While hiring a wedding planner is never a bad move, many couples prefer to take a fully self-directed approach to the process and do the planning on their own. This is done quite often, but all too often it is done under great stress and frustration. While there is nothing that can completely eradicate your wedding planning worries, there are plenty of things that you can do to lighten the load and keep yourself sane during the process.
Determine Your Budget Early – and Stick with It!
Expenses pile up very quickly when planning a wedding, so it’s important that you know exactly how much you have to spend. This figure should include everything, from the venue itself to the center pieces on the tables at your reception. Keep receipts and keep thorough track of every wedding expense paid for as you go.
Know Who You’re Going to be Calling
What features do you want at your wedding? Apart from the officiator of the wedding ceremony, what other people are you planning to hire for your big day? Is the venue going to have to be reserved? Are you getting a band? Catering service? Bar services? Create a list of numbers and relevant names to refer to and call them as soon as you are ready to start booking.
It’s hard to pitch in on wedding planning when both spouses work and have other obligations, but nobody should feel like they have to plan a wedding alone. That’s a surefire way for one of you to experience a serious case of burn-out.
Organize Your Process
Many who plan their own weddings make use of traditional wedding planning books and binders, as well as digital spreadsheets through a format like Microsoft Excel. This helps to keep track of where you are in the wedding planning process and where you are going as things progress.
Weigh Your Options
Don’t cave and then hire the first florist, photographer or caterer that you talk to. The first one could end up being the one you go with, but not interviewing several prospects could stand in the way of finding the perfect fit for your wedding. Interview different companies and individuals that you’d consider hiring for your wedding and consider your options carefully before making a decision.
Planning a wedding is tough, no matter what. But with these tips at the front of your mind you will be able to make the decisions that lead to a smooth-going and gorgeous wedding. Give yourself plenty of time to work on the arrangements and remember: Take some time to yourself to avoid burning out on both ends.
There are few bigger wedding decisions than selecting where the event itself is going to be held. The venue sets the tone, helps to determine the size of the guest list, and serves as the backdrop of your most special memories (not to mention photographs). Does your traditional eye pull you toward a classic cathedral? Do you aim for an outdoor venue overlooking a scenic landscape? Whatever your preference may be, you need to decide on a venue pretty early on.
This is no small choice to make, so you should do so carefully. Here are some considerations for you to keep at the forefront of your mind as you weigh the options before you.
Do you have the date already set in stone? Then you need to get on course to booking that venue! Some venues fill up their calendars pretty quickly, so the earlier you can do this, the better. Try to book 12-18 months ahead. If your wedding will be taking place earlier than that, you’d be in good form to call the venue directly and inquire as to their schedule around your date. You might get lucky with an open availability, but this is not a guarantee.
Naturally, you will need to take your guest list into consideration. Will the venue comfortably host everyone you plan to invite? Is the size and layout of the venue enough to accommodate not only your wedding guests but also vendors or a band? If any of your intended guests have physical limitations, is the venue easily accessible for them? The comfort of your guests is incredibly important if you want to help things go along smoothly on the big day.
What other features come with the venue? You should know exactly what you are paying for and what you may have at your disposal, such as:
- Lighting equipment
- In-house catering
- Sound equipment
- Bar service
Know what you will end up shelling money out for, as well as what you won’t. When you know what amenities the venue does or does not provide, you can make plans around it.
Would you like your wedding reception to take place in the same location as the ceremony? You need to make sure that the location is capable of handling the type of reception that you’re after, as well as the wedding ceremony itself. If your intent is to book two separate venues, make sure to treat the venue for your reception as just as high a priority as the one for your wedding ceremony. Book early!