Every soon-to-be-married couple wants their wedding day to be perfect. We’re not only talking about the Pinterest-worthy reception decorations or the over-the-top gowns and suits — a “successful” wedding is something that has little to zero blunders and inconveniences that may cause unnecessary stress to the couple and their loved ones. Such mistakes can be avoided by hiring a professional and competent wedding planner who’ll make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible the way you envisioned it.
But what if hiring a wedding planner isn’t part of the plan?
Whether the couple just wants to have complete control over every aspect or they’re on a strict budget, it’s possible to plan a wedding without the help of a wedding coordinator. But if you’re going the DIY route for your wedding day, there are a couple of things you should know beforehand.
Check out our tips when planning your big event without hiring a wedding planner.
1. It’s gonna be stressful, so be realistic about expectations
DIY is not for everyone. You should be highly organized, resourceful, and able to adapt to changes. You need solid time management skills and extreme tolerance for stressful situations. Lastly, you must be mentally stable, or the planning phase and the big day itself will mess you up.
Planning your own wedding is a good option if you’re going for a minimalist wedding or a more intimate setting with fewer guests and simpler programs. And let’s be realistic: it will work if you’re not that busy with work, kids, and other obligations.
If you’re having a bigger, more elaborate wedding and your time and mental stability can’t keep up, we recommend seeking professional help with your event management.
2. Understand the basics
With a lot of aspects to consider, wedding planning can feel overwhelming. To help you start off on the right foot, try to see the “big picture” and work from there.
The basics include:
- Wedding date
- Venue(s) for the wedding ceremony and reception
- Food choices
- List of vendors: caterers, entertainment, photo, and video coverage, etc
After the basics, then it’s okay to get into more detail about the event styling and aesthetics.
3. Start with a budget and a guest list
We know you’re excited about shopping for decorations that will make your rustic farmhouse wedding dream come true but it’s still too early for that. You need to do the not-so-fun stuff first a.k.a sitting down with your partner to talk about your budget and how big your guest list should be.
Set a budget you’re both comfortable spending on your big day. Then consider having an additional 10% “splurge cushion” for unexpected costs you may encounter along the way. Your budget will set the tone for the rest of your planning and decision-making process.
Then, talk about your guest list and how you’re going to trim it down based on the budget you have.
4. Get organized with your checklist and timetables
It’s important to have an organizer to store your ideas, guest list, meal plans, and other event management essentials. Then, plot down your to-do list in order of its importance.
It can be a digital planner or a non-digital planner, like wedding plan journals. A combination of both works too. The important thing is you’ll get to unload your thoughts on a piece of paper to better visualize and prioritize your tasks.
5. Store necessary documents
Make sure you keep a record of the invoices, receipts, contracts, track costs, and other necessary documents. You should also have photocopies and scans of such papers.
6. Make a list of wedding priorities
Forget the fancy wedding theme you saw on Pinterest or that grand, jealousy-inducing wedding setting of your college classmate. Ask yourselves: What do you really want?
What are the things that truly matter to you and your fiancé? What are the aspects your wedding can’t push through without? Do you want an expensive private beach wedding or anywhere is fine as long as you’re getting those fingers embellished with rings? Do you truly need to book a hotel for your guests? Does that same-day-edit footage truly matter to you or you’re okay with just a good photographer?
Making a list of priorities will help you focus your time, money, and effort on the details that matter the most to both of you. It helps you stick to your budget too.
7. Be diligent when choosing vendors
Your wedding guests won’t probably notice that you don’t have wedding souvenirs but they’ll surely remember if your food was bad or the emcee was vulgar. When hiring vendors, get references and check them. See their portfolio online and read testimonials or reviews. Pay attention to their customer service too.
Red flags include a collection of negative feedback about the same problem, rude responses to negative comments (or the lack of response or solution), and poor customer service.
Stay true to yourself when you taste food and sample products and refuse to accept something unpleasant. You’re not spending money on something mediocre.
8. Outsource some tasks
Not every element is worth doing yourself. Your wedding’s arts and crafts department can be handled by a pro or a group of artsy friends. Your bridal hair and makeup can be handled by a trained HMUA. Wedding planning is stressful, so grab a helping hand when you can.
9. Enjoy the process
Real talk: No wedding is perfect, and yours won’t be either, no matter how well-planned it is. There’ll be mishaps along the way. And all these months filled with stress and anxiety and quarrels aren’t worth enduring just to make that one day look “perfect.” So cut yourself some slack and just enjoy the process. You can turn the planning process into an opportunity to bond and create memorable moments with your partner.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a passionate writer for Pink Caviar Event Management, a full-service event management and decorative hire company in Sydney, specializing in planning, styling and coordinating options for special events. When she’s not browsing Pinterest for inspiration, you can find her writing articles about weddings and event planning.