can rely on in challenging times.

We encourage our couples to confide in their friends whenever possible, reminding them to celebrate the meaningful relationships that brought them together. While it may not seem very productive, hanging out with your bridal party could be the hard reset you’ve been waiting for.

Whether they’re reminding you to grab your wedding shoes or leaving you in tears from laughter, your loved ones will always be there when you need them. It’s times like these that make you two grateful for a supportive group that you know you can lean on.

Don’t: Lose sight of what’s important

Greater than the guest count, more valuable than the wedding bands, and more timeless than the floral arrangements; at the end of the day, your wedding is an unforgettable experience that you will cherish forever.

In the midst of your wedding planning, don’t forget the real meaning behind all of the aesthetics and dazzling decor. This day is about celebrating your incredible love story, surrounded by all of your favorite people.

If you find yourself losing sight of the bigger picture, premarital counseling can be a great opportunity to refocus your priorities. Taking deep breaths and practicing grounding techniques can also help to reduce any anxiety you may be feeling.

When in doubt, hire a professional

For couples that are feeling particularly overwhelmed, it may be time to hire a professional wedding planner or coordinator. This can take some of the weight off your shoulders, allowing you to balance your responsibilities more effectively.

Wedding planners can help with every step of the process, from drafting the guest list to creating the wedding day timeline. Depending on when you choose to hire a planner, they can even help you find wedding venues and reception venues near you.

With a professional handling the wedding planning timeline, you will have plenty of time to enjoy your engagement together. All you’ll need to do now is show up at your dream venue for the most stunning wedding ceremony ever.

In Conclusion

There you have it, our proven tips for planning your dream wedding (without losing your sanity!). From finding the perfect wedding venue to learning how to lean on your wedding party, there are so many steps you can take to ensure that your big day goes off without a hitch.

From the ceremony to the wedding reception and beyond, you deserve an experience that takes your breath away. With these tips, you’ll have an engagement and wedding that are just as radiant as you always imagined.

"I was absolutely thrilled with our weddings photos! They came out so gorgeous words cannot express my gratitude for Emily!

Mel & John



"I will never hire another photographer. I have found my photographer soul mate and her name is Emily Marie. Thank the stars!"

Jessica Knox



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