My husband and I have celebrated our 6-year wedding anniversary, and my littlest brother recently got married, so following on from my last blog post on planning for a new baby, I thought it would be fitting to write about planning a wedding!
Find the perfect planner
If you are engaged and are planning a wedding, congratulations! Make sure the first thing you do is jump onto Padtastic’s website and select a notebook that you can personalise any way you like including image, font and wording choice on the cover and page header’s inside. You’ll need a place to keep lists and ideas, and the quality of Padtastic’s notebooks with their strong spiral binding will be the ideal place to store wedding inspiration!
Once your notebook arrives, begin with a master list. One of the options for personalisation in the notebooks is a bullet grid, and this would be ideal for a wedding planning notebook so that you can tick items off as you complete them.
Date and budget
Set the date and work out your budget. Keep a close eye on what you spend if you have a tight budget, and record everything in your notebook – it can easily get out of hand! Decide what those big ticket items are that you wish to spend money on – for us, it was the wedding photography, which I was so glad I did, as our images are just perfect and can be enjoyed for years to come.
Start booking what you can – your choice of venue for the ceremony and reception, the celebrant or minister and the photographer and videographer can book out months or years ahead depending on your location and their popularity, so the sooner you lock in the date, the better!
Bridal party and guests
Decide how many and who your bridesmaids and groomsmen will be, and also decide how you will ask them to be part of your special day. Start the guest list – begin by writing down absolutely everyone you’d like to have, and then keeping in mind any restrictions on guests at your chosen venues, then comes the hard task of culling!
Use magazines, online/Google images, Pinterest and past weddings you’ve been to, plus yours and your fiancés personal style to begin finding inspiration for the colours and theme of your wedding. Picture how you want your day to look, and what you definitely want included, and also what you definitely don’t want included as well. Once you’ve made some definite decisions, start booking the florist, any items you need hired (like marquees, decorations, tables, chairs, cars, karaoke, photobooths etc.), the band or DJ, the caterer and the cake maker.
You may want to celebrate your engagement with an engagement party, and then design and send out your ‘save the date’ cards, followed by your wedding invitations a few months before the wedding date. We made our own invitations, but there are many companies who make stunning invitations too (and things like the program, menu, table numbers and any other printed materials, as well as thankyou gifts or bonbonniere). Give your RSVP date with enough time to chase up anyone you haven’t heard from, and to give the caterer final numbers. You’ll also need enough time following your RSVP date to work out table seating for the reception.
Roles on the day
Decide who will be your MC, and any other significant roles on the day, for example those who will say speeches at the reception, poems and prayers at the ceremony, ushers, and anyone else you’ll need helping on the day, especially if you are setting up an outdoor venue prior to the event. Choose your music, especially the songs you wish to have during the ceremony, and your first dance.
Write out your vows and speeches, and meet with the celebrant or minister to finalise how the day will run, and also to make sure you have submitted a ‘notice of intention to marry’ which must be done at least 1 month before the date. A rehearsal the day before is really handy to relieve some pre-wedding nerves, and often a rehearsal dinner follows this, and a venue will need to be booked for this as well.
Rings and fittings
Purchase the rings, your dress (and organise fittings and any alterations needed), the veil, the bridesmaid dresses, suits, shoes, headpieces, jewellery and bridesmaid and groomsmen gifts, and book in a bucks and hens day/weekend if you wish to have one prior to the big day, as well as a bridal shower and kitchen tea. Book any appointments you need leading up to the wedding day, such as hair, tans, makeup, nails and other beauty or pampering treatments.
These days it is common to set up a wedding website, with guest information, such as suggested places to stay for guests who need to travel, and gift ideas or an online registry.
Plan and book your honeymoon, and make sure you get a chance to relax after all the months spent planning and thinking about such a big event!
With all these items written out in your notebook, as well as a budget, you definitely won’t forget anything, and your day should run smoothly. Make sure you enjoy the process, and get to enjoy the day, because it goes so quickly!
I’d love to hear how you planned your wedding day, or what things you have planned if you have a wedding coming up! Let me know in the comments below.