When you start searching for information on wedding plans and ideas, you’ll probably notice there is an abundance of information available but it’s all very scattered and random. We’ll try to simplify it a bit.
The wedding date
The first and most important thing is to set a date for your wedding. The more time you have the better, but 12 months is the minimum for stress free wedding planning. 6 months is doable but be prepared to make do with what’s available instead of having everything just the way you want.
How much your wedding will cost depends largely on the number of guests. So before we even get to the budget, list all the people you want to have there. This will give you direction for setting a budget. The scale will determine what type of locations are suitable later on in the planning process. Usually, 70-95 % of people you invite will make it to the party.
Once you know how big your wedding will be, choose how much you are willing to spend on it. The size and budget of your wedding will influence everything else to come.
We recommend getting inspired through various resources such as Pinterest and wedding magazines. Most ideas you’ll find are small details, but they can help you put together a style and theme that is just right for you.
The style of the weddings
Setting the style of the wedding will help you choose wedding dress, catering style, decorations, jewelleries, cards and other small things. You can choose a theme, a few colours, some pattern, a flower or something else that you’ll use throughout the weddings. Choosing the right type of wedding dress to match your theme is important for the wedding to feel like yours.
A wedding planner
If budget is not an issue and things are starting to feel stressful, ask yourself: do I need a wedding planner? If you choose to hire a wedding planner, they are happy to give you ideas for your wedding as well. Make sure that you connect with the person you hire since they will accompany you not only for the biggest day of your life but also for the year following up to it.
If you rather plan it yourself, make a clear wedding checklist on how you will proceed. We recommend a printable checklist where you can but dates and budgets. These are easy to find with a quick Google search. At this stage it’s also smart to involve few close friends and family to help out.
Popular wedding locations are often fully booked 6-10 months in advance, so ideally you make that decision at least 10 months before. Have a few options available until you are sure about your own look and the final theme and style you’re going to go with. When choosing the location it is important to know the number of guests fairly accurately.
Together with your outfit, you can also start thinking about your hairstyle, makeup and overall look. Ask your wedding dress store if they have any recommendations, they are often well-connected to good hairstylists and makeup artists.
Ideally at this point your look and the location all fit into your theme. For example a big princess style wedding dress on a small private beach might be a bit odd. In a glamorous hotel the same dress will feel just right.
We recommend that 6-8 months before your wedding day you should direct your attention towards catering. The catering options have very big impact on the style of the wedding and the cost. Lots of research and planning should go here. Asking for multiple quotes is a must. Also ask how long you can make last minute changes to the number of visitors.
The last group of planning concerns entertainment. Around 5 months before the wedding you should look into what type of musical entertainment you are interested in. A live band needs to be booked well in advance, if you go with a playlist you have a bit more time.
Documenting it all
5 months is the minimum also for a photographer or a videographer. Here you can for example consult the venue, if they regularly have weddings, they will know some good options.
Invite your guests
At the latest, send your invitations 2 months before the weddings. You can hint at the theme and style in your invitation already. Ask for allergies and special dietary restrictions in the invitation. Also tell about your gift policy or list.
In the last two months
Try to confirm the decorations, transportations, accommodations and the other 100 little items in your checklist well in advance. When something goes wrong or doesn’t fit the budget, you’ll want to have time to search for alternatives.
A week before your big day
The last week before the wedding is to plan the day itself. Make sure you have friends and family to help you with that since on your wedding day you are not taking care of anything yourself. The people helping you need to know everyone’s contact info, how to troubleshoot the entertainment system etc. Make sure your vision as well as the schedule is clear. The schedule should be distributed to all relevant parties.
Remember to have fun!
The more you outsource the less stressful it’ll be.
You will do this once in your life so have fun with it. Enjoy the time creating this special day with your spouse. And don’t forget to take your friends along on the ride.