Nicole and Jason’s Romantic Urban Wedding
1. Decide what aspects of the wedding you want to splurge on and where you can save.
Early on in the wedding planning, we decided what aspects of the wedding were the most important to us. From there, we decided what we were going to need to spend the most money on and where we could cut corners. For example, we both decided we wanted a venue in downtown Chicago that was unique, so we allocated a large portion of our budget towards that. For the things that weren’t as important to us, such as, invitations, we saved money by going the DIY route. I made the invitations using a template off of Etsy and printed them on Vistaprint, which saved us tons!
2. Get a travel credit card.
You are going to be making a lot of purchases throughout the wedding planning process, it is inevitable. We decided that since we were going to be spending so much already, we might as well get rewarded for our spending! We decided to get the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and I cannot recommend it enough. If you spend a certain amount within the first couple of months, you get a ton of points. We used the points we received throughout the wedding planning process to pay for our Honeymoon airfare.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for their help or expertise.
I was a bit of a stubborn bride and wanted to do everything myself. I LOVED the wedding planning process (I’m very type A and had a clear vision), but it was a lot to take on! Don’t be afraid to ask for help! If a friend or family member has a certain skill that can be beneficial to your wedding day ask them for guidance or assistance. For example, I was shocked at how much flowers cost. I met with multiple florists and they all told me a similar price range and I truly thought it was crazy to pay that much for something that was going to die by the end of the night. I decided to ask my Maid of Honor’s mom (who does flowers as a hobby) for her advice and she graciously ended up offering to do our flowers for us. They turned out stunning and we saved so much money. People want to help, just ask!
4. Don’t stress about the small details, you are literally the only person who will notice them.
Again, I am very type A. I am very detail oriented, which is great, but no one is going to notice the small details except you. For example, I freaked out the week the wedding and I decided that I no longer liked the card box I purchased MONTHS ago. So I dragged my husband to countless stores looking for the perfect card box (which I did find eventually), but I guarantee you no one cared.
5. Don’t stress about the weather!
I cannot stress this one enough… I started checking the forecast the second the 14 day forecast became available and I could not stop checking up until the wedding day. I was driving myself crazy and it was to the point where I ALMOST ordered 130 umbrellas from Amazon a few days before. It ended up being one of the hottest days of the summer (Chicago was under a heat advisory warning), but it was still absolutely PERFECT. You can’t control the weather so focus on the things that you can control!
6. Remember it’s YOUR day!
You will have a lot of loved ones who are offering their own opinions about your wedding day. Respectfully listen to them, but remember it is YOUR day. It is so difficult to not let others’ opinions influence your own decision making, but focus on your own vision and remember what the day is truly about: you and your fiancé!
7. Get a videographer if your budget allows it.
We didn’t and it is probably my only regret from the whole process. We LOVE our pictures, but it would be nice to have a video we could watch over and over to relive those moments.
8. Make a timeline for the day and try your best to stick to it, but be flexible!
We made a very detailed timeline and somehow things still didn't go as planned. Hair and make-up took longer than expected and so did the speeches and dinner. In the grand scheme of things, it was all fine, but we had to be flexible. For example, we had to push our first look back a half hour. Also, we ended up choosing not to do the bouquet and garter toss at the last minute because we wanted as much time as possible on the dance floor. Things will go wrong, just go with it and soak in every minute!! Which brings me to my last piece of advice….
9. Enjoy every single second of your day!
Literally every bride will tell you this, but your wedding day will go by so fast. Soak it all in. Take moments with your husband and just enjoy it. It truly is the best day of your life and I wish I could relive it!