Congratulations!! Your beau popped the question, (or the families liked what they saw) and you are set to be a blushing bride in a few months. Once the flutters, screaming and excited phone calls to girlfriends, friends, family and sundry are over, it starts to sink in. The mountain of a task ahead that is your dream wedding. Gone are the days when the bride’s participation was limited to the choosing of her bridal trousseau and jewelry. Today’s bride is involved from the inception to the moment the last bit of rice is thrown as she bids a tearful farewell to her family at the bidaai.
So, now the million dollar question, where do you start? If you’re like most brides, you have no idea! You have drooled over other people’s Pinterest Boards and browsed through wedding magazines at the beauty salon. But that does not equal preparedness to start the planning for something as big as a wedding. And your own wedding to boot!
We, at Bridal Safari, have put together a guide to make the planning process as painless as…..well, let’s be honest, it’s going to hurt a little. Like getting a shot rather than getting shot hopefully. We kid, we kid! If you use the 10 Steps below, it’s sure to make your planning process a heck of a lot easier!
So, without further ado, presenting:
The 10 Step Guide to Starting Your Wedding Planning
1. The Budget: First things first. Setting the budget has to be the singular most defining factor that guides every other aspect of the wedding. If your family is financing the wedding, speak to them. If you’re shouldering the cost along with your groom-to-be, then discuss this over some wine; which is more likely to get him to agree to the personalized cards and the imported flowers. Haha! Also, make sure you divide the budget into the main categories so that you don’t overspend at the caterers and have to settle for humdrum invites. Eek.
2. Inspiration: Finding inspiration is easy for some, harder for others. You might not have a Pinterest account but that doesn’t stop you from browsing. It is very easy to get carried away while cutting out the things you like from magazines and pinning every wedding idea you see – but at this stage, it’s about exploration, so don’t hold back.
3. Get Help: By this, we mean rope in your bestie to help you narrow things down. If she’s got organizational skills then this is truly a win-win. Now she might not agree with everything you have in mind but she will also be the much needed reality check if you go overboard. Now is the time to discard the majority of magazine cutouts and pins and select the few that have true potential.
4. Get Organized: Keeping a scrapbook or notebook will help you immensely at this stage. You know all the inspiration from the step above? This is where it comes into play. You can start collecting information for items like the trousseau, jewelry, flowers, wedding colours, invite designs, makeup artists, photographers & videographers (*hint hint* Bridal Safari), cake makers etc. and set up meetings before you pick your favourites!
5. Guest List: Why we’ve left the Guest List for Step 5 is that it takes time to figure out all the people you want to have (and have to have) at the wedding. A lot of names will pop up out of the woodwork unexpectedly. Compile the list along with the family; this will ensure that you don’t miss anyone out or count the same person more than once. You can also cull excess numbers together. What fun!
6. Venue: Armed with the guest list, you can now realistically shortlist the best venues that have the capacity and the ‘feel’ that you are looking for, clubbed together. Always scout out the place along with family and/or friends before coming to a decision, they might spot things you miss. Really try to get a feel of the place and bring the wedding day to life in your head and if it lives up to your vision, book that baby before someone else does.
7. Start Shopping: Pretty much the most awaited step there is! Carry the scrapbook you made in Step 4 (and a bottle of water) along with you to the designer, the card people, to the jewelry store, basically anywhere related to the wedding preparation. This will ensure that you do not stray too far from your original vision, and also you won’t have to spend hours describing colours and styles to shop assistants, you can just whip out your (very impressive) book and show them exactly what you have in mind.
8. Cross Check: Chances are you’ll be delegating work to a number of trustworthy people. Have a list of tasks and who is taking care of each written down. Once a week, give each person a call, or better yet, meet up for brunch or tea and discuss to check that things are moving on track.
9. Finalize Bookings: Make sure that all your bookings are intact as the big day approaches. It might not seem pleasant but it won’t be the first time a salon has double booked a bridal. Taking a few minutes to call each vendor to confirm their commitment and also thanking them for their service will save you worry later. Plus, they’ll appreciate your involved approach and the fact that you took time out from your bride worries to thank them.
10. Stay Calm: You’ve probably got things under control by this stage but last-minute panic escapes no-one who is about to get married. Keep a friend (or a gaggle) by you at all times and watch the magic that is your dream wedding unfold. Pssst, you might consider stowing a bottle of bubbly in the bridal suite to calm the jitters. And SMILE, you’re getting married!