If you’re planning a wedding, either for yourself or someone else, you want to make sure to have all of your ducks in a row from the moment of initiation to the end of the event.
Staying organized and having a plan is key. Here are 10 of the most important factors to keep in mind for a seamless and stress-free wedding.
1. Financing: Create a Tight Budget – and Stick to it
Whether you plan on having 50 guests or 500, having a realistic budget is key to flawlessly executing your wedding.
Everything from the cutlery to the tablecloths factor into the overall costs of the event, so make sure your budget includes even the smallest details. Once your budget is set, don’t deviate from it any more than necessary.
There are a variety of tools online to help you with this, but this budget tracker is one of the most popular.
2. Execution: Understand the Scope of Your Event
When you’re planning something as substantial as a wedding, the last thing you want to do is have too much or too little of something. Knowing exactly how many people will be attending is a crucial factor to ensuring that you’re prepared with enough of everything from food to center pieces.
For this reason, make RSVPing as simple as possible. One way to do this is by creating an online form that you can send to your potential guests in the form of an email invite. Old-fashioned paper invitations or save-the-date cards are still classic and a lovely way to inform your loved ones of your upcoming wedding. However, sending an email as a follow up will serve as a friendly reminder while also giving your guests a quick and simple way to respond – no postage needed.
3. Planning: Know Your Timeline
One of the most important parts in the wedding planning process is the time and order at which all of the elements need to be handled or completed. For example, you have to know what you’d like your theme or design to be before you start considering venues.
When it comes to planning a wedding and reception, some parts have to come before others for the event to work. This 12-month planning guide is a great resource to start out with.
4. Initiation: Build Relationships Early
Before you decide on your cake, venue, and even dress, take some time to become familiar with your options. Reach out to potential choices and get to know the managers and owners so you have someone to call on when you do reach a decision.
This will not only make the process simpler when you have your choices lined up, you’ll be able to build a rapport with some of the most influential pieces in your wedding puzzle. Plus, you might even land yourself some discounts. Which, ties into the next step.
5. Value: Shop Around for Vendors
No matter your budget, you likely want to get the best deal possible for all aspects of your wedding. The best way to do this is to become educated about your options. You can get a better idea about what prices (and extra add-ons) you can expect once you meet with or speak to potential vendors.
To have the most leverage, make sure to get a quote from everyone you speak to. Vendors are more likely to buckle on their prices or package offerings if you have a concrete offer from a competitor. You can shave a considerable amount off of someone’s asking price if you’re prepared to take your business elsewhere.
6. Troubleshooting: Consider Having a Plan B – or C
No matter how thoroughly you organize your wedding, things can always go awry. Whether you plan on having an outdoor procession or a destination wedding, having a backup for the most important elements could save the day if things happen to not go according to plan.
The best way to prepare for the worst is to imagine it happening. If there’s a chance of rain, make sure to have pop-up shelters on hand. If you haven’t received confirmation from the caterer as the day is approaching, have another option on deck. Your second choice may not be ideal, but it will certainly be better than nothing if things do end up going south.
7. Operations: Have an Itinerary, and Make Sure Everyone is on Board
To make sure the day of the wedding goes as smoothly as possible, have a detailed account of each event and make sure everyone involved is on the same page.
Everyone including the servers, makeup artists, and sound techs are elemental to the successful execution of your special day. Having a place and time for everyone will eliminate any guess work, and you’ll have peace of mind from know where everything stands at all times.
8. Aesthetics: Keep Your Design in Mind From Start to Finish.
You probably already have an idea about how you’d like your wedding to look, but what does that mean? Do you know what colors you’ll include, what kind of chairs you’ll use, or what type of lanterns you want to appear in the pictures?
From the initial planning stage to the day of the event, have a cohesive plan for your decor to ensure that everything looks perfectly put together from every corner.
Creating a vision board is one way to streamline the process, and you can refer to it throughout the entire timeline. Quick tip: If you want your design to be current and trendy, consider including the Pantone Color of the Year as a highlight.
9. Flow: Is Everything Ready for the Big Day?
Having a last-minute checklist can help alleviate any last-minute jitters you might have. This sample to-do list can help you get your thoughts in order as the day gets closer and closer.
Even the smallest details will make a huge impact on the implementation of your wedding plan. Has the dress been fitted? Do you have any outstanding invoices? Have all of your vendors confirmed? Take a bit of time to run a fine-toothed comb through every element in your wedding, and you won’t have to worry about dealing with these issues when you’re supposed to be on the dance floor. Then, you can take a deep breath to prepare for the big day.
10. Completion: Remember to Enjoy Yourself!
The most important thing to remember is that this day is about you and your soon-to-be spouse. Weddings are overwhelming, but don’t let that get in the way of your fun. After all, this will be something that you and your partner will talk about for the rest of your lives.
Having a plan and being prepared is the best way to ensure that you’ll have a blast when the day comes. Surrounded by your loved ones, the last thing you want to do is spend the day stressing about flowers or seating arrangements.