10 Most Important Steps of Wedding Planning

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Phew! The very thought of planning your wedding can be daunting and exhausting before you even get started. With this ready reckoner of 10 most important steps of wedding planning, you will find filling in the details easier. So take a deep breath and get started…

  1. Announce & set the date
    The first step is to announce your decision—to your immediate families and then to your friends and relatives. Treat your families special by telling them in person, if possible. Then set and announce the date. This will get the wheels moving – for you and your guests.
  2. Decide the venue & the kind of ceremony
    Finding the venue of your choice available on the date of your choice is best not left to chance. Discuss with your to-be what you both desire – destination, beach, mountain-top, waterfront, traditional ballroom, casual, sit-down formal, morning, evening… and do the bookings immediately. This is also a good time to figure out accommodation for your out-of-town guests. Finalizing these two important items covers a lot of distance in your planning trip.
  3. Freeze your budget
    This is a difficult decision to make, but it has to be done – very early on. Your budget will decide a lot of things – the kind of wedding, size of wedding, and all the associated frills – number of guests, accommodation, cuisine, wine, décor, gifts, etc. You might also want to check with your families if they want to help with the wedding expenses.
  4. Finalize theme, décor & other venue details
    Visit the venue, take pictures, research blogs, wedding sites and magazines, and start planning the décor. Do you want to hire a professional decorator? The theme may not be very elaborate, but it is good to have a starting point. Flowers, candles, eco-friendly décor, buntings, color theme… be aware of the season you are getting married in, and cost and availability of the décor then. You can then start looking at vendors.
  5. Send out the wedding invites
    Finalize your guest list, choose the wedding invite design and start sending them out…it can never be too soon. Once the RSVPs start coming in, you can even move on to table placements and accommodation arrangements. It will also enable your guests to grab good travel deals.
  6. Appoint the vendors
    Research vendors, if your venue does not have any pre-appointed ones. The photographer, caterers, florists, transportation, entertainment, music – make a list of all that you want and start your hunt. Show them venue photographs, visit the venue in person if you can, so that the vendors can start their own planning. Take time to build a rapport with your photographer – discuss the various shoots and kind of shots you’d like. Food requires a whole deal of thought – what will work for the season, your favorites, how will the food be served, and all other rental equipment like tables, chairs, dinnerware, linen, marquees, etc. A word of caution: Double check the bookings with your vendors. And then again cross-check the bookings as you approach the wedding date – no goof-ups here, please!
  7. Book an officiant
    If you are having a faith-based wedding, choose and appoint the relevant person who will perform the wedding – a priest, minister, rabbi, etc. If you are going secular, find a judge, magistrate, or registrar who has the legal authority to marry people. Discuss fees, or any other token in lieu of fees. Inquire about the process to acquire a marriage license, and the marriage certificate thereafter.
  8. Keep your wedding outfit & jewelry ready
    Spend a considerable time on yourself – well in advance. Explore wedding boutiques (brick and mortar and online too) for attire options. Get help from an image consultant, or a designer, or at least a friend with an eye for fashion. Keep the entire ensemble ready, right down to makeup, accessories, flowers, bouquets, baskets, and of course, the rings if you are exchanging them. If you are going to change dresses, make sure they are all lined up as complete sets.
  9. Plan your honeymoon
    Would you like to book a honeymoon suite before you step out of the wedding destination? While you want to be lavish about your honeymoon, it makes practical sense to book it in advance to get good deals. If you are looking to surprise your spouse with a special gesture or gift, make sure you let the hotel staff know.
  10. Finally, enjoy the planning phase
    Wedding planning will be stressful of course! You might often want to just elope to save yourself all the frenzied planning, detailing, scheduling, and organizing. But. It is your wedding, and it is a special time for both of you, so savor these days. Take time to de-stress. Spend a quiet evening with no wedding talk. Do the spa routine regularly. Have a night out with friends and silly talk. Whatever it takes, do it, to relax and soak in the pre-wedding madness … that’s special too!

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And that concludes our list of 10 most important steps of wedding planning.

All images: TeamPhotographers

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