Plan Your Own Wedding… In 10 Big Steps!!
Congratulations!! You’re engaged and you know the next move is to start planning the wedding. You’re probably on the internet, looking for a way to get started! If you’re a couple on a budget, I would like to help you with planning your own wedding!!
I’ve created a detailed step-by-step system, to get you to your dream wedding and guide you through your planning process. Now… I could have easily titled this article as “10 Easy steps”, but I didn’t because, let’s not fool anyone; No matter how Big or Small you chose your wedding to be, it’s a BIG STEP nonetheless! Think of your wedding as… a 1000 piece puzzle. You know what it’s supposed to look like once all the pieces are put together, you just need to make sure you first have all the pieces and they are well laid out and organized to make sure they fit into place. With my 10 Step approach and a little extra dedication from you (which I’m sure I won’t need to ask for twice), you could have your very own, DIY Dream Wedding planned! So here goes…
Step 1:- PRIORITIZE Everything
This is something you need to remember throughout the planning process. You will constantly be challenged with choices and compromises that you will have to take. When in dilemma, prioritize the job! Give your attention to the more important task / problem / challenge till is sorted or completed. So, as a step one, write down the Top 5 priorities that you and your fiancé want for your wedding.
Step 2:- MAKE THE BIG DECISIONS
It’s easier to work on the nitty-gritty details of any task, after you know what the big picture is supposed to look like. So, decide now on what you both want your dream wedding to be. Sleep on it. Think about it. Talk to each other about it. Research it. Draw it. Write it. Whatever it takes to make it seem and feel real and doable to you both.
Step 3:- ORGANIZE the work
Now that you know what you want the end-picture to look like, start working on creating the puzzle pieces.
– The first thing you need to do before getting into action is to decide on your budget, and who is paying for what
– Second, I would suggest looking at the big categories of requirements that need attention to plan any successful wedding. Create a flow chart (of sorts) for these categories. These big categories can be:
o [MoH + Best Man]
o… and there could be others, based on your wedding plan
– Third, create sub-requirements for each main category by itself. Thus ensuring that you don’t overlook anything important. For example, under ‘Bride’ you would have; Dress, Make-up, Manicure, Pedicure, Shoes, Clutch, Bouquet, Headgear, Garter etc…
– Finally, pick a few dates for the wedding and do research about them. Make sure they don’t coincide with any political or social functions. This would also help to understand ahead of time which are the best area’s and what the possible weather conditions could be around the week of your wedding
Step 4:- TIMING IS EVERYTHING
Create a proper time schedule for each and every task that you have detailed above and under each sub-category. This way you can have control of what’s supposed to be happening by when! Put them on your calendar, create a chart or create a presentation, whatever helps you get your head wrapped around all the aspects for the wedding.
This is also about the time that you begin to develop a rough draft of your overall guest list and start working back words, cutting out people who would either not be able to make it or either you or your fiancé don’t think is a necessity to being there. In short, bring down your guest list to your final draft and number and start sending out the invites or the Save-the-Date cards.
Step 5:- DELEGATE RESPONSIBILITIES
Accept the fact; you are going to need help! You both are just 2 people, who have full time jobs and other facets of life you can’t ignore while planning the wedding, so call in the cavalry and start delegating the jobs that need to get done. Make sure they are important people you can trust wholeheartedly and preferably who have a role to play in the wedding! People like, your Parents, the MoH, Best Man, Sister, Brother etc. Don’t ask the neighbours daughter or high school buddy, just because they’re invited and / or lives close by! Give your ‘wedding warriors’ tasks and ‘pieces’ of the categories and schedule that you created. Thus giving them important roles and a guideline by when the tasks have to be done.
Most importantly, whoever you chose to get involved in the planning and executing process of your wedding, don’t forget to follow-up on them to make sure they follow-up on their list!
Step 6:- GETTING IN THE FIELD
Here’s where the heavy stuff kicks in. You have your happy wedding helpers getting things moving for you, but that also means, that you’ll be pulled in all directions every which way. Stay calm and collected, share the responsibilities between you and your fiancé and get into the field. You’ll have to go for sampling, testing, reviewing and fitting sessions for yourself and for others in the wedding entourage. You will have to meet, greet and verify all the different vendors that will come by. You will have to review and decide which one you want to go ahead with and give your final word.
Also, if you’ve already sent out Save-the-Date cards, now would be the time you will have to start sending out invites to all your guests. You will have to chase for RSVP’s and keep updating your wedding guest list. Always remember your priorities when making these big decisions. Your priorities may be around budget, theme, style, culture or other things. So don’t let yourself get overwhelmed and just enjoy the attention!
Step 7:- UPDATES ESSENTIALS
Get back to the drawing board now (or whatever system you chose to organize your tasks) and update your categories and tasks. Check against things done, highlight things pending and take a look at what’s outstanding and what’s overdue! See if there are other things you would like to add on or take off. Again, follow-up on all those who have responsibilities delegated to them and have not completed. Remember to stay calm, no one likes a Bridezilla and you won’t be encouraging them to go ANY Faster in getting your work done! Remember, you need them on your side!!
Step 8:- DOUBLE UP – Follow-up
Wedding vendors tend to be extremely busy and thus, as scary as it sounds, they tend to miss out things. So, you need to do a double take on all your vendors and suppliers. Remember, you are not alone in this. Go back to your wedding warriors and ask them to reconfirm all the contracts signed with everything that was under their list of responsibilities.
By now, you should also have a final guest-list and RSVP list of those coming, so you can begin finalizing your Table name cards!
Step 9:- FINAL COUNTDOWN
Make sure everything for the wedding is set in motion. If need be, have a final meeting with all the vendors to reassure yourself that everything is ready. Keep an emergency kit with someone reliable and who will be around for you throughout the day, like your MoH. Recheck on the Suits and Dresses, the transportation and all the immediate needs that will arise for the wedding day.
Very importantly, do weather check for the day of the wedding! If anything unsure pop’s up, try to make necessary arrangements. For example, if it says it may have light rain and you have an outdoor wedding; make sure everyone in the wedding party bring in an umbrella and give the venue a call to give them a heads up in case things get nasty, that they can make emergency arrangements; or, if it’s bound to be too hot, get the best man and grooms men to go get crates of juice and refreshments that can be kept cold and handy to give the guests on arrival to stay cool!
Step 10:- YOUR BIG DAY
Forget the rest, leave the stress. Just Wake up, Dress up, Show up… And Enjoy your Wonderful Wedding day unfold!!
For further tips on planning your wedding visit my website or read my blog posts.
Till then, enjoy planning and have a fabulous wedding!