Wondering how to plan your own wedding? Trying to figure out how in the world you’re supposed to do that without spending money on hiring a professional Wedding Planner? Yeah, been there… and that’s why this DIY Wedding Planning guide is here for you.
Hiring a wedding planner can skyrocket your overall costs but, depending on the type of celebration you are looking to have, that part of the budget could be scratched off the list. Plus, most venues set you off with an Event Coordinator that can guide you through most of the preparations. Sure, you must know it is not at all the same type of service you could expect from a professional Wedding Planner. But if you are determined to go hands-on the whole process, and can spare the time it deserves, planning your own wedding will be an extremely rewarding experience.
First things first: congratulations on your engagement! You are living such a beautiful moment and I hope that you’re making the most out of every little bit of it.
Organizing a wedding can be stressful. But hey, it should also be one of the most rewarding adventures of your life! Celebrate love as you go and enjoy every step of the process.
As a professional Event Planner and wife, I know that as much as this is the happiest time, it can also be stressful and time-consuming.
The idea of perfection in anticipation of your special day might make you feel anxious at times. But with the right tools and the best people by your side, I am sure you’ll make it all work out beautifully!
Plus, regardless of budget, it has become trendy for the bride and groom to organize their own celebration. Even asking a friend or family member to do so might be an option for you.
If you are just starting, be sure to grab the Wedding Planning Checklist & Agenda as well as the Wedding Budget Workbook I have prepared for you; or simply download my 5-page wedding planner for free!
Now, who am I to tell you anything about Wedding Planning?
Well, I am an events professional who has sold and organized hundreds of corporate and social events. As we speak, I have 8+ years of experience working for high-end venues and luxury hotels around the globe! I have a degree in Events Management and am a certified Wedding Planner.
What do Wedding Planners do, exactly?
Whether or not you believe hiring a Wedding Planner is the right thing for you to do, I feel like it’s right to give you a bit of a background on what it could be like to get professional help on organizing your special event.
A specialist would most likely be helping you with the following:
- Putting together a master checklist so that you know what needs to be done when;
- Setting a realistic budget and managing it throughout the process;
- Sourcing vendors based on your expectations and budget as well as her/his professional judgment;
- Sourcing venues based on your ideas and budget as well as her/his knowledge of the location and service;
- Negotiating with vendors, venues, and caterers for you and helping you decide what the best options are;
- Helping you understand all their contracting clauses;
- Putting together an overall event timeline;
- Handling guest communications (save the date, invitations, etc);
- Being on the floor when the big day comes: making sure everything goes as planned, coordinating timings, vendors, setup requirements, and taking care of any last-minute issues or emergencies;
- Most planners will also help with the planning and booking for you other wedding-related events such as the rehearsal dinner, bachelor and bachelorette parties, and honeymoon.
If you have no free time, have more than enough money to spend, or just don’t feel like you have what it take to organize such a thing, then I definitely recommend that you go ahead and book a Wedding Planner! Otherwise, stay with me and read the below.
How to plan a wedding like a pro (without a Wedding Planner)?
If you are going to put all the details together, the first thing you will need to do is to start your very own wedding folder! Here are a couple of instant download documents that will make that part as easy as it sounds:
When should you start planning for your wedding?
There’s no right or wrong when it comes to choosing the appropriate timing for starting your wedding planning venture. Some couples are quite fast while others may prefer to take their time to look around.
Regardless, since selecting a date is probably one of the first topics on your planning list, that will determine the timeline you’ve got to go for.
Starting one year, or even up to a couple of years in advance, will allow you to take the process slower and go into the thinnest details. Most likely, this will also allow you to choose the companies you want to work with.
However, if for any reason, you must have your special day prepared within 6 months or less, that can also be done. It all comes down to how tailored and detailed you would like it to be, as well as how picky you are when it comes to choosing the right vendors.
Now that we have it all out of the way…
Here goes a list of the first steps to take once you are engaged:
- Enjoy the moment
- Spread the news, starting with your close family and best friends, of course
- Get that journal I’ve been telling you about
- Pick a date
- Start brainstorming and assessing all your childhood dreams
- Decide on how much you can/want to spend
- Get a planning gang to be by your side along the way
- Ready to go deeper? Move on to DIY Wedding Planning – Part 2 for a clear insight on the next steps.
Oh, and don’t worry, you’ll shine!