First things first: Planning a wedding can feel pretty overwhelming at times (trust me, I do it for a living). While couples often hire a professional to help manage their wedding plans, there are plenty of reasons why they might also opt to take on the majority of the responsibilities on their own, too.
Maybe you’re working with a tight wedding planning budget or maybe you simply love all of the DIY possibilities—in any case, it’s a lot of extra details, but it is possible to plan the wedding of your dreams on your own.
Set A Budget
Your wedding budget will be the driving factor for many of your wedding-related decisions, so this should be one of the first things you tackle. If any family members will be contributing, chat with them about what they’re comfortable spending.
If you’re footing the bill yourself, it’s time to take a hard look at your finances. Be prepared for a reality check when it comes to actually budget for your wedding day as many couples don’t realize the full scope of costs involved. Once you’ve got that magic number, stick to it!
Have A Checklist
Check out our master wedding-planning checklist and timeline to keep yourself on track and tackling tasks like a pro. This will help you visualize and prioritize goals without being overwhelmed with everything all at once.
Choose A Theme
Whether it’s specific wedding colours, seasonal or style inspiration, or an actual theme, sometimes it’s helpful to choose a concept to design your wedding around. Once you have an aesthetic in mind, it’s easier to make design decisions, and generally, everything looks more cohesive.
Listen To Mother Nature
Heed the weather and other potential annoyances. Guests have been known to skip out early from hotter-than-hot summer tent weddings and improperly heated winter loft receptions. Bugs (gnats, deer flies and mosquitos) also swarm in certain areas during certain seasons.
Consider renting pest control tanks to alleviate the problem or including bug repellent in guests’ gift bags. And if you want a sunset ceremony, make sure you know when to say your vows. Oh, and always, always have a Plan B for unexpected weather snafus.
Make A Meal Plan
Another unforeseen expense? Feeding your wedding day crew. Before you sign the contracts, make sure you’re not required to serve the same meal to your vendors that guests will receive. Otherwise, you could be paying for 20 additional lobster tails.
Choose a less expensive (but equally hearty) meal for them instead. You will have to let your wedding caterer know a couple of days before the wedding exactly how many vendors you need to feed (don’t forget photography assistants and band roadies) and what you want them to serve.
In a three-ring binder, compile all your correspondences with vendors, notes you make during meetings, and photos or tear sheets from magazines you want vendors to see. Set up a special email address dedicated to your wedding, and store important vendor numbers in your cell phone. For on-the-go planning that keeps everything in one place, check this link right here now.
Prioritize Your People
Pare down your guest list with the “tiers of priority” trick. Place immediate family, the bridal party and best friends on top of the list; follow with aunts, uncles, cousins and close friends you can’t imagine celebrating without.
Under that, list your parents’ friends, neighbours, coworkers and so on. If you need to make some cuts, start from the bottom until you reach your ideal number.
Work On Your Guest List
Making decisions about the guest list can be a complicated process and one that will depend largely on your venue and budget. Sit down with your partner and key family members to put together a wish list of wedding guests.
Chances are, you’ll need to make some cuts. You will also need to decide whether you’re inviting children and who will be allotted a plus one.