Congratulations on your engagement! Once the excitement has worn off and you’ve told everyone you know and his dog, the next emotion you’re likely to encounter is fear. How on Earth are you going to plan a wedding, alongside everything else that’s going on in your life? Though we can’t be there to hold your hand and host your wedding for you, we can offer some tips and food for thought to ensure you don’t forget to organize anything important…
- The budget
Perhaps the most important part about planning a wedding is doing it within budget. In the US, the average couple spends around $33,000 on getting hitched, but it’s possible to do it for much less if you’re sensible with your money and can make some simple compromises.
- The guest list
Something else to consider before planning a wedding is the guest list. Related to budget, you should be sure you can afford to invite 300 guests if that’s what you want. Every guest will need to be fed and watered, although most couples opt for a paid bar to save money.
- The location
Keeping it local or going international? Think about where you want to tie the knot and be realistic. If Auntie Nora can’t fly, then there’s no point in jetting off to Australia unless she’s happy to FaceTime you. And remember that foreign weddings are not only expensive for the couple, but they cause unnecessary pressure for big families with little disposable income.
- The ring
Whether you’re going contemporary or you’re choosing something traditional, such as the 300-year-old Claddagh rings steeped in Irish history, plan your wedding rings as soon as possible and make sure they match – both the bride’s and the groom’s should look perfect.
- The dress
The next step is the dress. It’s easy to assume that you’ll only need an hour or two at your local mall to find the perfect dress, but it could take months if you’re looking for something in particular. Alternatively, you could have a dress made to measure or wear a hand-me-down.
- The date
Once you’ve found a location and the perfect venue, the next step is deciding on the date. If you’ve got tonnes of friends and family then you’re naturally going to disappoint at least some of them who have prior engagements such as holidays and work commitments, but most will be happy to reschedule their plans to see the happy couple walk down the aisle.
- The Best Man
It can be tough to choose the right Best Man for your wedding, especially if you’ve got a couple of contenders, so put your thinking cap on and whittle down your options. Perhaps most importantly, let the others down gently so that nobody falls out before the big day.
- The theme
Choosing a theme not only sets a clear path of action, but it allows you to start thinking about everything from food, color schemes, and interior design. The sooner you agree on a theme, whether that be Winter Wonderland or vintage, the easier it’ll be to start planning.
- The gifts
Though some argue the traditional wedding gift list is dying, most couples still ask for gifts or money to celebrate their special day. If you’ve already paid for your Honeymoon and don’t want cash donations, things such as cutlery, a coffee machine, wine glasses, bath towels, and garden accessories will always come in handy. Prepare a list before sending invites.
- The announcement
Finally, you’ll likely want to make an announcement about your wedding. You may hold off until your engagement party, or perhaps you’d like your wedding announcement to be an entirely separate affair? Plan how you’re going to do it (traditional with handwritten postal invites or contemporary with an announcement video on Facebook) and get your loved ones excited. From there, you can start getting excited and let the countdown commence!
Though this list is by no means all-encompassing, it should give you some food for thought and help you on your journey to planning your wedding. We wish you the very best of luck.