Wedding planning is often associated with high stress levels and sleepless nights for many brides and grooms. But planning your wedding should be one of the most exciting and memorable experiences of your life. That is why HostCo has pulled together some fail-safe tips for you, all based on our many years of experience, to help relieve the pressure and keep you feeling calm and relaxed. Here are our top 5 wedding planning tips:
1. Guest List & Budget
These two items go hand in hand and are probably the most important starting points for planning your wedding. Together, decide on your budget and promise to stay within it. Then, make your must-have list plus a second list for the nice-to-haves. This may sound harsh but it’s about being realistic. The last thing you want is to over-extend yourself and be worrying about costs on, and even after, your special day.
2. Make lists
Lists are the best thing ever to keep you on top of everything. Purchase a notebook dedicated to your wedding day to-dos and ideally one that fits in your handbag so you can add things that come to mind at anytime, anywhere. Whether you are on the bus, train or out having lunch, write every detail down and do not, I repeat, do not lose this book.
For those of us who love to project manage, create an Excel spreadsheet which uses a tab for each major component of your wedding – venues, photography, bridesmaids, catering, suppliers, styling, budget etc and create a checklist of what you need for each; payments that have been made and payment due dates. If this sounds overwhelming, identify the nearest family member with a passion for Excel and let them help you.
From your lists or spreadsheets, create a timeline of due dates for when everything should be quoted, booked and paid for. Certain things can happen well in advance of your wedding date, for example venue booking, wedding gown and save the dates. Other items need to happen closer to the date such as the name place cards and seating plan (once you have your RSVPs). And everything else can be scheduled in between.
Also create a draft schedule for the day quite early on. You might think that this activity can be left to the later stages of your planning but knowing what time you need to be up on your Wedding Day now, will make sure there are no surprises later. Once you start booking in your makeup artist, hairdresser, wedding cars, etc. they will all be asking what time you need to be ready on the day and ready to leave for your ceremony. They will work out their timings based on this.
Email trails are amazing to keep on track of all the information you are receiving and who you are talking to about what. Create a wedding email address to communicate from and file everything, especially quotes you have approved. Create folders for each of the categories in your checklist (so you can cross-reference) and file every sent and received email accordingly. That way when you are looking for something in particular you stand a chance of finding it. When you have negotiated and confirmed a supplier, update your spreadsheet or notebook accordingly.
When looking for a venue, take into consideration what comes with the venue. For example, it makes it a lot easier if they have an onsite caterer and provide all the essentials such as tables and chairs, wait staff, audiovisual equipment and even menu advice – like HostCo does! There is really nothing worse than having to order from and coordinate various suppliers for power supply, lighting, styling, every wine glass, every teaspoon and every ice cube. Hint: With HostCo, all your wedding requirements can be taken care of so all you need to worry about is venue styling (floristry, decorations) and turning up!
And of course, remember to keep calm and breathe. Enjoy your special day and try to take some time out on the day with your lovely new wife or husband to take it all in. Happy Wedding Planning!