Wedding planning can be both daunting and time consuming, but with some expert tips and some organizational help you can easily plan the celebration of your dreams.
Begin your wedding search by gathering images that depict how you want it to feel, then select those which best reflect the desired feel for your ceremony. Make sure they match up to your theme.
1. Know Your Budget
Budgeting for your wedding is an integral component of the planning process, as it sets limits for everything from venue rental and flowers to invitations and travel costs. Being open about your spending capacity from the outset ensures all involved understand your expectations.
Once you know your budget, create a list of items most important to you and prioritize them accordingly. This will enable you to cut costs on less critical purchases – for instance if cake is not of great importance, perhaps selecting cheaper options or doing DIY projects could save money instead.
Shopping around and comparing prices before making a purchase will help ensure you are receiving the best value for your money. You might find a venue offering discounted rental fees or florists offering early booking discounts.
Decor items that can be reused from ceremony to reception is another wise move, saving both rental costs and decorations costs. For example, using one tablecloth at the ceremony that can then be repurposed as the backdrop for photo booth at reception will be less costly than purchasing two new tablecloths for both events unless you have a lot of extra cash from playing online slot games on sites reviewed on Yoakim Bridge.
2. Create a Budget Spreadsheet
An effective wedding budget spreadsheet will allow you to track expenses and stay within your spending plan, helping ensure you won’t go beyond it.
Step one in creating a budget should be prioritizing. Together with your partner, write out individual lists of what matters most for the big day, then combine these to come up with your top three to five shared items – this will allow you to narrow down options when choosing vendors and making other important decisions.
Once your priorities are clear, the next step should be constructing an inventory list of everything needed for the wedding – this should include venue rental costs, food costs, beverages consumed during receptions and decorations as well as taxes and tips payable. You could even use this spreadsheet to keep track of gifts received from family and friends!
Once you have entered all your estimated costs, the spreadsheet allows you to easily compare them against your projected budget in the “Total Budget” row. Be mindful of any interest charges accrued when using credit cards; additionally, red alerts will warn if you approach surpassing your limit.
3. Hire a Wedding Planner
Hiring a wedding planner can be one of the smartest moves for your big day. They will keep everything on schedule, creating a timeline to ensure everything gets done in time and recommend vendors, potentially saving both time and money in the process.
When selecting an event planner, inquire about their experience and view their portfolio. In person meetings should also take place to make sure everyone gets along and that your vision is understood by your planner of choice. You may even download a checklist of questions to use during these encounters with prospective planners.
Be mindful that your wedding should reflect you and your partner, not what others think. Don’t feel pressured into including elements that don’t interest or fit with you or aren’t part of your culture or heritage – just make it your own day for maximum beauty and meaning.
As weddings can interfere with family traditions or travel plans for loved ones, and can also create an extra stressful environment for guests, remember to avoid having your event on major holidays as prices tend to be higher than other times of the year. Additionally, holiday weddings tend to cost more as guests tend to attend at that time than any other time during the year.
4. Make a List of Vendors
Vendors play an integral part in any wedding, and it’s crucial that you find ones who understand your vision. Start by compiling a list of all of the vendors you will require such as photographers, caterers and florists before reaching out and asking each one for quotes. It is advisable to follow up after sending initial messages or making phone calls as this demonstrates that you are serious about working together.
Once you have compiled your list of vendors, compare it with your budget to see which are within it. Once you find some that meet your needs, hire them. When choosing vendors it is essential that they listen carefully to what you envision for your special day while adding their own creative flare.
Be sure to verify all vendors have all necessary permits and insurances in order, with payment made no later than one week before your wedding date. In addition, it would be wise for bride and groom to split tasks so as not to become overwhelmed by everything that needs to be accomplished.
5. Make a List of Things to Do
As your big day approaches, it’s essential that you have an idea of everything still needing to be completed. A list can help focus on those tasks most important to you and your partner – such as verifying guest counts with venues and catering teams.
Thank-you cards should also be written for any shower gifts or early wedding presents received, while welcome bags should also be assembled at this point.
Just a few weeks prior to your big day, meeting with vendors in person is an invaluable opportunity. Review any details that need finalizing, such as the schedule or order of ceremony readings and vows; get to know each one better; ensure they understand your vision!
Your wedding is fast approaching and now is the time to complete any outstanding tasks and final payments or deposits with vendors, whether this means calling your planner directly or delegating this task to someone like your maid of honor. Additionally, this is also the ideal opportunity to deliver ceremony extras such as unity candles and programs as well as send your song list off to DJ or band.
6. Start Planning Early
Give yourself plenty of time for planning to be less stressful, by setting realistic goals and starting early. Some couples opt to hire professional wedding planners while others try cutting expenses by eating out more or cancelling subscriptions that they hardly use. If a planner is out of reach financially, ask family and friends for assistance (though be careful not to depend too heavily on one person).
Reducing your guest list as early as possible will help keep within your budget and maximize venue space. Create an initial list of must-invite family and close friends before gradually decreasing it until you have an ideal number. This will enable you to get maximum use out of every guest invitation.
Create a meeting with each potential vendor you are considering hiring in order to explain your vision and ensure they understand your budget. While you might find some inspiration online such as Pinterest or Instagram, it’s wiser to conduct in-person research before making final decisions. Remember that vendors will likely spend more time with you than any of your guests do – it is therefore crucial that they are compatible with both you and your wedding day vision.
7. Set a Date
Setting a date should be among your first priorities when planning your wedding, as it allows you to narrow down your search for venues and vendors and guarantee your big day won’t conflict with anyone’s schedule.
Early planning should also involve selecting your wedding theme, which will serve as the cornerstone of all other arrangements and provide something tangible for reference throughout. For instance, choosing vintage as your theme will influence everything from attire and food options to decorations.
Once you’ve decided on a theme for your event, the next step should be securing the venue and hiring vendors. Send out save-the-date cards early so your guests have enough notice to plan.
As your wedding approaches, the last months will involve many final details and preparations. At this stage you should make final decisions regarding menu items, have one final tasting with your caterer, purchase your dress (if not already purchased) and search for and book your honeymoon as necessary. Staying organized makes tracking these details much simpler! Keeping track of everything can seem like an impossible feat but having lists can make things simpler!