Phoenix, AZ 85383

How to Plan Your Own Wedding – 6 Tips from a Wedding Planner

How to Plan Your Own Wedding - 6 Tips from a Wedding Planner

How to Plan Your Own Wedding – 6 Tips from a Wedding Planner

Planning your own wedding can be an exhilarating and fulfilling experience, but it can also come with its fair share of challenges. As a seasoned wedding planner with years of experience in creating magical and unforgettable celebrations, I’m excited to share my top six tips with you.

With the right guidance and a little bit of insider knowledge, you can navigate the planning process smoothly and turn your dream wedding into a reality. In this post, I’ll provide you with valuable insights and advice to help you tackle the planning process with confidence and create a day that reflects your unique love story!

Table of Contents

Set a Budget

Setting a budget for your wedding is a critical step that lays the foundation for the entire planning process. By establishing a realistic budget, you gain a clear understanding of your financial boundaries and can make informed decisions.

Start by evaluating your financial situation and determining how much you can comfortably allocate to your wedding. Consider your savings, any contributions from family members, and potential loans or credit options. Be realistic and practical about what you can afford without straining your finances.

Discuss with your partner and identify the aspects of your wedding that are most important to both of you. Is it the venue, food, photography, or entertainment? Prioritize these key elements as they may require a larger portion of your budget.

Another critical element in your budget will be your guest count. More guests mean higher costs for invitations, catering, and venue size. Be mindful of your guest list and consider any limitations or preferences you may have.

Lastly, remember to factor in any hidden or miscellaneous expenses that may arise. These can include gratuities, taxes, marriage license fees, transportation for guests, and unexpected add-ons. Having a buffer in your budget can help you handle these unforeseen costs.

Create a Timeline

Creating a timeline for your wedding is crucial for ensuring a smooth and well-organized event. It provides structure, keeps you on track, and helps coordinate all the moving parts. A timeline allows you to effectively communicate and coordinate with vendors, ensuring they are aware of important timings and requirements. This helps create a seamless flow throughout the day and minimizes any potential logistical issues.

Let’s go over what basics should be detailed in your wedding timeline.

Pre-Ceremony: Start with the pre-ceremony activities such as hair and makeup, getting ready, and any pre-wedding photoshoots or a first-look, for example. Remember to allocate enough time for dressing, transportation, and any last-minute preparations.

Ceremony: Specify the time and the amount of time for the ceremony, including the arrival of the wedding party and guests. Account for any rituals, readings, or performances, as well as the exchange of vows and rings. Most ceremonies last between 30 minutes to an hour, so use that time frame as a rule of thumb.

Cocktail Hour: If you’re having a cocktail hour, indicate its start time and include details like drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and any additional entertainment or activities. Most cocktail hours last for about an hour while the reception and dinner is being set up, but in my personal experience have seen cocktail hours that last up to an hour and a half.

Reception: Plan the timing for the reception, including the grand entrance, first dance, toasts, dinner service, and any other planned events such as cake cutting, bouquet toss, or special performances. Factor in how much time you would like to allocate for each.

Dance Floor and Music: Set a good amount of time for open dancing and make sure to coordinate with your DJ or band for specific playlists or requests.

Farewell or Send-Off: If you have a specific exit or send-off planned, include it in the timeline to ensure that it happens at your desired time.

It’s important to note that timelines may vary based on the unique details and preferences of each wedding. Regularly communicate the timeline to everyone involved, including the wedding party, vendors, and venue staff, to ensure smooth execution on your special day.

Compile a Guest List

Compiling a guest list for your wedding requires thoughtful consideration to ensure you invite the right people while staying within your desired capacity. Start by having an open and honest conversation with your partner about the guest list. Determine the number of guests you both feel comfortable inviting and establish a mutual understanding of the desired size of the wedding.

Identify your priorities when it comes to inviting guests. Consider close family members, immediate relatives, and lifelong friends who have played significant roles in your lives. Focus on those who have been part of your journey and who you genuinely want to share this special day with.

Your budget and the capacity of your chosen venue are important factors in determining the number of guests you can invite as well. Remember that more guests will typically mean higher costs for catering, seating, and other related expenses.

Finally, decide on your policy for plus-ones. Determine if you will allow single guests to bring a date, and if so, whether there are any limitations, such as only inviting long-term partners or spouses.

Select a Theme or Style

You may have had your wedding theme and colors in the back of your mind for FOREVER, but there’s also additional factors that you should consider when finalizing what the theme of your wedding is going to be. Like making sure the venue matches the theme you’re going for, the season is just right for your blend of colors, etc.

One of the biggest tips we can provide is to strive for consistency and cohesion throughout your wedding elements. From invitations and decor to attire and favors, ensure that all aspects of your wedding align with the chosen theme. This creates a harmonious and visually appealing experience for you and your guests.

Remember, the theme or style you choose will set the tone for your entire wedding day. Take the time to explore different options, gather inspiration, and consult with your partner and wedding planner to ensure the theme aligns with your vision and creates a truly unforgettable experience.

Research and Book Vendors

Not that every part of the planning process isn’t important, but if there’s one that has many moving parts, it’s researching and booking vendors for your big day. Some of the main types of vendors you’ll be looking for are food, cake, flowers, tables, chairs, linens and a DJ just to name a few.

One big tip we can offer if you’re wanting to avoid the headache of searching, reaching out to, and getting prices for all these different vendors in different categories would be to look for venues that offer all of the above. It takes a huge weight off your shoulders since everything you need is right there in one place.

With that being said, have a clear understanding of your budget for each vendor category. This will help you narrow down your options and ensure that you approach vendors who are within your price range. Be transparent about your budget when discussing services to avoid any surprises later on.

And if you do decide to search for vendors on your own, schedule meetings or interviews with potential vendors before making a final decision. This allows you to assess their professionalism, expertise, and communication style. Ask about their experience, availability on your wedding date, pricing, and any specific requests you may have.

Finally, once you’ve selected a vendor, review the contract thoroughly before signing. Pay attention to details such as services to be provided, payment terms, cancellation policies, and any additional fees. Seek clarification on any points you’re unsure about and ensure that everything is documented in writing.

Always Have a Backup Plan

Last, but arguably the most important, always have a backup plan. For everything. Every little part of your wedding.

Emergencies can happen at any time, such as extreme weather conditions, natural disasters, or sudden illness. If your chosen venue or vendor is unable to accommodate your wedding due to such emergencies, having a backup plan ensures that you can still proceed with your wedding without major disruptions.

When it comes to vendors, especially in-demand ones, they may face scheduling conflicts or unforeseen circumstances that prevent them from fulfilling their commitments. Having backup vendors in mind ensures that you have alternative options readily available if your preferred vendor becomes unavailable.

Weddings often involve multiple moving parts, and having backup options allows you to be flexible and adaptable. It enables you to navigate unexpected changes without feeling overwhelmed or rushed, maintaining a sense of control over the situation.

Plan Your Wedding with the Guidance of a Planner, Without the Expensive Price

So you want to plan your own wedding! This is a fun, eventful process that many newly-engaged couples are turning to with rising wedding planner prices. That’s why here at Events by Jordyn we’ve curated a plan that is vastly cheaper than a wedding planner while still being able to access the many perks that come with a wedding planner.

One of our wedding planners is available around the clock to answer any questions and help you with any of your wedding planning needs in this plan that we are referncing. This, along with our wedding planning software that keeps you on top of your budget, guest list, seating arrangement, vendor list, and so much more.

We’re based in Arizona, but this plan is geared to anyone in the United States. It’s what we like to call our Virtual Wedding Planning Service, since we’re able to help you virtually from wherever you are! If interested you can learn more about this plan here.