In this How to plan a wedding guide, we show you how to get the overall plan organised. This is vitally important to planning a successful wedding . Download the FREE wedding planner to help fill in the details. Together you will have everything you need to make a good start.
If the prospect of organising and planning your wedding is leaving you feeling a bit apprehensive then you are in the right place. Equally you might have it all sorted but just need that gentle reassurance that your on the right track. We hear you loud and clear folks. Alternatively, if plans have gone pear shaped already, then taking a step back to get some perspective and structure, will help you immensely. If those scenarios describe you at all then read on.
It should come as no surprise that Planning your wedding needs to be managed and treated as a project. Good planning and organisation is the only way to get the results you want. Just ‘winging it’ may be ok for an impromptu party but just won’t cut it when it comes to planning your wedding. There are lots of elements in play, contract terms to observe, responsibilities to adhere to. Any of which could lead to disastrous and costly problems that could have been avoided with a good plan in place.
One of the biggest problems with wedding planning is getting things off to the right start. Once you have a plan then you can tweak it as you go but this should stand you in good stead right throughout. The second biggest problem is the temptation to rush headlong into booking products and services aka. Which you see from my list below is actually stage 4.
How to plan a wedding in six steps
Rather than throw a huge checklist of tasks at you I have broken the project down into six stages. The reason I have done this is to give structure and order and to make sure that the order of planning is correct. For example certain decisions may influence other details of the plans. There may well be tasks relevant to your wedding plans that I have not featured. However, this plan gives you flexibility to add this in at a logical stage. These 6 steps are cornerstones of how to plan a wedding.
The FREE mini wedding planner PDF has details for all of these stages and gives you blank notes pages you can use to add or create your own wedding checklist page. You can download your copy here
1. Early Planning and Research
Early planning is a key part of the wedding planning process. It is also the phase that can quickly be brushed over in favour of more exciting tasks, such as booking suppliers products and services. For many the temptations to start earmarking wedding dress shopping will be too much but it is important to refrain.
Why is this stage so important: it is essential you are both on the same page regarding your wedding day, in terms of budget, size and style. As soon as you announce the engagement everyone will start to ask about the details. Suddenly, everyone has an opinion and things can quickly become very confusing. Before you know it your agreeing to all manner of things from Aunty Gladys doing your cake to Mildred from no. 4 doing your flowers. Therefore I would advise to have that conversation about what reactions you might expect and a plan to handle them.
How to plan a wedding needs a clear plan
Remember, everyone is really excited for you and mean well but don’t think you have to accept every offer and proposal put your way just to keep the peace. In some cases offering the least amount of information can be a great tactic to use when handling family and friends. Apart from offers of help often the next area of expectation is who makes the guest list, it’s often difficult enough thinking about your own close friends that will make the list but you can guarantee family will also have their own list of suggestions. This can get complicated especially if family’s are contributing financially, they may well want more say as a result. However, devise a plan and allow for some compromise, in every successful negotiation both parties should feel happy. Otherwise niggles will continuously bog you down.
Create a list of questions you can both answer independently this will show up any potential areas of compromise and or conflict.
- What style of venue?
- Elope or Get married at home?
- In church or an alternative ceremony choice?
- Large wedding or small?
- Who is paying for what?
- Who will be in the bridal party?
- Agree on a date?
- The style of wedding, informal, formal, boho, rustic etc.
Time to start gathering ideas and the best tool available is Pinterest. If you haven’t got an account, it’s easy to sign up for and it is FREE to use. Create one board for your wedding plans but set up sections to keep your ideas organised. It will make it much easier to find something you squirreled away.
2. Setting the budget
By now you should have a vision of what you both want. However, you may need to revisit this if your wedding budget won’t stretch to cover everything you want. It may be you already had a set budget in mind before you started phase 1, this is absolutely fine. Managing your wedding budget regardless of how much you have to spend, demonstrates your responsibility towards managing your finances and is therefore good practice. We recommend creating a spreadsheet or just a notebook and tracking everything you spend as you go along. The process of doing this, seeing everything in black and white can often help to curb spending. It can come as quite a shock how much money is being spent on the wedding.
- 17Ways to save on your wedding budget
- Wedding Dresses under £200
- Save money with Wedding stationery printables
3. Time to get organised
Now you have your vision and wedding budget organised, you really need to break this down into a detailed wedding checklist. The checklist should cover in detail everything that you need to do from sourcing products and services to who picks up the cake etc. Not everything on the checklist will relate to the bookings you need to make.
The free wedding planner provides a detailed checklist which would be a great starting point. All weddings are different so some things might not be relevant, some additional things might need adding. The point is this will give you an idea on the level of detail you need to be considering. For most of us, not going into enough detail is where the problems can start to occur. Clear detailed plans help provide clear communication so I can’t emphasise this enough, it is really important.
4. Sourcing products and services
By now you will have a bit of a shopping list, for products and services you would like to secure. Use the planner to help formulate your questions and be as thorough and as detailed as possible.
Related Posts: 10 Hidden Wedding Costs
5. Planning the Details
Steps 5 and 6 are all about the plans closer to the wedding. The FREE wedding planner comes with a handy countdown planner to show you exactly how to plan a wedding in the last 30 days. All the detailed tasks that suddenly snowball into a large wedding to do list if not careful.
6. Logistics, how to plan a wedding in the final stages
The logistics really takes you to the point of actual executing your wedding plans on time on the day and in the final run up. Often you will find a lull after the initial wedding planning stages and then suddenly there is a huge list of things to be done and sometimes this can be underestimated. In particular getting the venue set up can be a bit chaotic if there is not enough help on hand. The last thing the bride needs is to be decorating her venue the morning or night before.
In the FREE wedding planner PDF there is a 12 month timeline with ideas of when things could and should be done. It also lists out most of the activities to be done in the last 30 days. There is a week before planner allowing you to go into detail to get that final to do list nailed.