You wedding day is most likely the most important day of your life. And you want to make sure that everything goes according to schedule and is perfect, as you would like it. There are so many aspects to planning a wedding that it is quite easy to be head over heels while trying to multitask. The wisest thing to do then is to bring in your family and friends into the planning or hire a wedding planner to take over the headache while you sit back and enjoy your day. But like they say, if you want a thing done right, you have to do it yourself. Your wedding day is not something you can take chances with. While there are a lot of things you can’t control, it would be easier to manage the affair if you could work your way through a checklist, like the one below.
Everyone wants to have a fairytale wedding, or at the least, an extravagantly grand day of celebrations. But grandeur costs a lot of money and there are many aspects of a wedding that are absolutely necessary to include, leaving very little to spend on extravaganza, especially if you are on a tight budget. Besides, you can’t spend all your savings on your D-Day, you need to save some amount of money for the life you have ahead. So the first thing you need to do is to create a budget using ball-park amounts. You should first determine the maximum amount you are willing to spend and then work backwards from there. When spending your budget, make sure to negotiate prices for almost every service. Resort to DIY decorations if possible in order to save on expenses.
9. Guest List
Before you pick a venue and menu, you need to determine the number of people who will be attending the event, as the crowd will greatly dictate your choices for both venue and menu. You should give yourself considerable time to prepare the list as you might easily miss out on important family and friends you intend to invite. To get a good estimate of who will be able to attend, make sure you give them an early notification on the phone, even before the cards go out. Mention an approximate time and location and ask them if they would be available. Some of your invitees might be unable to confirm until closer to the date, but the more enthusiastic of them will let you know for sure. You should work with the largest estimate based on the affirmative responses you have had. Even if certain people fail to make it, the number will probably not be too significant to affect your choices.
8. Reserve dates and venues
Once you and your fiancée have brought your families into the planning, you will be better placed to pick a date that is agreeable to all. You might pick a range of dates at first and then settle on one depending on the availability of the venue. Coming to the venue, you must have some idea about the kind of wedding you want to have and you need to select an appropriate venue to suit the décor. Do not procrastinate when finalizing the venue as most of the good ones get booked early. Make an informed decision based on the size of your guest list, the weather at that time of the year and the website info on the venue website. Visit the sites once or twice to make up your mind.
7. Pick your wedding party
Once you have got the day and place picked out, you need to select your best man or maid of honour who will be your supporting rocks and help you with the wedding planning and execution. Along with this, you and your partner need to pick the rest of the wedding party as well, which include the bridesmaids, the ring bearers and the flower girls. Once you have the names in mind, you will need to ask them about it.
6. Hire services
There are many services you will require at the wedding – caterers, service staff, drivers, valets, ushers, florists, decorators, photographers, DJ etc. There will be a number of choices for each service and you will probably need the help of your friends to help you sort through this. Begin with an internet search on the more popular and efficient services based on customer reviews, and then move on to test their services personally by calling them or visiting their shops. Once you have finalized the list of people you want to give your business to, make a list of what you need and give it to them. Some of them might have to work with each other such as the florist and the decorator; you must introduce them to each other and let them know of your choices in flowers, cake, food, music etc. Keep checking on their progress and availability regularly or have a friend check on it for you.
5. Wedding shopping
The biggest part of your day is determining your look. As the bride or the groom, you want to stand out in the crowd. So you need to pick the right dress/suit at the store. Be sure to bring along your friends for public opinion and once you have settled on the dress/suit, make sure it fits well on you. But wedding shopping does not end with your dress, you will have to get accessories and shoes to match. And when you are done with yours, you will have to pick the bridesmaids’ dresses and the best man’s suit. Do not forget to order the rings well ahead of time as well.
4. Book your officiant
Once you have got most of things in the ceremony attended to, you must turn your attention to choosing the officiant who will sanction your marriage. Depending what religions you choose to marry under, you may have one or more than one master/priest of ceremony to officiate your service. Make sure you let your family priest or rabbi know of the details of the day.
3. Send out invitations
A month before the ceremony, make sure to send out the invitations. This will give your guests enough time to plan their trips if they are coming from out of town and/or RSVP their availability. This will also help you to make a final list of people who are attending the wedding and book hotel rooms or make any other changes accordingly. If you send out the invitations in good time, you will be able to know if any of them go undelivered and you can then invite the person through some other way.
2. Delegate tasks
As your wedding day approaches, it will be more difficult to keep track of things, or at best, do everything yourself. Besides, you are more likely to sway between emotions yourself without needing the added stress. It is advisable to relegate some of the tasks to your friends and families. For example, ask a family member to tip the performers and service people after the wedding or ask your friends to usher guests in. You can also rope in their help in initial planning and give each one an area to manage. Or better still, get a wedding planner. They have done it a million times before and are more professional in handling any crisis, should it arise.
1. Prepare and double-check
Before your wedding day, take some time off to go through your essentials list and make sure you have everything ready. This includes your wedding attire, dress, shoes and accessories, your vows for the ceremony, make-up and toiletries, rings, post reception attire, honeymoon luggage and travel information. Anything else that you think you need to include?
Finally, after you have assured that everything is in place and ready, relax and enjoy a good night’s sleep before the big day. After all, that would be your last night as a single person.