“Yes,” I answered without hesitation.

With that one question, I began a one year journey planning the wedding for one of my best friends.

You heard me right. For someone else.

February 10th, 2017 two amazing people got engaged. Within six months, they came to me and asked if I would marry them. Of course I said YES.

February 10th, 2018 two amazing people were married.

I’ve never planned a wedding before, so I really didn’t know what to expect, but I came away with a new appreciation for brides, wedding planners, and anyone involved.

In part one of this wedding series, we look back on a few life saving tips. Whether you’re planning your wedding, helping plan someone else’s wedding, or hired to participate in a wedding, these keys areas are my biggest take-aways from planning a wedding. It might be long but I promise it’s worth it.

Bride and Wedding Planner

1. Start Early

I’m lucky I worked with a bride who knew exactly what she wanted and was constantly noting ideas before we fully started planning. Once an official date was selected, we didn’t have as much time to plan as other brides but that didn’t stop us. We were fortunate enough to work together so we planned weekly lunch or early morning meetings to start ironing out details. Our task lists grew but we crossed things off real fast. As the wedding neared, it looked like we had a lot to do but daily the lists got smaller. From extra toilet paper to catering to hotel rooms to chalkboard pens, there wasn’t one thing missing by the time wedding day came.

2. Utilize Connections

We all know someone who knows someone. You would be surprised who might be able to help you in some area of your wedding. All you have to do is ask. If you are attending other weddings or events during the planning period, make notes and get cards from the caterer, venue, DJ, and more. In our case, I was able to arrange a DJ, musicians, venue, rentals, and some rooms. All in our first meeting we had half the major areas arranged and ready to go.

In the case of most weddings, family and friends will pitch in and love to help out. We work with an amazing group of creative people who pitched in with the cake, desert bar, guest book, flowers, and day of coordinating.

Depending on the size of your family (mine is pretty big), you can ask a favorite cousin or niece to manage your guest book and gift table. I’ve done that for multiple family weddings. Have your favorite uncle run the keg and your aunt pour wine. If you’re going alcohol free, set up big ice bins with bottles of water, juice, and flavored La Croix for guests to grab a go.

This wedding was in February, in a barn, in Boise. We got lucky and it wasn’t snowing, but it was in the 40-50s with some sun. Be prepared for everything. We had a coat rack, multiple space heaters, a wood burning stove (provided by the venue), and panels to enclose the porch and keep the heat in.

I attended a spring wedding where they provided umbrellas in case of rain. In the summer, have misters and chilled drinks waiting for guests as they sit down so one overheats.

3. Recharge

It wasn’t even my wedding, and I found the importance of rest and relaxation when I had time – before the wedding just as much as after. It’s not just the bride and groom who will look forward to a honeymoon and quiet time. It’s nice to get free time again.

I knew once the wedding was over I would have a new list of fun things I wanted to do. I didn’t realize how much my mind and body just wanted free time. I also didn’t know the emotional toll it would take once it was over and how relieved I was that it all went off without a hitch. I was so worried I would be responsible for something being forgotten or left behind or going wrong (saying the wrong name or forgetting the “I Do’s” – which I almost did).

4. Eat

I’m not good at this on a normal day so on the weekend of intense planning and final touches, eating is the last thing I’m thinking about. As a bride and groom, sometimes getting the chance to eat is hard with everyone wanting to congratulate you and all the dancing.

First rule of thumb – if someone offers to stand in line and get you something, say YES. I did after hesitation when my second in command insisted that she get me food. It was the only food I ate that night (aside from taffy) and it saved my life. Wine, champagne, and candy does not make a perfect match.

Second rule of thumb – as the bride and groom you have a few options. (1) eat a bit before the ceremony, (2) have the caterers prepare you plates and eat quickly before your grand entrance, (3) have the caterers/friends/family prepare to-go boxes to take as you drive away – this was the method of choice for my bride and groom, or (4) designate a wedding party table with an actual sit down dinner where wedding party eats first. Option 2 was taken from my sister’s wedding years ago – where they also had holy communion for the first time as man and wife. Option 4 is popular with most weddings and many I’ve attended.

5. Have Fun

It’s a wedding, of course, you will have fun. But focus on the fun over anything else. Don’t worry so much about the timeline and if you start the first dance exactly at 7:35 or the getaway car shows up 10 minutes early. If you are over prepared, like I tend to be, then it will all fall into place and work out magically. Dance when the moment strikes, even if it’s in the back of the room while you make sure the desert part stays properly supplied and that the bride doesn’t need help lifting her wedding dress in the bathroom.

Behind the scenes with the flower girl, musician, sidekick, and me


Would I do it again? In a heartbeat, for the right people. Having done it once, it will only get easier from here. If you’re ever asked, jump on the chance because when it all ended, I still look back at how much fun I had.

If you’re in the Boise, Idaho area and looking for some great resources for your next party, event, wedding, or more, leave us a comment and we’ll share all the amazing people who made February 10, 2018 possible.