Your wedding is coming up and you’ve decided to skip out on hiring a wedding events planner. Instead, you and your significant other are riding solo. You’re both organized and feel ready for the job.
Still, planning a wedding isn’t the same as planning for a presentation or leading a project. While planning ahead definitely has its pros, you may not know what exactly you need to plan for. That said, read on to learn 5 tips you need to consider when planning your wedding.
1. Focus on Your Guests
It isn’t just about the guest count. You know how many people you’re inviting to your wedding but do you know how much space you’ll need?
According to The Knot, a good rule of thumb is for every guest you invite, allow 25 to 30 square feet of space. That way, you ensure that you’ll have enough space for not only your guests to walk around but to make room for the tables, chairs, waiters, dance floor, and band as well.
In other words, your wedding venue depends on your guest count more or less. So, the sooner you finalize the guest count, the sooner you can find a venue that best accommodates them.
This is why it’s important that you send out your wedding invitations as soon as possible. We are talking 3-4 months before the big date—at the very least. Guests then have time to save the day and arrange their schedules. Plus, you won’t feel stressed tracking the RSVPs.
2. Create a Customized Wedding Registry
Nowadays, wedding registries isn’t just enrolling with one store. In fact, your Blueprint Registry can include several stores. Or, why not decide on having a first home savings fund instead?
Instead of buying you and your significant other bedding or cutlery, friends and family can pitch in and help you save up for your first home as a couple? Or why not both?
What we are trying to say is that you have several options at your fingertips. You get to choose how to mix and match.
3. Streamline the Wedding Planning with Google Docs
It is hard enough trying to secure a good venue, let alone lining up the catering, flowers, and music. You have papers and spreadsheets sprawled out everywhere on your kitchen table. Just the clutter alone is enough to cause you a headache. How do you get your planning under control?
Simple. According to Jezebel, you can consolidate your binders, notebooks, and loose leaf paper into a couple Google Docs. If your grandmother is a part of the planning team and may not be familiar with this, Jezebel recommends using the PDF export function!
With Google Docs, you get to control who you want to share your wedding planning with. That way, your wedding planning team can chime in with advice (if you want them to) without overflowing your inbox.
4. Talk to the Event Coordinator About a Potential Plan B
Normally, restaurants that host weddings has an event coordinator who makes sure the event goes smoothly. If you decide to go this route, be sure to have a conversation with the event coordinator on a backup venue should something—such as rain or the air conditioner breaking down—happens.
Speaking of Plan Bs, you may want also want to allocate a portion of your wedding budget to miscellaneous or “Plan B.”
That way, if it is forecasted to rain on your wedding day, you have the funds available to buy a large awning or buy pizzas if the caterer all of a sudden can’t make it.
5. Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
Let’s face it; planning for a wedding is a huge job. Make it easier on yourself by enlisting the help of family and friends. Perhaps you have a friend who is great at making DIY projects? Or your soon-to-be mother-in-law has contacts in the flower industry?
You may be surprised at how eager your family and friends are to help you. They want you and your significant other to have a beautiful and memorable wedding. Allow them to help you—this means handing over the baton and delegating.
Play to Their Strengths, Not Their Weaknesses
According to Inc., this means playing to everyone’s strengths. So, give your creative friend the job of making the centerpieces, not your extremely analytical friend.
Perhaps your analytical friend can be assigned to sync up arrival and setup times for the vendors?
Don’t Micromanage but a Friendly Follow-Up Is Fine
While we know this is your special day and you want it to go perfectly, try not to micromanage. It can be hard to pass off tasks to your friends and family. Our hats go off to you. Trust that they will meet your needs.
At the same time, a friendly follow-up text or email certainly doesn’t hurt.
Bonus: Create a Checklist
Start your wedding planning with a checklist. You can always add and subtract tasks throughout the wedding planning process.
And, make sure you write everything down. This includes adding “pick up dance shoes” or “check in with caterer” to your list.
By getting everything on paper, you make the intangible tangible and can see what you have left to do.
Planning a wedding does not have to be a stress sentence. Using these 5 tips (and then some) will alleviate your jitters and could even make the process fun. What other tips do you recommend? Be sure to leave a comment below.
START SPREADING THE NEWS
You may want to let people in on your engagement as soon as the ring is slipped on your finger. Or you might want to keep the moment private a bit longer. However you share the information, even if you veer from tradition, you should tell your parents first, then other family and friends. You'll make phone calls, of course, but you can also send email or a letter or use a service like pingg to send an announcement. You could even throw a party. Now is also a great time to start creating your wedding website to chronical the journey.
DISCUSS A DATE
Once the word is out, expect lots of questions, including "When are you getting married?" Reveal a date if you have one, or let curious friends know plans are in the works -- as they should be, especially if you want to hold your wedding at a popular time of year, such as June or over a holiday. Locations, photographers, caterers, and other professionals book up early, sometimes a year in advance.
THINK ABOUT THE BIG PICTURE
Envision the type of wedding you both want -- maybe it's the event of childhood dreams or one that reflects your grown-up tastes. Even if you are set on a formal event in a ballroom, considering other possibilities, such as a seaside ceremony or a Sunday brunch, may change your mind or reinforce your choice. The same holds true for selecting the time of day and mood of the wedding.
SET A BUDGET
Prior to making any decisions about the style, location, etc., figure out what you have to spend and whether your families will contribute. Make sure you and your fiance are in agreement about your priorities before talking to your parents about budget and logistics.
REGISTER FOR GIFTS
As soon as people find out about your impending nuptials, presents will likely start flowing in. It's never too early to register, not only to help ensure you get something you like and need, but also to make it easier on friends and family who are pondering what to purchase. Even if you don't select everything right away, at least go to one store and decide on some things for your list. Try to limit your registry to three places. This way, it'll be easier to manage. And, in case you don't get everything you put down, many stores will keep your registry active for as long as a few years. Check out our wedding registry tips here.
INSURE YOUR RING
Make sure you talk to an insurance agent about coverage in case your ring or its stones ever need to be repaired or replaced. First, get an appraisal by a certified independent gemologist; most jewelers will provide this service upon purchase and make sure you understand all the terms of the policy. Find out whether you are covered if the ring is lost, stolen, or damaged, what stipulations there are, if any, and how long the claims process takes. You might be able to add a jewelry rider to your existing homeowner's or renter's policy; if not, set up a separate policy.
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