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Help Yourself!

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Anna Gilbert

Happy Wedding Week friends! Did you know there’s an entire week of the year dedicated to celebrating weddings? As a very wise friend of mine has recommended to me—you should milk it for all it’s worth!

Anywho, before things get really wild and I start showing off all of the fabulous projects I’ve got underway for the wedding at the end of the month, I’d like to share a little something I’ve learned about time management and utilizing your best resources.

ask for help500

If you aren’t using a wedding coordinator, you might be looking into ways to be more efficient in planning and budgeting your own wedding, and BSB is a really great way to get ahead of that task list quickly–especially if you’ve got an ultra short timeline (like someone I know). As an event planner, I started off thinking I could manage every task on my own. But, weddings are not the same as corporate events, and three months is not much time for any event that requires as much consideration as a wedding does. Here are a few tips I’d love to share from my experience so far.

After doing some research, get yourself a little outline of all the components that have priority for you. It is easy to get caught up in the details from the very beginning (darn you Pinterest!), but I recommend starting off by looking at the big picture. Everybody has different wedding requirements; this is what ours looked like:

The Scoop
  • General Color Scheme
  • Informative Literature (i.e. announcements, save the dates, invites etc.)
  • Date/Time
  • Who to Invite/Collect Addresses
Rehearsal Dinner
  • Host
  • Location/Meal
  • Who to Invite
  • Venue
  • Wedding Party
  • What to Wear
  • Program
  • Décor
  • Floral Arrangements
  • Photography
  • Venue
  • Meal
  • Décor
  • Tables/Centerpieces/Floral Arrangements
  • Cake
  • Talent Showcase “Stage” & Program

It took a bit of time to narrow this list down to something that would allow me to keep things simple during the planning process. Then, one by one, I started tackling line items. But, with a full-time job, a super-short timeline and a location choice that’s 2 hours from home, in a small town….it wasn’t long before I realized that planning this whole shebang all by myself would be simply impossible.

So I took inventory on all of my friends’ and loved-ones’ locations, skillsets and talents and began doing the one thing that I dread most in life: asking for help.

Soon, my mother was on top of all the coordination, I had my bridesmaids shopping for their own dresses, my fiancee’s mother had her friends setting up our first shower and taking care of the rehearsal dinner arrangements. We leaned on my aunt, a former florist, to share her wisdom on sourcing and creating our own floral arrangements. I was thrilled when my fiancée dove in head-first and took on the job of photographing and designing our save the date, building a wedding webpage and working with my sister, the painter, to create the most beautiful wedding invitations I’ve ever seen. I even had a friend graciously offer to put up my entire family on their ranch for the weekend of the wedding so we could spare the expense of booking hotel rooms!

And, more than working “smarter-not-harder,” the biggest realization I’ve had during this whole process has been learning that the only way to create an experience that will be as heart-felt, thoughtful, impressive and memorable for everyone who shares this big day with us, is to include them in the planning process. It’s been a real blessing to see people jump at the opportunity to help out, and all I had to do was get them in on the action!

In life, sometimes the hardest thing to do is ask for help.

So I try my best to remember that accepting help from others is an exchange that, very often, goes both ways.

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Anna Gilbert

is a Texas strawberry with a chameleon, big goals, high standards and waaay too many hobbies.