Guest Blogger: Jess Levin is the founder of Carats & Cake, a user-friendly website designed to help newly engaged couples sort through the various options for florists, bakeries and other vendors in their area through real feedback from real brides. Carats & Cake’s philosophy is simple: everyone deserves a dream wedding, and making this dream come true really doesn't need to be so hard.
Getting engaged is an incredibly joyful milestone but many couples can get overwhelmed by wedding checklists and all of the decisions that lie ahead of them. Jess Levin, the creator of Carats & Cake, took her own vow to help better the bridal market industry after discovering that her engaged friends were challenged by the planning process. She created a site to help brides organize their momentous occasion by providing not only gorgeous real wedding photos but also links to recommended vendors. Here, Jess shares a few pointers to help make the engagement period as enjoyable and stress-free as possible:
Photo Credit: Crystal Image Photography
1. Embrace the moment!
So many couples rush into planning mode right away without taking the time to bask in the just-engaged glow. Regardless of whether you are planning a 12-week or a 12-month engagement, you have time, and you only get to experience this once. So breathe.
2. Set boundaries.
When you do start the planning process, it is important that you have a sit-down with all parties involved and discuss the big picture from responsibilities to budget. The biggest piece of advice that I can give is that communication and organization are key. Not only does this help everyone get on the same page, but it also avoids future conflicts.
3. It’s all about you and your beloved. Period.
Too many couples that I speak with say they lose sight of this and get wrapped up in trying to make everyone else happy but themselves. Remember this is your wedding. As harsh as it may sound, you have to come to terms with the fact that you aren’t going to please everyone and setting boundaries as mentioned above can help.
Make a list of the things that are important to you and rank them. Working on a limited budget? Splurge on the things that matter and figure out how to save with things that don’t. Obsessing over a designer dress? Then see if a friend can make you an amazing playlist, so you don’t have to pay for a DJ. A flower aficionado? Make sure your florist can re-use flowers from the ceremony in the reception.
5. Photographs last a lifetime.
Even though I said it’s all about you, arguably the third most important person at your wedding is the photographer. Choosing the right person to capture your special day can be daunting, so make sure you do not only ask to view multiple weddings they have shot, but also ask for referrals. In addition, it's helpful to take engagement photos before the big day so that the photographer gets a sense of you as a couple. One more tip: make a list of the shots you absolutely want, so nobody misses a thing.