We love weddings around here (obvi), so we know you are inundated with tips from every girlfriend that’s ever gotten married, your family, your future in-laws, and probably your hairdresser and manicurist, too. So, we’ve culled all the tips down to a list of our top 4. These tips are super practical and “why didn’t I think of that?” tips for a fun season of wedding planning.

1. Make a list of your must-haves and nice-to-haves before you book or buy a single thing.

It’s easy (and fun) to get caught up in every single detail for your wedding – flowers, invitations, place cards, candle votives, calligraphy, shoes, hair accessories, and at least 100 other pretty little things in between. But, time and money can be tight so you shouldn’t feel like everyone expects you to have all of those things or that you’re missing out by not having every single one.

Before you get started planning, dream up your list of “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves.” Have you always dreamt of having hanging flowers at the altar and you can’t imagine any other time in your life you’d ever have them? Put it on the must-have list. Do you think the hand calligraphed envelopes are gorgeous but not sure your guests will appreciate? Put it on the nice-to-have list. As you start to plan and make your decisions with vendors, refer back to this list. It will help you make decisions faster and easier by reminding you what you really care about.

2. Google Docs should be your BFF.

Make a master spreadsheet document to hold your budget, guest list and vendor comparisons to share with all of the VIPs in your wedding planning process. Having a collaborative document for the guest list and seating chart will save you countless hours of back and forth with your parents and in-laws to make sure you have the right address for Aunt Fran, and that Cousin Bill isn’t sitting next to Cousin Joe after what happened at the Thanksgiving dinner table last year.

You can create spreadsheets, word documents or work off a blank canvas with Google Slides to get everyone on the same page with your perfect wedding vision and plan.

3. If you’re not using a planner, you simply must have a Day-Of Coordinator. 

While all of the beautiful things you’ve picked out will wow your guests and make your wedding one of a kind, events are made perfect by behind the scenes logistics. A Day-Of Coordinator will ensure that everything runs smoothly and that you don’t have to spend a single moment worrying about if the band arrived, a guest finds their seat, or if someone parks where the getaway car is supposed to pick you up.

Having a set person in charge with a full picture of the night is the difference between losing track of time and realizing the band is on their last song while you’re mingling with your coworkers sitting at a table, and having a coordinator give you a 20 minute heads up that the night will end soon and make sure you’re on the dance floor to enjoy the last bit of the party. And trust us, your vendors and wedding party will thank you for having a coordinator too.

4. Include some alone time for you and your new spouse on the wedding day timeline.

Having all of your favorite people in one place celebrating you means you and your new hubby will be doing a lot mingling. While you’ll definitely have time together on the dance floor, you’ll be surprised how hard it is to find alone time together if you don’t account for it in the timeline. It can be just 15 minutes between the ceremony and reception after the photographer has taken pictures, but it’s a chance to just be together and soak in the excitement (and maybe have your caterer bring you some hors d’oeuvres to snack on if you aren’t having a sit down dinner!).

You’ll want to remember every single thing about your wedding day, and this alone time will be a chance for you two to reminisce on the day so far and gear up for the night ahead to help you do just that.