We all know that planning a wedding is hard work, unless you’re just having a family affair at home, it takes a lot of time and patience. If you think you have what it takes to plan your own wedding, I have some suggestions. Start by making your budget. This is the first and a very important step. Unless you are rich or have rich parents, you should have a realistic budget. Make a list of all the things you’ll need for your wedding, you can keep one on an Excel spreadsheet, make a table on Microsoft Word or buy wedding planning software which you can probably find at an office supply store for less than $30.00.
If you are not sure as to what you need, look for a list online, try wedding blogs or other wedding related sites. Identify your priorities, every bride is different, one might want amazing flowers and will compromise with a smaller cake and another might want a $5,000 designer dress and could care less about the venue. Whatever your priorities are put them on the top of your list. Make a column on your spreadsheet called estimated amount, this is what you plan to spend on each item. Start contacting local vendors, caterers, florists, venues, bakers, etc. Talk to family and friends and have them recommend if they know of any. Make notes of all the vendors you meet with, and if possible ask them for written estimates. Dealing with vendors is definitely were most of your time will be spent, make sure you get the most out of every meeting . Write down questions you have for the different vendors so that you don’t forget anything. After deciding on which vendors to use, make sure you get a written contract from every one of them, it is important that you read your contract, and make sure you look at the cancellation policy, tipping, down payment information and final payment information.
If you are on a small budget, search online for your dress, invitations, decor and wedding accessories, you can find a larger selection and most of the time lower prices. However, when buying your dress online make sure you understand the return policy, in case the dress is not what you expected. And finally, have a friend (maid of honor) or family member help you through the planning, it’s always good to have a second set of eyes and ears. Planning your special day can be stressful, If you just don’t want to deal with it, consider hiring a wedding planner, even if it’s just part time or only for the day of the wedding. Remember that your wedding day should only bring tears of joy.