Wedding planning is a challenging task to undertake. You may have very specific ideas but find that your budget limits what you can actually have. Alternately, if unsure of what you want, you can feel overwhelmed by all the wedding planning choices and it's hard to know where to begin.
The best wedding planning advice is to keep it simple. The more complicated you make the details of your wedding day, the more stressed you will be on the day about things going exactly to your plan.
You want to be able to enjoy your wedding day, so to stay sane and avoid any "bridezilla" moments while wedding planning, think about what is really important to you and your fiancé.
Wedding planning process
The wedding planning process involves many small details. Because every wedding is different but the basic process is the same, we've listed below the most important decisions that will need to be made along the way.
- Decide on a style of wedding - cocktail, sit-down, special location, timing
- Establish how much you want, or can afford, to spend
- Compile a preliminary guest list - who are definite, who are maybe
- Select your ceremony and reception venues
- Organize your wedding officiator
- Choose your wedding dress, accessories and groom's attire
- Select wedding suppliers - photography, cake, florist, music, transport
- Ask attendants and select their attire
- Arrange gift registry
- Organize wedding stationery and finalize guest list
- Order the groom's and groomsmen's attire
- Book your honeymoon and organize relevant travel documentation
- Purchase wedding rings
- Schedule pre-wedding beauty treatments, hair and makeup
- Finalize and confirm specific details with suppliers - menu, music, hire equipment
Wedding planning tips
Wedding planning is undoubtedly an exciting time; it's the one day in your life where all the attention is focused on you and your fiancé. But it is also stressful and, not surprisingly, can be expensive if you don't keep a close eye on your budget. It's astonishing what all the bits and pieces can add up to!
Here are some tips to make wedding planning easier:
Establish a clear idea of the day
Look at bridal magazines, talk to married friends, visit bridal expos, search the Internet and put together a file of the ideas that appeal to you. This will give you a number of wedding planning options to consider which you can work around your budget.
Allow some budget flexibility
It's wise to set an overall budget and stick to it as best you can so that the wedding planning process does not break you financially. The great thing about a budget is the individual items in the budget are flexible. For example, if you find the dress of your dreams but it's out of your price range, then look at what other areas in your budget you can realistically reduce to then be able to put more on towards the dress.
Be prepared to compromise
You, your fiancé and your families are not always going to agree on the various elements of the wedding. Be prepared to compromise if it means a smoother wedding planning process. Knowing the things that are most important to you and what things are secondary (and negotiable) will help. You won't have to compromise on everything but it's better to concede some things to keep everyone happy. This is especially important if your families are paying for parts of the wedding.
Be creative in your approach
If you really want your wedding day to have some specific features but they are financially out of your reach, then be creative when it comes to the wedding planning alternatives. Think about the means to the end (i.e. how that end comes about) instead of just the end result and you will come up with lots of great ideas to stretch your budget further.
Using our wedding checklist guide will help you to keep track of all those tasks that need to be completed in preparation of the big day.
"My husband and I wanted to serve drinks at our parkland ceremony so guests didn't have a big time gap between the ceremony and reception. We contacted caterers who quoted thousands because of their overheads. Instead we bought the drinks ourselves; hired the necessary equipment; and paid some students to set up for us, serve drinks and pack up afterwards. This simple idea saved us more than $1,400." Corinne