Your wedding day has to be by all means perfect. It’s the moment every little girl has been picturing in her mind since being 3-4 years old (and, to be honest, never stopped to). It’s the beginning of a new life for two people, who’re becoming a family. It’s the time when two hearts and souls unite to be one and stay together no matter what happens in their lives. It’s the celebration of their future family and the start point of probably the most important journey a human being is fortunate to be able to go through and have support and love of another person to succeed in his endeavors and survive the defeats. Wedding is always so emotional, memorable and inspiring, sometimes even overwhelming for a couple, but it’s definitely worth all the effort, put into its organization and planning.
The ceremony and celebrations have to comply with the spirit and the grandeur of the event and scream of joy, love, happiness, excitement and anticipation of bright future. Moreover, it’s a special occasion of two enamored people who just allowed their closest friends and family members to witness the greatest event of their lives and decided to share each of its moments with them. So, the future newlyweds have to rejoice in the celebration in the first place, dissolve in it and be there for each other.
But how can you do that if you have to make sure that everything goes according to plan and fix all sorts of troubles, which might occur at the most crucial moment? How can you enjoy the wedding and don’t worry over trifles? And, here goes the toughest question. How can you actually organize everything without a hitch, enjoy the process and survive the preparation ordeal without getting exhausted and discouraged right before the big day? How not to screw up the relationship between you and your groom/bride even before you tie a knot just because of some pre-wedding disagreements and stress? Too many questions and only one answer: calmness and meticulous planning. If you prepare everything in time and don’t distress yourself, you’ll get to your wedding day feeling confident, happy and ready to meet the great change.
So, let’s see what you should do to plan a wedding of your dream. Here is a basic wedding checklist to help you out not to forget anything and approach the preparation stage correctly.
Your first concern
- Arrange your wedding binder to keep all your ideas and papers according to the categories (like venue, guests, vendors, gown, menu, etc.). Just keep all that information in one place.
- Budget. It’s necessary to see, how much money you may realistically spend on wedding, including the fact where the funds are going to come from. Count up your personal investments and see if any family members are willing to contribute something to your budget (if you agree on that, of course). Don’t overestimate your possibilities.
- Think about the date as it will define all your further steps and even directly influence the costs of some cervices.
- If you want to simplify the process and get professional support, then hire a wedding planner. Ask your girlfriends or family members for references or find one online on HireRush.com.
- Start preparing your guest list. Set up a number of guests from both sides to fit into the budget and have an approximate amount of invited people to reserve a venue and plan other stuff that’s directly dependent on the number of guests.
You may write in or cross out some names later on, but try to stick to your stated number (or steal some several places from your other half in the worst case).
The fewer people you invite, the less money you’ll have to pay for the wedding.
- Decide on a style of the whole wedding and the ceremony in particular.
- Book your venue(s). It’s going to be the most difficult thing to get over with, especially if you’ve been postponing the planning process for too long or just decided to get married relatively soon after your engagement. First of all, you have to figure out whether you’re going to have separate places for the ceremony itself and the celebration part (reception) or combine those two phases to carry them out at the same place. In the first case, think about the transportation means between those two locations.
- Find an officiant and book his services.
As you’ve figured out the most important questions, you may sigh with a relief just for a second and deep into the process once again. Now, you should think of:
- Attire. You (and your other half) will have to go through many raids on wedding salons before you pick a perfect dress and costume (tuxedo). Fitting sessions are also time-consuming. So, it will take from several weeks to several months until you’ll have your gowns, so it’s better to start early. If you’re in a hurry, you may find shops that sell ready dresses, but they won’t fit as good as customized ones. Nevertheless, dress shopping is probably the most pleasant part of the wedding preparations for each bride, so take your time and buy only the one you fall in love with.
- Find vendors. It’s much easier if you have a planner, as he always has contacts of wedding photographers or videographers to offer. It’s necessary to interview several people to make sure that they’re available on your wedding day and that they’re able to provide the kind of services you need.
You can’t even consider the option of not filming your wedding, as this day will end fast and you’ll want to have some things to look back on to remember the good times. At least, ask your friend to capture the ceremony on video and find someone who’s good at taking photos to help you out.
- Entertainment. Look for a host, DJ, a band or other musicians (pianist, violinist or cellist). You may even hire actors and professional entertainers to provide fun and keep your guests occupied during the celebration.
- Find a catering service in case if your venue doesn’t provide it.
- Accommodation. It’s necessary to look through your guest list to see how many invitees live out of town to book hotel rooms for them to stay in. It’s better to choose the rooms of various price ranges.
- Registry. It’s just about that time for you to sit down and get the presents’ list ready.
- Create your own website devoted to wedding only. There’s a bunch of services online, which provide such opportunity. Fill it with all the information about the wedding (like the schedule of the ceremony and reception events, venue address, etc.), provide travel details and post a registry there.
- Think over the design of your invitations and order them to be printed out. You may even do that along with your save-the-date reminders, thank-you notes and place name cards. If you don’t have too many people invited, you may even sign your invitations or handwrite the text on the pre-printed cards. Keep a spare one for yourself.
- Meet your vendors, caterer, officiant and DJ to discuss everything in detail and figure out the final cost of their services
- Bridesmaid and groomsmen. Meet up with your friends and decide on the style of their dresses and costumes. Pick a day to go out together and purchase their outfits. Discuss the renting option for men. If you’re on a budget or simply don’t have time for that, entrust the task of choosing and buying dresses to bridesmaids or even ask them to pick out something of a similar style from their wardrobe. Provide the groomsmen with matching ties.
- Contact different party equipment rental companies to get everything you might need for your reception or ceremony like tents, chairs, altar, tables and even tableware.
- Honeymoon. It’s necessary to plan it beforehand as you’ll have to book tickets, hotel rooms and get legal stuff done (like passports and visas). If you’re going to spend it in some exotic location, make sure that you have all necessary shots.
- Find a florist. As in all previous steps, it’s possible to deal with flowers on your own, as there’re quite a lot of DIY projects on the Internet you may recreate without paying additional money for someone’s services. However, as flowers are your main wedding decoration, it’s good to have a professional on your side to get everything ready and looking amazing. Your flower choice depends on the wedding style, but a florist will help you turn your ideas and wishes into the reality.
- Cake. If you’re planning to order it from a baker, it’s necessary to discuss its design and make an order. Visit different bakeries for taste tests before making the final choice.
- Take care of the transportation. It’s necessary to consider hiring different means of transport like buses, ordinary cars or even limos if you feel like it. Just make sure that everyone can fit into the hired vehicles to avoid the situation, when some people need to get from one place to another on their own.
- Start working on the wedding day schedule.
- Hire a designer to take care of the venue décor or try to do it yourself.
- Work on your menu. Consider the number of dishes and types of alcohol (if it’s going to be present at your party at all).
- Send the invitations.
- Provide your host with a guest list
- Do the last shopping. Buy shoes, jewelry and lingerie for the wedding day. Make sure that you have something old, something blue and something borrowed. Shop for your honeymoon.
- Arrange a wedding rehearsal along with a dinner at your reception. For that matter, send separate invitations and inform people about the dress-code for this event.
- Find and book hair and makeup appointments. It’s better to do so, as even professional makeup artists prefer someone doing their face and hair for them on their wedding day. When you’re obout to walk down the aisle, it’s better to relax and be the center of attention. Besides, it’s easy to mess up the whole look just in a flash, as you’ll be too worried and too excited to stay calm and have a steady hand.
- Music. The most important step considering this matter is finding a song for down-the-aisle walk and your first dance. When that’s done, choose a song to start the ceremony with. Give the list with chosen tracks to your DJ.
- Write your wows and give them to your officiant.
- Throw a bachelor(ette) party to celebrate your last days of being an unmarried person and spend some quality time with your friends.
- Make sure that everyone got his invitation.
- Go through the dress fittings. Usually, the last one is held 1-2 weeks before the wedding, so try to stay in the same shape till the wedding day (sudden weight gain/loss might happen because of stress) to avoid last minute touch-ups.
- Rings. If you have enough time, you may even order some engravings or customized rings. If not, just purchase the ones you like the most and do everything else after the wedding.
- File all the documents to receive the license for marriage. Once they’re ready, send them to your officiante.
- Meet up with your host and officiante to agree on what will be said during the ceremony, who’ll propose the toasts and when a couple will leave guests.
- Make sure that you have all bills and services paid.
Few days before wedding (oh, it’s so close!)
- Call your officiante, wedding videographer and photographer to reconfirm the time they are to arrive. Prepare some cash tips for them to give away at the end of the ceremony.
- Get your dress ready before the big day.
- Visit your venue once again to make sure that everything is ready to go.
- Ask your family members and closest friends to come to your place the day before wedding or earlier on the day to help you finish all preparations and get dressed.
- Prepare some gifts for your bridesmaids if you want so.
- Pack for honeymoon
Now, as you’re almost done and the only thing you have to complete is to walk down the aisle, say “I do!” and put a ring on your groom’s (bride’s) finger, spend some along time and catch up on sleep. And, next time when you wake up in the morning, you’ll be a married person. Congratulations!
May you live happily ever after!