You’ve been dreaming of this day since you were a little girl. The man of your dreams got down on one knee and presented you with a gorgeous ring. You’re over the moon with excitement…

…and then reality sets in. You have to plan a wedding. You have to sift through thousands of ideas and dresses and opinions, and come up with an event that will not only satisfy your wants but also won’t offend your grandparents. It’s crazy overwhelming, so here are a few tips to kick off the planning process.

Find a vision.
First, you need to figure out what kind of wedding you want. Start small. Find one thing you want to base your wedding around, whether it be the venue, flowers, dress, etc. and work off of that. I knew I wanted a lakeside wedding up north, and was able to pick my dress and linens when I found something that had that same country chic vibe, and so on. The more you break it down, the less overwhelming it will be.

Use your voice.
Not only are people going to have an opinion, they are going to vocally assault you with it. When you find something you love, stick with it no matter how many raised eyebrows and “How interesting!” comments you receive. When I told people I was wearing pink Chuck Taylor’s, you would have thought I was going to set my wedding dress on fire at the altar. As it turned out, the pictures with my shoes are some of my favorites AND I get to wear them all the time.

Love your vendors.
You are planning a party a year in advance, give or take. There will be many phone calls and interactions with these people, so if you have a bad feeling, get out early while you can still get your deposit back. Planning a wedding out of state, I had few opportunities to meet my vendors and had to go with my gut on a lot of stuff. If someone rubs you the wrong way early on, it will only get worse as you draw closer to the wedding. These people have one shot to get this right, so if there is even the remote chance they won’t hold up their end of the bargain, don’t waste your money. $1,000 for a videographer is only a good deal if they show up, ya know? On the flip side, having an awesome DJ, stylist, etc., will make your day even more amazing.

Review thoughtfully.
Reviews can be amazing. They help you sift through a sea of vendors and should be used heavily when picking your team. While bad reviews should be taken seriously, make sure to really take the review into account. If a vendor has a lot of wonderful feedback and one or two negative responses, look at the language and what the person is really complaining about. There are some people out there that will never be happy. No matter how accommodating you are, they are just itching to find something wrong and head on over to yelp. That being said, anything negative that is repeated across multiple reviews is usually legit

Speaking of reviews (shameless plug), check out some of our awesome reviews here: Eden XO on The Knot

Feel free to leave your own if you’ve worked with one of our stylists. We’ll see you next time with this season’s best hair styles, as well as some of the killer work we’ve done this year.