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By Kristy Jackson

Helpful tips for planning your own wedding

Planning your own wedding can be a nightmare. Trust me, I know. Here are some of the mistakes that I made and some helpful advice so your wedding can be less of a mess!

If you are having your wedding on a budget and cannot afford a wedding planner, these tips can be helpful.

1. Hire a coordinator

One of the mistakes that I made was not having an official coordinator. My husband's aunt offered the job and we were tight on money, so we took her up on it. I appreciate her help, but it was so sloppy. A list was made and given to her of what needed to be done and when. Things were not in order at all. It was a total mess.

I, along with my mother-in-law, were basically running around trying to figure out where everybody needed to be and when. We never had a toast. Things were forgotten about and remembered when the night was basically over and after many guests had already left – like the flower toss and garter belt toss, speeches and cake cutting. I had never been to a more unorganized wedding, so this is a VERY important step.

2. Photographer contract

I know you are probably thinking this is a given. Our photographer backed out the night before. A friend, who is a professional, was going to do the job. We trusted her so there was no contract, which was a HUGE mistake. I was so upset, practically in tears and in panic mode. My mother-in-law was able to find someone as last-minute as it was, but it was a college student. He did not really know what he was doing.

I, again, was running around grabbing people to bunch together for a picture. He did not tell us where to pose or what kind of poses to do. It was awkward and we were just standing around trying to come up with ideas. That being said, I do not have many good pictures. I did not get a picture with my father or my mother-in-law. We had a list written out for our friend of the pictures to make sure to be taken, but it all fell through.

3. Limit who does speeches

One of my husband's friends got on the mic and was very drunk. He started rambling about how him and his girlfriend, in the past, were broken up all the time and saying very unnecessary things. This was very embarrassing. It was also his birthday, so he was shouting that aloud, and said it at least 10 times during his speech in front of everyone.

4. Be prepared for something to go wrong

Without an official wedding planner, mistakes are very likely to happen. It can be expensive, but it is worth it in the long run. If you cannot afford it, make sure you are prepared for something to go wrong. Regardless, mistakes usually do happen on this day. Being prepared for this helps.

Overall, my wedding was a mess. This one of the most special days of your lives and you imagine it a dream. I am not upset. I am very grateful for everyone who helped me make this day possible, especially my mother-in-law. It was a beautiful wedding. Even though it was sloppy, I loved my wedding. I got married!

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