Planning your wedding is hard work! You may plan to be your own wedding planner for budget reasons or because you believe you are up to the task. In either case, let me warn you that it is not as easy as it seems. There are numerous decisions to make, deadlines to meet and several lists to create. Nonetheless, it is do-able.
One thing you should remember is to stay focused, calm and optimistic always, once you make the decision to plan your wedding. As long as you are organized and not tensed about the whole thing, you will be able to tackle the potential challenges without difficulty.
To help you along, we have some useful tips. Keep them in mind and you will be able to plan the wedding of your dreams without much ado!
Recognize your strengths and weaknesses
Wedding planning involves a lot of work. You will have to pick and negotiate with vendors, schedule appointments and create financial plans for each aspect. Although you may be great at some of these tasks, it is likely there are areas you have no clue about. Before you start planning, try to get a clear picture of what you can and can’t manage yourself. Be realistic as there is a lot of work and limited time. Analyze the tasks that you have very little knowledge about. You may have to find someone to share responsibilities for these tasks. So, it is better to plan for it in advance, than attempt it yourself and end up with poor results.
Begin with a budget
All that wedding planning is going to cost money. Also, it is easy to get carried away or let some numbers slide when you handle finances yourself. To avoid this, set up a budget right in the beginning. Create an estimate of how much you can afford to spend. Make sure it is the maximum amount that you will spend, and that you cannot exceed it at any cost. This realization will help you find solutions that are affordable, when you plan your wedding details. Once you have a total amount in mind, split it among the different aspects of your wedding.
Hear what your fiancé has to say
You must know at least one bride who feels she is the only one involved in planning her wedding! The funny thing is if you ask the broom, chances are he will say it is because the bride refused to let him in the plans. It is easy to end up shouldering all the responsibilities, and there is no going back once you are deep into it. Don’t make this mistake. Instead, sit down with your fiance before you start anything. Discuss your ideas and take note of his suggestions. It is his wedding too, so encourage him to participate. The more open you accept his suggestions, the more inclined he will be to involve himself in the plans.
Create a system to get your wedding plans organized
Some of us prefer the book and paper route, while others are better off with technology. Choose what works for you. You need a system to jot down notes, write down expenditures, note down deadlines and save contacts. The simplest working solution is to set up a folder with a calculator, notebook and diary. Use the diary to mark your planning timeline and detail tasks. You can use the notebook to write all other information. Also note down calculations and all relevant details in it. Use this system frequently and make sure you save everything, and you won’t lose track of the progress you make.
Before you dive into wedding planning, separate the notebook into sections for each wedding planning aspect. This will allow you segregate relevant information about each aspect in the right place. We also recommend dedicating a folder on your desktop for this. Most communication that is shared online can be saved into this location for future reference.
Make a master-list and many sub-lists for each category
If you are good with lists, wedding planning will be a lot easier. Start with a master checklist, which you can find online. This will provide an overview of all the tasks you have to do for your wedding. However, each wedding is different, and you may have to edit your list to fit your ideas. Once you have your final master-list, create sub-lists of tasks for each aspect. Note it down and it is unlikely you will forget or overlook any task. You can even create this list using an online tool. This will enable you to access it anywhere, and check or cross out tasks on-the-go.
Make the most of free wedding planning tools
There are several tools that make planning easier. From creating checklists for the wedding timeline and entering your expenses and budget, to sharing pictures with the rest of your team, these technical applications streamline the entire wedding planning process. This makes it easier to tackle. When you set up such an app on your mobile, it allows you to indulge in planning your wedding from anywhere. Some examples include the Knot wedding planner app, Capsule for photo sharing and the Knot lookbook app for wedding outfit planning. You could even update your plans with a simple weather and calendar app from Yahoo to avoid any last minute unexpected changes to plan. For more details on the apps and websites that can be your best friend while making wedding plans, take a look at this post on the Knot website.
A quick word of advice: If you decide to use any of these apps, make sure you start ASAP! This will help you narrow down your choices to ones that are easy to use. Get used to the method right from the start and the entire process will be way easier.
Be prepared for challenges
If you have been involved in project planning at some level, pulling off a wedding will be easier. This is because there are numerous things to stay on top of, all at the same time. Things can and do go wrong! So, prepare yourself to tackle the situation with a cool head and also have a Plan B for every scenario. This will help you have an alternate solution at short notice, whenever required. The best way to handle all challenges is to be prepared for worst outcomes. Apart from making a comprehensive checklist for every single thing to do at your wedding, also consider likely glitches. Then have a solution in mind, in case things go downhill.
Take time to think before making decisions
When you are on your own, you will have to depend on reviews and word of mouth to choose vendors, make décor decisions and more. So, do not make any decision in haste. List out your options and properly research before you commit to a contract. Make sure you take time to analyze every aspect and are fully sure of every choice, before you confirm. Where necessary, obtain references and definitely contact them. The most reliable choices are usually recommendations from friends and family, who have done it before you. So, try this path first. From picking the wedding date to choosing the cake design and florist, make sure you won’t have to rethink your decision.
Segregate your research
Organize everything neatly and in its right place to make things much easier. Whether you use organization tools like Pinterest or sort things into folders on your desktop, do it in a systematic way. Create multiple folders or boards for each type of information, rather than just amassing it all in one place. This will allow you locate exactly what you want in no time. You can also share information easily when it is organized well, and save a lot of time.
Think well before you ask your friends and family for help
Many of your friends and family may seem eager to help with your wedding plans. However, be cautious of who you entrust with what. You need people who will stay objective and follow your instructions to complete tasks. When it is family and friends, remember that you should also maintain your personal relationship with them. This can come in the way of expressing dissatisfaction when you aren’t happy with how they handle things. Also, unless you entrust the job to the right people, there are chances that they will make decisions without consulting you. This may not always be in your best interest.
Get things done ahead of time
Don’t set your deadlines too close. It is always safe to have some buffer time for everything, in case there are delays or hassles along the way. When you discuss timelines with vendors, ask them to deliver ahead of the actual time. This will ensure everything is in place on time. Follow a wedding planning checklist to get a clear idea of what is to be completed and when! Stick to it and you should be fine. If you will be doing things like the centerpieces or favors yourself, get them ready as early as is possible. The last thing you want is to spend your wedding eve completing these tasks, because you didn’t get around to it earlier.
Get your priorities straight
Wedding planning involves numerous decisions, that you can end up procrastinating and reaching nowhere. Try to stay focused by giving more importance to certain tasks over others. Have a clear idea of how you want your wedding to be, and don’t change it along the way. Set priorities for the tasks you should complete, and handle them in that order. Do the important ones with gusto. Leave the others for when you have time. Also, wisely limit the finer details to what is practical and can be achieved within the given time span.
Run your plan by someone who has already been there
Always get a second opinion if you are unsure. You should have someone who can recognize if you’ve missed anything. This is possible when this associate has been in your position before you. Throughout your wedding planning, consult with your fiance and preferably another bride or couple who have planned their own wedding. They can advise you on anything you may miss or overlook. Similarly, make sure you run your list by the person who will be in-charge of your duties on your wedding day, so you are both on the same page. Read ahead to find out more about who that person ought to be.
Find someone to take responsibility on your wedding day
Although you can fully involve yourself in wedding planning till the day of your wedding, you have other things to do on this day. You shouldn’t be the one who follows up with vendors or checks if everything is progressing on schedule. Instead, you should enjoy yourself as the bride. So, you simply must find someone to shoulder all the responsibilities on your wedding day. This could be a trustworthy friend or relative. Nonetheless, the person you choose should be reliable, punctual and have the capacity to take charge of everything wedding-related. It wouldn’t hurt if this person is a tad bossy, if necessary. This trait will ensure that he/she won’t hesitate to get people on track when necessary. If there isn’t someone you know who can take over all this, consider hiring a professional for just the day.
Planning a wedding is a Herculean task, more so when you do most of it yourself. However, a wedding that is done well, is a blissful and satisfying experience. So, involve yourself in all the planning if you must! But don’t stress yourself out so much that you forget to enjoy it. For more wedding planning tips, fashion advice and all things wedding-related, keep visiting this space on Best for Bride.