Wedding Planning Made Easy
While you may have a lot of ideas about the type of wedding ceremony and reception you're hoping to plan, you're bound to get overwhelmed without a clear plan of attack. These 10 tips will help you plan a fabulous wedding day that you and your soon-to-be spouse will cherish forever.
- Start with a Mind Dump - Brides and grooms often have a vision of what would make their wedding a perfect day to remember. Get your creative juices flowing with a brainstorm session where you jot down every possible idea for your reception and ceremony. While you're at it, you can even add ideas for your bridal shower, rehearsal and honeymoon.
- Create a Detailed Budget - Once you've had a chance to dream up a lengthy list of ideas, it's time to move into reality by creating a detailed budget spreadsheet. Make sure to include those who will actually be footing the bill, even if it's just to get their final okay on the total. There's nothing that's more of a wedding killjoy than running out of money part way into the planning. Setting a budget will help you turn hopeful ideas into a manageable list. Identifying the highest priorities will also help you know what you're willing to spend more on, and what you could skip if necessary.
- Develop a Checklist - There are plenty of wedding planning websites and physical planners that can help you develop a checklist of to-dos that will be just right for your needs. Since no two weddings are the same and your plans will be modified along the way, make sure you can adapt this list over time.
- Call in the Troops - The quickest path to becoming stressed and overwhelmed is to tackle every part of the planning on your own. Rally your posse of bridesmaids and family members to sort out who can assist with each area of coordinating your big day. SignUpGenius provides great wedding template designs. In minutes, you'll be able to create a sign up with different responsibilities for your crew to volunteer for.
Organize help from family and friends to help plan your wedding. View an Example
- Get Recommendations - Whether it's the name of an amazing wedding photographer or ideas for creative centerpieces for the reception, you're going to need recommendations. After talking with friends and family members who have recently planned weddings, you can turn to the internet for more ideas. Make sure to keep all of them in a format you can easily access.
- Start with the Big and End with the Small - Focus on the big areas like setting a budget, securing a ceremony and reception location and creating a guest list first. These significant decisions will help narrow down a lot of the smaller ones, and you'll feel like you have more breathing room to plan once they're out of the way.
- Develop a Contact List - Put all of the contact information in one place for everyone who has any part in ensuring that your wedding is a success. Make sure to include their company name, address, personal contact name, phone number, website and any notes about when you have interacted with them. Include a column for a list of questions for each contact and highlight the tasks that still need to be done.
- Use Technology - It's hard to remember what it was like to plan a wedding before the internet. You now have online wedding planning systems, search engines and social media to check out recommendations and run ideas by friends all at your fingertips. SignUpGenius can help you organize any group of people involved in your wedding, from a group of volunteers to your bridal shower to a set up and take down crew for the reception.
Coordinate a bridal shower with a sign up. View an Example
- Plan, but Don't Over-plan - With so many details to cover, the best way to avoid stress is to develop a clear plan of attack without becoming completely tied to it. You may want to set aside a day or specific times every week to focus on wedding planning. That way, you can focus and cover a lot of ground while at the same time avoid having to be in wedding planning mode all the time. When it comes to the big day, set aside intentional time for connecting with the people you love so it doesn't feel like one big rush. Those moments will be the ones you remember and hold dear!
- Remember What's Important - Friends and family may recall what a fabulous wedding you planned for all of a couple of weeks, but what needs to last a lot longer is your marriage. When you're tempted to freak out at your fiancé for forgetting the meeting with the florist, take a moment to breathe and remember that your love and commitment to each other is the reason you're planning the wedding in the first place.
These tips and ideas will carry you far when planning your special day — and don't be afraid to call in some extra help or hire a professional wedding planner. Coordinating your own wedding is a lot to take on, especially during such a busy season of life. We hope your wedding day is unforgettable and full of love and laughter.
Contributors: Angel Rutledge, Erica Thomas