Unfortunately AND FORTUNATELY, my wedding planning time is almost up. The Sword’s Big Day is just around the corner and I literally can’t believe I’ve been engaged since last February. Life has flown by in the best of ways during this year and I have enjoyed nearly every second of it. I’ve also learned a ton about what has benefited us the most while being engaged and I’d love to pass my insight on to you.
If you just got engaged over the holidays (congrats) or if you’re still in the early stages of planning, this list is for you!
Miss Sword’s Six Tips for the “Year of the Wedding” (length of “wedding year” can vary from a few months to multiple years)
1. Sign up for a PO Box. This has been hands down the smartest thing we ever did. These days it’s not common for couples to be living together before marriage and to be living in an apartment or a condo. If you live in a place with a tiny mailbox or a slightly unsafe area (heeey big cities!), then a PO Box is the safest way to receive packages, gifts, letters and wedding response cards. We reserved one this past August through UPS for 14 months and it was $360. Every time we order something important (like a gift for our parents, my shoes, the guestbook, etc.), we have it sent to the PO Box. We also put this address on our wedding website and registries so our personal address isn’t plastered everywhere and our wedding gifts are sent straight to the UPS store as opposed to being stuck outside in the snow or at another location because they can’t be delivered. The best part is that they send us an email and a text every time we receive a package, so usually once or twice a week I hop in the car and drive the one mile to our PO Box to pick up our loot. This one from Thursday was particularly awesome. See below.
2. Keep extra thank you cards and stamps nearby for quick return on sending those thank you cards out the door. Most of us are lucky enough to have bridal showers, bachelor/bachelorette parties, and to receive gifts before the wedding. The best way to show your appreciation for everyone’s time and generosity is to get your thank you cards out in a prompt and quick fashion. This also helps your mental state as well because it’s an easy and fast way to check something off your long to-do list. I gave myself three weeks after each event or party and a week after a wedding gift is delivered to get my thank you note in the mail. You don’t have to write a novel, just sincere appreciation from the heart. I try to buy a set of thank-you cards for each event and then to mix and match extras as not everyone is invited to each event. Does that make sense? I’m really looking forward to using our Once Upon a Time themed thank yous (yet to be revealed) that we ordered from Minted with our invitations to thank everyone for attending our wedding.
one of my favorite Kate Spade thank you cards/ image via Papyrus
3. Sign up for every coupon and email list you can get your hands on. This is especially perfect for those of you ladies who are changing your name post-wedding. If you change your name, you will most likely change your email address and you can rid yourself of the daily or weekly store emails that are bombarding your inbox, and only re-sign up for the ones you truly care about. In the meantime, don’t buy anything without a coupon! This is something I learned from reading Weddingbee when I first got engaged. Many bees were sharing how much they saved by buying their crafting supplies with coupons and I knew I had to try harder to save money. So I signed up, and I signed up again. Now whether it’s Kohl’s, Things Remembered, or JoAnn, I try to use a coupon or a rewards card every time I go wedding shopping!
4. Designate a separate savings account known as “The Wedding Fund.” For Mr. Sword and I, it’s been really helpful to have two different savings funds, well technically three: emergency, house, and wedding fund. We also decided on a set budget and have used WeddingWire to track our wedding related expenses. We still put money into our wedding fund monthly, but once the wedding is over all the extra money (praying there is some) can go directly into the house fund.
I want to digress for a moment and explain another way I would consider myself old-fashioned these days; the combining of finances among couples. These days, I know many couples who still keep separate accounts after getting married or who have just one account with which they can both access. After much discussion Mr. Sword and I decided to have access to each other’s bank accounts and the plan is to eventually merge everything together. I just feel like what’s mine is yours sort of applies to everything in marriage, whether it be monetary or emotionally or spiritually or physically. I’m such a hopeless romantic.
Last photo of taken of The Swords before getting engaged!
Plus, it makes things so much easier because both Mr. Sword and I can access the wedding fund and watch what we spend and what we save. Finances are a very personal topic, so what works for us might not work for someone else. That said, a set budget and a designated savings account are always helpful when planning an expensive event!
5. Go a little crazy. It’s only one year. Wanna hear what crazy I’ve been doing? Only if your promise not to judge the fact that I’m telling you to spend money after I’m telling you to save money.
I get my nails done, like, all the time. And not just manicures, I get pedicures frequently as well. They just do a better job than I could ever hope to do, and my feet love me for it. That said, I probably get two haircuts a year, so it all evens out. Do you have a wedding indulgence?
6. Thank your friends and family and everyone involved in your wedding often and sincerely. This is pretty self-explanatory. Be overly grateful. If you focus on how wonderful your family and friends have been over the past year you have less time to focus on how mother f*ing stressed out you are!
Thank those that host your showers or bachelor/bachelorette parties with cards or gifts. Buy your Mom her wedding jewelry just because you love her and she’s been such a great help. Call people (even if you hate the phone like I do) and stay involved in your friend’s lives. Make dinner dates with your partner, go see shows, laugh, craft, and enjoy every second. It goes by too fast!
BM Jo and MOH Big Eyes showing their excitement to be making tartan jewelry, thank you ladies!
(all photos personal unless otherwise noted)
What else is helping you through the “Year of the Wedding?” Married bees, what am I missing?