Basics of How To Plan A Wedding: In A Year

You’re probably wondering how to plan a wedding after your engagement announcement. So, does this sound familiar?

  • “-Wait, I’m supposed to have a theme? 
  • -WTF is a wedding website even FOR, anyway? 
  • -Should we just elope?
  • -I’m supposed to already know who I’m going to ask to be my bridesmaids? 
  • -Wait, I’m not even sure I WANT bridesmaids!” 

Well, if that’s you then just relax as we take you through these basic checklists of how to plan a wedding. You can follow the order we have listed from the start to the end. 

TOP 5 Things To Start With Right Away: 

A wedding is a tailored celebration, invite the people that make you happy.

Make a family announcement: Some couples just don’t feel right if other people spill the big news before the parents and other close family members find out. If possible, meet and tell both sets of family in person. And in case your parents don’t live close by, put in a special phone call. (record this special moment for memories) 

It might sound stressful to let them know that you’re getting married because you know they’ll start pitching in ideas, so this is a good time to start setting some boundaries in terms of making decisions that are best for you, and poliety letting them know that. 

Also, on a more relaxed note, your friends and families can hook you up with some cheaper homemade bakeries to cut down on costs, and can lend you some things like the tiara your sister wore for her wedding or the tux your father in law wore for his wedding can be reused, etc. 

Set your budget: After you and your family have finished admiring your new bling and have started sharing the news with your inner circle it’s time to buckle down and start planning your wedding. The main step in planning your wedding is setting your budget. Now, we know talking money is never fun, but it’s a conversation that NEEDS to be had. Next, meet with inlaws or anyone who’s contributing to the wedding finances to know exactly how much you can spend to save you from going overboard in the early phases of planning.

Pick your date or upto 3 for flexibility: The next thing you’ll want to do is set your wedding date. Rough out the timing. Even if you don’t have to set a firm date now, when you plan a wedding, it’s smart to have an idea of what month or season you want to marry in. Then you’ll know how long you have to get things organized. Check a list of major holidays, important events (think milestone birthdays and anniversaries) and local celebrations to avoid any issues with your wedding plans. You’ll probably want to avoid all of those, if at all possible. 

Also to cut costs, you may want to think about choosing a date in the off-season wedding calendar as opposed to smack in the middle of the summer. Winter weddings are totally doable and monday weddings are also cheaper than weekends. 

Make your guest list: Before you get into plotting out your guest list (grooms vs brides seating) you’ll want to take a few deep breaths and think inner peace to avoid being stressed. 

Now, your list doesn’t have to be set in stone just yet, but you have a pretty decent idea of the number of people you’ll be inviting. Do you want a massive 400 person host or only 20 of your nearest and dearest? Hold a meeting with your spouse and both parents and figure it out. Sometimes people even hold smaller ceremonies for the parents friends outside of the wedding, to make that ceremony feel more intimate and you don’t have to invite them to the wedding making the wedding less expensive. A ballpark number will help you find a venue that fits your group perfectly.

Because your wedding’s size will finalize the location, how much it will cost (because prices usually rise per guest) and whether travel will be involved like picking up guests from the airport or personal transport, creating a guest list is one of the most important things to do. So make your list and ask your spouse and both sets of parents to do the same. 

Pick the wedding party: Make a small important decision at this stage when it comes to choosing your wedding party. Choose the Maid of Honor, Bridesmaids, Bestman, Flower Girl and Ring Bearer.

Tools That Will Help You Decide Fast

  • Book your venue: When you think about how to plan a wedding, you don’t need to have your theme finalized from the get go or your colour palette set in stone to find that perfect venue for you. In fact, your venue location is a great tool that might just inspire your wedding’s finer details. Let’s say you fall in love with a rustic barn. It may encourage you to pick wildflowers for your floral arrangements and a more casual catering style with hearty local catering. Alternatively, if your heart gets stolen by a beautiful hotel ballroom then you’ll know you’re more inclined to host a black tie affair complete with a live jazz band and classic hors d’oeuvres. 
  • Hire a planner: Not everyone hires a wedding planner but they can be incredibly helpful. In case you feel like you want to go it alone just hire a planner for the day. However, if your days are more hectic are prone to getting stressed out, a wedding planner is worth looking into. This guy or gal will be your wedding assistant who will help you hunt down the right vendors, manage any crisis like a well-oiled machine to make your wedding so stress-free! 
  • Create a Pinterest Board: This will be helpful but intimidating at the same time, but you’ve got 12 months to go, so you’re good. Pinterest will be really helpful if you still want to discover what else you can add to make your wedding spectacular. 
  • Create a website: A wedding website is great to assemble all the information you’ve set regarding the wedding. For example, you can create pages for Our Story, Our Wedding Party, Our Music, Accommodations, RSVP, Registrations, etc. At this stage you just want to create it, don’t share it with others yet. 
  • Get engagement photos taken: While you’re planning the wedding to come, it’s a little bit less stressful to just come back to the present moment and enjoy this time as just an engaged couple. It will be nice to just be in some jeans and not a tux or a white dress, and have a true break. 

Let’s Start To Finalize These 8 Things 

  • Finalize your guest list. 
  • Browse through wedding dresses and veil styles and suits. 
  • Start browsing save the date designs to find your ideal shape and size. 
  • Finalize your bridal wear, veil, undergarments and accessories: This way you’ll have plenty of time to choose a dress along with your entourage (I’m looking at you Say Yes To The Dress) and have plenty of time to argue and discuss with family and friends, plus alterations take time. It will also help to get started with the final dress if you’re looking for something customized. 
  • Book the wedding ceremony and reception venues.
  • Book the person you want to officiate the wedding.
  • Hire the photographer, caterer, DJ/Band, Florist and planner.
  • Start a fitness routine and skin care and beauty routine as well.

A 6 Month Checklist Begins Here

You can take upto 6 months to start the steps above, and now you can focus on having your wedding more finalized. We’ve decided to narrow it down to  For You and For Your Guests. 

Things For You 

  • Create gift registries that you like with national shops across the state.
  • Look through wedding party designs like Enclosures, Programs, Menu Cards, Thank Yous.  
  • Start your honeymoon planning: A simple tip is to book a honeymoon according to the activities you want to do with your spouse. Some like a laid back approach with eating local delicacies, others like to go snorkeling. 
  • Start makeup and hair plans for your wedding.
  • Set up a meeting with your officiant to discuss the wedding ceremony plans. 
  • Reserve rentals for decor, lighting, chairs etc. 
  • Choose the style for your wedding cake and place a tasting meeting with you and your spouse.
  • Hire a DJ or band for the music for the ceremony and one for the reception and show them a play/don’t play music list for the wedding.
  • Choose your flowers for wedding, venues, cakes etc.
  • Book your honeymoon flight and hotel
  • Book your room for the wedding night
  • Finalize and order the wedding cake.

Things For Your Guests

  • Refine and finalize your guest list.
  • After 6 months, mail or email your save the dates to let your guests ready.  
  • Click photos for the custom wedding invitations, order a sample.
  • Find 2 hotels with different price points for guests who are flying in. 
  • Set up groomsmen attire. 
  • Order Thankyou Gift cards for the gifts that come early from some guests. 
  • Book transportation to and from the venues.
  • Finalize welcome baskets for out of town guests. 
  • Book rehearsal dinner venues and assemble the guest list for the same.
  • Send rehearsal dinner invitations to the list. 

Almost There in 3 Months 

Now there’s just 3 months and it’s time for the final touches because you’re getting really close to your wedding. Here’s what you have to do:

  • Finalize your honeymoon itenary, hotel booking and documents needed for travel. 
  • Plan the seating for your ceremony and reception.
  • Purchase flower basket and ring bearer pillow
  • Finalize the food for the wedding. 
  • Begin writing vows, and get family to proof read anything that will be presented during a speech or presentation in the wedding.
  • Review ceremony details with the officiant.
  • Apply for a marriage licence- make sure to order extra. 
  • Finalize the fittings and wardrobe for wedding party and parents.
  • Create a wedding day timeline for sending to vendors, officiants, wedding planners, bridesmaids, maid of honor, groomsmen etc. 
  • Book spa for wedding party.
  • Buy return gifts for attendants.

Love Is Just A Month Away

When there’s just a month to go, you’re most certainly almost at the finish line:

Things For Your Guests

  • Re-check with guests who haven’t RSVP’d.
  • Delegate wedding day duties such as gift table and guestbook, someone in charge of bringing the wedding dress and someone to help the drivers during the wedding. 

Things To Do For The Location

  • Call vendors to confirm dates and times and location details. 
  • Give the final count to the caterer. 
  • Prepare the budgeting and payment for the vendors and tips for service. 
  • Give the photographer your image and video requests.

Things To Do For You

  • Confirm honeymoon reservations and pack.
  • Pick your wedding rings and your marriage license. 
  • Write thankyou notes as soon as you receive the gifts.
  • Do a final fitting of the dresses,shoes and accessories. Try clicking a photo with flash when wearing makeup to see if that your skin tone matches your body. 
  • Update your registries.
  • Get haircuts and final haircolor.
  • Make a wedding day emergency kit.
  • Send out welcome baskets, do hair and makeup, mani/pedi before you attend your rehearsal dinner and go to sleep early. 

This Is Your Happy Wedding Day

It’s finally here this is your the wedding day and here’s some tips:

  • Wake up early and have a good breakfast to allow yourself time to get ready slowly. 
  • Re-check only the important things like the rings, your dress and how you’re feeling. 
  • Soak in the moment and enjoy the warmth of your guests.
  • Have the best wedding of your life! 

Just remember that your wedding is equally bringing together you, your spouse, your family and his spouse. As much you think it is for you, family or cultural wedding traditions play a huge part keeping the wedding in the minds and hearts of your guests. So if there’s a tradition that YOU and your PARTNER want to start, just go for it. 

Let the future generations know how your personal touches MADE the wedding festivities! Whether it was during the reception or ceremony, or just an hour of get-togethers, carve a new tradition in if you’d like to – it’s YOUR day, your TOUCH in history. 

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