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How to Plan Your Dream Wedding (10 Years in Advance)

Picture This: A tropical destination with palm trees in the background of every picture, thousands of flowers draped over chairs and tables, and a beautiful, dream dress every little girl imagines she will get married in.

A wedding is truly one of the most, if not THE most, important day of a woman’s life. Countless hours of preparation go into finalizing details; arranging appointments; choosing colors, locations, cake flavors, party favors…. the whole nine yards! An event of this scale takes months (even years) to execute, so why wait for an engagement to start fantasizing?! Pinterest can easily become a woman’s best friend while she brings her dream wedding to life.

1.     The Fiancé

The most essential detail of the pre-wedding planning you want to take care of! Having your partner by your side to fantasize a dream wedding with is half of the fun. Discussing general details early on in the game is harmless: like about how many people they want to attend, or what kind of food they want to serve. Make sure your partner is someone you can picture yourself waking up beside every single morning, exploring the world with, laughing until you cry and crying until you laugh with, and loving endlessly for as long as you both shall live.

2.    The Ring

You would be lying to yourself if you say you have never walked by Tiffany’s very slowly to see all of the gorgeous engagement rings, who are we kidding? You have to have some idea of what options intrigue you. The number of stones, color of stones, diamond shape, diamond size, number of accent diamonds, diamond quality, and diamond cut all matter to the woman; however, it might just be easier to put a picture of the ring you want on your Pinterest for your fiancé-to-be to look at for guidance!

3.     The Venue

Location, location, location….it is crucial. Sure, you can dream of having a destination wedding with to-die-for scenery, but let’s be realistic. Do you really want to shell out money for 100 people to travel to a resort to celebrate your big day? While it’s nice to dream, it is also a good idea to be slightly reasonable with your budget. Perhaps you have your ceremony on a local beach and move to a nearby banquet hall for the reception to cut down on costs of travel. No matter the location, you can still make your wedding look picturesque.

4.   The Dress

No matter how many gowns you scroll through online, you never know what you are truly looking for until you try them on! It has been proven on “Say Yes to the Dress,” time and time again that brides envision themselves in a Chiffon Empire and walk away with a Lace Trumpet. Never count out any options that do not appeal to you automatically. You will know if the dress is “the one” by how you feel in it when trying it on. Try not to let the opinions of others weigh too heavily on your decision. This is YOUR special day with the dress YOU will be wearing in pictures for years to come.

5.    The Bridal Party

The ultimate question: who to choose? Not everyone can be in your bridal party, and they are understanding of this! Having an organized maid of honor is highly recommended since she will have a part in helping to plan the bachelorette party and wedding reception. Try to limit the amount of bridesmaids and groomsmen, and make sure they meet before the wedding so they are familiar with one another. Stay clear of the drama between them- the last thing you need is a cat fight down the aisle! When buying the bridesmaids’ dresses, it is important to consider everyone’s body shape. Suggest going with the bridesmaid to select her dress to ensure the colors are cohesive throughout the whole party. Other options include ordering the same dress for each woman, or various dresses in the same color if you are looking to mix it up!

6.    The Decorations

This is where Pinterest DIY crafts really come in handy. Decorations can be easy, cheap, and fun to make! Split decoration duty amongst your family and bridal party, and you are sure to have exciting and expensive looking décor for your service and reception.

7.    The Flowers

Fake or real, long-stemmed or short, accented or natural…. who knew there were this many options? Do not make impulse decisions when ordering your bouquets for your special day! You need to ensure the cost will not be drastic, the flowers will not have a noticeably bad odor, the coloring of the flowers will not rub off, and the petals for the flower girl will match perfectly.

8.    The Invitations

The invitations are the first impression of your wedding. Recipients will find out the colors of the wedding, theme, location, and date. Spend time proofreading invites thoroughly incase of minor errors, and make a check list of whom you would like to send them to. Make sure to send a “save the date” before sending the invitation, and a wedding response card to notify the bride and groom who will actually be in attendance.

9.    The Cake

Presentation? Or taste? Why not both! I would imagine cake taste testing is one of the most exciting (and delicious) parts of wedding preparation! Many couples have one cake for the presentation and a few smaller cakes to feed the entire party to save money. Make sure the cake, inside and out, matches the theme of your wedding.

10. The Hair/Makeup

Hiring a professional hair and make up artist has its benefits: all of the bridesmaids and bride will look cohesive, they will match the colors of the wedding perfectly, and pictures will be sure to please. However, if spending money to have a professional does not fit into your budget, what’s the harm in a little DIY action? You can cut down on costs by doing each other’s hair and make up based off of what the bride desires the party to look like!

Based off of statistics on money.cnn.com and theknot.com, the average wedding costs nearly $28,500. Begin setting aside money now for your big day in the future, you will thank yourself down the road! Various factors go into planning a dream wedding, and while it is safe to dream, dream reasonably!

Venue (reception hall)




Wedding/event planner


Reception band


Reception DJ






Wedding dress


Groom’s tuxedo


Wedding cake


Ceremony site


Ceremony musicians








Rehearsal dinner


Engagement ring


Catering (price per person)




Amy Phillips is a student at Towson University pursuing a double major in Mass Communications (Journalism & New Media) and Dance. She is a Jersey girl at heart, aspiring to become a News Anchor and Dance Teacher. Amy has a heart for helping others in the community, dreams of dancing in the Disney College Program, as well as becoming Miss America. Follow Amy on Instagram: amy_phillips46
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