When I was engaged, I got this bright idea to make my bridesmaids aprons for their bridesmaid gift. I scoured fabric stores for fabric (main and trim) that seemed perfectly suited to each bridesmaid’s personality, and I was pretty thrilled with the results. That was in April. My wedding wasn’t until November. So guess what? I didn’t even start actually making the aprons until October. Oh, did I mention that I didn’t really know how to sew, so it was also kind of a learn-as-you-go project?
To all future brides: I wouldn’t recommend modeling your project completion schedule after mine. I procrastinated. A lot. Which meant, quite honestly, that I spent a good bit of time crying as my wedding got close because I had oh-so-much left to do. All because I hadn’t carefully planned out (and stuck to) a schedule of what to do when.
Something kind of similar happened with our thank you notes. As wedding gifts began arriving before the big day, Danny and I decided to save them and open them after the honeymoon with all the other gifts. Great idea in theory; in reality, it meant we had dozens and dozens of thank you notes to hand write (and we write long, personal notes that fill both sides of the card!) in the weeks after our wedding.
So here’s what I recommend:
- Create a wedding to-do list of everything you need to get done, from finding a gown to booking vendors to DIY projects — preferably in Excel or another spreadsheet program.
- Prioritize each task on a scale of 1 to 5 according to how important it is to you and for the wedding as a whole.
- Assign each task a number based on how many months (or weeks) in advance of the wedding you want to complete it.
- Determine roughly how long each task will take to complete and assign each task a number based on how many months (or weeks) in advance of the wedding you’ll need to start that project in order to meet your deadline.
- Sort the tasks based on the completion deadlines (and by the start dates, so you’ll know what to begin with) that you’ve set for yourself, paying special attention to all the tasks that you ranked 3, 4, and 5 in importance.
- Get to work now — not next month, or six weeks before the wedding day!
Full blown weddings are a lot of work. But when you know what needs to get done and how much time you have, it shouldn’t be that hard to arrange your time wisely so that the projects are fun instead of stressful. Apparently, that was too tall of an order for me. So learn from my mistakes, and spread your wedding projects out during your engagement instead of waiting until the last month to really roll up your sleeves!