The most important part of your wedding planning is organization and budgeting. These are intertwined together and you have to be organized to plan your wedding on a budget. There are a few things you need to consider if you want to stay in your budget for the wedding.
The first thing you have to do is prepare a month wise checklist for wedding planning.
The checklist should be as follows:
10 months prior to the wedding:
- Wedding Theme - Consider assigning a theme to your wedding. According to this theme, you can select the venue for your wedding. There are various wedding themes that are in trend these days.
- Wedding Venue - Fix a venue for your wedding. If you have a theme in your mind, choose the wedding venue accordingly. However, make sure you absolutely want the selected theme to be your wedding theme. You can have your wedding at church, family house, a castle, an inn, a ranch, a hotel banquet or a beach.
- Attire - A bride's attire has to be fixed before anything else. The bridal gown, veil, gloves, bouquet, shoes, jewelry, etc all need to be fixed beforehand. Start shopping for these things well in advance as the alterations and selections take a lot of time.
- Caterer - Finalize a caterer after you have trial sessions at at least three caterers. Talk to the caterer about what exactly you want. Discuss the menu in detail. Also, ask if the serving rate is charged separately. Ask them if they provide servers and waiters and what will be the total cost for the personnel.
- Florist - When you contact a florist, short list at least four florists before you zero in on one. Tell them exactly what you want the venue to look like. If you want floral centerpieces, they will probably charge separately for that. However, some florists have a package consisting centerpieces, hanging decorations as well as wall and floor decorations. The bottom-line is to be sure about the services included in the charges.
8 months prior to the wedding:
- Photographer / Videographer - Choose a photographer or video grapher according to your requirements. You need to communicate with the man about your requirements and the look you would like to see in the album or the video.
- Hairstylist - Book the hairstylist and have some trial sessions with her so that you can determine the hairdo, which suits you the best and which is comfortable to carry for an entire day.
- Make-up Artist - An equally important person, you need to have trial sessions with your make-up artist as well. This helps in establishing the rapport with the artist and you are able to tell him the look you prefer for your wedding day. You can listen to his suggestions, however, don't be dominated by him. Communicate what you want and be firm.
- Musicians - Choose a band or an artist for performing at your wedding. Tell them the songs you prefer and want to be played. For instance, if you want to play 'the way you look tonight' for your first dance, this has to be communicated to the concerned person.
- Guest List - Prepare a guest list. Keep it simple. Invite only those who are really close to you and you want them to be a part of your wedding.
- Wedding Favors - Shop for the wedding favors you are planning to hand out. If you still haven't decided on them, it is high time to do it. Browse the Internet, you will get plenty of ideas for wedding favors. Finalize them and buy them.
6 months prior to the wedding:
- Save-the-date Cards - Send save-the-date cards so that the out of station guests can make the arrangements accordingly.
- Honeymoon Package - Plan your honeymoon. Book the resort, travel tickets and the activities you are planning to participate in. some travel agents provide an entire package right from your home town and back.
- Wedding Party Attire - Choose the groom's attire and accessories. Also, choose the brdiesmaids', groomsmen's and all thew wedding attendants' attire and accessories. Along with them, also shop for the parents of the couple.
- Wedding Cake - Book a baker for your wedding date. Choose the cake according to the theme of your wedding. Short list at least five bakers as the price range varies. Ask them about any extra costs that come with the cake-cutting, serving, cake pulls or theme-based cakes.
- Rentals - Finalize the rentals that you would be needing for the ceremony such as tables, chairs, linens, cutlery, etc. and rent them.
4 months prior to the wedding:
- Wedding Rings - Shop for wedding rings. Do this together so that each of you gets a ring of their choice.
- Transportation - Make arrangements for the transportation of the bride, the groom and the wedding party.
- Invitations - Send out the final invitations to the guests whom you have sent save-the-date cards.
- Rehearsal Dinner - Plan the rehearsal dinner. Decide who will make the toast and make the arrangements accordingly.
If you follow this checklist, you will be planning the wedding ahead of the time. Having a checklist also helps in budgeting the wedding. If you don't want to hire a band, you can make a mixed tape and play it at your wedding. Always remember that your wedding is your wedding and you can have it any which way you want. So, even if you drop a few things or add a few, it is ok as it is more personalized and private.