How to Plan a Wedding – Step by Step on Planning Your Wedding
Congratulations on your engagement! Wearing a diamond ring on your finger could be a moment that you’ve been waiting for your whole life. But now what? Most people don’t know how to plan a wedding or where to begin! If you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry you are not alone. Many brides choose to plan their own weddings because of a tight budget or keenness to do some DIY.
But as an experienced bride and a professional working in the bridal industry, I can tell you that it is a LOT of work. There is endless planning, budgeting, decisions to make and long to-do lists, so it’s fair to say that planning your own wedding is no simple feat. For many brides, this is the biggest event they have ever planned in their life – in terms of both size and importance. So where should you start if you’re going to learn how to plan a wedding?
Start with the Budget
Ok, ok. I know this isn’t the funnest part of planning your wedding, but trust me this is probably one of the most important things you can do. Doing this first will make every other decision easier. Once they’re engaged most brides dive straight into inspiration and pretty pictures, dreaming up their ultimate dream day. Unfortunately what can end up happening is that all your inspiration and dreams end up becoming a ‘wish list’, because you couldn’t afford them to begin with. So spare yourself some disappointment, and dive into reality first. By deciding on what your overall budget will be, and also which items are more of a priority than others, this will help you to allocate your finances in a realistic way. If you’re a bit stuck on the whole budget thing, we do have an excellent resource available here that includes a printable budget with budget tips, and also an Excel Spreadsheet Budget.
Woohoo! Now you can let loose and let yourself see what’s out there. Let yourself dream and see what all the possibilities could look like. You should have a good idea of what kind of money you’re going to spend by now, so this should be your guide while gathering inspiration. Every item or photo that you look at, should be viewed with your ‘budget glasses’ on. This is your ultimate goal and what will guide you in all your decisions. So, if you see an amazing venue that you know you can’t afford, simply move on. There is no point wasting precious time over something that would never eventuate. Collecting inspiration is more about how you want to feel on the day, the overall atmosphere on the day. Knowing how to plan a wedding will come to these details, and what matters to you most. You might imagine yourself saying your vows in a garden or outdoors rather than in a church. You might envision a sunset reception near the beach. These are the things to capture and take note of. If you need some tips on where to get started I’d would highly recommend Pinterest, White Magazine and Green Wedding Shoes, as well as the Sail and Swan Blog.
Set a Time Frame
Now that you have good idea of what you would like your wedding day to look and feel like, and you also have a solid understanding of money you can spend, it’s time to set yourself some goals. You are already doing so well and have learned a lot about how to plan a wedding. This next step is nutting things out into your schedule. Goals are not meant to trap you or put yourself under any extra stress or pressure. They should be put there to help you, and aid you in staying on track. So, plan ahead and consider what you will need to do. Reserve yourself time in your schedule for specific tasks, and give yourself a time frame. For example, you may find that locking in a venue and wedding date should take priority over choosing your flowers. This is part of your time frame, where you prioritize tasks based on their importance. Keep this time frame in a place where you can see it regularly – don’t scribble it on a loose piece of paper and lose it in the deep depths of your handbag two weeks later. Pin it up a wall, or place in a wedding folder. Tick items off as you go and keep yourself accountable and on track. This is the core of how to plan a wedding, so if you can do this and stick to it you will be just fine! It’s about persistence, diligence, seeing the bigger picture and not giving up.
Delegate Where Necessary
You might feel overwhelmed looking at your wedding to-do list. Keep in mind that you will have lots of time to get everything done, so try not to worry about the task that are planned for further down the track. Just take each day one at a time and persist because you will get there slowly but surely. One thing that can help to ease the load is to delegate some of your tasks. Take a look at your to-do list and see if there is anything your friends and family can help you with. Some tasks you will have to be there in person – like choosing your wedding dress. But many items on your list may not actually require you to be there. Are there several things that your family can help you with? Maybe your dad can help build some of your decorations. Or your sister can get your wedding favours sorted. Your bridal party could help you with ordering items and shopping around for specific things like decorations, candles, petals etc.
Don’t Leave Things for the Last Minute
Save yourself some stress and try not to leave anything for the last minute! If you have fallen behind in your planning, then ask some friends to help you get back on track. Don’t fall into the trap of seeing your goals for this week and deciding to leave them for another time. Small tasks can pile up really quickly and the last thing you want is to have a mound of things that never got done and now it’s the day before the wedding – enter panic mode!
Stop and Smell the Roses
This is probably the most important thing to keep in mind. With all this hard work involved you may forget to stop and just enjoy the moment. This is a time in your life that you will never get back again. A unique season, or chapter, in your story. Take each moment as it comes and schedule some time for rest along the way – and time for each other! keep this in mind especially on the wedding day itself – all the planning is done and now your moment is here. So just stop, relax and take it in! This is the moment you’ve been waiting for! So enjoy it, embrace it, take it in!
I hope this helps you learn how to plan a wedding, and to enjoy every step of the process!