The Ultimate Wedding Plan for the newly engaged
This is our Ultimate Wedding Plan for the newly engaged couple that just doesn’t know where to begin. This won’t cover every little thing, but it will give you the major building blocks to get you and your fiancée on the right path…
The Ultimate Wedding Plan: The important things to know
Layout your priorities
Great pictures may trump an elaborate gown for your fiancée, while you may rate a kickass band over a gourmet dinner. Whatever your preferences, list out all the things that are most important to both of you, including things like ‘a casual or formal reception’. Once you know what’s important to both of you, it will help you stay above the madness.
The guest list
You need to start somewhere, so draw up your ideal list regardless of your budget. From here, you can sub-categorise: close family come first, so give them and their partners or plus-ones priority, then move on to your close friends. Once they’ve been taken care of, you can add in family and friends you see regularly but maybe aren’t that close to. You should also create a ‘B’ list of people like work colleagues who it would be nice to invite, but they’re not a priority. Consult the list when your RSVPs are returned and the numbers drop.
Start planning your budget
There’s no point in allocating certain amounts to different elements of your wedding until you know the average market price for that product or service, so do plenty of research, talk to different providers and get price lists. Once you know what everything costs, have an honest look at your own earnings and savings to see what you can afford to spend. Make sure the figure is a comfortable one – ideally it shouldn’t include taking out a big loan or living on beans for a year. Take into account anything your parents are willing to contribute and using your list of priorities, start allocating sections of your budget.
We know you’ve forked out a lot of money, but there’s still a little bit to go. Make sure to account for the gifts you need to give on the day of your wedding early on in the planning process, so you don’t get a nasty shock during the week of the wedding. Traditionally, the bride and groom give each other gifts and you’ll also need to have something for both wedding parties and both sets of parents.
Get on top of the legalities
You need to notify the Registrar about your upcoming nuptials a minimum of three months in advance of your ceremony. You’ll also have to bring a number of documents with you, such as passports and official birth certificates.
Once you’ve decided where you want the wedding to be, your first priority should be booking the venue. By now you should have an idea of the theme of your wedding and however many guests you plan on inviting, but don’t forget to take note of smaller things, like the entertainment you plan on having or the kind of food you imagined. It’s always best to make sure the venue can accommodate any of your unique touches or special requests. Don’t rush into anything, even if the sales person is putting pressure on you.
Vendors, photographer and entertainment
Any person or service you need to secure once you have your venue booked, should be dealt with next. Popular wedding bands and florists can book up in advance, so do some research, conduct interviews and pin them down as soon as possible. Be sure to get everything in writing and be upfront about your expectations and their costs from the start.
The Best Man
While guys tend to be more laidback about being chosen – or overlooked – as best man, there are still a number of issues to consider and problems that could possibly arise. Maybe you were best man at another friend’s wedding and he’s expecting to be yours; maybe your brother thinks he’s going to be best man, but you actually want to choose your best mate.
Whatever the issue, it’s important to remember that it is your day and you should pick the person you want – especially if they’re someone who will take wedding items off your fancy china plate.
What to wear
The bride’s dress tends to get all the attention, but deciding what to wear as the groom isn’t necessarily a simple task. And it shouldn’t be! It’s your big day too, so take some time to create a look that makes you feel cool and sophisticated. Take the event into account (formal or casual) to choose between the numerous formalwear options, as well as the time of day and whether you want to rent or buy.
Heed our words: if you do not write it down in advance, you will forget to thank people and those people will be annoyed. Not being prepared will also result in nervous ad lib and who knows what you’ll say or who you’ll end up offending! This warning also goes for your best man, so be sure to drive that point home.