Let’s face it: planning a wedding can be daunting, stressful, and downright exhausting. As a seasoned wedding planner, I have the pleasure of educating and helping couples plan a stress-free and enjoyable wedding. Below I have outlined five elements to consider before planning your wedding!
1. Set a Budget – Setting an estimated budget will not only save you from wedding challenges as you continue with your planning, but also help you set realistic expectations on what you can and cannot do with your wedding. It’s quite okay to set a budget and adjust it as you get more into your wedding planning…but you need to have a baseline to start with!
2. Pick your wedding date strategically – Strategically selecting your wedding date can make the difference between having a wedding of your dreams that doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg (balling on budget 🙂) to having one that might cost you a pretty penny. For example, since prices tend to be higher around major holidays, planning a wedding near some of these large festivities could leave you paying higher fees for goods and services that otherwise would have been cheaper. Why spend twice as much on a service when, at a different time, you could get the same quality for half the price?
3. Create a Guest List – Although often overlooked, this is one of the most important things to do as you plan your wedding. It goes hand in hand with your need for a budget.
I advise all clients to create and categorize their guest list in 3: Family, Close Friends, and Acquaintances. I then take each category and divide them into a priority of A, B, and C.
A – is for family and close friends that must be at the ceremony.
B – is for additional friends, extended family, and acquaintances that you are planning to invite to the ceremony.
C – is for guests that would be nice to have at your wedding if your budget allows.
Based on your budget and venue you will need to refine the list in preparation for your wedding.
4. Pick your top 3 priorities for your wedding – There are so many components to planning a perfect wedding day. It’s vital to identify the top three must-haves that are important to you, things that are near and dear to you, that in your opinion will make or break your big day. Let’s consider décor for example…to some couples the most important thing for their big day is a fabulous atmosphere at the venue. In this case, you may want to give décor a higher priority on your budget. On the other hand, a stunning wedding cake may not be a priority for your celebration; in this case, a cake budget would not make the list of the top 3 priorities.
5. Hire a PLANNER! You hire professional legal and financial advisors and I recommend hiring a professional wedding planner. A wedding planner can be the difference between having everything you have imagined on your wedding day and having a stressful experience on what should be one of the happiest days of your life. There are different types of services that typically will fit your budget, whether you need a full service planner or a partial planner. Get what works for you.
Evelyn Kibwana, Founder & Lead Planner of Events by Evelyn