Nothing can be more exciting than planning the day you will say “I do” to your true love. There are many reasons a couple chooses not to hire a wedding planner and decides to go it alone. Planning your own wedding should be an exciting experience that is filled with opportunity to make happily ever after memories. It should never become overwhelming or stressful. This simple 10 step guide to being the wedding planner should make planning your wedding a little easier.
Step 1: Start with the Budget
If you are the wedding planner for your own wedding, you should begin where any hired wedding planner would. The budget is the place where every wedding planner begins. It is easy to establish that you want a dream wedding for under $10,000, but deciding how to allocate spending to create the dream can require some creative financing.
You will need to create categories for your budget, such as the wedding dress, venue, cake, catering, photography, entertainment, officiant, flowers, and all the details of your special day. Deciding how much to allocate for each category will require a little research. The best way to research is to call vendors to get an idea about the average cost of service. The easiest way to reach vendors is to contact an all-inclusive wedding venue with vendor connections. This can save you time and money by allowing you to reach the venue where most services are included, and reach vendors that have relationships with the venue to get discounted service.
Step 2: Create a Budget Like a Wedding Planner
After analyzing the budget, a wedding planner would usually meet with a couple to develop a vision of the dream wedding and ceremony. Since you are the wedding planner, this step is where you think about your dream wedding and make a more accurate budget and projection of spending for each category. Your dream and your budget will come face to face. A wedding planner has a very creative task to bring creative design together with creative financing to make it all happen the way you envision it. If you are your own wedding planner, the task is all yours.
Step 3: Choose a Venue Like a Wedding Planner
Touring a wedding venue is one of the most exciting steps of the process next to trying on wedding dresses, and can help to gain inspiration for your wedding theme. Upon touring a wedding venue, you usually view examples of themed décor, and speak directly with designers that can help you brainstorm ideas. A wedding venue with an in-house design team can ensure that you meet the requirements of your budget and the success of your event.
Step 4: Build Your Vendor Team
A wedding planner would normally contact and coordinate all of your vendors, such as caterer, cake designer, makeup artist, deejay, photographer, officiant and all of the other vendors necessary to create your dream wedding. An all-inclusive wedding venue can prove to be invaluable when planning with vendors, because they normally have a list of vendors that can give you special rates.
Step 5: Create a Guest List and Select the Wedding Party
Now you can begin creating a guest list. Once you have determined the exact number that fits into your plan, begin by adding the wedding party, close family, close friends, friends, and close colleagues in that order. Always begin with your inner circle of close relationships and then work outwards. Keep in mind that the guest count must be equally divided for the bride and the groom to invite their VIP’s.
Selecting family and friends to be in your wedding party can be difficult, if you have a large circle of close friends and relatives. The average wedding party has five on each side; however, you can choose to have as many or as few people in your wedding party. You should include family and close friends for this special honor. Before asking, apply careful consideration to who you will ask and the role and responsibility you will assign to them. Do not feel obligated to ask someone to be your bridesmaid just because you were theirs.
Step 6: Wedding Website and Gift Registry
Do not forget this important step as your own wedding planner. As soon as you have selected the important date and venue, do not forget to create a wedding website and registry. We can get so wrapped up in the planning and details that we wait to the last minute to begin this step. A registry is a work in progress. Create the basics and add as you dream on your wedding planning adventure. Give your guests options. You can have multiple gift registries to enable friends and family to purchase gifts at different stores with different price ranges. Be careful not to add the same item on different registries to avoid guests purchasing the same gift in error because they were shopping on different registries.
Create a wedding website to announce your wedding to friends and family so they can follow along during the exciting process of your wedding planner experience. They can remain in the loop about ideas, changes, gift registries, and even seating charts. Friends and relatives that are distant and not able to attend will be able to feel included from afar. Having a wedding website is also a good way to gain donations from family, friends and followers for your magical day.
Step 7: Wedding Attire
You are your own wedding planner, and selecting the perfect wedding attire to match your wedding theme and colors is one of the most important steps to planning your wedding. Selecting the perfect wedding dress or tuxedo for the occasion cannot be accomplished too early to avoid having to make alterations later or too late to avoid last minute catastrophe. Allocate enough time prior to the event to find the perfect attire for your special day, especially when it comes to choosing your wedding dress.
Step 8: Plan the Honeymoon
Planning a honeymoon is part of planning a wedding. Even if you had a wedding planner, you might be planning most of the details of this romantic getaway on your own. Your honeymoon can be as big as Paris or Rome or as romantic and close as the nearby beaches. If you are planning a cruise or to travel abroad, make sure you check vaccination, passport and visa requirements for your destination. Also check safety advisories from the U.S. Department of State. Consider adding honeymoon donations to your gift registry to help you cover some of the expense.
Step 9: Invitations
A wedding planner would normally assist with helping you assemble invitations on the appropriate timeline. If you are your own wedding planner, do not forget this step or miss the deadline. Wedding invitations should be delivered approximately two months prior to the event with an RSVP deadline of three weeks prior to the event. Timing is essential when it comes to invitations, if you want guests at your wedding.
Step 10: Plan Pre-Wedding Events Like a Wedding Planner
A wedding planner would normally assist with coordinating pre-wedding events. A bride usually attends a bridal shower that is hosted by the bridesmaids. The rehearsal dinner is normally hosted by the groom’s family; however, if you and your partner are hosting your own, this is a very important pre-wedding event that you should not overlook as your own wedding planner. As it nears the event, the bride and groom usually celebrate with their bridal party at a baccalaureate party and bachelor party. These events are usually hosted by the best friends or close family members of the couple.
Crystal Ballroom on the Lake
Crystal Ballroom on the Lake is an all-inclusive wedding venue with an in-house design team and wedding planners to help you plan your wedding from ceremony to reception. Crystal Ballroom has cultivated relationships with local vendors to help you build your vendor team and plan all the details of your dream day. Bring imagination to Crystal Ballroom and let the masters of wedding planning create your fairy tale.