Planning your own wedding can be very fulfilling at the same time challenging, especially if you don’t opt for a wedding planner and decide to go the DIY route. From getting the right menu plan to complicated budget list and seating charts, the challenges can go on and on. But rest assured, you can still enjoy that fairy tale wedding as long as deep organisational skills are employed in the planning process. One key to successfully planning your wedding is to take one step at a time and try to get help from friends and family (including your groom!) and give yourself ample space to plan. Planning your dream wedding doesn’t have to be a rigorous process, read on as we dive into helpful tips that can put in place to plan your wedding successfully.
STICK TO YOUR BUDGET
Your set budget is the driving force as you make decisions during your wedding planning. To avoid being hit by never-ending wedding expenses, it is advisable to set a budget and stick to it. You may want the luxury to add more items to the list as your wedding draws closer even though they were not included earlier in the set budget. If there are little extras you’ve set aside for the future add it at the very beginning. You need to factor in every detail and don’t forget to include costs associated with beauty expenses, wedding flower arrangements, afternoon tea catering packages, and dress alterations. These can all add up! Make it a priority to never exceed your set budget, right from the beginning.
GET INSPIRED AND CREATE A MOOD BOARD
Get inspired and create a mood board on Pinterest. It can be eye-opening when you pin inspiration on a board and sense a theme coming out of it. There are so many sources of inspiration out there like Instagram, Pinterest, blogs and bridal mags, so finding one or two mediums you like best shouldn’t be a problem. Though you should try to not get overwhelmed, as that can be a likely situation, instead take your time out and go through options step by step until you find a good sense of the style that suits you. At this stage you will able to gather tons of images that stand out to you and then translate them into something you can show your vendor.
FOLLOW UP YOUR VENDORS
Hire vendors wisely. There should be references for every vendor with a spreadsheet containing all necessary contact info and back up data. As a first step, you can consider the vendors of your favourite wedding planners whose style resonates with yours. If a popular corporate party planner is using a particular vendor (from the florist to the caterer and photographer), then that vendor is likely to be highly recommended by top forces in the industry, who may more likely fit your style. It’s also important to arrange for regular meetings with your vendors to ensure everyone is on the same page.
START TO PLAN YOUR WEDDING EARLY
If your ideal wedding date is years away, don’t feel like you have to wait till it’s around the corner before you start making plans. The earlier you start planning your wedding the less stressful and challenging it will be as your day draws nearer. Be sure to have a clear plan before you begin, this will keep you in the loop of every process, from booking the ideal venue for hire on time, to selecting a suitable wedding florist that will fit your taste. All these should be done early enough and should not be last minute decisions.
PRIORITISE YOUR GUEST LIST
Start to sort your guest list early enough so you focus on setting up the perfect venue for your selected number of guests. Have your fiancé and family decide with you when creating the lists of guest. However, this process will depend largely on your budget and will be one of your biggest expenses in your wedding planning process, so you’re likely to make some cuts. Don’t feel guilt tripped into inviting people who don’t want to be present. You should also decide on how you will prioritise your guest list. Immediate family members, bridal train and close friends should appear at the top of the list followed by extended family members and well-wishers. Remember to make cuts from the bottom of the list till you reach your target number.
HELP YOUR GUESTS FIND THEIR WAY TO YOUR VENUE
Ensure your guest know where they are going, most especially the ones coming from afar. Though some online map programmes can be helpful, there are still reported cases of giving wrong directions. Test out a couple of nearby routes leading to the venue. You can get recommendations of some driving directions from your event sites. If you have a wedding website, then you can include the best directions there or you can email them to your guests if they’d be interested. Ensure all these arrangements are carried out early enough and should not be last add-ons. It’s advisable to not stray too far from the majority of your guest list to prevent less people from attending.
GET THE RIGHT MEAL PLAN
The food is one item on your list you want to get right. You don’t want to end up having hungry guests. From lobster tails and pot roasts to buffets and bake offs, the quirkier the better! Regarding the expense associated with your meal plan, go through the contracts carefully before you sign to confirm you won’t serve the same meal your guests will eat to your vendors, otherwise, you will end up paying for additional 20 heads. Instead choose a less expensive (but equally hearty) meal plan for them.
Take your time and start planning early, and remember planning your wedding is a process that requires deep organisational skills as well as creativity. Your dream wedding is one step closer as you follow these steps.