When it’s finally time to make arrangements for your wedding – whether it be a local event, a destination wedding or an elopement – you need a wedding plan. Your plan should provide a roadmap through all the different elements that comprise your dream wedding. You can start with something simple in a document, or you can include intricate details, using a pinboard, spreadsheet and diagrams. The key is to build some sort of plan.
Getting Started with Your Wedding Plan
In this age of technology, we’re fortunate to have many online resources and books to help create the foundation. I recommend keeping a notebook and a folder to capture your ideas and feelings. Find the format that best suits your style and then start filling in the details and desires of your wedding – clip pictures, bookmark websites and write notes. Many couples I work with combine online and ‘analog’ thoughts.
Key Items To Include in Your Wedding Planning Notebook
Typically, your wedding plan notebook should include the following:
- Calendar that counts down to your wedding date
- Vendor checklist – everyone that will have a part in your wedding plan
- Timeline to help manage vendors
- Budget to track your expected and incurred costs
- Guest list to build and manage your invitations. I recommend keeping an “A” list and then a backup “B” list if you happen to receive any regret responses
- Etiquette section describing protocol of weddings – for example, you are never to include your registry details in the actual wedding invitation
- Section for personal details – dress, veil, shoes, makeup, hair, tuxes,
- General notes section
Other Helpful Ideas for Your Wedding Planning Process
Here are some additional key notes to make sure you incorporate into your planning process…
- Keep all receipts, identify them, and put them into your budget
- Get color and fabric swatches of your dress & veil, groomsmen’s tuxes, linens, anything where material can match (or you want to keep it for memories). Sometimes the florist can use fabric or lace from your dress to wrap your bouquets or use in corsages for relatives
- Keep copies of vendor contracts and make sure each vendor supplies you with their email, business phone and cell phone number
- Include diagrams of venues, if possible
- Track all the things that you will be providing for the wedding/reception – for example, anything for centerpieces, cake cutters, cake toppers, photos, maps, programs, escort cards, table numbers, candles, etc. – to ensure that all your personal belongings are returned to you after the wedding
- Make a list of the photos you want, as well as any that you do NOT want, and provide the list to your photographer and wedding planner. The list is great to keep for your scrapbook as well
- Make a list of the songs or music you want to be played, and any music you do NOT want to be played at your wedding. Provide the list to your DJ or band , and your wedding planner
One last thought: it’s your plan and it’s not right or wrong. These are the elements that you and your fiancé have dreamed about together for your wedding day. The plan is all about you, so make sure your opinions, desires and hopes are all included in the plan.
Remember to always embrace bliss and have a great time.