Planning a wedding is a big deal. It can also be pretty stressful. For that reason, getting started sooner rather than later is critical. According to one report, two in three millennials start planning their wedding before they’re even engaged, with 54% of brides in the US choosing to plan their wedding on their own – without the help of friends, family, or their groom. You could hire a professional wedding planner if your budget allows (27% of couples do) but there’s something special about taking on the challenge and doing it yourself.
Whether you’ve got six weeks or six months to plan the perfect day, we’ve rounded up some things to think about to ensure your wedding day is as special and memorable as you hoped.
Okay, let’s start with the big one. As soon as you’ve decided where you’re going to get married and how many guests you can invite, you need to start whittling down the guest list and sending out wedding invitations so people have enough time to RSVP and organize their own schedules. Don’t assume you need to invite hundreds of guests to have a good time – sometimes, small, intimate weddings are the most precious. Be sensible with your list and don’t invite people for the sake of it, as costs can quickly add up. Oh, and book a couple of extra dinner places for unexpected arrivals or last-minute invites; they always happen.
We recommend leaving your maid of honor to organize your bachelorette party, but if you want to get involved, then start planning sooner rather than later. It’s tough enough getting all of your families to be free on the same day – even tougher getting friends to all take time off work for a day or two’s vacation. You could organize a spa day, a night on the town, a beach party, a weekend in the city, a tour of a vineyard, or even a strip club to honor the gentlemen!
Though weddings have come a long way in fifty years, we still think it’s important to honor your family and their traditions. Whether you’re planning a traditional Asian wedding or an Irish wedding, research into traditions and weave one or two into your wedding itinerary.
For an Irish wedding, check out this excellent infographic from Claddagh Rings – from the Celtic handfasting ceremony to the Celtic oathing stone, there are so many ways to demonstrate to your partner – and your guests – how much you care about them. You can go modern with a fancy dress and a humorous reading, but in marriage, tradition will always come out on top!
Planning for food
Though a sit-down meal has always been considered the norm at a wedding, an increasing number of couples have been ditching the idea for “food stations” at weddings, offering a more relaxed and informal approach to wedding dining. It’s likely your wedding will stretch for 12 hours, so offering lots of delicious nibbles for guests to enjoy is better than one large meal that will leave everyone ready for bed. Go fancy with sushi and oysters or keep it American with miniature gourmet burgers, hot dogs, and popcorn that people can snack on throughout the day. Sweet stations are a great way to keep the kids entertained during the celebrations.
Thank you gifts
Once the cake’s been cut and mom’s stopped crying, you might decide to hand out some thank you gifts for your closest friends and family who helped make your big day possible. It has become a tradition to purchase keepsakes for your bridesmaids and groomsmen, but you don’t need to break the bank in doing so. Little tokens of appreciation not only show them how grateful you are for their time and commitment but serve as a great reminder of a brilliant wedding. From pocket watches and personalized candles to teddy bears, bracelets and wooden plaques, we encourage you to get creative and find new ways to say “Thanks!”.
With so much to consider before your big day, planning and preparation are critical. Take your time, ask for help when you need it, and remember not to put too much pressure on yourself. At the end of the day, celebrating your love for your partner is really all that matters.