Planning a wedding can be a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. Follow these tips from the Wedding Planners Association to ensure that your big day goes off without a hitch.
Plan the wedding
If you’re planning a wedding, there are a lot of things to think about. Here’s a checklist of some of the most important things to keep in mind:
1. Choose a date and time.
2. Choose a wedding venue.
3. Choose your wedding dress and accessories.
4. Choose your wedding cake and catering options.
5. Choose your wedding invitations and RSVP cards.
6. Arrange for music, flowers, and transportation for your wedding party and guests.
7. Coordinate your wedding party’s schedules and make sure everyone knows their duties.
8. Get married!
Make a budget
There’s no way to do this without knowing your wedding budget. Start by figuring out how much you can afford to spend on your big day, and work from there.
In addition to the basics like the venue, catering, and photographer, you’ll also want to include things like flowers, decorations, and favors. Factor in your honeymoon budget as well—you don’t want to overspend on something you’ll only use once!
When planning your wedding, it is important to coordinate all of the services you need in order to make your day as smooth as possible.
Here is a sample Wedding Coordinator Checklist to get you started:
-Guest Services (food/beverage)
When you’re ready to send out your invites, start by creating a spreadsheet of all your guests. You can use the following general information to help you: name, email, and phone number. Next, type each person’s name in the “To” column and email address in the “From” column. Finally, cell E2 will hold the cell phone number of that guest. You can also add any additional notes in this row if you need to.
Once you’ve gathered all your information, it’s time to create your email templates. There are a few different types of invitations that can work well for weddings: email invitations with RSVPs, email invitations without RSVPs, or both.
Arrange flowers and decorations
When planning your wedding, it’s important to remember to include flowers and decorations in your budget. Here are a few tips for arranging flowers and decorating your wedding venue:
-Choose a theme or color scheme for your wedding before selecting flowers and decorations. This will help you save money by buying items in bulk or finding similar items at discount stores.
-Think about how you want the room to look before selecting flowers. Place tall floral arrangements near the front of the room, create a centerpiece using fresh flowers, or go with shorter arrangements near the tables.
-Consider using natural light throughout your reception hall to make your flowers glow. Use uplighting or LED lights to create a warm glow without having to use candles.
-If you’re having a spring or summer wedding, consider using vibrant pink, white, and green flowers together. For autumn weddings, consider pumpkin spice colors such as orange, brown, and yellow.
-If you want to add a unique touch to your wedding decor, consider using votive candles in votive holders or adding succulents to planters.
Plan the reception
Every wedding is unique, and there’s no one-size-fits-all wedding reception plan. One great way to ensure your big day goes off without a hitch would be to follow a few key guidelines:
1. Get together a preliminary wedding reception schedule early on in the planning process. This will help ensure that all of your guests have an idea of when and where to meet up, and that the ceremony and reception run smoothly together.
2. Have a seating chart prepared in advance. This will help you determine where guests should sit according to their relationship with the bride and groom, as well as their preferred wedding activities.
3. Make sure your dance floor is ready for action! Plan plenty of breaks in the schedule for dances and other celebrations, or designate designated areas for dancing.
4. Keep food and drink options top-of-mind. You want everyone at your reception to be able to enjoy themselves, so don’t forget to include menu items like hors d’oeuvres, salads, and desserts in your planning stages. And remember: alcohol consumption is allowed at weddings under specific conditions (check with your state’s liquor authority for more information).
Serve food and drinks
One of the most important tasks of a wedding planner is to make sure that the food and drinks are served in a timely manner. A wedding planning checklist can help organize this process. The following are some tips for preparing for food and drink service:
-Purchase or reserve all of the necessary supplies, such as cups, plates, napkins, and utensils.
-Organize the buffet or menu so that guests can easily find what they are looking for.
-Arrange the food and drinks on serving trays or tables.
-Make sure that the serving area is clean and free from debris.
Give thank-you cards
When sending thank-you cards following a wedding, it is important to personalize them for each couple. Here is a wedding planner checklist to help you get started:
-Select the correct color cardstock.
-Write your name on the front of the card.
-Write a personal message on the back of the card.
-Add a stamp.
-Letters should be no more than 2 inches wide and 3 inches high.