When planning a wedding, organization is important when it comes to deadlines, decisions, and lists. A key, first step is giving yourself enough time to plan the wedding. Most wedding planners suggest planning up to a year in advance for your big day.
Set a Budget
After announcing and enjoying your engagement, the first realistic discussion the happy couple should have concerns the wedding budget. This discussion may be wide-ranging by including family members and friends who might aid in covering costs. Ideally, following these discussions, an estimated figure for the total wedding costs will be agreed upon.
Keep in mind an estimate is just that, an educated guess that oftentimes gets exceeded as the true nature of the expenses reveal themselves. An important note to keep in mind: if possible, keep a 10 percent cushion when costing for any unforeseen expenses.
Make a General Guest List Early
Create your dream list
Most people have some idea about what type of wedding they want. Some couples plan large weddings with all your friends and family, and others decide on smaller and more intimate weddings with a select few on the guest list. With that in mind, calculate a rough budget, which will also determine your further plans. Pick the names you are sure must be there, move on to the B-list as it were, and so on. This simplifies the process greatly.
Agree on a maximum number
This decision directly affects the venue and catering decisions. Ensure the final number of guests can be accommodated comfortably by the venue you pick, as well as coordinating with the caterers on their ability to fulfill a meal that satisfies everyone you’ve invited.
Agree on guest division
With guests from both parties involved, the guest list will need to be divided to everyone’s satisfaction. This means guest numbers from both the groom’s side and the bride’s side. This may involve deciding as a collective unit, keeping confusion and hurt feelings to a minimum. Dividing the total number of guests in half, and allocating half the number for each side might be the most equitable. This may vary between couples, as it is a very subjective decision.
Vendors book up fast
Communicating and maintaining a good rapport with the wedding vendors is very important. They can make or break your dream wedding; therefore, effective communication between you and them is key.
Keep your expectations realistic
Agree on modes of contact and general timelines on what is going to be delivered and completed. While maintaining a dialogue depending on changes in itinerary, guests, catering, etc., give them the space to complete the tasks needed but keep on top of things by communicating frequently.
Make use of visual aids
To make the communication between you and your wedding vendors even more effective, it helps to show them what you want visually. Sites such as Pinterest are great resources for snapshots of exactly what you are going for, making communicating your desires that much more simple.
Find your Dress with Time to Spare
It would be best if you did not put off trying on wedding dresses. You’ll need adequate time for dress shopping without the added pressure of your wedding day closing in. Allow for any tailoring adjustments, dress fittings, and wedding accessory shopping. Be sure to practice walking in every dress you try, as well as sitting it for comfort reasons.
Set your dress budget
In keeping with the theme, wedding dress budgeting is crucial. Figure out what is an affordable amount, how much can be spent, and what percentage of your total wedding budget would be prudent on spending on your wedding dress. About 10 percent is the general rule of thumb.
Do some research
You may have the dress of your dreams in mind, but it doesn’t hurt to see what else is out there. Some preliminary research should exclude all the styles, cuts, and brands you don’t like, therefore leaving you with only the ones that speak most to you to go out and try. This should save a lot of time.
Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help
Other married couples that have successfully planned their weddings are a great resource when planning your own nuptials. Any wedding you have recently attended that caught your eye in one way, or another can be inspirational to what you will eventually decide upon for yourself as well. Enquire about the details of their big day, as they are bound to have interesting insights as well as nuggets of advice.
Remember-family members, close friends, or your bridal party are usually more than happy to assist in any which way, so be sure to lean on them should the need arise, and it will. Your spouse-to-be is also more than willing to chip in, so don’t be afraid to delegate as wedding planning can sometimes appear daunting.
Avoid the Wedding Day Blues
Have fun, and enjoy your big day! What is truly important is marrying the one you love in front of family and friends, and creating memories you will cherish for a lifetime.