Whether you are the bride, groom, or someone who is taking on wedding planning duties, this guide will help you plan the day of your dreams. It will cover everything from defining your vision to creating a list of vendors.
Begin the process by setting your budget. This will inform your decisions and help you determine what is “non-negotiable” versus what you can sacrifice.
Define Your Vision
Whether you and your fiance are planning your wedding independently or with the help of one or two dedicated assistants, it is best to start with a clear vision for your big day. Figure out what kind of ambiance you would like and how you want guests to feel. In case you are planning to have a wedding in August, there are august wedding colors that are perfect for your event.
Once you have this in mind, you can begin the search for a venue that fits your vision. If you already know the season and month you would like to get married, this can help narrow down your search.
You can also begin putting together a guest list and creating a timeline to ensure everything runs smoothly. If you have an accessible website, you can keep your guests updated with important information, including dates, times, locations, dress code, and registries. This helps to avoid endless emails and texts, as well as save you from having to answer the same questions over and over again!
Set Your Budget
It’s not the most fun or exciting part of wedding planning, but setting your budget is an essential first step. It will help you to stay on track as you begin talking with vendors and booking items. The last thing you want to do is fall in love with a venue, dress, or vendor only to discover that it’s way out of your price range.
Rough out the dates you would like to get married and create a guest list (you can always cut later). Knowing how many guests you’ll be inviting will help you determine where, what month, and season to get married. This will also inform your budget as you plan out other key details. This includes the creation of a gift registry, which will be sent out with your Save the Dates and will give your guests a chance to donate money toward any wedding-related needs.
Create a List of Vendors
Whether you are a bride, groom or the person taking on the task of planning your wedding, creating an extensive list of vendors will ensure that all of your needs are met. This includes photographers, videographers, florists and DJs. These professionals often book their services far in advance, so be sure to contact them early-on in your wedding planning process.
Creating your guest list is another important step that should be completed before beginning the booking process with venues and other vendors. This will allow you to see if the venue you’re interested in can accommodate the number of guests you’ll be inviting.
Additionally, this is a great time to begin compiling a wedding website. This will help keep your loved ones updated on all of the details about your special day. It will also provide them with a helpful way to respond to your invitations.
Schedule a Consultation with Your Vendors
Every bride has different challenges when it comes to wedding planning. For example, some love planning decor, while others find guest lists, charts and numbers totally overwhelming. No matter your challenge, there is always someone who can help you. It might be a friend, family member or even a professional planner.
Make sure you have a clear vision of what you want your day to look like. This will help you narrow down your vendors and venue choices. Once you have your list, schedule phone or in-person meetings with the wedding vendors you are considering to get a feel for them. Take note of their communication style, timeliness and price range. You’ll also want to check their references. If possible, try to book your high priority vendors early on in your engagement. This will give you peace of mind.
Communicate With Your Vendors
Whether you’re working with an event planner, a wedding website or a DIY bride, it is important to communicate effectively with your vendors. Communicating via phone or email, and establishing a consistent schedule will ensure that all your needs are met on the big day.
As you talk to vendors, take note of how they respond to your questions and concerns. If they seem unresponsive or disinterested, that may be a red flag.
Once your wedding is over, remember to send thank-you notes to all of the people who helped make your special day possible. This includes your wedding party, family members and any friends who pitched in to help with your DIY projects. Also, don’t forget to order your marriage license and update any legal documents you may have changed your name on.
Make a List of Your “Must Haves”
If you’re planning a wedding, you’ll want to make a list of your “must haves.” This can be anything from a specific date to booking a photographer or confirming the venue. It’s important to determine what is most important to you and your partner so that you can focus on a few key details rather than getting overwhelmed by all of the small decisions.
It’s also helpful to keep track of numbers and budgets, so be sure to create a spreadsheet and use a calendar. There are even great online tools and apps, such as WeddingHappy and AllSeated, to help you stay on track and keep your plans organized. Also, don’t forget to delegate tasks! Your wedding party, family members and friends will be happy to pitch in where they can. Just be sure to ask them what their strengths are so they can provide support in ways that suit you.
Create a List of Your “Wish Lists”
Whether it’s your dream unicorn or some epic fireworks to light up the night sky, don’t be afraid to dream big. Figure out what you want your guests to feel and experience, and make sure your wedding vendors are equipped to deliver on those things.
Also, create your guest list so you can finalize how many people you’ll be inviting and if you’ll be allotting any plus ones. This is an essential step because vendors will require this number as part of the consultation and booking process.
Lastly, create a wedding day timeline for yourself and share it with your MC, photographer, maid of honor, key family members, and all vendors. This will ensure everyone is on the same page about timing and where to be for each event. It’s a great way to keep your plans organized and prevent any mishaps.
Create a List of Your “Requirements”
The final step before you start booking wedding vendors and dates is to create a list of your “requirements.” These are the non-negotiables that must be addressed to bring your vision to life. This may include a specific venue, the date of your wedding (trying to avoid holiday weekends or popular travel times) and certain items like a wedding cake, a videographer, or live music.
This is also the time to create your guest list, set up gift registries, and send out Save the Date cards (as soon as you have your venue locked in). Create a wedding day schedule and distribute copies to key family members, the MC, your photographer, and all your vendors. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page with timing and locations. It will also help you stay on budget!
Make a List of Your “Recommendations”
Depending on your budget and who’s contributing to your wedding, you may want to take this opportunity to ask family and friends what they are open to spending or not spending for the event. This will help you determine what items are non-negotiable and where you might want to splurge a little more.
Once you have your guest list finalized, you can start putting together lists of your “recommendations” to help vendors narrow down their options and create a cohesive vision for the day. Keeping your suggestions in one place will make the process much easier.
Create a List of Your “To Dos”
A wedding is a big event that requires a lot of planning. It’s important to be organized and create a list of your “to dos.” This will help you stay on track with your planning.
Another crucial task is to determine who’s paying for what and how much your bottom line will be. This will help you decide how to allocate your budget.
The next step is to create a guest list. This can be difficult, but remember to consider everyone’s opinions. You may want to start with your immediate circle of friends and family and work outwards.
Also, don’t forget to send out your save the dates and your invitations. Lastly, don’t forget to update your legal documents. And, of course, plan your dream honeymoon. You deserve it! Happy planning!