You are engaged recently, the first thing that people will ask you about is the wedding. This is the stage that you have to get to after you are engaged. But, don't jump into it so soon. Give yourself a few months to enjoy the blissful phase of being newly engaged and get to know each other and have fun. Because once you start planning, you will have to dedicate most of your time, effort, and mental peace to wedding planning.
Wedding planning is a strenuous task. It requires elaborate planning and pre-planning. The best way to approach and figure out how to plan a wedding is to hire a professional wedding planner and do some self-study on it yourself. If you want to DIY your wedding, purchase a wedding planner and do some research on wedding planning online to help you through the process.
In this blog, we have curated a guide for planning a wedding step by step with advice from industry experts, to give you a little insight into everything that goes down while planning a wedding, so you know what you are getting into with a prepared mind.
The best time to start planning is 11-9 months prior. At this stage, you will have enough time to plan everything without a rush and do proper research to avoid common wedding planning problems. There are three important tasks you need to pay attention to the most, in a wedding plan and they are the budget, the venue, and the guest list.
Think About Your Day. Get Inspiration.
Begin with an idea. Think about when you would like your wedding to be, the season, the location, and the theme you are aiming for. Convey your plans and your spirations to your partner and together make a rough sketch of your ideal big day. You don't need to be able to accomplish everything that you have set as a goal but having a picture is beneficial so you have a stepping stone and a direction to start.
Take inspiration from couples recently married, weddings you have been to and enjoyed, or from anything you like. Inspiration doesn’t need to be limited to just wedding-related stuff, it can come from your favorite dress, the falling leaf in autumn, or even the smell of your favorite perfume.
Set a Firm Budget To Stick To.
This is the most basic and most decisive decision you have to take. Your budget will make or break the deal for the kind of wedding you want. Have a meeting with your partner or the family members who are contributing financially to your wedding and discuss the budget. Prioritize the major and costly expenses first and move down the ladder as you list down your tasks. Set a budget with mutual understanding so there are no troubles between you and the contributor halfway through your wedding plan.
Once you have decided on a budget, make sure to stick to it under all conditions. Running out of money in the middle of your tasks or blowing up your budget on a single thing like the dress can cause major issues. Keep in mind and list the trivial tasks that take up the money as well. They tend to be forgotten and become a source of stress.
Hire A Wedding Planner
Wedding planning is not as easy as it seems. Like any other important affair, it is also a business that requires professionals to handle it so it can be executed perfectly.
For your wedding, hire a wedding planner as early as you can, because they know the ways things work and how everything can be managed. These people are experts in putting out troubles and handling difficult situations. They get your vision and approach the best and can advise you if ever you are stuck in an indecisive stage.
If a wedding planner is out of your budget, then you can hire services of planners that charge hourly.
If you have firmly decided to plan your wedding yourself, buy a wedding planner and some self-help wedding planning books to educate yourself. Be well-versed in all the problems you might face and their possible solutions.
Deciding on your wedding guests is crucial because then you decide on a venue for the finalized guests amount. If the guests exceed the number that the venue can accommodate, the celebration becomes a stuffy situation and no one enjoys it.
Together with your partner, mutually decide on who you would like to be part of your celebrations and invite to your big day.
Set A Theme, Bridal Style, And The Perfect Venue. Book The Vendors.
Decide on a theme now, because this has to match up to the bridal style you are aiming for and the venue you want as your wedding location. You will then have to look up the vendors that execute these themes perfectly and the decor that goes with all that you have decided. Recruiting the best vendors and finding suitable decor will take up a lot of time.
Looking for the venue that comes up to your expectation takes up a considerable amount of time and effort. There will be many factors you will need to pay attention to like the budget, the theme, the number of guests, and course, the weather if the wedding is an outdoor affair. You will have to find a venue that adds up all these factors whilst satisfying you, as well.
From 9-6 months you have to decide on a photographer and videographer, book your wedding dress whilst having enough time for its fittings.
Book The Photographer, Formal Dress, And Stylist.
Pictures and videos are an essential part of weddings. They are memorabilia of one of the important changes in your life, and looking back on them makes you cherish and relive that event.
When booking your photographer, make sure to go through their website portfolio and social media handles to get a gist of their work. Every photographer has a different aesthetic and some of them might not be able to completely capture your approach.
A bride's happiest moment is finally being able to find "The Dress". It's the dress that makes you feel loved, and empowered and gives you a sense of belonging.
Your dress needs to be made, customized, and then have its fitting sessions. So you need to incorporate enough time while dress shopping that it gets made and delivered at the right time.
If your wedding is a destination wedding, you also need to make sure to calculate the time for the dress shipping.
After you have decided on a bridal style, consult a stylist that you have confidence in, to get you ready on your big day just the way you have visualized.
Make A Wedding Website and Registry.
Make a wedding website or get one made which includes the time, date, and location of the wedding. It should also include the necessary information about guest lodging and transportation, reception venue, and the registry. This will save you the hassle of answering multiple calls, text messages, and emails from friends and family for every little detail.
Marriage also comes with paperwork and not just celebration. Legalize your marriage as early as you can to get this burden off your shoulders. You also need to pay attention to the rules and laws followed in your state, or the state you are getting married in, regarding the time and requirements for obtaining the marriage license.
"It's important to do your research on the timelines and deadlines for the location or county where you're getting married so you understand what you need and when," says Pat Kinsel, Founder & CEO of digital notary site Notarize. "If you're not sure, contact the city or town clerk where you are getting married to get confirmation on the timeline and deadlines for documentation."
In some states, marriage licenses are only valid for a short period of time, so it's vital to complete this wedding planning task in a timely matter. "In most cases, your marriage license needs to be obtained within a certain time period before the wedding and may not be officially filed within a certain time window as well," Kinsel adds.
"For example, if you're getting married in New York, a marriage license is only valid for 60 calendar days beginning the day after it is issued, and the marriage ceremony may not take place within 24 hours from the time the license is issued. Meanwhile, some counties in California allow you to obtain the license up to 30 days prior to the wedding and the official license must be filed within a few days or weeks."
Now is the time for you to consult a florist and choose the flowers, book your officiant, and order your wedding cake. Whether it's someone close to you officiating your marriage or you are booking one, learn about their knowledge and experience of officiating a marriage and whether they will be involved in obtaining the marriage license.
Order Your Wedding Cake
It is recommended by experts to book your wedding cake at least 4 months in advance. It requires much effort and hard work to be put in by experts and finished on its due date. We recommend A Love For Cakes for your wedding cake.
At A Love For Cakes, we create the juiciest and most delicious cake of your dreams. Our bakers have years of experience and they will create the most moreish and flavourful cake for your wedding. All of it is done on an affordable budget and the cake can be customized in any way you like.
Need some help in your wedding cake venture? Get in touch with us to find out more about wedding cake FAQs, and catering options.
Send Out Save-the-Dates And Plan The Entertainment.
Send out save-the-dates and plan out the entertainment you and your partner want in the celebration. Make a playlist of the songs you want to dance to and hand it over to the DJ.
Daydream About Your Honeymoon.
Planning the honeymoon is recommended at 5 months by experts but you can give it some more time as well. It's better to wait for a little and get your wedding planned out perfectly and then go into honeymoon planning. Otherwise, you will end up being burdened and overwhelmed by the amount of work.
You can, however, daydream and think of all the places, or that one dream place, you would like to visit and spend quality time with your loved one.
Book The Transportation And Guest Lodging.
If you are having your ceremony and reception in separate locations, you will need to provide transportation. The transportation will be of three types; for you and your partner, for the bridal party, and the guests.
In case of a wedding at a different location, you will have to book guest lodgings or hotels as well that is preferably near to the venue. Hotel blocks are a good option for these because it keeps a segregated section of all your guests in one place and it's easier to manage as well.
Mail The Invitations.
Now it's only 3 months to your wedding so mail your invitations. Do not wait for your guests to RSVP, so many of them don’t RSVP back anyways. Stick to an estimate of who will definitely attend the wedding and who is in doubt and plan forward. Waiting for your guests to RSVP back will hold you back from completing your tasks on time
and delay you from your schedule.
2 MONTHS -1 WEEK
With only a few weeks left to your big day, now is the time to dish out the cheques and pay the vendors for their hard work. Go through all that has been done up till now and look through the details. Double-check all the arrangements and go through the details of your event with your wedding planner. However, do not remain hung up on imperfections or some flaws that might have happened. Minor imperfections happen in any major event and are nothing to fret over.
With just a couple of weeks left, it is now time to step back and relax a bit. Enjoy the pre-wedding parties that your bridal party has hosted for you and just have fun in these few weeks left.
Pay attention to yourself, pamper your skin and health, have spa days, and give yourself the best time of your bachelorette life.
THE BIG DAY!
Finally, it's your wedding day. Plan for today and make a schedule for your day. Make sure to plan and communicate the itinerary of the day with the bridal party and the guests.
In case of any inconveniences and sudden technical issues, let your wedding planner handle them.
Most importantly, enjoy the night and the celebration today in a happy atmosphere with your loved one. Everything may be as you planned and some things might have missed the mark but it's okay.
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