The ring is on, and there’s glitter in your eyes! It’s going to be a roller-coaster ride because along with glitter comes responsibilities and chores to look after. With seemingly innumerable tasks and duties to deal with, planning and executing a wedding can be dreadful. But, things can change if you plan a month or more ahead of your wedding. Small steps like sorting out your tasks, fixing a budget, and creating a wedding-planning checklist within a particular timeline can go a long way. Having a checklist for weddings is of utmost importance. It saves you from unnecessary stress.
Why is Organized Wedding Planning Important?
As a wedding photographer, my profession allows me to be a part of several weddings and capture them. Like every couple, every wedding is unique and different from each other. The only common elements in all weddings are chaos, stress to complete tasks, the rush to manage things on the same day. That makes planning a wedding through a checklist essential.
As someone who’s been an integral part of many weddings, let me jot down the points and create a checklist for weddings of the necessary tasks keeping in mind the occasion. The list should look like this:
- Decide on a budget
- Make a list of the guests
- Look for a wedding venue
- Look and shortlist accommodation and transportation for guests
- Look and book a venue for the cocktail party
- Vividly decide on the wedding theme, colors, and decor
- Hire people to work for you; caterers, musicians, wedding planners, florists, makeup, and dresses.
- Shop for wedding clothes for bride and groom
- Select a wedding cake, party favors, gifts for relatives
- Plan your honeymoon
- Send invites
WEDDING TIPS TO GET YOU STARTED
12 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING
To ensure the efficiency of your checklist, for each task, each item, do your research, set a deadline. The wedding venue selection is the most crucial task. It needs to be done 12 months before the wedding to save yourself from the stress of missing out on your favorite location and spending extra money.
If you’re planning an outside/destination wedding, things to keep in mind:
- If you’re considering the beach, learn about weather and climate to know the impact of the breeze on the decor, food, and other arrangements.
- If you’re considering a remote region, keep in mind to arrange for power backup facilities.
- Regardless of the location or the venue, keep the necessary emergency services identified.
To save yourself from the buzz of concluding your wedding budget, take help online from the budget planner. Deciding a budget clarifies expenses you can afford and that you can’t. It will help you to create a detailed wedding expense list. It will also help you track the additional costs that follow the main expense.
Create a spreadsheet to save your guests contact details
A spreadsheet containing contact numbers, emails of all the guests you are planning to welcome will save you the embarrassment of missing out on someone during the events.
Hire a wedding planner
If it’s too much for you, hire someone to do things for you, in your budget, with better organizational skills. Wedding planners charge a significant fee, but they care about all the administrative work. They have a better network with the vendors; it’s easier for them to work within a budget and make the most of it. They carry along with their perks, they save time, they can pull off a wedding on a large scale or a budget, you can enjoy discounts through them and enjoy your wedding.
A wedding is incomplete without a photographer who handles the job to make your day lively and memorable for all your life. Let me take that responsibility and create magic for you. As a wedding photographer, I can read the venue by just looking at it. Hire a caterer to handle the food and menu for you: a florist, a videographer, and must-have wedding vendors.
9 MONTHS BEFORE
Book for entertainment gigs
Book entertainers if you wish to include them in your wedding to keep the guests entertained.
Discuss food and drinks
If your wedding venue doesn’t offer food and drinks, talk and discuss your selected items with the caterers early this month.
The wedding clothes for the couple
You will need to schedule a time to go for three fittings and trials for the clothes you will be wearing at your wedding. It requires you to pre-plan the day, inform your parents and friends to go along with you.
Hotels and registration
Reserve a block of three hotels for the out-towners guests at different price ranges near the location. Make registration for the gifts at a minimum of three retailers.
6-7 MONTHS BEFORE
Plan seeking help through Pinterest. Hire a calligrapher, choose cards, themes, colors, designs. You can also save money if you get your invitation printed at your home, locally.
Select a color palette for bridesmaid’s dresses. Discuss the color, designs with your friends. You need to order and provide the measurements six months early to the wedding.
Meet with the officiant
Find an officiant who will perform your wedding. Get prepared with all the necessary documents you will require to register for the wedding. It varies by state and region.
Send ‘save the dates’ to your contacts. Reserve the structural and electrical necessities by this month before the wedding. If the wedding is taking place outside, arrange for outdoor toilets. Arrange chairs and tables for the outside events. Arrange the lighting components.
4-5 MONTHS BEFORE
Book the rehearsal dinner venue
Book a place for the dinner to serve the guests. Fix the menu, negotiate the cost. Make the evening memorable!
Check on wedding invitations
Don’t forget to ask the calligrapher and the prints to present you with the final draft to ensure that it suits your needs.
Taste and order the wedding cake
I love clicking pictures of the newly wedded couple with their unique cake. To do that, you need to attend several tastings personally as some bakers need the time to reach your schedule and time. Discuss your needs and wishes and get yourself a customized wedding cake.
Go for outfit fittings, get the alterations done. Buy shoes and other accessories you will need for the wedding outfit. Schedule hair and makeup artists. Set your music playlist. I have seen couples the happiest when their favorite songs play, and they dance to their tunes.
3 MONTHS BEFORE
Once you finalize the menu and flowers, decide which loved ones will speak at your reception. Tell them as soon as possible. Print the invitation cards, go for the second fitting for your clothes. Purchase the rings, and this will give you the time for reshaping and resizing the rings. Don’t forget to send your schedule to every vendor, and this will save you time and provide them with time to adjust the tweaks.
2 MONTHS BEFORE
Meet the photographer, videographer, DJ
As a professional photographer, I can understand your ideas to live your moments again. With so many options I provide, you can choose what you wish to. Candid, photoshoots, pre-wedding photoshoots need to select your priority and convey it better.
Tell your wishes to the videographer, discuss shots, angles, music videos.
Give your music playlist to the DJ, ask the DJ to inform you about the additional musical types of equipment required.
1 MONTH BEFORE
RSVP your wedding invitations and mail them to your family and friends.
Enjoy your bachelorette party with your friends, as the last party as a bachelor.
contact people in your contact list who have not responded yet.
Get your marriage license done. The process can take up to 6 days. So it’s better to handle it beforehand. If names are changing, get several copies.
Get your last fitting done, meet the tailor. Get the payments done as you can.
Draw out table shapes on a design of the room to help plan place settings. Write the names of the guests on sticky notes/cards so you can move people about without resketching the entire set.
WRITE YOUR VOWS
As a wedding photographer in Sydney, it would be my pleasure to document your wedding. Pictures speak stories for a lifetime. My job is to capture timeless photos, bind them in the most naturalistic way. I’ll produce beautiful images of your most special day.