The Complete Guide to Planning a Wedding
It can be overwhelming to plan a wedding. Even though couples hire professionals to manage their wedding plans and there are many reasons to do so, it is possible for them to also handle the majority of the tasks. It could be that they are on a budget or simply love the DIY possibilities. Regardless of these reasons, you can still plan the Planning a Wedding of their dreams.
When you have to make decisions, manage deadlines, or organize your daily life, organization is essential. It is important to allow yourself enough time for wedding planning. It’s a good idea to have a longer timeline. Try to aim for around a year. This step should also include your significant other. Your wedding should reflect you as a couple.
Where do you start? We’ve got you covered. Remember to have fun. This is your wedding. Focus on what’s important and don’t get too focused on the little details. Celebrate the love between you and get married while being surrounded by friends and family.
Here are our top tips on how to plan your big day, from organizing your guests to understanding the legal framework and negotiating a vendor agreement to maintaining your mental health.
Stick to Your Wedding Budget
Your wedding budget will drive many of your decisions. Make sure you address this first. You can talk to your family about the amount they are willing to spend. You may need to reevaluate your financial situation if you find yourself paying the bill. It’s important to be realistic about budgeting for your big day. Many couples don’t realize the true cost of planning. Once you have that magic number, stick with it!
Make a list of your top priorities for weddings
Begin by chatting with your partner about the most important aspects for your wedding. Do you want the venue or a particular wedding date? Are you looking to book a wedding photographer or live band for your big day? Prioritize the important details and be willing for compromises. This will allow your to keep within your budget and allows you to concentrate on the things that really matter.
Decide Your Wedding Style
Choose a few sources of inspiration for bridal design that you love best: Pinterest, Instagram magazines, trusted bridal sites (including Brides), and magazines. Start to research. When you begin meeting potential vendors, it is helpful to have an idea of the style of your wedding. You don’t need to be overwhelmed by all of the wedding inspiration out there. A few Pinterest boards or a collage of images on a cork board or poster board can help you determine the look and feel that you want. This will keep you in line with your larger vision.
It is important to keep in mind that you can never have too many inspirations. Therefore, it is best to limit how long you spend looking at images and ideas in one sitting. A list of your likes, dislikes, and wants can help you to better evaluate inspiration images.
It doesn’t matter if you use spreadsheets, Word Excel, Google Docs, or any other tool, as long as it allows you to gather all your thoughts and budgets in one place. There are many great online tools that will help you organize. WeddingHappy helps us stay on task and AllSeated allows us to visualize seating charts and layouts.
Engage Your Significant Other
Don’t feel you have to plan your wedding all by yourself. You can consult with your partner at every step. Their input is invaluable, even if only in certain areas. It makes wedding planning so much more fun when you are able to make decisions together. Your partner and you will bond more if you work together toward the same goal. It also allows you to grow together in every way you deal with issues.
Buy a Wedding Planning Book
A traditional etiquette book (such as The Wedding Book), is an invaluable resource for couples who want to plan their wedding without the help of a professional planner. This guidebook includes tips and guidelines, checklists, and examples of timelines.
A Master Checklist should be created
For help in organizing your wedding, see our timeline and master checklist. It can be adapted to fit your specific needs. This will allow for you to visualise and prioritize your goals, without getting overwhelmed by all the details.
Consider Dates (and Seasons).
Pick a few perfect dates and be flexible if you can so that you are not limited in your ability to book the venue and vendors. You should also consider external factors like the availability of the dates for other brides (which can make them more expensive), the difficulty for your guests to attend the dates, and the differences between vendors and venues.
Choose a Theme
It doesn’t matter what wedding color you choose, whether it’s seasonal or style inspiration or a specific theme like the Roaring 20s or Festival Chic, it’s important to have a general idea of how your wedding will look. A common aesthetic will make it easier to design and help you feel more connected.
Consider having a “On-Site Wedding”
A “off-site” marriage is one in which the venue doesn’t have a commercial chef and you must bring everything. Think parks, beaches, or open fields. A “on-site” marriage, such as a hotel or restaurant, will make planning much easier. They may have a wide range of catering options as well as access the essentials, such as chairs and tables and perhaps even an on-site coordinator.
Get to work on your guest list
The decision about who to invite can be complicated and will depend on your venue. Begin by sitting down with your partner, and other key family members, to create a list. There’s a good chance that you will need to cut some people. Also, you will need to decide whether or not you invite children.
Talk to other married couples
Are you a recent guest at a wonderful wedding? You can ask the couple for their insights and advice. They may have some tips and tricks from their journey that they are more than happy sharing with you. Sometimes friends and family can be your best resource.
Only choose vendors that you are comfortable with
It’s important to take your time when booking wedding vendors. To ensure that your important wedding-day partners understand and can work within your financial budget, it is worth considering at least a few options. The wedding vendors are essential to making sure your day is memorable and runs smoothly. So make sure you’re working with people who share your values. They must have a clear understanding of your vision and be able trust you to execute it.
Each Contract – Closely
Before you sign on any dotted lines, be sure to closely review every detail of any contracts you arrange with your wedding vendors–including date, location, times, deposits, additional fees, colors, quantities–everything has to be in the contract because if it isn’t, or is written incorrectly, you will not be protected if it’s not executed properly. Avoid clauses that make it impossible to review the vendor’s service (red Flag), prohibit you from cancelling extreme policies, or seem unbalanced. The contract should state what happens if one party cancels. Pay attention to any policies concerning changes in the scope or service. Rates could be changed if significant changes are made. Although such policies are common in this industry, it is important that you understand the terms. You would be responsible for higher rates if you invite more people than you originally planned. If the RSVP total is lower, it can lead to problems at the venue.