A wedding is one of the most important milestones in a person’s life — it’s the mark of the end of a single era and the beginning of a new one. You’ll want to cherish that time forever. That being the case, it’s vitally important to plan your wedding in such a way that will make you proud and happy to have been part of that day. So how do you plan an unforgettable wedding?
Here are a dozen things you should think about when organizing your big day:
What to Consider
1.) Set Your Budget
It may sound like the most unromantic thing in the world, but it’s better for everyone if you take some time and think about how much money you’re willing to spend on your wedding. You can always dream about what you would do if money were no object, but reality has to set in at some point, and it’s best to get that out of the way first, so nothing comes as a surprise later on.
The last thing you want to do is to go completely over your budget on one item and have nothing left for everything else. Be realistic about what you’re able to spend on this once-in-a-lifetime event and stick to it. Once you’ve set your budget, make sure everyone involved knows it. That way, when people ask, “What’s the budget?” you’ll both be on the same page.
2.) Pick a Wedding Theme
Once you’ve set your budget, it’s time to think about what kind of wedding theme you’d like to have. It’s easier to coordinate everything when you have a theme in mind. Is there a style or color palette that really speaks to you? Would you rather have an outdoor wedding on the beach or in a church? Do you want something modern or rustic? Do you want it to be more formal or casual? Asking yourself these questions will help you narrow down venue options and get the ball rolling.
3.) Pick a Venue
If you’re planning to get married, you’ll need to pick a venue. Consider what kind of wedding you’re hoping for, and try to find a venue that matches that wedding perfectly. While there are plenty of cute, romantic options for wedding venues, you’ll want to make sure that the one you choose actually meets your needs.
So, in addition to considering factors such as the number of guests you want at your wedding and your wedding theme when looking for a venue, you also need to consider: Are there enough parking spaces? What’s the weather likely to be? Does it have backup power in case the electricity goes out? These are all things that could go wrong at your wedding if you don’t pick the right venue.
4.) Create a Guest List
Once your venue is set, you can create your guest list. Creating a guest list is essential for planning both the ceremony and reception. You don’t want to hire vendors or send out invitations before knowing how many people will be there, so figure out how many people will be at the wedding first!
To start, determine how many people you want at each event by considering what type of atmosphere you’d like (intimate or large). Then ask yourself whom you can’t live without being there (family members, close friends). From here on out, it’s all about narrowing down those names until they fit neatly within your budget.
5.) Plan the Décor
One of the most important parts of any wedding is the décor. Whether you’re going for a rustic, chic, or vintage theme, your décor and design should reflect your and your partner’s unique personalities. Think about what colors, styles, and overall mood you want to set at your wedding for the best results.
For a formal event, consider elegant flowers, such as hydrangeas, roses, or peonies, in tall vases, along with ivory tablecloths and gold accents. If you’re doing a beach wedding, however, opt for wooden signs and starfish or seashells scattered across tables.
6.) Find an Officiant
The most important part of your wedding is the vows, so it’s crucial that you find someone who will deliver them with poise and professionalism. It’s not just about finding someone who can say “I now pronounce…” It should be someone who can deliver your words with meaning and love — someone with a strong sense of confidence.
Whether you choose a local pastor or opt for someone else you know, such as a family member, make sure that you feel comfortable with them and trust their ability to take charge of your ceremony. Also, ensure that the officiant you opt for is legally allowed to perform weddings in your state.
7.) Choose the Dress and Groom’s Attire
Another important aspect of your wedding is the dress and groom’s attire. Visit a couple of bridal shops with an open mind before choosing a place where you want to get your wedding dress from. It may even be a good idea to try on different dresses in order to find out which style suits you best. As far as the groom’s attire is concerned, make sure that he looks good and feels comfortable in whatever he wears.
Once you settle on an outfit, get a seamstress involved to make sure the fit is exactly right. It’s common to have some alterations done, so don’t be afraid to go back to your seamstress more than once if needed. You’ll want to set aside time at least once a month to check in with them leading up to the big day.
8.) Plan the Menu
Are you planning on hiring a caterer? If so, give them as much information as possible. This includes your budget, the number of guests, and their dietary restrictions, if any. Take into consideration the time of day and location of your ceremony and reception. For example, if you’re having an outdoor summer wedding, you might want to avoid serving heavy or spicy foods.
Also, make sure you get to taste what you’re serving before the big day. Set up a tasting with your caterer as soon as possible. That way, if there is anything that you don’t like, you can change the menu to your liking before the wedding day.
9.) Hire a Photographer (and Videographer)
Make sure you hire someone with experience and that you see samples of their previous work before hiring them. Don’t just rely on reviews — meet them in person to discuss your ideas for photographs and videos and see if they’re a good fit for your big day.
Photographers and videographers book up well in advance, so begin your search at least six months before the wedding. Also, look into photo booths or instant photographers — or even ask a friend with an expensive camera to take digital photos during the reception. These can supplement traditional photos and capture candid moments while guests are having fun.
10.) Choose Music and Entertainment for the Ceremony and Reception
Music is essential to setting the mood at any event. It can also determine how many people stay around after dinner has been served. So make sure that your playlist has something for everyone — including yourself! One of the easiest ways to make sure that everyone at your wedding will enjoy the music is by hiring professional musicians or singers.
A live band will add soul, energy, and excitement to your wedding day that you just can’t get from a DJ. The best part about live music is that you can choose any genre. For example, if you love country or pop music, there are tons of amazing bands that will customize their sets to fit your style. Live bands are always a crowd-pleaser because they know how to get people up out of their seats (and onto the dance floor).
11.) Wedding Cake and Guest Favors
Your wedding cake is another important factor in making your event unforgettable. Consult with multiple bakers before deciding on one whose style matches your preferences and budget. Similarly, guests will undoubtedly appreciate small favors they can take home with them — such as chocolates or candies — so make sure you talk to a baker about including guest favors in their baking service package. You’ll both save time this way.
12.) Plan the Honeymoon
The honeymoon is an incredibly important part of the wedding planning process. It’s like dessert! You know you’re going to have a fantastic time there, and it’s your chance to relax, have some fun, and celebrate as newlyweds. But it can get expensive if you don’t plan ahead, so make sure you budget for it. You can also see if you want to start a honeymoon registry so that guests can contribute.
Weddings are a big deal. They involve a lot of planning and organization, and if you don’t do it right, your big day can quickly turn into a big disaster. To avoid that fate, ensure that you consider these 12 things when organizing your wedding.