As exhilarating and exciting as being engaged is wedding planning can sometimes be a tad overwhelming.  Sometimes it’s exhausting just trying to figure out where to begin!  Since this is most likely the first time that either you or your fiance are getting married the road to wedded bliss can look a little overgrown and windy without a map.  Luckily for us we get to spend some time today with Shelby Peaden who creates and plans lovely events all over Florida.  She has graciously agreed to give us some insider tips on planning the most perfect event without suffering panic attacks along the way!

1. Location: Keep your location in mind when deciding on style, color, and decor. The aesthetics of your wedding or event should coordinate with it’s surroundings. This might sound odd, but don’t forget about parking or local events occurring on your wedding date.

2. Budget: Keeping your guest count to a minimum is a great way to save money and keep within your budget. It allows you the opportunity to splurge on a few things that will make the day special for you and your  guests. The small, we’ll thought-out details are what connects your guests to you and this milestone in your life.

3. Inspiration: Finding inspiration on blogs and tearing out pages of wedding magazines is a lot of fun and very useful; however, don’t be afraid to look outside the box. Inspiration can come from anywhere — a piece of fabric, furniture or even an article of clothing.

4. Details: Speaking of details, paying attention to the small things will set your wedding apart from the rest. Serving a signature cocktail as guests arrive in your color palette, a unique escort display, or the prettiest paper details awaiting guests on the tables are all examples of details that will have your guests talking through the night. Guests appreciate seeing in the time and effort you spent to entertain them.

5. Dress: There are so many gorgeous gowns out there making it even harder for brides to find “the one”. Find a bridal salon and let the sales staff help you find a gown that fits your body perfectly. Be sure not to forget proper undergarments.

6. Lighting: Light can really change the overall look and mood of your wedding. The difference between candlelight and overheard fluorescent lighting is obvious. Lighting can create a mood where people want to interact and connect with one another Remember lighting when planning your decor. If your budget doesn’t allow you to do an elaborate lighting schematic, speak with your  florist or event designer about  doing one focal point, and make it special.

7. Music: If there’s one area where a couple can express themselves freely, it’s with music.  Give the event a dose of your personality. Whether you make a playlist for your ipod, or select songs to be played by a band,  and make sure it is played at the appropriate volume for the reception space. Your guests shouldn’t have to shout or whisper to carry on a conversation.

8. Love your vendors: Choosing the right vendors is key in planning your wedding. Let me say that again. Choosing the right vendors is key in planning your wedding. You will enjoy the process if you have vendors  who understand you, and that you like. When they understand you and your vision, they will produce the wedding you want, and probably make it a lot more than you ever thought it could be.  Wedding vendors are creative people. Their energy and passion is in everything they do. So if you “connect” with a vendor, but are still shopping around, don’t discount that connection. There are times when a vendor’s personality, sense of humor, or quick wit will lift you out of the planning trenches. Most of all, trust the people you’ve chosen to deliver. You’ll be amazed at what they can do.

Planning tips: Shelby Peaden Events / Photography: Lauren Kinsey Photography, Candice K Photography, Meg Baisden Photography, Pure 7 StudiosLoving Legacy Photography

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