So you’ve recently gotten engaged. The next logical step is to plan your wedding. Your friends and family might tell you to hire a wedding planner to save you all the trouble, taking care of everything from the reception to the wedding photographer and videographer packages to cover this momentous occasion.
However, as a savvy bride, you want to be as hands-on as possible on the most significant event of your life. To help you prepare for your special day, here are the basics of wedding planning so that you can get hitched without a hitch.
Know your budget.
The first thing you need to do is know your budget—and stick to it. With all the planning involved in your wedding, it can be easy to get swept away. It can be tempting to pay more for your wedding gown or the flower arrangements in the venue, only to find out later on that you went way over budget.
It’s essential to keep in mind how much you’re willing to spend on this wedding, as this will dictate your choices as you go along your wedding planning journey. A bigger, more flexible budget means you can be more lavish with your preferences, while a smaller budget limits your options.
Establish a firm timeline.
After setting your budget, you need to establish a firm timeline. How soon do you want to get married? Planning this early on lets you know how much time you have to prepare for everything else. This includes looking for the venue, selecting which guests to invite, choosing wedding attire, and so on.
Prepare your guest list.
Next, prepare your guest list. This gives you an estimate of how many people can attend your wedding. Overseas guests are informed in advance. This will also tell you how much food and what kind of to prepare at the reception, as well as the number of invites to send out.
Find your wedding motif and research your venue.
Once you’ve got the basics down, you should plan for your motif and venue. What’s your dream wedding like? Look for wedding theme inspirations on Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram. Choose at least three and then print it out so you can bring these along with you as you talk to vendors.
Choose a venue in line with your motif. Is it a beach wedding? A destination wedding? Keep your budget and the established dates in mind. This will help you choose a venue that you like within the budget that you have.
Shop for wedding attire.
Sometimes, brides-to-be already have a wedding gown in mind. This could be anything from a family heirloom to a design they saw and never forgot about. Keep in mind that your wedding gown and your entourage’s wedding attire should be aligned with the motif. Choose a vendor that can work within your budget and your timeframe.
List everything down. Carry a journal with you containing all the information of every vendor you have talked to. Review the contracts as they are given to you and keep them safely tucked away. Mishaps can happen, so you need to prepare for the worst. Look for “back up vendors” just in case your first choice doesn’t work out as you near your special day.
Be diligent when hiring vendors.
Get a background check on your vendors before committing with them. What’s their track record? Are they reliable? Overpriced? Taste food, sample products, and ask questions. You’re spending a lot of money getting them on board, might as well check that you get what you’re paying for.
Preparing your wedding is hard, but not impossible. Stick to your budget and double-check everything before signing contracts. Keep your guests in mind. Prepare for the worst to ensure everything goes smoothly on your special day.