Everything you need to know about planning a wedding by yourself

Don't make rookie mistakes!

Wedding planning can be extremely hectic at times. While couples often hire experts to help manage their wedding planning, there are numerous reasons why they may choose to handle most of the obligations themselves. Maybe they're on a tight budget or maybe they just love all the DIY options—in any case, it's a lot of extra details, but it is feasible to design your perfect wedding on your own. When faced with decisions, lists, deadlines, and everyday life, organisation skills are essential for staying on track. The first step is to give yourself plenty of time to organise your wedding—aim for at least a year. Remember to include your significant other in this step as well. Your wedding should reflect both of you as a couple.

But don't get too caught up in the tiny details and instead focus on what's actually important: celebrating your love and getting married in front of your friends and family. Hustle, but make it fun!

Setting a budget

Your wedding budget will influence many of your wedding-related decisions, so it should be one of the first things you address. If any family members will be making contributions, talk to them about how much they're willing to pay. If you're carrying the tab yourself, it's time to examine your finances. Be prepared for surprises when it comes to budgeting for your wedding day, since many couples are unaware of the entire spectrum of costs involved. Once you've determined the magic number, stick to it! 

Tip: While creating and keeping to a budget is essential, it's also crucial to provide some wiggle space for unforeseen extra charges, must-have upgrades, or last-minute alterations. As a general rule, set aside 10 to 15% of your budget for unanticipated expenses. 

Allocate budget basis your priorities

Set aside some time with your partner to discuss the three most crucial parts of your wedding. Is it the location or a particular wedding date? Interested in a specific wedding photographer or live band? Prioritise such details and be willing to make concessions on the others. This will help you be well within your budget and focus your attention on what is truly important.

Finalise a theme

Find a few bridal inspiration websites that you enjoy best—Pinterest, Instagram, magazines, trusted bridal sites—and start looking into it. When visiting with potential providers, having a strong notion of the type of wedding style you want helps enormously. Don't let the abundance of wedding inspiration overwhelm you. Making one or more Pinterest boards—or even a visual collage on—will help you figure out what kind of style and feel you want and keep you on track with your overall vision. It's crucial to remember that there is such a thing as too much inspiration, so limit how much time you spend looking at photographs and ideas in one sitting. Making a list of your likes and dislikes, as well as your wants and desires, can also help you better. 

Contemplate the dates and seasons

Choose a few preferred wedding dates and try to be flexible, if feasible, so you are not confined when booking the wedding location and suppliers. Consider external aspects such as how popular particular dates may be for other brides-to-be (making availability limited and costs higher), if the dates would be difficult for your guests to attend, and the price disparities between seasons of venues and vendors.

Work on your guest list

Making judgements concerning the guest list can be a difficult process that is heavily influenced by your venue and budget. Create a list of wedding guests with your partner and essential family members. You'll almost certainly need to make some cuts. 

Consult with other married couples

Have you recently been to a wedding that you thoroughly enjoyed? By all means, seek counsel and insights from that pair. They're likely to have some professional tips and tricks picked up along the way that they'd be pleased to share with you. Friends and family are sometimes the best resources.

Book vendors that you’re comfortable with

When it comes to booking wedding providers, it's critical not to make any hasty selections. Consider at least a few possibilities to guarantee that these vital wedding-day helpers understand your vision and can operate within your budget. Wedding suppliers are the backbone of ensuring your day is unforgettable and everything runs well, so choose a team of people with whom you connect. They should understand your vision and you should be able to trust them to carry it out effectively.

Shop for your wedding ensemble 

Finding the perfect wedding outfit is a journey in and of itself. We recommend starting your search immediately after selecting your venue and completing the purchase nine months before the big day to allow for fits and modifications. Wedding party attire should be purchased seven to eight months before the wedding date, while groom and groomsmen attire can be purchased around the five-month mark. Don't forget to plan attire for any pre-wedding activities such as brunches, showers, and rehearsal dinners.

Consider pre-wedding events

There is no shortage of pre-wedding activities to attend in the months leading up to your wedding day, including engagement celebrations, showers, brunches, and bachelor/bachelorette parties. While the majority of these events are typically hosted by a close friend or family member, you will be required to engage in some of the planning. At the very least, you will need to compile the guest lists for these events and distribute them to the gracious hosts.

Complete setup details

Check in with your venue as your wedding date approaches to find out when your providers can arrive for setup. The earlier the better, but venues may host other events on the same day in some situations. Make sure to share the information with your vendors so that everyone is on the same page.

Produce a schedule

Creating a detailed wedding day plan ensures that everyone is on the same page regarding timing and location(s) and that the day's events go well. Include details like as hair and makeup appointments, vendor arrival times, transportation to/from the ceremony location, timing for the couple's arrival at the reception, speeches, and the first dance, when the cake will be cut, and so forth. Make copies for your photographer, maid of honour, essential family members, all vendors, and anybody else who should know.

Express gratitude

Gratitude can go a long way. Make arrangements for small gifts for your wedding party and anyone else who helped you with your wedding DIY projects, along with your parents or other relatives who have been there for you and have helped you along the road. Don't be afraid to offer them a special mention during the wedding toast.

Be present

Finally, enjoy the moment and experience the love—you're getting married! Don't be concerned about little details or if certain things aren't flawless. What will guests undoubtedly notice? A frazzled pair who is overburdened with last-minute details. Try to relax by the time your wedding day arrives, enjoy all the beautiful moments with your loved ones, and remember to eat. Every married couple will tell you that time flies. 

Feature image: Pexels

Also read: 6 stunning destinations across the world for your dream wedding

Also read: Here's what you can do if pre-wedding photoshoots are not your thing