Planning a wedding can be overwhelming, but it can be a fun and exciting experience with the right preparation and organization. Wedding planning is like a roller coaster ride with ups and downs. You might feel confident about planning if you have plenty of planning time. But if you’re on a tight timeline, it can be stressful and overwhelming. To make sure your wedding planning journey is smooth sailing, here are five critical things your wedding plan needs:
1. A Budget
Establishing a budget is the first step in planning your wedding. Knowing how much money you have to work with will help you determine what type of venue, vendors, and services you can afford.
Establishing a budget is the first and most critical step in planning your wedding. Knowing how much money you have to work with will help you determine what type of venue, vendors, and services you can afford. It’s important to be realistic about your budget and consider all the costs associated with a wedding, such as catering, photography, music, decorations, attire, and more.
For couples looking for a simple wedding, outdoor weddings are an ideal low-budget option. From lush gardens to beach weddings, there is something for everyone. When planning an outdoor wedding, it’s important to consider the ideal time of year and location that best suits your needs. Beach weddings can be especially beautiful during the summer when the weather is warm and sunny. At the same time, weddings in resorts might be comparatively expensive.
With careful planning and research, you can create a stunning outdoor wedding that doesn’t bankrupt you.
Determine Your Wedding Budget
The average cost for a wedding in the United States is around 30,000. But don’t worry, there are many ways to cut costs without sacrificing quality. Some of the best ways to save money on your wedding are:
- Have a smaller wedding
- Use less expensive venues
- Choose a destination wedding
- Get married in a civil ceremony instead of a church wedding
2. A Wedding Timeline
Creating a timeline for your wedding is one of the most important steps in planning your special day. It will help keep everything on track and ensure all tasks are timely. A timeline should include deadlines for booking vendors, ordering invitations, and other important milestones leading up to the big day. When creating a timeline for your wedding, it’s important to consider how much time you need to complete each task. This will help you stay organized and on track throughout the planning process.
A solid timeline for your wedding is critical. You will need a timeline that reflects the different wedding events and needs. Be sure to consider your wedding events, not just your wedding rehearsal and wedding day. For example, your wedding events include your bridal shower and or wedding shower, bridesmaids’ day, guy time, honeymoon, tux fitting, dress fitting, and brunch the day after the wedding. Everyone’s events may look slightly different, but these are the main ones. So, think about everything that goes along with these events, and it will help you tremendously with your wedding plan needs. Consider attire, budget, and transportation; you will be well on your way.
Including your Events
But of course, your wedding planning timeline includes everything from when you are first engaged through your honeymoon, often the last wedding event. The timeline will guide each step as you will manage multiple things simultaneously. For example, you may be planning your wedding shower but must decide about your venue and photographers. Because your events overlap, your wedding planning timeline will help you to know what tasks to tackle at each stage. Other things to remember to make everything go as per your schedule include when different vendors arrive, the timing for your arrival at the reception, and the timing of the dance and cake cutting.
3. A Guest List
Creating a guest list is one of the most important wedding planning steps. It’s essential for determining the size of your wedding and budgeting accordingly so that you can send the wedding invite. Here are five critical things you need to consider when creating your guest list:
- 1. Who You Want to Invite: Think carefully about who you want to invite to your wedding. Consider family, friends, colleagues, and any other special people in your life.
- 2. How Many People You Can Accommodate: Consider the size of your venue and how many people it can accommodate. This will help you determine how many guests you can invite.
- 3. Special Considerations: Consider any special considerations necessary when creating your guest lists, such as dietary restrictions or allergies.
- 4 . RSVPs: Include an RSVP card with your wedding invitations to track who is attending.
- 5. Seating Arrangements: Consider how you want to arrange the seating chart for your guest. This will help ensure everyone is comfortable and able to enjoy the celebration.
- 6. Reception: Think about what type of reception you want. This will help you determine the food, drinks, and entertainment you must provide your guests.
Booking wedding vendors is one of the most important steps in planning your wedding. Book a venue, caterer, photographer, florist, DJ or wedding band, and other services for your special day. It’s important to research each vendor and read reviews before making decisions.
When booking vendors for your wedding, there are five critical things you need to consider:
1. Cost: Make sure you have a budget and stick to it. Don’t be afraid to negotiate prices with vendors if necessary.
2. Availability: Check the vendor’s availability before committing to them. You don’t want to book someone who won’t be available on your wedding day.
3. Reputation: Read reviews and ask for references to ensure the vendor is reliable and trustworthy.
4. Services: Ensure the vendor offers the services you need for your wedding.
5. Contract: Read and understand the contract before signing it. This will help protect both parties in case of any issues or disputes.
5. A Safe Location
A safe location for your wedding venues has always been a priority; however, this is especially important in the time of Covid. This year, 2023, is planning to be very busy for weddings as many who have postponed their weddings, some for years now, will finally have the opportunity to get married.
With what we now know about the transmission of Covid, an outdoor location would be the safest choice, with all distancing and masking guidelines still in place. Of course, this does not guarantee safety, but the guidelines that are passed down indicate that this is a safer choice than an indoor venue.
Taking Your Time
For these reasons, you will want to spend more time and effort choosing a safe venue than before Covid. Take your time, and ask for suggestions on where you want to get married. Check online reviews and visit as many venues as possible to ensure that you feel that it’s a safe location for your guests.
This decision will be one of the most important of your wedding because you want guests to feel safe and them to be safe. Word of mouth will be very helpful when you are making this decision. Talk to not only your friends but also find some guests and even some venue managers to truly get a feel of how safe of a venue it will be for guests.
In addition to the safe venue, you will need a supply kit of safety supplies for your wedding. Remember to keep a healthy budget for these items. Sure, you will have guests who bring their masks and perhaps more that will keep their hand sanitizer close by, but this will not be how all your guests operate. It would be best if you were prepared as no one will bring any safety supplies, especially masks. Vendors should be prepared with their materials; however, when it comes to guests, you will want to be ready to meet any of their safety needs. Consider all ages invited to the wedding to ensure that your resources are age appropriate.
What You Will Need
For starters, you will need masks and hand sanitizer, signage to help remind everyone to keep safe and distant, and enough seats and tables to skip a seat between persons and help people to distance even more.
Signage will be important because it will help you communicate with guests at different wedding stations. For example, if you only want a certain number of people on the dance floor, you can provide a sign letting people know that only 20 or 30 people should dance at once. Or, if you only want a certain number of people lined up for the restroom, you can also use a sign to communicate this.
The right signage will save you from spending unnecessary time communicating things with guests besides congratulations and well wishes. This is time for celebration, and the more time you can spend having these conversations, the better.
Deciding on a perfect wedding venue is as important as ever. Make sure to take your time and do your research to ensure that you choose a safe venue for your guests. Additionally, ensure you have the right safety supplies on hand so everyone can feel comfortable and enjoy the day.
Muster Help From Friends and Family
Planning for a wedding is no child’s play. And in all likelihood, you can’t do it all on your own. So, it’s important to enlist the help of friends and family. Ask them to help you with tasks such as setting up decorations, ensuring that guests follow safety protocols, and even helping with food preparation.
A Supportive Planning Team
Having a team of close people that are flexible and willing to provide support in these unusual times is certainly a must. This may be one of the most important things for your wedding plan needs. After Covid, everything changed. You won’t want to plan a wedding with just 1 or 2 people any more. You will want a team of people, even if they are not all doing something daily, to help with your wedding planning process. Each person may contribute in different ways.
What does a talented team of wedding planners consist of?
Some might be talented designers. Others may be great with choosing and managing your venue space. Others may be better with coordinating your wedding party and inviting your guests. And you will want someone who is a pro at working with vendors. But it won’t hurt to have a great solid team of several people to assist with your needs, whether they are all paid, some volunteers, some professionals, and a few friends. Assemble your support team as you need to plan your wedding.
Keep Everyone Up to Date
Keep everyone in the loop on all major decisions for your wedding. Be sure that everyone knows their role clearly, so they don’t interfere with what others are doing. This will help everyone to thrive in their role and offer the best support to you for your wedding.
Supporting your Team
And remember to support those who are supporting you. If you find a great team of wedding planners, remember to have fun with them. Take time to get to know one another and kick back occasionally. Wedding planning is stressful no matter who does it. The more you can connect personally, the more you will be that helpful to the overall goal of producing an excellent wedding for the couple.
Always Have A Backup Plan
While planning your wedding, one of the biggest changes is that you want a backup plan for everything. You must know what venues to change if something goes wrong. In case, you will want a list of 2-3 vendors for each service. And if someone from your team is unavailable, you will want to know the plan for what will occur in this unforeseen event.
These were not things we used to have to do for the most part. Still, after Covid and all the couples who waited for their wedding until after the pandemic was more manageable had to wait their turn. This means everyone had to adjust their schedules and make room for adjustments. The effect of this is still felt today as cancellations and changes to the plan are more common than you might imagine.
Here are a Few More Things To Keep in Mind
Hire a Professional Wedding Planner Only If You Need To
For some, wedding planning may be so overwhelming that hiring a professional wedding planner may be the best option. A professional event planner can help you stay organized and on track with your plans. They will also be able to provide advice and guidance when needed. However, if you are confident in your ability to plan a wedding, then hiring a professional wedding planner is unnecessary.
Purchase your Wedding Rings
If you haven’t purchased your rings yet, now is the time. Many people choose to get engagement ring sets. This is an affordable option for those who like purchasing two pieces together. It can be a great investment if you prefer to purchase your rings. It is important to find a style that fits both of you.
Involve Your Significant Other
Have them join you in planning your wedding. This could be a great opportunity to learn how to work together. If you are married, you probably already know how important it is to be involved in every aspect of your marriage. But there is no reason why you cannot involve your partner in your wedding planning. It will be fun! Involving your significant other will also make you feel like you are contributing to something special.
Select a Theme
Your wedding style is completely up to you. There are many wedding themes available for you to choose from. Some of them are very traditional, while others are modern and edgy. If you are looking for a theme, selecting one that you love and makes sense for your personality is important. It is also important to remember that a specific theme does not mean that you cannot mix and match. You can use elements of your chosen theme in other ways, such as using floral arrangements in a modern way by adding fresh flowers instead of dried flowers. This would be an example of mixing and matching.
Destination weddings are a great option for keeping your wedding safe. Social distancing is possible in a destination wedding because you stay away from your guests.
Related Resource: Best destination wedding locations
However, there are still some precautions that you need to take. First, ensure you have enough room for everyone who wants to attend. Second, do not book a hotel near a pool or beach if you are getting married during Spring Break. Third, make sure that you pick a destination with many activities. Fourth, make sure that you discuss your wedding plans with your partner. He/she might have ideas on how to keep your wedding safe. Lastly, make sure that you communicate with your family members. Tell them where you are going and when you expect to return.
Just What You Need
These are a few items we have found through officiating and planning weddings that every couple will need, especially in today’s wedding environment. But this is not the ultimate list. Everyone is different, and every wedding is different. That means that you will likely need to do things for your wedding that no one else needs to do for their wedding.
You may find that unexpected circumstances arise, and you must adjust not just once but several times throughout your wedding planning process. It’s completely fine if your wedding planning needs to change repeatedly. The important thing is that you enjoy the process as much as possible and remember why you are doing this. You have found the love of your life and are enduring a short season of difficult work to enjoy a lifetime with the one you love.
Planning a wedding is no easy task, but it can be done with the right tools and resources. A wedding checklist ensures all necessary tasks are completed before the big day. Additionally, you will need to consider your guest count, bridal party size, wedding theme colors, wedding dress, dream wedding venue, reception space, pre-wedding events such as an engagement party, and the perfect wedding ceremony. In addition, you also have to write your marriage vows, design and choose escort cards and select the perfect wedding cake.
With careful planning and consideration for these elements, you can create a beautiful, memorable day that will last a lifetime.
But remember, you can’t and don’t want to do this alone. You want to have a great plan that will help alleviate the stress of wedding planning, along with like-minded people who want you to be at ease as much as possible. If you ever get too stressed or panic, don’t forget to take a step back and take deep breaths. And as always, say thank you! Remember to thank your team in whatever way you think will be appropriate and most appreciated.
What items do I need for my wedding?
When it comes to planning your wedding, there are many items you will need. The most important items include a wedding dress, wedding rings, decorations, catering services, and a venue. You may also need to consider invitations, music, wedding photographer services, and transportation for your guests. Additionally, depending on the type of ceremony you are having, you may need to rent chairs, tables, and other items. And don’t forget about the little things such as cake knife, card box, cake topper, toasting flutes, and more.
What should I include in my wedding plan?
Your wedding plan should include all of the details for your special day. This includes the date and time of your ceremony, the location of your ceremony and reception, a list of vendors you are working with, a budget breakdown, a timeline for when tasks need to be completed, and any other important information like when you’re going to have a bachelorette party, where you are going to spend your wedding night, honeymoon as a married couple, and more. It’s a good idea to create a wedding planning checklist to keep track of all the tasks that need to be completed.
Is it okay if my wedding plans change multiple times?
Yes, it is perfectly okay if your wedding plans change multiple times. It is common for couples to adjust their plans as they go along. Life can be unpredictable, and things may not always go as planned. It is important to remember that the most important thing is that you are marrying the love of your life and that you enjoy the process of planning your special day.