Professional wedding planning services provide peace of mind on your wedding day.
But, depending on where you live, this nuptial convenience may become $10,000 or even $50,000 in costs for wedding planners.
Hiring a professional wedding planner may not make sense if you are planning a small event or one with a limited budget.
But how to be your wedding planner?
With the right attitude and organization, anyone can step in to build the wedding of their dreams.
How To Be Your Own Wedding Planner?
4 Tips for Being Your Own Wedding Planner
A wedding is supposed to be one of the most memorable days of your life.
But for many couples, all the planning and organizing that goes into making it happen can end up being more stressful than fun.
If you’re looking to take on some of the responsibility for your big day yourself, here are some tips on how to be your own wedding planner.
1. Stay Organized
Brides and grooms may not even realize how much effort goes into putting on an average wedding ceremony. Everything from the paper for your invitations to the plates the reception meal will be served on must be chosen by the couple.
Not to mention big details like the wedding dress and tux, couples’ rings, photographer or videographer, and the venue itself must be thoughtfully chosen.
All of these important decisions must be organized for easy access and reference. Every couple will organize their vision boards, contracts, menus, seating charts, and other wedding day essentials in their way. Today’s couples have many slick organizational tools to help plan wedding days of all sizes.
Many organizational cell phone apps like Trello, Evernote, and Google Keep provide a simple way to organize tasks in helpful lists. Carry these lists wherever you go and easily sync to multiple devices. These apps help keep your lists accessible and easily shared with others.
One of the most stressful aspects of wedding planning for me was managing RSVPs. I spent the majority of my wedding planning efforts making sure everyone we had heard from all of our treasured guests. Check out apps like Evite, RSVPify, and Burner to track responses to invitations and conveniently manage your guest list.
Seating Chart Apps
Combined with organizing RSVPs, sorting through seating charts can become a wedding planning headache. Apps like AllSeated and Table Planner provide a specific tool for wedding day seating charts. Or try a graphic design tool like Canva to draw a customized seating chart for your space.
Brides and grooms become consultants on flowers, cuisines, acoustics, and table settings as soon as they are engaged. When you decide to be your wedding planner, this list of tasks you must become an expert on can seem overwhelming. Crucial items like vendor contracts can be especially nerve-wracking.
However, mobile scanners like CamScanner or Genius Scan help you easily scan and turn images into PDFs. These PDFs can then be easily read, filed, and referenced whenever you need them.
2. Start Early
While wedding planners can step in to create elaborate ceremonies in a short time frame, do-it-yourself couples must allot several months to reserve and coordinate the details they want.
Brides and grooms often begin with securing their perfect venue. Depending on where you live, most churches, vineyards, and other popular venues require reservations at least 12 – 18 months in advance. Other high-demand venues may be booked two or three years into the future.
After the venue, the person delivering the ceremony must be organized first. Often the venue and the officiant go together, especially if you are getting married in a church.
However, if you prefer a Justice of the Peace or other hired officiant, plan for at least a year. If you want a friend or family member to become ordained online, allow at least six months for the online process and associated state-level paperwork to complete.
Photographer and Videographer
A photographer and videographer may be the next most in-demand vendor for your wedding day. Research extensively to determine your first, second, and maybe even third choices for a photographer and videographer. Give the vendors at least 10 – 12 months of advance notice before attempting to book.
Flower arrangements need time to order and assemble, not to mention your chosen flowers must be in-season to begin with! Along with the other planning tasks discussed so far, add choosing a florist to something that should be completed about 10 – 12 months before your wedding.
Caterers and bakers need less time than other vendors but still require about nine months of advance notice to create your wedding menus. If you plan to marry during a peak wedding season, like June or September, allocate even more time to get on your caterer’s radar.
If you would like to conduct a cake tasting or sample wedding reception menus, tack on some extra weeks to complete this task.
Band or DJ
If you are looking at a live band for your big day, allow at least nine months to book the artists. A DJ requires less coordination, so you can probably get away with booking six months before your wedding.
Make-Up and Hair
Reach out to local make-up artists and hair stylists about five to six months before your wedding. Search on social media to find creative and trusted beauty professionals near where you live or will be celebrating. Consider adding sessions for a trial run of your wedding day look.
3. Find a Trusted Personal Attendant
While a professional wedding planner may be out of the budget, many brides and grooms choose a personal attendant to help them focus on the most vital parts of their day. A personal attendant is usually someone not already in the wedding party but still a close friend or family member.
Personal attendants can act as the point person for questions from vendors and guests, instead of those questions landing at the feet of the bride and groom. Find someone you trust to be decisive and honor your vision for your wedding day.
4. Go With the Flow
The most important thing for do-it-yourself brides and grooms is to remember to roll with the punches. Events with so many moving parts inevitably experience issues with technology or people running late. Or unexpected inclement weather may arrive on your special day.
While choosing to be your wedding planner can be stressful, always try to remember the reason why everyone gathered to celebrate.