So you'd like to...

plan a wedding (and not lose your mind)

A guide by Kathryn H

Products sampled from this guide:
Congratulations ... you're engaged. Next up is planning a wedding. The first time most brides hear these words, two feelings arise: excitement and anxiety. It's understandable that you are totally excited about your wedding and equally understandable that you are nervous about everything that has to get done before your big day. My husband and I planned our wedding ourselves and it was one of the most memorable days of our lives, so I wanted to pass along some helpful tips that got us through all the planning and managing all the details.

1. Take it one step at a time - When we first plunged into the planning process, we were completely intimidated by everything that had to get done. So, instead of just staring at a huge list and being freaked out, we divided everything up into small, manageable tasks, set realistic timelines for everything and put it all on a calendar (you can find great planning calendars on sites like The Knot, My Wedding Workbook or even use Google Calendars). This way we weren't always looking at the big list and panicking.

2. Start with your budget - Everything in your wedding - and I mean everything - is driven by your budget, so before you start making big plans only to have some of them dashed because you can't afford something, sit down and draw up a budget (again, there are tons of wedding budget calculators online). This would also be a good time to talk with your parents or anyone else who might be contributing to the wedding, because it's great to know from the start how much money you have to play with. And be very realistic about the costs and pricing (this may mean you need to do some research on average costs for things that you want for your wedding).

3. Next tackle your guest list - If something isn't driven by the budget, then it's driven by your guest list. The number of guests usually determines the cost of your wedding or how elaborate you can make your wedding, and you can pretty safely count on less than half of all people invited to attend, so start with that as a rule of thumb. First write out everyone you would possibly want to invite and then start going through rounds of revisions until you have paired your list to the people you definitely want to be there. You may need to run this by the parents to see if you've left anyone out and negotiate with them, but do it early on, because the size of your venues and your catering all depend on your guest list counts.

4. Find the right resources - We used lots of great online tools for managing our details and setting up our wedding website (just do a Google search for "wedding planning" and "wedding software" and go from there), and we also used some great books, including Wedding Etiquette for the Contemporary Bride - From time-tested traditions to social media, a wedding book for the 21st century, The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner: Worksheets, Checklists, Etiquette, Calendars, and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions, The Busy Brides Bible for Planning a Fabulous Wedding Without the Expensive Cost of a Wedding Planner and The Wedding Book: The Big Book for Your Big Day.

5. Recruit help - Nobody in their right mind plans an entire wedding by herself, because eventually we all need at least a little help. In addition, recruiting help makes the whole process more enjoyable when you have family and friends with you on the journey. You should definitely recruit your fiancee for helping out (if not being an equal partner in the planning) as well as your bridesmaids and mothers. Even if you only use these people to bounce ideas off of, they can be a huge help and have great ideas of their own.

6. Bring along a negotiator - One thing we discovered is that almost every wedding-related expense is negotiable. Vendors realize that people plan on paying lots for their wedding and so they set their full retail prices high. If you or your fiancee don't like to negotiate, bring along someone who does, as it can be very worth your while (and you may even save enough to fund your honeymoon).

Hopefully that's enough to get you started ... enjoy the process.

Products mentioned include:
1.  Wedding Etiquette for the Contemporary Bride - From time-tested traditions to social media, a wedding book for the 21st century [Kindle eBook]  by My Wedding Workbook LLC
$9.99
  See buying options  Add to wishlist
2.  The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner: Worksheets, Checklists, Etiquette, Calendars, and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions  by Carley Roney
Used & New from: $0.01
3.8 out of 5 stars   (107) | 1 customer discussion
  See buying options  Add to wishlist
3.  The Busy Brides Bible for Planning a Fabulous Wedding Without the Expensive Cost of a Wedding Planner  by Angela A. Kear
$15.26 Used & New from: $0.98
4.5 out of 5 stars   (254) | 21 customer discussions
Add to cart  Add to wishlist
4.  The Wedding Book: The Big Book for Your Big Day  by Mindy Weiss
$15.48 Used & New from: $0.01
4.7 out of 5 stars   (211)
Add to cart  Add to wishlist

More Actions

Discover more about this author
 See all of their So You'd Like to...guides
Make your own guide
 Create a So You'd Like to...guide
View your page on Amazon.com
 Go to Your Profile page

Customer Discussions about products in this guide
Discussion Replies Latest Post
Wedding Planning 4 Aug 3, 2013
Great Money Saver 0 Feb 13, 2013
I found so many reception site locations in this book. I don't know which to choose. 2 Aug 13, 2012
Take YOUR Wedding from Ordinary to Extraordinary with The Busy Brides Bible 0 Jul 30, 2012
Very helpful and well-written 0 Jun 23, 2012
EYE-CANDY for the bride-to-be! 0 Jan 31, 2012
Attention All Bridezillas!!! 0 Dec 28, 2011
Amazing Organizer ! 0 Dec 7, 2011
2 Thumbs Up for The Busy Brides Bible 1 Oct 29, 2011
Very Overwhelmed ! 1 Oct 27, 2011
This book is fabulous. 2 Aug 10, 2011
Welcome to the The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner forum 0 Nov 9, 2005
 
   

About this Guide

 

Author

Kathryn H
Qualifications: Recent DIY Bride and Groom
Last updated: 5/12/11
Report abuse
    

More So You'd Like to...

 

Create Your Wedding Flowers ! Create Your Wedding Flowers !

Create Your Wedding Flowers !: A guide of 24 items by Kimberly Lang

Start Planning Your Wedding !
Start Planning Your Wedding !: A guide of 46 items by Teresa Hunter

Have a Fabulous Wedding... Have a Fabulous Wedding...

Have a Fabulous Wedding...: A guide of 49 items by Courtney Lern

Find the Best Wedding Planning Items !
Find the Best Wedding Planning Items !: A guide of 27 items by Venessa Swan

Find the Perfect Wedding Ceremony Music ! Find the Perfect Wedding Ceremony Music !

Find the Perfect Wedding Ceremony Music !: A guide of 25 items by Venessa Swan

   

More Listmania!

 

PERFECT WEDDING ITEMS! PERFECT WEDDING ITEMS!

PERFECT WEDDING ITEMS!: A list of 27 items by AliceLee

Top Wedding Aisle Runners !
Top Wedding Aisle Runners !: A list of 20 items by melissa67smith

Fun Wedding Items ! Fun Wedding Items !

Fun Wedding Items !: A list of 20 items by AliceLee

List-Wedding-ia
List-Wedding-ia: A list of 40 items by Sarah Evans

TOP 30 Wedding Book Wish List..... TOP 30 Wedding Book Wish List.....

TOP 30 Wedding Book Wish List.....: A list of 30 items by Aubri Pierce