The Ultimate Wedding Planning Checklist
It’s always a dream come true when your man pops the big question and asks you to marry him. It’s such a wonderful moment and everyone is like:” Yaaay someone’s getting hooked for life.”
However, the excitement comes along with anxiety. How to start planning is usually something that gets most brides anxious, so you are NOT alone. It’s normal for you to get constant thoughts like; “How will that day be? I don’t want anything to go wrong, I pray it goes well, I want a perfect wedding, a perfect dress, What are people going to have to say during and after the wedding?” and so on. But rest assured that good planning and preparations can help you get that wedding ceremony of your choice. I have in this article, things you need to know as soon as you start planning your wedding. Trust me, some brides wish they knew this before their wedding. You are one of the lucky ones, so keep reading.
After you have taken a few days to allow the feeling sink in, spent time spreading your engagement news, preparations are in order. Getting a wedding planner or a professional help is the ideal thing to do to avoid stress but some people still like to take the traditional DIY route of planning their own wedding which is beautiful. But planning one’s wedding, I must say, involves a lot of headache, stress and pain.
Planning a wedding is extremely stressful either you are the bride or the groom as you could get so excited that you totally forget to include the essential things. As I have said, organization is very crucial to planning your own wedding. You have a lot of things to think about and consider at the same time, so I would just advise to calm down and take baby steps. You might want to get a spreadsheet or bridal management apps or even, programs to help out. The basic things you need to consider include:
Picking a DATE
Congratulations on getting engaged! So, now you have to decide what year, month and date you are finally ready to make things official and tie the knot. After picking a date, you can proceed to sharing the date so preparations can start!
Verifying Your Budget
Are you footing the bill? Or is your partner picking the tabs? These are questions you should ask yourself before planning. You might want to first work out how much you or your partner have to work with for the wedding before booking the venue and the likes. Get how much you will spend and that might just save you a lot of headaches.
After you have taken a look at your finances, stick to it. Do not do more than your capacity. One thing I have learnt over the years is that the moment you begin to bite more than you can chew, the planning crashes.
The one mistake I regretted while planning my wedding was that I ignored the voice of reason and that of my fiancé, telling me to spend within budget. I wanted the wedding I had envisioned since I was fifteen, one where I would invite everyone and have a particular themed wedding. The problem was that my finance was lower than my fantasized wedding but I proceeded to getting the wedding I wanted and after a week of the wedding, we were bankrupt that my husband and I had to work extra jobs to pay off our debts. I always advise my clients to work within the amount that they have. Do not impress anyone because it is most likely they would not remember the event after a week.
The Guest List
When you have agreed with your spouse on the money you are willing to spend for the wedding, the next thing you want to consider is the GUEST LIST which I must say is one of the most difficult decisions to make. The decision on who to invite and who not to invite can be tedious. Do not be tempted to throw everyone you know into the list because with every addition you make, you are adding extra costs to your already narrowed budget. My own wedding experience is enough to make me realize that the extra amount of people you invite means you have to cater for the food, space and souvenir.
If you and your partner are footing the bill, the list should be minimal but if you have family contributions pitched there, you know the guests lists would have to grow.
Picking A Venue
This is also very crucial in the checklist of wedding planning as it affects the overall wedding. The Venue determines who will be invited, what kind of flowers to be used, what kind theme that would be adopted and so many other things.
When getting a venue, you need to consider the proximity of access to the resources you need, your mobility and that of others. So for convenience, it is advisable for couples to book venues that are closer to their homes and families.
One mistake a lot of brides make is that they do not know how to delegate responsibilities to other, especially members of their wedding party. Never make the mistake of doing things on your own. You need to employ the help of friends and family to reduce the stress.
But while you are planning, remember to have fun. It is your wedding which comes only once so do not get hung up on tiny, irrelevant things but focus on the things that are truly important. You don’t have to be tied down by certain traditions from families and friends. If you are uncomfortable with some styles and tradition, you can simply create your own traditions. After all, it is your wedding. You are allowed to give it a personal touch.
Francesca was so excited when she got engaged to Alfred the first week in September but imagine her shock and confusion when she learnt Alfred and his family wanted a quick wedding, preferably, before the end of the same month. She had already envisioned and fantasized that she would plan her own wedding right from when she was a little girl as she watched her aunt, Edna planned her own wedding. She took on everything upon herself from picking and booking the venue to shopping for gown to booking caterers, florists, musicians, photographers to designing her own websites, to travelling and researching on honeymoon destination to planning rehearsals dinner. Two days before her own wedding, Francesca felt sick and was bed-ridden that the wedding had to be postponed.
When we allow ourselves enough time to plan and sort ourselves month ahead, we save ourselves from the problem of being overly stressed before the real day. Tessa Lyn, Wedding planner and owner of Tessa Lyn Events advised that “by breaking down the year, months by month, you are taking the planning process in bit size pieces and it will be far less overwhelming”. You will need a wedding checklist to keep you sane and focused.
Give yourself 12 to 14 months to plan; it will most definitely ensure that the wedding planning wouldn’t come to disastrous end. The trick is to not rush into decisions. Weigh your options before taking steps. You don’t want to be looking too stressed to actually enjoy your own wedding, do you?
I’ll try to help out with the Wedding Checklist by dividing it into months. Here is a list of order that I feel might help you maintain your sanity while you plan:
14- 12 Months Before
Another important thing to note is to not do everything yourself. After picking your maid of honor and bridesmaids, you have to delegate to reduce the burden.
The venue should also be considered during the period. The venue that would be selected should be in line with the theme you have in mind. Some hotels have pretty courtyards that can help to fill the need or even, renting historic homes top fulfill the theme.
Remember, it is his wedding as well yours so while the excitement of planning your wedding is pumping through your veins, keep your partner in the loop.
11 - 9 Month before
This is also the perfect opportunity to get you familiarized in front of a camera. Get the camera shyness out of your system. Take engagement photos.
8 Months Before
Have you decided if you are going to get a D.J to play random songs that are significant to yourself and your partner? Or would you go wild and get the band? If you would, you might want to get book them this period.
After getting your website ready, you can start by sending where and when you will like to make things formal, where they need to be and when they need to be there.
You should also have prioritized your guests. Placing family first, then the bridal party, best friends, followed by aunts, uncles, cousins and close friends that are necessary . Then parents’ friends, neighbors, coworkers and more. This would help you finalize your list to the ideal number.
7 Months Before
6 Months Before
So it would be advisable to get the objective side of a third-party to deal with future issues that might arise in your marriage. Getting the advices of a counselor at this stage will help to be armed strategy to handle cases in the marriage.
4- 5 Months Before
If you working around a tight budget, you might want to cut down on the prize of the wedding bands you will be getting. According to Trent Hamm, a Wedding Planning Strategist , “a typical wedding band can cost upwards of $1,000 and wedding websites, TheKnot says American couples tend to spend about 3% of their overall wedding cost on the rings(plus thousands more on an engagement ring).” Get something classy yet not too expensive.
3 Months Before
I would strongly advise that amidst the craze for the planning, do not forget the transportation. The sooner you get to consider transportation, the better.
2 Months Before
1 Month Before
2 Weeks Before
1 Week Before
3 - 2 Days Before
A Night Before
When you feel you are overwhelmed with planning, you need to take a break with your partner to do anything but wedding planning. Take a week off a week before the wedding to ensure last minute details are added and completed.
But over everything, have fun. Guests tend to notice a stressed bride or groom. Take your time to enjoy yourself while planning your own wedding. Also remember to Say Thank You. You can do this by getting gifts for those that helped with the planning along the way. Family, Friends and Colleagues that were supportive.
If you are putting up an event that would make everyone love your wedding, then you are in line for heartbreaks, plan an event that you and your partner will enjoy. Unless something dramatic happens on your wedding day, people will not remember so why go through the stress of planning something that your guests will forget in the next week?