Just about every bride - to - be out there think they can do most of the work by themselves and save a bunch of money. What just about every bride finds out is that it is far more work than they thought, takes more time than they have, and doesn’t really save them money if they consider the cost of their time, gas, over estimations, etc.
With that being said, can you plan and do your entire
wedding yourself? Of course you can.
- Do your research. There are a ton of books, websites and blogs about how to plan your own wedding. Read several books (not just one) and surf the net. Keep in mind, the old adage though, “those who cannot do, teach!” You will find many books give you information that is not really helpful because many books are written by failed wedding planners or people who failed in planning their own weddings! Even though you are reading this blog, and I think I know my stuff pretty well, I'm still encouraging you to check out
other informational sources.
- Second, prepare your budget. The budget is the most critical component of the wedding planning process. Your wedding budget establishes what the items cost to pull off your dream wedding, in addition you are more informed when making decisions.
- Third, prepare your timeline. A timeline is simply a list of dates and wedding related task that must be accomplished within a certain timeframe. For example, your dress probably needs to be ordered at least 6 -
9 months before your wedding. Invitations need to be sent by a certain time period. You get the idea. Your reading should have helped you figure out when these dates are.
- Last, CONSULT A WEDDING PLANNER. I cannot emphasis this enough...do not go any further in the process without sitting down with a wedding professional. Your Aunt Helen is not a wedding professional, your sister Agnes is not a wedding professional, your fiancé is not a wedding professional. These well-meaning people will give you lots of advice, but if they have not planned weddings
for other people, that advice should be suspect. Any wedding planner worth their salt should be willing to give you an initial consultation at no cost or obligation. Bring along your budget and your timeline for them to look over.
you are on track and what you may be missing. Look at what their service package includes, this may make you want to reconsider doing it all yourself. If, the services they offer isn't what you had in mind, remember they can price based on the services you need. A good wedding planner will not cost you money. We can actually save you money buy showing you how to properly use your wedding budget, or how to effectively use a wedding timeline. Other ways we save our clients money - discounts and deals, which are only offered to wedding and event planners by other wedding vendors. Not to mention, we can eliminate aggravation, mix ups and mistakes.
Having their guidance, even if you still do a lot of the work, is well worth their small fee. ..
- If, after your visit a wedding planner, you still want to do this yourself, it is time to get organized. You have your budget (rework it if the wedding planner gave you any suggestions), you have your timeline (again make sure everything is covered), now it is time to make task lists and checklists. You need a list of everyone
who needs to be called, i.e., photographers, halls, musicians, DJ's, churches, bridal shops, tuxedo shops, etc.
- The list should have names of each business (typically 3 for each category) and phone numbers for each. Your second list should be a task list/responsibility list. This list will have everything that has to be done, from the smallest task, on up to the largest, along with who is responsible for it and when it needs to be done (see
wedding planner). Anyone who wants to help should be given tasks and added to the list.
- Start making your phone calls, setting appointments and going to see vendors. Bring questions and be sure to take notes when you go see people. Once you have decided which vendor to work with, start a folder for them. Everything goes into that vendor’s folder, literature, contracts, emails correspondence,
dates you contacted their services, etc.
- Once you have each vendor picked, i.e., florist, dress, hall, photographer, etc. and contracts signed with them, you can relax a little. Make sure you keep updating your timeline: with when you need to do the next thing with each of them. At this point, if you are organized, you become more of a supervisor. Your job is to make
sure the people who have tasks, accomplish them when they should, that everything is on budget, and that nothing is forgotten. If you keep on top of things, you should have smooth sailing all the way up to the
- If you have not worked with or hired a wedding planner, think seriously about hiring one just for “day of services.” If you are organized, it should be easy to hand everything over to a professional for the rehearsal and the actual wedding day and allow yourself to relax and be catered too knowing that everything you
have planned will be executed to your expectations.