How to Plan a Wedding: The Ultimate Guide
Discover the essential steps and expert tips for orchestrating your dream wedding with our comprehensive guide. From setting a budget to selecting venues, dresses, and decor, make your special day truly unforgettable with our ultimate guide wedding planning blog.
“Planning a wedding.” Those three words can cause excitement or shivers to run down some people’s spines. And that’s due to the number of resources needed to pull off a wedding ceremony without any hitches.
Planning a wedding is not an easy task. There are many moving parts to consider as you plan your wedding day. Here are the Top 5 to-do’s before you start wedding planning. Over here at Ahavaplan, we’re all about making this process more exciting and less stressful.
That’s why we’ve put together the ultimate guide to help you plan the wedding of your dreams with ease and confidence. From the initial steps to the final touches, this comprehensive guide will walk you through every aspect of wedding planning, ensuring that your special day is as magical as you’ve always envisioned.
Below is the ultimate wedding planning guide
Determine your priorities
Often, when couples are planning their wedding, they tend to look at what other couples have done. "Comparing notes" is a healthy habit, as long as you do not let the exercise put a damper on you because, for instance, you are short of money to pull off a glitzy and glam ceremony. When determining your priorities, the mindset that should guide you is that the wedding is about you and your better half. If you do it to impress others, you may be in debt. Of course, even as a couple, you may have different priorities. And that's not wrong. But think concretely about the things that matter, and prioritize them. Having a list of the five top priorities will help to guide you in such important things as your budget. Ideally, these top five items should be things your wedding cannot do without. At this stage of planning, it is good to be flexible about some things that you may hold as a priority. After you have determined your priorities and listed them in chronological order - from highest to lowest - you will have a pretty solid idea of some of the things needed to make your wedding successful.
Set a budget
Working with a definite amount of money will make you structure your priorities around this figure and help you discipline your spending. At this point, you should research and determine how much your preferences will cost. Though you may have a definite figure, it should not be carved in stone because, in planning a wedding, things constantly change. Prices of items may fluctuate as the wedding may be held months away from the date of doing the budget. A budget involves two things; money and the source of the money. It is prudent to allocate funds according to priority, using your money. You are doing this because this is money you are sure about. The next in line to cover the preferences in your budget is money from people who have pledged. You must be careful about pledges because people may not be able to come up with what they have promised. The last option is money from loans. But this should be avoided at all costs, as it can lead to debt and severe financial problems in the future.
Set a date
Usually, a wedding date is set while considering the availability of funds and the time it takes to plan the event. Check your calendar. The time of the year you decide to get married can affect the amount of money you will spend and the availability of guests. For instance, if you plan to have your wedding during the summer or holiday seasons, it may cost more as people tend to travel more during these times. You also need to check with the most important people - like parents whom you feel must attend the wedding - and check their availability. It is not always possible, but ensure those most important to you are available on your wedding day. Ask close family and friends if they have any commitments during this time.
Stay organized with the Ahavaplan App
This can mean getting a wedding planner on Ahavaplan or organizing the wedding yourself on the wedding app. Please note that, though you may get the services of a professional wedding planner, you should not expect this events pro to do everything. You should be involved in some parts of the planning and execution. In organizing your wedding, you must create a checklist including all items needed. Prioritizing these items and making sure that each item is checked off when it is done will help you stay organized and on track. Thankfully on the Ahavaplan app, all of these have been put into consideration and the process will be a whole lot easier. Getting organized also means having a team - a wedding committee - to help you with different aspects of planning and execution. The team should have a leader, and its members should be assigned various tasks. In some instances, committee members each pledge a certain amount of money to cover the costs of the weddings. Others may bring in their expertise and connections. Getting organized means delegating some tasks to other team members. For example, it’s essential to assign someone to be responsible for collecting RSVPs from guests. This task should not be delegated to the bride or groom as they already have plenty of other things to do.
Create a wedding checklist
Once you have your priorities and budget sorted, you can create a checklist to help you keep track of what needs to be done. This list should include all the tasks that must be completed before the wedding day. Your checklist should be exhaustive and include everything big or small - from, so to speak, a pin to an elephant - that is needed to pull off the event. Some of the things on the checklist are finding a venue, booking the officiant or celebrant, making catering arrangements, ordering flowers and other decorations, booking a photographer and videographer, experimenting with hair and makeup, choosing the right dress or suit, ordering wedding invitations, making arrangements for transportation of guests, booking a band or DJ for entertainment and organizing the honeymoon. Creating a checklist should not be entrusted to just one or two people. Ideally, if you have a team helping you to arrange the event, create a WhatsApp group where you regularly communicate. In the group, you can have the checklist. If any person on WhatsApp thinks of an item, it is added to the checklist. Also, if there is a team member on the wedding committee who has helped organize a wedding before, their invaluable experience can be used in coming up with the checklist.
Determine your wedding theme
A wedding theme is a way of setting the tone for your big day. It will help you to structure the look and feel of the event and decide on the decor and other details. When deciding on a theme, it is vital to ensure that it reflects both partners' personalities. Also, remember that this is a day you will remember for the rest of your life. As such - though you may be tempted to go with what's trendy - it's better to settle for a theme that speaks to you, even though others may not get it. This is because trends come and go. Take your time in picking your wedding theme. It is also okay to feel like you want to make changes or tweaks to your style to suit you. If you do not have a wedding theme, you can use the season or location of your wedding as your inspiration. For instance, you can put dashes of lush greens and whites if you are having your wedding in winter. And you can have sunflowers and wildflowers and bright colors if your wedding is held in summer. You can also research ideas for themes in wedding websites and magazines. If you find something you love, you can change some aspects to make it your own.
Create a wedding guest list
Creating a guest list should be done early in the planning process as it will help you to determine the size of the wedding and, therefore, the budget and other arrangements. Before making a list, decide how many people you want to be at your wedding. This should be based on what kind of event you are trying to plan how many people can fit in the venue, and how many people can dine and wine at your wedding. At this point, it is also essential to ask your caterer how much they charge per plate. Once you have the number of guests, you can fill out your list. Creating a guest list can be tricky, especially for a small intimate wedding. Some of your loved ones may feel aggrieved if they are not invited. You can call them, explain your predicament and issue your apologies. This is better than hearing you held a wedding they were not invited to. In your guest list, include people you want to make lasting memories with. These can be close friends, family members, and special people who have been there for you throughout your relationship. If you are unsure whom to invite or think you may have forgotten some special people, you may ask your parents and other family members for suggestions. Before you hit the send button or put the envelopes in the mail, double-check your guest list. Tick each name off the list as you send the invites. Also, make sure each guest's name is spelled correctly. Such little details show you have put great thought into your big day.
Book your venue
Before you book a venue, start by researching different venues for both the ceremony and reception. Having various venues is better than just being stuck with a few choices. One way to know if a venue will work for you is to read reviews. From other people's experiences, you make conclusions about the venue. When looking for a venue, consider the following:
- Cost: How much did you budget for a venue? If you have found a venue that you love but is above your budget, what are some of the compromises or cuts you can make?
- Amenities: What else does the venue come with? Will the amenities benefit your event? Do they, for instance, have a park or other amenities children can enjoy?
- Location: Is the venue easily accessible to your guests and vendors? Is it close to some establishments that you may consider distractions or disturbances to your wedding? Is it in a place sentimental to one or both of you?
- Availability: If you are tying the knot during peak wedding season, consider booking the venue in advance. Keep in touch with the management to know if there may be any changes.
- Capacity: How many guests do you expect? If you have many guests, venues such as banquet halls or hotels are ideal. But if it’s an intimate affair, you can hold the wedding on a beach or garden.
Booking vendors is a crucial part of wedding planning. Vendors play a vital role in ensuring your wedding runs smoothly and you have a day to remember for the rest of your life. Vendors include catering companies, florists, photographers, bands or DJs, makeup artists, and hairstylists. It all depends on your taste and budget. You should book these vendors in advance as some may have limited space for weddings or other events. When selecting vendors, consider the following:
- Price: Consider the price of each vendor and what is included in their packages. Are there any hidden costs?
- References: Check references from past clients. It is essential to know if they delivered on their promises.
- Timing: How long will it take for the vendors to deliver the services needed? Make sure that they are available and willing to work during your event.
- Experience: How much experience do the vendors have in weddings or similar events? Do they understand what you need, and can they offer any suggestions?
A wedding has many moving parts. Things often go wrong. But they need to be corrected in time. Troubleshooting makes sure all the details are working perfectly every single time. Go through your checklist several times. Ask your partner or other people in your team to do likewise. In your WhatsApp group, you can create this question: "What can go wrong?" Then all the members can write anything they feel can go wrong. Go through everything every person has written and ensure it is conclusively addressed.
Plan the Day-of Schedule
Work with your vendors to create a detailed schedule for the wedding day, including when each vendor will arrive and what they'll be responsible for. This will help you manage time on your wedding day and keep you organised.
Hold a rehearsal to ensure everyone knows their roles for the ceremony. This can help reduce stress on the actual day. Delegate the wedding rehearsal flow to someone from the bridal party in order to relieve you from the wedding day stress.
Stay relaxed, enjoy the day, and delegate responsibilities to your bridal party or a coordinator to handle any last-minute issues. Remember, flexibility is key, as unexpected challenges may arise during the planning process but on D-Day, just ensure you enjoy yourself.
After the wedding, don't forget to send thank-you cards, review your vendors, and legally change your name (if applicable).
Enjoy Your Marriage
Remember that the wedding is just the beginning of your life together. Enjoy your marriage and the journey ahead!
Planning your dream wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and with the Ahavaplan App, every step of the journey becomes smoother and more enjoyable.
Remember, this guide is here to support you from the first "Yes" to the final dance. Your vision will come to life, and your love story will be beautifully celebrated on the day you say, "I do." Get ready to embark on this incredible adventure with Ahavaplan by your side.