How to Be Your Own Wedding Planner
Planning a wedding is no mean feat! And wedding planners are experts at it. It’s tough to beat the experience that a wedding planner brings. Even the most organised individuals among us will struggle to keep pace with a qualified wedding planner.
If, however, you have no intentions of hiring a wedding planner and are currently mentally bracing yourself to take the bull by the horns, then this hack is for you. I can’t promise that you will be a fully-fledged wedding planner by the end of this hack, but you will at least know what a wedding planner does and, hopefully, be able to use that to guide your wedding planning. So let’s begin…..
Start by establishing your budget
A fairly obvious place to begin. Work out how much money you have to spend(you may want to include a “preferred” amount and “total” amount to give yourself some wiggle room) and make a note of this figure. Use our budget spreadsheet here.
Research venues & vendors
Now, it’s time to check if your budget will cover everything. Begin researching the costs of venues and vendors to get an idea of prices. Make notes of the prices of the venues/vendors you like. If you have your heart set on a high-cost venue/vendor, you may need to sacrifice costs in other areas.
Create a plan
Start to piece the various aspects of your day together. You can do this on pen & paper, in a word doc or in a wedding binder. This document will evolve over time as plans progress and will act as your complete guide for the day. It should include everything from guest list to ceremony structure. We also provide a load of free wedding spreadsheets which can help with this(if you are the spreadsheety type).
Source and visit venues
One of the most exciting/stressful parts of your wedding planning will be the multiple arrangements you need to make with a variety of vendors. Staying on top of this can be a challenge. Keeping some sort of vendors spreadsheet to track everything will keep you on top of arrangements.
Learn what you should be checking on your wedding contracts and read through each contract carefully. If there are any parts of the contract which you are not happy with, discuss this with the vendor. I appreciate that reading contracts is probably the last thing on your mind in the midst of your wedding planning, but unfortunately it’s a necessary evil to ensure nothing goes wrong on your wedding day.
Create a “day-of” timeline
Creating a day-of timeline is extremely useful. Not only for you, but for your entire wedding party, your venue and all your vendors. It keeps everybody on the same page with your wedding schedule to make sure the day runs smoothly. Download our free day-of template.
Choosing, writing, sending and tracking invitations
Phew! We’re almost there! Sending the invitations can be a surprisingly complex task(depending on how many invitations you are sending). And yes……you better believe it……we’ve got a hack for that! (man! We’re hacking all over the place!)
Managing the wedding day
This one is very difficult to do yourself (without sucking all the fun out of your day!). A wedding planner will usually be in attendance on the day of your wedding to:
- meet with vendors as they arrive
- liaise with vendors to ensure the venue is setup in line with your specifications
- deal with any emergencies
If you try to do all of the above yourself, it is fairly likely you’re going to end up extremely stressed by the time your ceremony arrives. There are enough nerves to handle on your wedding day without managing the logistics of the wedding. This is where you need to delegate tasks to your wedding party. Choose the most responsible people you know and assign the above tasks to them. You may want to consider drawing out a layout of how you would like the venue setup if it is complex and passing this to your delegated person.
An extra person is handy to keep you calm as you get ready prior to the ceremony if you would like some company.
Planning your honeymoon
Yes, a wedding planner may even help you plan your honeymoon. I’m guessing you won’t need any help in this area!
The above duties are just some of the services a professional wedding planner would offer. This covers the basis of what is required to plan a wedding and will help you to achieve your vision. If you want more info on wedding planners, read more about the different types of wedding planners and what they do.
Image by The Kitcheners