Congratulations on the next great chapter of your lives!! Sometimes this chapter can be very daunting…it does not have to be…I promise! Here are a few tips that will help you start the new journey correctly.

  1. Create a budget

The budget, after setting your date, should be the next conversation… trust me it will save you a lot of unwanted conversations and tension down the road. If your parents are helping financially the best way and the most respectful way to approach this conversation is without your fiancé and privately. Remember not all parents are able to financially help out as much as they would like to…be thankful and SHOW appreciation for ANY amount given. In North Dakota some parents of the groom like to pay for more than what etiquette calls for; if this is communicated to the brides family…allow them…there is enough expenses to go around, you will be grateful in the end. The average wedding in North Dakota is $32,000 for approximately 300 guests. Once you have all three sources of monies totaled (brides family, grooms family, and couple) be realistic in setting each budget line. If a family states they will pay for a certain line item, communicate how much is allotted this way you can narrow down your selections, saving time and frustration, which naturally reduces stress and creates a enjoyable experience.

  1. Create a vision

Next step is sitting down with your fiancé and talking about what you as a COUPLE want on YOUR wedding day. Groom, please take this seriously, your bride wants to know what is important to you. For 90% of grooms, it just does not matter to you, but hear me out. I work with several couples and the couples where the groom shows genuine interest and involvement the bride just lightens up and gets SO excited. When the groom shows a disconnection, the bride gets frustrated because she wants it perfect for her man as well. Hint: groom give your bride three things that are important to you, for examples, the limousine, the activities between ceremony and reception, the reception venue, or DJ. Being genuinely interested and involved does not mean you as a groom need to be at every meeting, it just means making your bride feel your wedding day is important to you as well. No doubt it will test your communication skills, but it will make several fantastic “first” memories together. Throughout the planning process you will have a lot of options and suggestions given to you, take them and consider them, but ONLY use the ones that fit your vision you established together…this way your wedding day will remain your vision.

  1. Do I need a planner/coordinator?

Having a planner/coordinator is so beneficial with helping you as a couple; we are your intermediary between you, your families and vendors. Planners/coordinators listen to your vision and budget and we find the vendors needed who are available on your wedding date, accomplish your vision, and fit your budget. This saves you an enormous amount of time and frustration. As a couple you are able to pick which vendors you would like to meet and your planner/coordinator will arrange those meetings for you and also attend them with you. Your planner/coordinator is with you every step of the way through out your entire planning process until you two love birds are dancing the night away insuring smooth transitions, keeping the day on schedule, and with you through any concerns that may arise. If you find that your day to day job keeps you extremely busy already, or you do not enjoy details, or if you just want you and your families to just be able to enjoy your wedding day and not have to worry about the details…I would seriously consider hiring a wedding planner/coordinator.

  1. Meet and book the 5 major wedding components.

If you do not have a planner/coordinator, this would be your next step. Keep in mind the best venues, photographers, DJ’s, decorators, and caterers can be booked one to two years out; they are not the best in their field due to only doing a few weddings a year, most of them do one if not two a week…so as soon as you know your first choice BOOK THEM do not wait until the “timeline” says to.

  1. Create a timeline with actual dates.

It is so beneficial to sit down with a calendar and create a timeline, if you have a planner/coordinator they help you with this, with actual dates and put it where you will see it often. Doing this step it will naturally make you feel in control therefore keeping the stress level low to which naturally creates a great planning experience…the ultimate goal.

My passion is for brides to feel empowered when planning their wedding, create memorable memories along the way, and ending with the dream-wedding day a reality as the couple enjoys their first best day together as husband and wife!

“Wedding Day” by Signature Events on May 7, 2016 is coming to town!!! This event will be a elite bridal school with activities for your groom at the bachelor pad. This school is for all brides and grooms at any stage of your planning process, you will walk away feeling empowered and inspired to begin or continue in your planning process.  Invite your family and friends to join you for dinner and a dance while showing your support to our local charity the Ronald McDonald Home. Check out all the details under the “Wedding Day” logo on my home page or e-mail me at I would love to answer any questions.

Happy Planning!