Most of the time spent thinking about your wedding will be focused on the pretty, beautiful things. That is, until you realise that you’re going to be hosting a huge, life-changing event. If you don’t have a wedding planner to help you, you’re probably going to realise this a bit sooner than others. There are going to be moments where you’re truly enthralled with the whole thing, utterly inspired and chomping at the bit to get started with decorations and dresses and more. But there are going to be moments of chaos, too, and this blog is about managing that chaos and giving you a few loose tips to help you get started if you’re wedding planning for yourself.
We’re not going to give you a to-do list, or a time-line of events, because they don’t work. Only you will know what your wedding needs and when and where. You could be planning a wedding for two guests or two thousand, with flowers or without. We do, however, have the odd suggestion that we can make.
The biggest, and perhaps most important tip that we can give is this: when it comes to the actual day, ditch your lists and spreadsheets and whatever else. On the day itself, you need to concentrate on you and your partner; on binding your lives to one another. A good idea is to ask someone to take over all the ‘stage management’ on the day – someone you trust and knows you well enough to know what you’d love and hate, but who’s organised and motivated enough to direct the guests and instruct the vendors and such.
When sending out RSVPs it’s an excellent idea to mark each one with an individual number in light pencil. You will be amazed just how many people return them with no name on. Seriously.
If you’re a fan of spreadsheets, itineraries and lists you might like to have a guest list with categories for name, address, invitation sent, RSVP, any dietary restrictions, whether you’ve sent out a thank you card, etc. It’s definitely worth making a list of vendors and writing their business name down too, along with contact name and details, the order specifics, a contact number for the actual day, whether or not they get a meal, etc.
Alternatively, a great brainstorming and listing idea for those who don’t like linearity is to make a diagram of what the event entails on A3 paper and colour code everything to match their respective category.
Something a lot of people find very important is to find some kind of dividing of responsibilities and ideas between the couple. There are many cases in which the bride is the sole organiser and this can be difficult for a few reasons. Perhaps chiefly is that the wedding needs to be about the two of you more than anything. Allowing your partner input can be invaluable when it comes to theming the event around your life together. Also, it’s an awful lot of stress for one person to endure. Dividing tasks and roping in people from both sides of the family is going to make everything a bit more streamlined and much, much easier. You can also support one another better if you both have a clear understanding of what’s going on. Besides, it can also be a lot of fun, and no one wants to miss out on that.
Great wedding planning takes a lot of hard work, time and effort. Doing it yourself is risky but can be substantially rewarding. It can also give you that extra freedom to do more things yourself, from wedding favours to the floral arrangement, and you can make the day totally your own.