Countless hours of work go into planning the perfect wedding. You must think about the menu, consider various venues, and decide on a theme. Deciding on all these details takes time, and before the big day, there are several tasks to take care of—10, to be exact. In this article, we’ll cover those crucial things to know before planning your big day so you don’t have to worry about going astray.
Decide What’s a Priority
Create a list of what’s most important before you dive into the excitement of visiting venues, hiring vendors, and shopping for wedding attire. This should include the following items:
- Wedding menu
- Pre-wedding parties
- Attire for weddings and pre-celebrations
- Venue for ceremony and reception
- Vendors for all wedding events
Including every event—engagement party, bachelor/bachelorette, wedding shower—in your list of priorities helps you create the best budget. Now’s also the time to think about whether you want to skip any of these celebrations. For instance, while wedding showers are customary, engagement parties are not.
Right now, you’re not looking at exact prices for everything. Instead, you’ll organize what’s most important to you. What’s more important to your reception? A great photographer or a fun DJ? Getting your ultimate venue may take priority over your ideal wedding gown. Deciding what’s most important helps you create your budget and save enough money to bring your dream day to life.
Skipping Tradition Is Okay
Don’t like veils? Then don’t wear one. If you don’t like cake, you can offer a different dessert. Likewise, if you don’t like white dresses, shop for a nontraditional bridal gown color. Wear what looks most beautiful on you!
Weddings have various customs, but there is no rule book. You should only follow the traditions that matter most to you and your partner. Family and friends may try to push you in a specific direction. If this happens, explain why you don’t care for the ritual and stand your ground. You and your partner are a united front in this, so support each other if this occurs.
Create Your Own Traditions
You could always start traditions. This could be giving your partner a special gift or replacing the bouquet toss with a different group event. What you do doesn’t matter as long as it reflects you and your partner.
Search for Wedding Inspiration
Websites such as Pinterest have amazing inspiration for everything from hair and makeup to reception decor. Hop online, search for some inspiration, and pin the ideas you like most. If you have a wedding journal or planner, write down these ideas to feel more prepared when planning goes full throttle.
While the internet offers a lot, consider buying a bridal magazine. You can cut out images you like and paste them into your wedding planner. Additionally, wedding magazines list ideas for flowers, invitations, and trendy dresses. You may also discover beautiful ceremony and reception spaces in your state. Best of all, wedding magazines often share stories of recently married couples; read these for firsthand experiences to spark your own ideas!
Search for DIY centerpieces and decor for your wedding shower and reception. Assembling this is a fun activity to do with your wedding party, and it saves you money.
Visit Multiple Venues
You may fall in love with the first venue you visit but avoid choosing it that day. It’s easy to get caught up in romantic wedding bliss. After visiting several locations, you may find that the first one wasn’t as perfect as it seemed.
Begin your hunt for the best venue by searching online for places in your area of choice. Will this be a local or destination wedding? Once you’ve decided where you’ll get married, search for the “best venues in X location.” Sift through the images and reviews to choose around four top contenders, then schedule your visits. If you don’t like any of them or they’re out of your budget, return to the drawing board for a new handful of choices.
The number of venues you should tour differs from couple to couple. Some like a lot of options, but others get too indecisive. Start with around four and add to the list if you find areas you don’t like. The goal here is to at least visit more than one so you can compare options.
Know Where You’ll Get Ready
Every venue is different, and while some allow you to arrive the morning of the wedding, others only allow you to get there a few hours early. If you can’t get ready at your venue of choice, search for a nearby hotel where you can rent a room for yourself and the wedding party. Remember also to organize transportation from this location to the ceremony space.
Meet With Various Vendors
Like venues, interview various vendors for your wedding. Go to at least two bakeries to sample cake or other treats. Likewise, review a few photographers’ portfolios. One vendor may offer a better price on their website, but after a meeting, you may find the more expensive option is better. The second vendor may provide more services in their package or have a higher-quality product.
Some of the many vendors you’ll need include the following:
- Hair and makeup artist
Before you begin searching for these experts, you should pick a venue. Some locations offer specific vendors in their packages, and you don’t want to waste time searching for people you may not have to hire.
Make Time for Loved Ones
It’s easy to get caught up in all the fun of wedding festivities but set time in your schedule to talk with close friends and relatives. You may also want to ask your photographer to take photos of you with extended relatives like aunts, uncles, and cousins.
This is important to know before planning your big day because on the big day, everyone wants a piece of you. Remembering who you have to make time for on your wedding day is a challenge. People pull you in every direction. Noting who you need to talk to ahead of time prevents hurt feelings.
Aim To Visit Each Table
During your reception, when everyone’s seated, spend some time walking up to each table to thank guests for coming. This feels personable, and it’s an easy way for you to talk to everyone.
Compromise Is Key
Chances are that you and your partner won’t see eye-to-eye on every aspect of planning. You may disagree on the best venue option or want different menus. You’re a team, and both of you need to make sacrifices. While you may have to compromise on the dinner menu, your partner may do the same for dessert. Alternatively, you may sacrifice your top choice to find an option you love. At the end of the day, it’s all about balance.
Bickering Is Okay
Planning a wedding can be as stressful as it is exciting. If you and your partner argue about the fine details, don’t fret. Bickering with your partner is normal. On top of the stress of planning, you may have to worry about meeting relatives or distant friends for the first time.
Take Care of Yourself
Planning a wedding is a long process, and you do it while juggling other life responsibilities. Take breaks from all the wedding essentials as needed, and remember to get enough sleep at night. If you do pre-wedding workouts, ensure you balance that with a healthy diet—you should never go to bed feeling hungry.
It’s not uncommon for people to have a drink or two while getting ready for the wedding. If you plan to do this, ensure enough water and food are in the room. Try balancing those fun, tasty snacks like muffins with healthier foods like finger sandwiches. This way, you don’t go into your wedding with an upset stomach from all the sugar and alcohol.
Decide on a Wedding Team
Who are your greatest supporters? These individuals should rally behind you throughout the planning process. If you need help picking flowers, a team member is there. If you need someone to pop a bottle of wine and listen to a rant, they’ll bring your favorite bottle. Deciding on the ideal wedding team helps you plan your big day because the wedding party supports the couple.
Live in the Moment
Getting engaged is a milestone; nothing tops the feeling of wedding bliss. As you and your partner become a family, this is a new chapter of your life. Soak up every moment of the process as you make memories.
Do your best to go with the flow. Knowing what to do if the wedding goes astray helps prevent stress. Realistically, there will be a hitch or two along the way, and it’s important you roll with it rather than fight it. Life is unpredictable, and even the best plans don’t cover everything. If you fret over the sudden changes, talk with your partner, wedding party, or planner for support. Everything will be okay.
A Closing Note
Your wedding is your day, and by creating a plan for yourself, it’s easier to schedule your time accordingly. Take the time needed to ensure things align with your vision of the perfect day. Congratulations, and happy wedding planning!