Whether you have two years or three months before the big day, planning a wedding can be stressful. There are a million things to decide, plan, book and pay for. After all, you’re going to remember this day for the rest of your life. It needs to be perfect – well, as close to perfect as can be.
Sound’s overwhelming, right? The good news is, it doesn’t have to be. If you get yourself organised and start checking things off your to-do list quickly, you can limit the amount of stress that comes with planning a wedding. Here are the first 5 things you should do:
First things first: You need to set a budget. This number will affect every decision that you make. The venue, dress, cake, champagne, table decorations – everything! Sit down with your partner and family, if they are contributing financially, and talk numbers. Yes, this conversation may be a little awkward but it’s best to just get it out of the way.
Once you all decide on a number, start dividing the funds into categories such as catering, entertainment, decorations etc. You don’t have to stick to these numbers exactly, but having a rough guideline will help stop you from accidentally overspending.
Pick your wedding party
It’s time for you to choose your maid of honour and bridesmaids. Think carefully before you officially ask anyone. You want people who are loving, caring and reliable. Once you have picked the perfect ladies to stand by your side, create a Facebook group for the bridal party and encourage everyone to share pictures, articles and other ideas to keep you all excited and inspired in the lead up to the big day.
Write the guest list
Will everyone on the guest list be attending both the ceremony and the reception? Or will you have two separate guest lists for each event? These are questions you will need to answer before even thinking about who you would like to invite. After you have reached a decision, we recommend sitting down with your partner to finalises the guest list, just to make sure you haven’t accidentally forgotten someone.
Start a wedding planner
A wedding planner is more than just a pretty book for you to stick magazine cutouts of flower arrangements. It’s a space for you to write, organize and store everything related to the big day including ideas, dress fittings and other appointments, your budget, expenses, and the contact information of your photographer/caterer/band.
Book the venue and photographer
It’s time to book a venue and finally set a date for the big day. Ask friends and families for recommendations and read reviews online before arranging to visit potential venues. This will help focus your choices early on, saving you precious time.
Once you have picked the venue and date, you will want to book a wedding photographer. Again, ask for recommendations, read reviews online and browse portfolios until you find a photographer that has a style that you like. Photographers can get booked up pretty quickly, so you will want to get your wedding date secured in their diary shortly after you book the venue.
Written by Samantha Allaker