Now that the engagement is over, the planning begins. Take a deep breath, because if you have the right tools planning a wedding is fairly easy. The key to planning any wedding is knowing what tasks to tackle first before moving on to the smaller things.
It may seem at first that everything has to be done right away. Most likely it is because you have had a dream wedding in your head forever, and you want each aspect of it to be perfect. Yet you need to take that dream apart, piece by piece to develop your plan.
The overall wedding plan will be your guide to creating a wedding without the hassle. Sit down with pen, paper, and note cards and write down a list of all the details you can think of for your wedding. That list should include everything from the date, gown, church, and flowers to the vehicles, music, and décor. No detail is too small for this list. Do not worry if it seems to be taking up a few packages of note cards. Just write until you cannot think of another detail.
Once you have the list, it is time to categorize everything. Yes, it seems like a little extra work, but you will realize later that it actually saves you a lot of time and headaches. Separate items into two piles first. One pile is for the ceremony and the other is for the reception. If you have items that do not seem to fit either category, put those into a third pile.
Create Your Timeline
Now take the ceremony pile and put them in order of a timeline. If you do not know how much time you will need for each item, you can obtain a wedding planner or download the checklist from this site. This will help guide you through the process. As a general rule, things like venue and date usually come first, as you will need to settle those items so you know how long you have to get the other things like your dress and flowers. They will also help you to set the main part of your budget. Once you have your cards in line, do it for your other piles.
Match Tasks: Saves Your Time – and Money
You can then compare piles and see which items you can combine. For instance, you may have flowers at your reception and your wedding, which you will order at the same time. Your venue may provide you with a caterer and cake designer, which will make planning a little easier. If you still feel overwhelmed or have no idea where to find the things that you need for your wedding, you need to seek out some help. You can consider hiring a wedding planner, who will help take your note cards and turn them into your dream wedding. You can also use the web for advice. If you have a dream venue, look up the number of the event planner there on the web. Planning a wedding takes a lot of footwork and asking questions.
Let Your Notecards Be Your Guide
Put them in order by months, using those nice dividers you can purchase at the office supply store. You can even put them in a binder divided up by weeks or months. This way you will know exactly what you have to get done – one step at a time.
10 Wedding Don’ts
Your wedding day is probably the one day that has dominated your dreams since you were little. You want it to be perfect, and there are ways to assure that everything goes off without a hitch. However, there are some things associated with planning a wedding that can give you some headaches. Here are some pitfalls to avoid:
Don’t 1: Plan a Wedding for Everyone Else
This is your day. Repeat that statement over and over until you believe it. Everyone and their brother will probably be telling you what you “should” and “should not” do, but ultimately the only two people who matter in the planning are the bride and groom. Yes, you want to bring everyone together for a fun evening, but you have to have fun, too. Don’t worry about living up to anyone’s expectations but your own.
Don’t 2: Invite People You Don’t Want There
Your wedding is a budgeted affair, and to remain within that budget you need to settle on a guest list. Yes, your cousin Joe may want you to invite your third cousin twice removed from Russia that you have never met, but that does not mean you have to. You want to be surrounded on your wedding day by people you know and love, so make sure those are the people on your guest list.
Don’t 3: Fret About the Things that Go Wrong
Any good event planner will tell you that not everything goes right all the time. Yes, there are those few people in the world that have the perfect wedding day where not one thing goes wrong, but in the real world “stuff happens.” Keep your sense of humor and a flexible attitude on for the day. See the good side of things, even in the face of disaster. It does help to either hire a planner or ask someone to help you with your special day by coordinating schedules and vendors. This way you can focus on what is really important – vowing to love and be with your spouse forever.
Don’t 4: Forget to Eat
There is nothing worse than a drunk or cranky bride. If you are drinking at your wedding, you need to make sure you eat so that you do not end up drunk or sick. Eat a little before the ceremony, too. This way you can avoid getting dizzy or fainting. Jitters and stage fright are common, and eating a little can help keep you focused.
Don’t 5: Let People Drink Too Much
An open bar is a nice thing at a wedding, but give your bartenders free reign to cut people off. Nothing puts a damper on a wedding day like alcohol-induced drama. Drunk people get in fights, say embarrassing things, and even get in traumatic car accidents. If you see someone is drunk, arrange for someone else to give him or her a ride home.
Don’t 6: Forget to Send Thank You Notes
When you receive a gift from a shower or the wedding, you should send out Thank You notes ASAP after the wedding day. The general guideline is 5 weeks. Make sure the notes are simple but personal.
Don’t 7: Forget to Confirm with All the Vendors
In the final days before the wedding, it is a good idea to call all the vendors and people involved to make sure they know when and where they are supposed to be on your special day. This allows you to make arrangements if one of them backs out of your arrangement.
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