How to plan Your Wedding
11 tips that let You plan Your Wedding easy-peasy and having fun
You might wonder "Why do I find these tips in a photographer's Blog?". The answer is: I'm pretty experienced in Wedding and my wife is a Wedding Designer, so I can say that I learnt a lot of organisational part of Weddings. Moreover I have a different perspective from a Wedding Planner's one, so I hold a neutral, reliable point of view about Wedding planning.
1. Set the date
First of all, set the date of your Wedding Day. Start jotting down more than one date, then narrow down the list to one date. Do you think it's easy? You're wrong:
- it has to be a convenient date for both You and your guests (if You want them!): avoid time of the year when You know You'll be busy for work, for example
- be aware of feast days, both religious and civil in your country or in the one where You will get married
- keep in mind season climate, even if today is very difficult to forecast it
- also consider seasons other than the classic ones: search on Pinterest, You'll surely find out a lot of amazing frames for Your Wedding!
- a great idea is choosing a meaningful date for You! I and my wife Mary got married on the 9th of July, the same date of both mine and her parents' Wedding!
2. Be well
While planning your Wedding, there are a lot of things to monitor: todo lists, deadlines, quotes to save, notes to write down, inspirations, a budget to manage, and so on! I suggest You to use both paper and digital solutions, in order not to miss anything!
First of all, get a folder or a ring binder, where You can organize all Your papers. And don't miss a Wedding Book/Organizer, a special notebook made exactly with this purpose: they have sections, special sheets, guided tables and pockets. You have just to choose the one You like the most!
There are also several Apps for smartphone and tablets that can help You saving digital information. This is a list of my favourite:
- WeddingHappy, available both for iOS and for Android
- Wedding Planner - Checklist, Budget & Countdown, developed by famous Wedding portal The Knot, available both for iOS and for Android
- iWedPlanner, available both for iOS and for Android
- You can't miss Pinterest, that You surely know. Use its boards and share them with Your suppliers: it's the best way to let them know the style You like for your Wedding!
You must have a reference budget before searching the Wedding Venue and You suppliers: You have to know how much You can spend for different services. It doesn't matter if your budget is small, medium or large: every budget has its own limit and You have to know it!
Since the most expensive item is the Venue, it is important to know the number of guests: if the medium cost per person is €/$ 100,00, 10 people make a difference of €/$ 1000,00! — and this is an effective way to cut costs.
Finally, remember to have some margin for unexpected expenses: I recommend You to expect and manage them rather than having trouble during the days before the Wedding Day.
4. Do You need help?
You have to enjoy the preparation for the Wedding as the Wedding Day itself. Trust me: after that amazing day, You'll miss that daily task. But even if is funny and pleasant, it's a task added to your usual ones indeed.
So, if You have a busy life and You think You won't have enough time to plan Your Wedding, take into consideration the help of a professional: a Wedding Planner can manage your budget, can act through the jungle of suppliers, can satisfy your requests at best. Certainly he/she costs, but You buy the time You'll save and convenient solutions You probably are not aware of.
First things to find are Ceremony and Reception locations. If You are not interested in a religious ceremony, it's better for You and your guests to plan getting ready, ceremony and reception in the same place — You'll surely have more coherent photos all day long —. Since availability could be an issue, You have to book all you need in order to set the final date of your Wedding!
If You'd like to have both ceremony and reception outdoor, don't overlook a very important thing: make sure that the venue has a backup plan if the weather is rainy
Another element to be reckoned with is having the full faculty to choose other suppliers: some locations impose one or more services — banqueting / catering, florists, designer, planner and even the photographer! —. Run away as far as possible and boycott locations that work this way! Marriage is a unique event in your life: make sure you can always have the last word and write everything in the contract.
6. Other suppliers
Once you've set the frame of your Wedding, it's simple to choose a consistent style, looking for one or more suppliers for arrangements and decorations. Part of these could be provided by the location itself or by the catering / banqueting: both for the ceremony and for the reception, you should be able to choose some furnishing elements such tables and seats, tablecloths, mise en place. For the floral arrangements and decorations, you will need to contact other professionals, such as a flower designer or a wedding designer.
Other important suppliers to be booked not too late are: photographer and videomaker (at least 8-12 months before the event), musicians (6 months before) and, even closer to the event, ancillary services such as animation for children, cigar and rum stand, cocktail bar, wedding cake and so on.
A relatively short time is enough to get a male suit, unless you want something very special. On the contrary, for a female dress it is much more laborious: not only You will have to find the piece that, once worn, feels like yours, but it will take months to literally see it as a second skin and make it fit You perfectly. So, start in advance the search for your dress and don't underestimate it.
If You'd like to dress in a special way also witnesses and bridesmaids, act in time even for their clothes: remember that there are always many things to do and they will overlap in the last months before the Wedding Day: if you manage to anticipate times and issues, you will have no problems whatsoever.
You should send invitations to the guests about two or three months before the Wedding Day. To do so, make sure to have them in time and do not wait until the last minute to contact a professional who can design them for You and with You. If you want an invitation that makes its mark, personalized and consistent with colours, style and arrangements and decorations of your Wedding, You need time to get it and a first proof of printing.
Don't settle for generic and impersonal solutions: invitation is a first taste of what You will offer your guests, so make sure You talk about yourself and give some clues about the style and theme of your Wedding.
Even if You don't know how many people will decline your invitation, communicate to venue and banqueting / catering the number of invited guests decreased by 10-15%: there is often a usual drop and, if it won't, the confirmation that You will give 7-10 days before the event will fix it.
Usually there's no need to be in a hurry for your Wedding Rings, but it always depends on what You are looking for. While a catalog product is chosen and ordered of the right size and requires at most few weeks for delivery, personalized wedding rings have different creation process: your trusted goldsmith designes them, makes silver prototypes, maybe gathers from You metals from objects that belonged to your loved ones and realize them. Also in this case, therefore, there may be processes that require time and dedication.
If You're looking for an unconventional wedding You'll need the right time, probably more than the average expenditure one, for all the special services You're asking for.
If You have guests arriving from abroad, it is essential to find accommodation for them nearby the wedding location. The biggest problem is that You will not know the real number of people you have to host until ten days before the wedding day (yes, people will not answer early to your invitation).
In order to avoid this problem as much as possible, in your search among hotels, guesthouses, B&Bs and so on, you should be very clear with the owners of the facilities you are addressing. Provide them the number of hosts and of those in doubt, so that you can find an advantageous economic agreement for both parts, even if some rooms will be free up on the last moment.
There's a certainty: You will have to deal with bureaucracy if You want to get married abroad, in a foreign Country you two are not citizen of. In complex cases it might be useful to rely on a Wedding Planner, who knows very well how to manage them. In other situations, if the venue is used to manage this kind of marriage, the staff can advise You for the best and in some cases provide You with concrete help.
In general, always inquire at the competent offices (Municipality or Embassy, as appropriate) about the procedures to be followed: there are always deadlines to be met for submitting documents and sending certificates after You are married.
In brief, be very careful because a simple detail could make You postpone the marriage or cause You problems later. Nothing that cannot be overcome, but if you know how to make everything go smoothly, You will gain peace of mind before, during and after the wedding!
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