It can feel very overwhelming to plan a wedding, understandably. There are several reasons why couples might decide to undertake the majority of the responsibilities on their own rather than hiring a wedding planner.
It takes a lot of work, time and energy but it is feasible to arrange the wedding of your dreams on your own, whether you’re on a limited budget for the planning process or you just adore all the DIY options.
The organisation is key to keeping everything on track when you’re faced with decisions, lists, deadlines, and everyday life. Making sure you give yourself enough time to organise your wedding is the first step. Here is my guide to wedding planning.
15 Steps to a Stress-Free Wedding Planning Process
Just keep in mind one extremely crucial thing: Try to enjoy yourself! After all, this is your wedding. Don’t obsess about the minor things; instead, concentrate on enjoying your love for one another and getting married in the presence of your friends and family.
Set Your Wedding Budget
The majority of your wedding-related decisions will be influenced by your budget, therefore this should be one of your top priorities. Ask any family members who plan to contribute how much they feel comfortable spending.
When it comes to really budget for your wedding, be prepared for a reality check because many couples are unaware of the entire extent of costs involved. Once you have determined the magic number, don’t budge.
Set Your Priorities
Decide on the key elements of your wedding by sitting down with your partner. Put those elements first, and be prepared to make sacrifices on the other issues. This will enable you to stick to your spending plan and concentrate on the things that matter most.
You can use checklists, spreadsheets, Word, Excel, Google Docs, anything really, as long as you can gather all your thoughts, budgets, numbers, etc., in one place. There are some fantastic internet resources and apps available as well that can help you stay organised.
The organisation is key as it will mean less stress, confusion and hiccups during the process.
Think About Dates (and Seasons)
To avoid being constricted when trying to reserve the wedding venue and suppliers, pick a few preferred dates for your wedding and try to be flexible, if at all feasible.
Take into account outside aspects such as whether the dates would be difficult for your guests to attend, how popular those dates may be with other couples getting married (making availability limited and pricing higher), and the price variations of venues and suppliers according to the season.
Tip: if you get married in the week and at none peak seasons, you are more likely to get better deals.
Choose Your Theme
Sometimes it’s beneficial to pick a theme to base your wedding decor around, whether it’s specific colours, seasonal or style inspiration, or a real theme based on an era or a film!
Making design decisions whilst wedding planning is simpler if you have a style in mind, and everything generally appears more cohesive.
Work on Your Guest List Early
Making decisions about the guest list when wedding planning can be challenging and will primarily depend on your venue and spending plan. Set aside some time to create a list of ideal wedding guests with your partner and important family members.
You may need to make some cuts. Additionally, you must determine whether to invite those to who you are not so close.
Be sure to look into prices, packages, and any restrictions (including minimum budget spend or guest count) from several different potential wedding and reception venues before you sign on the dotted line.
Even if you truly like a location and a package deal, keep looking at other suggestions. Before you decide on pricing, do some research and find out what other places are charging.
If you are struggling to decide where to have your wedding day, I have put together some of my favourite wedding venues in this blog. Or if you are looking to elope, I have some amazing intimate venues to highly recommend.
Choose Your Suppliers Wisely
It’s important to take your time making judgments when it comes to hiring wedding suppliers during your wedding planning process. To ensure that they understand your idea and can adhere to your budget, take into account at least a few different options.
Make sure the team of wedding suppliers are people you get along with because they are the foundation for making sure your day is incredibly memorable and everything works smoothly. You should be able to put your trust in them to carry out your vision because they should have a clear understanding of it.
Read Your Contracts Carefully
Be sure to carefully study every detail of any contracts you make with your wedding suppliers before you sign them. Dates, locations, times, deposits, additional costs and quantities must all be included in the contract; otherwise, you won’t be protected if it’s not done properly.
Read any policies on changes in the scope of the services thoroughly since if there are any significant changes, rates may be changed. Although these regulations are common in this field, you should make sure you understand the details. For instance, you would be liable for paying a higher fee if your contract stipulates catering for a guest list of 50 individuals but you ultimately decide to invite 100.
DIY wedding décor ideas can save you money and give your big day some very unique touches. A word of caution, though: Don’t go overboard or you’ll find yourself with more work than you can handle.
Numerous DIY tasks, like creating welcome bags should be completed well in advance. Expert assistance is best for tasks like food and floral arrangements for the wedding day.
Take Time Off and Relax
Make sure to set aside some time for the two of you to simply be together and not do any wedding planning, if only for the sake of your own sanity. You will need the break, I promise.
If at all possible, avoid working the week before your wedding to ensure that all last-minute tasks are finished and to reduce stress in the days leading up to the wedding.
Finalise Setup Details
Find out when your suppliers can arrive for setup as your wedding day draws near by contacting your venue. The earlier the better, but venues may have events on the same day. Make sure your suppliers are informed so that everyone is on the same page.
Create a Wedding Day Timeline
This is key to organisation and keeping track of everything. You can hand this to everyone involved, including guests, suppliers and the venue. You can check out my wedding day timeline blog to help you out!
Focus on the Big Picture
You are getting married, so be in the moment and enjoy the love! Never mind the details or if some things aren’t flawless. What will guests definitely notice? A couple who is stressed out and overloaded with last-minute stuff. Try to unwind by the time your wedding day arrives and savour the precious moments with your loved ones.
Remember Your WHY
Spend time together before your wedding doing something other than wedding planning. Have regular date nights without discussing your wedding. Setting your relationship as a priority and keeping the romance going is more crucial than ever. It will help you remember why you are doing all of this in the first place.
If you are in need of a wedding photographer to capture your forever memories, you can enquire about my services here!