The moment you’ve been waiting for. That instant you said yes to an amazing proposal. The excitement is like nothing you have felt before….. all champagne, roses and romance... but wait you need to plan a wedding.
A Thousand ideas start running through your mind, dress, suits, wedding venue, hair, make-up, guest list, invitations, save the date... and somewhere, at the back of your mind, there is the soft reminder of the budget.
The BIG question is…. Where do I start?!
Well, I have been there and I know the frenzy and the anticipation of planning a wedding.
These are the basic first steps you need to take to get the ball rolling.
Step 1: Spread the Joy
Let your best friends and immediate family know that you are engaged. Not only will this spread the joy but it also gets your friends and family involved. They will serve as a strong support base with great ideas and who knows... maybe even some financial help.
If you would like to give all your friends and extended family a heads-up, take it to the internet. Post a ring selfie with a nice note or announcement on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Line account. That should spread the initial word.
Step 2: Get rings insured
You should think about getting your rings insured. Bad times wait for no one; so, you should be wary about the future of yours and your partner’s ring. Besides, the process of doing this is an easy and inexpensive one. Rather be safe than sorry.
Step 3: Establish your wedding budget
Sit down with your fiancé and discuss your budget privately. Take into account what you both would like on your special day, each one's ideas and dreams. This will guide you towards a wedding theme that will suit you both and help determine your budget.
The next thing would be to look at all the individual costs involved for example; the wedding venue, bride and bridesmaid dresses, grooms and groomsman suits, shoes, wedding invitations, make-up artist, hairstylist, photographer, videographer and many more.
Use My Wedding Online’s wedding checklist so you can plan your budget and make sure you do not miss anything.
Step 4: Find your Wedding Venue
By now you should know how much money you have available and which wedding theme you are looking for. Start searching the web for your wedding venue; also ask you friends and family to recommend venues they have visited before.
They will be able to give you some great feedback. Create a short list of the wedding venues you like the most and arrange an onsite viewing. Look at all the main features and ask yourself: does this fit us as a couple and our wedding theme.
Also take into account the number of guests you would like to invite. As soon as you have found your dream venue, book your wedding date with a deposit.
Step 5: Create your guest list
First establish the number of guests you would like to invite and if children will be allowed at the wedding.
After you have come to a decision start planning your guest list in the following order:
Bridesmaids and Groomsman
People you have not seen in a year
Step 6: Send out a Save the Date
The best time to send a save the date is between 6 and 7 months before your wedding. You can go the printed route but it is very time consuming and expensive. T
he better option is to create your own wedding website with My Wedding Online. Check out the article on online wedding invitations for more on online invites.
So, let’s say you take the wedding website route, first you would add your guests to My Wedding Online's guest manager. After you have completed your list you can design your own Save the Date website or select one of over 100 website themes to suite your wedding.
When you are ready you can invite your guests to your Save the Date website via sms or email, all from your online invite.
Step 7: Find your Attire
The time has come to get that perfect, stunning wedding dress and superb suit. Start your research online.
Look for designers or boutiques with a good reputation; see if you can find reviews from previous brides and grooms.
Do some footwork, visit a few bridal boutiques to get a hands-on feel for different fabrics and designs available in your price range.
Step 8: Look for a photographer
Finding the perfect photographer requires good research, each photographer has their own unique style of photography and editing.
When looking at their portfolio ask yourself the question; does this photographer's style relate to us as a couple. Would he or she be best able to capture our uniqueness as a couple and individuals? By asking that question you will find that perfect photographer that will suit you.
It is also very important to look at their social media platform and read their reviews to establish their work ethic.
Step 9: Find a hairstylist and make-up artist.
When it comes to hair and make-up the BIG word is experience, experience and experience. As with any art, individual talent plays a very big role but when looking for someone providing this service, experience is the key.
You need someone who can deal with any situation that may arise on the day of your wedding. Whether it is a pimple, skin rash, tears or just a bad hair day, they must have a tried and tested solution. Knowing that this will take a load off your nerves on the day of your wedding.
Step 10: Send your Wedding Invitations
At this stage it is about 5 months before your big day. It is time to invite your guests. Log into your My Wedding Online account and redesign or update your wedding website.
Unhide the page you hide before whilst you create your save the date website. Go to your sms and email section and invite all your guests to your trendy wedding website using your guest list manager. Your guests will be able to RSVP on your site which will save you loads of time following up on your RSVP’s.
Print a report within a month of which you send your invite to see who still needs to RSVP. Add them to a list and sms or email them a reminder to RSVP.
Planning your big day can be stressful and daunting... but by following these steps you will be planning your wedding in the right sequence.
This will save you time and money. We hope you have a marvelous wedding and may the rest of your planning be stress-free. Enjoy the journey and