December 9

Why Every Bride and Groom Needs a “Top 3”

2013 Shay CochraneThe Simplified Planner by Emily Ley

I’ve read it so many times I can’t even give you a source. This is the most repeated morsel of wedding planning advice every friend, expert and former bride has to share: Make a “Top 3” list. Before doing anything else, write down the three things that are most important to you for your wedding day. If there was only enough money or time or sanity to tackle three things, what’s most likely to make the day perfect?

I wasn’t about to argue with that advice, so the first thing Mr. Rooster and I sat down to do in our wedding planning meetings was establish what three things we each wanted most for our wedding.

(By the way, calling them “planning meetings” makes it sound like we were on top of this planning stuff. We weren’t. Our wedding meetings were unscheduled and always kicked off with me scrolling Pinterest and talking a lot, him saying “uh-huh,” me realizing he wasn’t listening, then getting him to close the laptop while we set a timer for 10 minutes.)

Here’s my list:

  1. Gorgeous photos.
  2. A cool venue.
  3. Good food.

Here’s his:

  1. A cool venue.
  2. Making it unique.
  3. Good music.

After looking at our lists, we realized exactly why every book and blogger wants you to do this first. Some potentially huge wedding expenditures—flowers, cake, the dress—were nowhere near the top in either of our lists. For a budget bride like me, that put money back in my pocket. It wasn’t going to ruin our day if the flowers wilted, so lets not spend a lot of money there. Our Top 3 lists also effectively became our first wedding to-do list; we knew the venue, caterer and photographer should be the first vendors we searched for. We had a vision, and now a plan.

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Glee Wiki

Today, I’m proudly among the “Top 3” devotees that will sing the praises of list-making high and loud. Spelling out your top concerns is a great place to start to determine where to spend and what to do first.

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