Wedding planning can be a stressful experience, and one of the main sources of anxiety for lots of brides or grooms is a feeling that as soon as you have got engaged, you are all of a sudden supposed to know how to plan your wedding. For many people, there mere thought of it is quite overwhelming.
You start out the wedding planning journey by feeling so excited at the prospect of throwing one of the most amazing parties of your life. There is an epic vision in your mind and big dreams about what it will be like. It obviously feels thrilling and exhilarating to step into this wedding plan where everything is fun, creative and colourful.
All of a sudden, the reality bites and you find yourself lost in the sea of ideas that you are not sure how to implement and you don't know where to start with it all. So how do you plan a wedding of your dreams? There are a few steps that can make things go smooth and according to your plans.
· Announce your engagement
The first step for you is to announce your engagement before you start planning your wedding and share all your engagement photos and ring pictures on social media. After getting engaged, spend as much time as you possibly can by enjoying that particular moment.
Daydream about what it was like, celebrate over and over again with your fiancé and keep in your mind that you have to take the time to rest and relax before diving into your wedding planning. Most importantly, try to ignore the creepy feeling that you have to share the news with every single person that you know.
You have to make sure that you call all your family members and close friend to let them know about the big news. There is nothing worse than the people closest to you finding out about your engagement by scrolling through Facebook.
· Consider an engagement party or dinner
An engagement party is no doubt a great way to get all the family members and friends together to kick off the wedding celebrations for your exciting news. Most of the people might never have planned a huge party before; therefore, it is an ideal way to get some practice in before the wedding with fun, relaxed and as stress-free gathering as possible.
You should remember that it is not a requirement to have an engagement party, but if you have a feeling that you can enjoy hosting one, then you should consider one. You don't need to be too extravagant to this particular event as you have another big party to plan, but this could obviously be a great, celebratory way to kick off your wedding planning ahead.
· Start a Pinterest Board
For some couples, Pinterest might not be a valuable source for their wedding planning. There are many brides and grooms who use it to have ideas about their looks, or their décor, to create mood boards in order to bring their vision to life, or as a tool to show the suppliers what they actually have in mind.
There is a right and wrong way to use Pinterest, so if used as a tool to gather the ideas and streamline your vision, Pinterest can certainly be your best friend in wedding planning. If it is used to compare your wedding to others, procrastinate on planning, or second-guess the decisions you have made, then it can zap all the fun out of the process.
Knowing that before you start is like half a battle. You have to take it as an inspiration, like flicking through a magazine, but you should try not to get hung up having the Perfect Pinterest Wedding, because a spoiler alert bash doesn't exist, & if it did, it would've been one dull party.
You just have to sign up to Pinterest, decide who to follow on Pinterest, set up a single wedding Pinterest board and get pinning, streamline your wedding inspiration, settle on your ideal number of Pinterest Boards, and make Pinterest work for you the way you want.
Some people aren't into the details, and that is just fine because the chances are that wedding will be all about the fun. There are plenty of couples that use Pinterest for the initial flurry of inspiration, but abandon it once they have an idea about what they are after.
For many brides or grooms, Pinterest can add pressure that they just don't need, and one can find plenty of tips and ideas by browsing the websites and checking out real weddings.
· Get organized
Just because you have a Pinterest Board doesn't mean you are organized. There are some events that require tangible organization. You should get a planner and binder, and make good use of them or even better use apps and platforms that help you to have everything organized and reachable in the cloud, some of them for free or at very low cost. As you happen to plan your wedding, try to keep everything like vendor quotes, dress colour swatches, brochures for honeymoon resorts etc. in the wedding binder.
Staying organized while planning a wedding is not at all a small feat. It is quite clear that wedding planning can be a mentally and physically taxing job, and for this reason, many people may become higher professional wedding planners to get rid of all the worries.
We have to understand that not everybody can afford a wedding planner, Therefore, by implementing a few smart organization strategies, you can be able to plan your own wedding without losing too much sleep.
· Set a wedding budget
Making a wedding budget is all about facing reality. Some couples like to pick a ballpark figure, and if they don't cross over that amount, then they are happy with the outcome. There are others who are more meticulous about their spending habits and flock to the almighty spreadsheet in order to outline how every dollar will be spent.
The budgeting process is basically a great exercise for the couples to learn about the spending habits of each other and also what is important for the wedding. It depends, maybe the groom actually wants the designer socks for his groomsmen, or perhaps the bride doesn't seem to go for the latest fashion trend for her wedding dress after all.
You have to learn a lot about your partner, and you end up with a budget to which you are able to hold each other accountable, as there is one part about planning a wedding that brings a lot of stress, and that is money.
· Hire a wedding planner
If the amount of money in the wedding budget exceeds the amount of free time that you have for planning your wedding, then you might consider hiring a wedding planner. A wedding planner will take the entire load off your back, sweat the details, so you don't have to, and also save you an unlimited amount of time and stress.
However, the professional wedding planners can be a bit expensive, and you may have to sacrifice bits of your vision for theirs, for better or worse. It is totally your decision about whether to hire a wedding planner or not, and there is obviously no right or wrong answer.
· Choose a wedding party
The wedding party consists of the Maid of Honor, Best Man, Bridesmaid, Junior Bridesmaid, Groomsmen, Ring Bearers and Flower Girls. There are a few weddings where there is no one in the wedding party and the weddings where the party has over 20 people.
In general, these are the guests, who are close to you; either they are relatives or your best friends, who will be by your side as you happen to speak your vows to each other. It is not that uncommon to purchase the wedding gifts for every member of the wedding party.
Therefore, you have to be sure to factor that into your budget along with other expenses that you might be expected to pay like hair and makeup, attire etc.
· Create a guest list
Now that you are finished with setting a date and making a budget, it is time for you to figure out who you want to come to your wedding. You can start with your family members on each side in order to get an idea of your base. These are the individual who will most likely RSVP to your wedding.
You can decide if you are allowing a single guest to bring a +1 and factor this into your total guest number count. You will require the total guest count when you start looking at different venues. You don't have to feel bad if you can't invite everyone to the wedding party.
Keep in mind that composing a guest list may seem like something that comes along a little late in your wedding planning. From venues to the caterers, to the hotels, almost every vendor will require numbers. You don't have to know who will be attending until a month or so before your wedding, but you must know who you will be inviting as soon as possible.
· Set a wedding date
Setting the date of your wedding is the most important part of the wedding plans that you make because without a date you won't be able to reserve any vendors or venues. The most common question that the people ask when they find out about your engagement is "When is your wedding?"
From the types of flowers that are in season to the appropriate colours, there are so many things about your wedding centre around a date. Choose a day that is symbolically important to your relationship, maybe a specific month or number. If the date is not that important to you, then other details might be like an outdoors ceremony or a snowy backdrop, just go for a general season and pick a date that is based on available venues.
Your budget might also be affected by the time of the year that you choose to get married. If you have a low budget, then you can consider planning your wedding in the winter months as there are more wedding vendors to choose from since there aren't as many weddings from the months of December to February.
· Visit and book the venue
Booking a venue is part of your wedding planning where the rubber meets the road. You will be using your budget and guest list in order to determine the perfect location for your wedding. This will also be the first time that you will start to get a feel for what your wedding day would be looking like.
Do you want an outdoor ceremony with an indoor reception or vice-versa? Or you want an intimate ceremony at a private location or a spectacular event where there are hundreds of guests?
It is better that you do some research on the types of venues that meet your special day vision. Once you have shortlisted, then save yourself some time and give each place a call so that you make sure that they will be available for your wedding date.
In the end, you have to plan a time to visit each location to see the facilities yourself and get your questions answered at the spot. There are some venues that have special dates set aside when you can visit with sample wedding décor that is set up for you to review.
It is better that you don't show up to these venues unannounced because the venue would like to give you the best experience, and if they are not ready for you, then you might be turned off by their current state of operations like construction, cleaning crews and decorating etc.
In the end, you must have your total guest count, as you are going to need it before searching, visiting and booking the venue for your wedding. Though it depends on the size of the guest list, the options that are available to you will vary greatly in cost.
Whatever your number of guests is, the venue might have different room options available so that it can hold as many tables as required. You will also have to see whether the ceremony is at a separate location from the reception. If so, whether both places accommodate all your guests or not?
· Organize catering for the reception
Once you have booked the venue, the caterer is among the first vendors that the wedding couples reserve. While you are visiting your favourite venues, you would certainly like to know what your available options for catering are.
There are some venues that require you to utilize their staff and also provide a taste test of their menu options. If these venues allow you to hire your own catering company, then you would want to make this step your next priority as some venues have rules about outside caterers.
In the end, you would want to be able to serve the food that you both like from the chosen caterer that meets your budget and the expectations.
· Shop for a wedding dress
For some brides, this is a more crucial step, then creating a budget. Finding the perfect dress could mean making multiple bridal shop trips with your girls in tow. You also might even have to go out of the town, to a shop that is many hours away in order to try on various designer gowns.
All this helps to have a general idea of what you want your dress to look like or more importantly what it doesn't look like so that your stylist can be able to help you to narrow down the selection.
The bridal stylists know their inventory, and you should rely on their expertise to help you to choose your gown. They have seen so many brides in all kinds of dresses, so if you don't have an idea why something is not working, then there are chances that they will be able to address the concerns that you didn't even know you had.
· Hire a photographer
Unless you hire a wedding planner, some people might say that the photographer is somewhat like a director on the wedding day that helps you to stay on track by capturing the key moments as these moments unfold. The key to hiring a wedding photographer is to look at their style of images and meet in person to gauge the overall personality.
As you are going to spend the entire wedding day with the photographer, therefore, a good part of your wedding plans will revolve around what you would like the photographer to capture, so if you are not able to get along or don't like the personality, then it is going to be a long day.
Hiring a wedding photographer is, no doubt a daunting task as the market is saturated with different types from amateurs to professionals. There is nothing wrong with hiring an amateur who is just about to start in order to save some money, except that you might risk losing some important moments being captured on the wedding day. Though nobody is perfect, so even the professionals make mistakes but less often. These photographers offer different Wedding Photography packages and also give special offers from time to time.
· Hire a DJ
DJ is a person who sets the tone for your wedding reception that thus your guests' overall impression of your wedding day. No one would want a DJ that is inexperienced to run the show because there is a certain cadence that happens at the weddings to which most of the vendors are accustomed.
Try to look for someone who has at least 100 weddings under the belt to help things go smoothly. A good DJ has the ability to take command of the reception when your guests are ready to party.
Be sure to set up a meeting with your shortlist of DJs in order to learn their personality and abilities and how they are able to help you realize the wedding of your dreams. This person will be working with you to coordinate your walks down the aisle, first dance, the dance party and much more. Therefore, you must be sure that they have a musical sensibility that matches your own.
· Shop for the cake
This perhaps is the best part of planning a wedding, unless one is trying to maintain his/her figure. You get to sample a lot of wedding cakes, so you should look for bakers who have good reviews if you are not sure where to start from.
You can then narrow them down by proximity to your venue. As you want your cake to be fresh; therefore, its availability is important to be delivered at the expected time. A bakery that is too far away may encounter delays because of traffic or unexpected personal appointments on your wedding day.
· Hire a Florist
When you visit the florist, he/she would want to know your style or wedding theme and the colours that you have selected for the wedding party. Based on this particular knowledge, a florist will be working with you to design the floral scheme that matches your ideas for the wedding in the best way.
Try to use the extensive knowledge of the florist to learn what is in the season for your date and ask them if they have any unique arrangements that they have created in the past. The really good ones always amaze you by the décor and the atmosphere that they create.
· Find hair and makeup artist
Though it is your wedding dress what most of the people will be looking at, you can't complete the work without hair and makeup. Look for a salon for the bridesmaids and bride to go to the morning of the wedding day to get the hair and makeup done. Before the wedding day, make sure to book a trial run of the hair and makeup so that you can make sure your look is what you expect.
· Pick an Officiant
No wedding can be complete without an Officiant. Whether you go for a religious leader, a family member or a friend who has been ordained online, you have got to pick someone to perform your legal ceremony. Try to find somebody whose beliefs about marriage align with yours and who will be an engaging speaker for the guests.
· Have fun
Perhaps this is the most important factor on your wedding day and with all the stress and duties one tends to forget about that. Enjoy the process and plan one of the most important days for your new life together having fun along the road. Ask questions, meet the vendors, know their styles, read reviews and work with those that will ease your day and will have the job done. On your special day you can’t take any risks, remember to just have fun and cherish those unique moments.