So you want to plan your own wedding. Most people hire a professional to plan big events, but if you want things done a certain way, it might be better for everyone involved if you take charge of planning. However, planning a wedding is harder than you think. You have to deal with a long list of vendors, send out invitations, and create contingency plans. Professionals are equipped to handle events crises, but you’re essentially starting from scratch.
Just because you entertain a lot at home doesn’t mean you have the skills to organize an event with hundreds of moving parts. You have to plan for anything that may go wrong on the day of your wedding. Uninvited guests could show up, vendors could cancel, and the weather can suddenly turn for the worse. The right skills can help you turn around any situation that may derail your special day.
People rarely think about what it takes to plan an event, especially one with hundreds of guests. You can’t just hire a few vendors and assume that things will magically fall into place. Apart from personal tasks like looking at wedding dress shops, you also have to check everyone’s progress and ensure that the goods will be delivered when you need them.
Here are a few things you need to keep in mind when planning your own wedding.
1. Talk to everyone
Many of the most common issues can be avoided if you keep everyone on the same page. That means talking to all vendors on a regular basis and keeping them updated about any changes. Decisions aren’t made in a vacuum and you can’t expect information to go down the chain unless you inform them themselves.
Weddings are made possible by a long list of people. For starters, you’ll need to talk to the baker, caterer, florist, decorator, venue manager, photographer, and videographer. You also have to deal with the guests and their requests. Feel free to delegate these tasks to someone you trust. There are days when you’ll feel overwhelmed, but as long as you keep your records organized, you shouldn’t have any trouble keeping track of communications.
2. Simplify your vision
It’s easy to get carried away when planning an event, especially if you’re in charge of making all the big decisions. If you can’t rein in your plans, then you might want to pass on some responsibilities to someone who can. Otherwise, you could have a potential mess on your hands and a big bill to boot. Simplify your vision and edit as you go if you want the best possible wedding.
We all want a fairy-tale wedding, but our finances limit what we can achieve. That said, there are ways of minimizing expenses without compromising your vision. Think of your wedding as an evolving concept, instead of something that’s set in stone. If your cake is too expensive, look for a cheaper alternative. If you can’t compromise on one element of your plan, make cuts somewhere else.
3. Consider everyone’s opinions
It might be your wedding, but unless you’re paying for the entire thing yourself, you also need to consider the feelings of the people who are turning your dream into reality. It could be your parents, your in-laws, or even your friends. If your parents are paying for the venue, then ask for their input. They will appreciate the gesture and make them feel more involved in the process.
4. Don’t forget about your post-event plans
Your wedding plans should also include what you need to do after the ceremony and reception. There’s a reason why professional event planners budget for post-event cleanup. If the venue contract stipulates that cleanup is your responsibility, neglecting this could lead to a hefty bill.
If you’re going to hire waiters, you’ll need to hire the cleanup crew as well. It’s your job to ensure that rented equipment such as chairs, tables, and table cloths return to the vendor in good condition. If you don’t have an insurance plan, you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket for any damage incurred to rented equipment.
A final word
Most people don’t have the skills or fortitude to plan their own wedding. If you want to take on this difficult challenge, these four tips might give you the tools you need to ensure your dream wedding goes off without a hitch.