Belly Bootcamp trainer, Liz, is getting married on July 1, 2011. She opens up to us monthly, leading up to the Big Day, as she battles wedding jitters and organizational snafus all while keeping fit so she’ll look just mahvelous in those wedding photos! 5 months. That’s 151 days if you’re counting.

If you read my 6-month countdown post, you may have noticed that the impending date of my wedding was causing me some stress. I’m happy to report that through the power of lists and goals, I’ve alleviated much of that stress. The “problem” with planning your own wedding (for those of us not lucky enough to be able to afford a planner) is that there are SO many moving, changing, evolving parts. It’s hard to know where to start. That’s where I was last month.

So – how did I get it under control?

1 – make a list. Do yourself a huge favor and get yourself a binder – you’re gonna need it. Buy some divider sheets, preferably with pockets and print out something inspirational to make you actually WANT to plan this giant party! (My tabs are: contacts, timeline, guest list, invitations, accommodations, schedule & day of, ceremony, reception, clothing, hair & makeup, food & liquor, cake, photos, flowers, decorations, music, favors, rentals, honeymoon, budget & receipts.) I found a great photo for the front of my binder and a saying for the inside: “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.” Hopefully your bridesmaids will remind you [often] that standing there with your love is the only thing that truly matters on that day – the rest will fall into place.

2 – find a wedding planner checklist that suits your taste. I LOVE the ones at Russell and Hazel. Yes – you are meant to buy their binder as well, but I just printed them all out, divided them up and made notes on them to customize them to my needs. I actually love the way it will turn out to be a keepsake for my wedding planning process. Years from now I’ll be able to look back and say “thank god I didn’t choose that dress!”

3 – use the system. Follow the month to month. If you’re more than 6 months out it may feel a bit like there’s nothing to do – enjoy it. Start looking around at dresses, think about your venue and colours you like. Make a list of the things that are most important to you and your fiancé and take note of ideas that pop into your head – they may develop into really special moments for your big day.


4 – listen to your fiancé. Some men really want to be involved in the process – great – take them shopping, delegate responsibilities and enjoy chatting about every last detail. But – some men don’t really care what colour the napkins are or if your shoes are ivory or ecru. That’s OKAY. Listening to your man and going with his flow will make the whole thing more enjoyable for the both of you. If he wants to hand you the reins, discuss important things with him like the budget, the venue, the rings and the ceremony. He asked you to marry him because he LOVES YOU – not because he loves planning elaborate parties! Discuss the smaller details with your bridesmaids. That’s what they’re there for.

5 – be clear with the people around you. Set out your expectations early so people know how they can make your day that much better. If your Maid of Honor doesn’t know that she’s supposed to keep your champagne glass full at all times – don’t be mad when you run dry. The people close to you love you, but they aren’t mind readers.

So – how’d I do on last month’s goals? Well, I lost 3.5 pounds (not quite as much as I’d like, but we’re headed in the right direction), got my dress and guest list sorted out and I think I’ve taken care of the officiant. I’ve called to start the process with the florist and am compiling the music lists as I type. It’s all falling together now and I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

Goals for February?

  • drop 3.5 pounds or more by increasing my cardio and drinking at least 2 litres of water per day (modify your goals and how to reach them monthly based on what’s working for you, not what you wish would work for you!)
  • sort out what the wedding party will be wearing
  • meet with the florist
  • sort out the ceremony and meet with officiant
  • clearly define roles of members of the wedding party and discuss our wishes with them

Stay tuned and follow my progress throughout the month at… There must be a bridezilla here somewhere just waiting to get out and run amok… When will she surface?