The 8 Step Process to Planning Your Wedding
Figuring out your budget is the first step in the planning process. You and your fiance should sit down and figure out how much you can realistically afford to spend on your wedding.
Determine what your priorities are and which aspects of the wedding you want to splurge on. This will help you make decisions throughout the planning process.
1. Decide on a Theme
It can be helpful to search for aesthetic inspirations before choosing a theme. This can be done by searching through wedding magazines, websites, and visual inspiration tools like Pinterest or Instagram. You can even put together a physical or virtual “mood board” to help you figure out what you’re looking for.
It can also be a good idea to consider your venue’s style as this will influence your theme and colour choices. For example, a beach wedding may inspire you to choose nature-inspired colours and a seafood dinner menu.
2. Create a Budget
You and your partner should decide on the bottom line for what you are comfortable spending. It is also a great idea to ask your loved ones how much they are willing to help.
Next, you should compile a list of your must-haves. This will help you decide where you want to splurge and where you want to save. It will also help you find ways to cut costs. For example, having your wedding on a Friday or Sunday might make it less expensive as venues aren’t as busy during those days.
3. Choose Your Vendors
Once you have a venue on lockdown it’s time to start researching vendors for the other details of your wedding. This includes florists, photographers, hair and makeup artists, a videographer, entertainment and more.
Prioritize your needs and write out a budget to determine how much you can spend on each vendor. This will help you to focus on finding quality and not just price. Make sure to read all of the contracts before signing them, too! Often, there are additional fees and clauses that you may not have expected.
4. Schedule a Consultation
The first thing a couple needs to decide is when they want their wedding. This will impact if the venue you are interested in is available.
The client also needs to understand how many guests they are planning on inviting, so you can see if the venue has enough space for everyone. It’s better to overestimate than underestimate.
You can also discuss what the non-negotiables are for their day. This will help them figure out what they want to splurge on and what they are willing to cut back on.
5. Schedule a Meeting with the Officiant
Once you’ve decided on the type of ceremony, it’s time to schedule a meeting with your officiant. This could be your religious leader, a close friend or family member, or a professional wedding officiant. Consider giving them a special, personalized gift for helping you make your day special.
The meeting can be in person or via video/phone call and will help the officiant create a custom ceremony to fit you. They’ll ask you questions about your relationship and beliefs to tailor a ceremony that is unique for you.
6. Schedule a Meeting with the Caterer
When you know your final guest count, it’s time to start working with vendors that require the information for creating things like place cards and escort cards. You can also begin to plan your itinerary for the big day, and select the music and readings for the ceremony.
It’s a good idea to send out save-the-dates now, too, and make accommodations for out-of-town guests. You should also select and order bridal party fashions and any other necessary accessories.
7. Schedule a Meeting with the Florist
Once the venue is locked in and date set it’s time to start looking at other vendors such as florists, stylists (if you have one) and other suppliers that will help create your wedding look. Try to research these suppliers within your budget and also ensure that they are a good fit for your style and personality.
Remember to choose a florist based on their work and not just on how they are on the phone, review their portfolio, reviews and recommendations.
8. Schedule a Meeting with the Entertainment
Once you come down from the post-proposal high, it’s time to start checking off items on your wedding to-do list. Whether you’re buying your dress or booking a honeymoon, this is a good time to make sure all the essentials are taken care of.
Start by writing down a priority list of what matters most to you as a couple. This will help you narrow down your options and stay on track with your budget. This is also a great opportunity to ask for advice from family members and friends.