Your wedding ceremony is the biggest party you’ll ever throw, so you want to make sure it goes off with a hitch. Although you may be tempted to hire a professional wedding planner for your big day, it may not be within your budget. And planning nuptials can overwhelm even the more fearless couple. But we’re here to tell you that planning your wedding without hiring a planner is perfectly doable. With a little organized planning and a careful approach, you can ensure your big day is a success. Here are tips for planning your own wedding.
How to Plan Your Own Wedding
1. Set a Budget
First and foremost, you’ll want to set a budget and your expectations accordingly. Whether you’re working with $100 or $10,000, there are some general guidelines that can help you decide what you can spend. First, find out who’s chipping in to your wedding. This will help you calculate your overall budget. Try to determine how much each family member is willing to contribute or what element of the wedding they’d like to take care of. After you set your budget, make sure to stick to it. Otherwise, it’ll be difficult to enjoy your big day.
2. Make an Inspiration Board on Pinterest
With so many sources of inspiration online, it can be a bit overwhelming. However, most brides and grooms believe Pinterest is the ideal platform for wedding planning and inspiration. Begin leafing through bridal, lifestyle, fashion, floral, design, and food pictures to get a good idea of the type of style you like. Then, show your vendors your vision board.
3. Choose Your Bridal Party
Your bridal party will be there for you at every step of the wedding planning process, so make sure you choose wisely. Once you ask someone to be included in your wedding party, you can’t take your offer back. Give yourself adequate time to consider your options. If you’re unsure of how many bridesmaids and groomsmen you’d like, consider the size of your wedding. For a smaller wedding with around 50 guests, have no more than four. On the other hand, larger weddings over 100 to 200 guests could have room for up to 12. With that said, feel free to break the rules. Make sure you choose friends and family who you truly want standing next to you during your big day.
4. Get Organized
You’ll want to keep important information organized in one place to keep yourself on track and ensure that nothing gets overlooked. Organize your budget, numbers, vendors, and more by using checklists, spreadsheets, or Google Docs. There are also helpful mobile apps to help keep you organized. Plus, keep track of your invoices, receipts, and contracts from your vendors, especially when it comes to staying on budget.
5. Pick a Time frame
Rather than picking one date for your wedding, choose a few different dates. Staying flexible will help you while you look at venues. Plus, add milestones to your calendar to ensure you’re staying on track.
6. Create Your Guest List
Depending on your budget and venue size, creating your guest list can be a daunting process. Sit down with your fiancé and create a wish list of guests. Keep in mind that you’ll most likely have to narrow down your dream guest list. You should also decide whether you’re inviting children and who will be allowed to bring a plus-one. Since it’s your big day, you get to make the rules.
7. Go the DIY Route
DIY can be cost-effective solution to add personal touches to your special day. Easy DIY projects include party favors, table numbers, signs, and more. For things like flowers or photography, professional help is best.
8. Read Your Contracts Thoroughly
Be sure to read through every detail of your contracts with the vendors you choose to work with, including payment and cancellation policies. Plus, check that the date and event times are correct.
9. Create a Schedule of Events
Your wedding day will most likely fly by, so it’s important to create a schedule of events. Check with your venue to find out when vendors can arrive for set up. The earlier, the better, However, some venues may have other events going on the same day. Keep track of vendor arrival time, the time the ceremony will begin, when the first dance will happen, and when you’ll cut the cake. Provide a copy of your schedule to your DJ, photographer, vendor, and anyone else that should be aware of the time frame.
10. Make it Legal
With all of the stressful planning and remembering every small detail, don’t forget to get your marriage license. Keep in mind that Las Vegas marriage licenses are valid for one year after the issue date. This means you are able to get the marriage license paperwork signed by an officiant at any time within 1 year of the date you purchased the license. You and your fiancé will need to provide valid, government issued photo identification to the Marriage License Bureau. Acceptable forms of valid photo identification include: driver’s license, passport, resident alien identification card, or military ID.
12. Have fun!
You did it! You planned your wedding without the help of a professional wedding planner. Now the final step is to have fun and enjoy this monumental occasion. You’ve earned it.
Make Your Wedding Planning Easy! Get Hitched in Las Vegas
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You make a great point about making sure you pick a time frame for things like the dress. I need to get a dress for my sister and her wedding. I’ll have to get something made of lace.