No matter what kind of wedding you are planning for yourself or a loved one, no doubt you would want it to be extraordinary and memorable.
A bit of strategic wedding planning can be the difference between a chaotic day and a meaningful celebration that your guests will enjoy and remember.
So, if you are looking for advice on planning a memorable wedding, read on to learn some tips and strategies to make sure you check all the important boxes.
1. Making it Last: Tips to Plan a Memorable Wedding
Go Big or Keep It Low-Key
One of the first things to decide when you’re planning a wedding is how you want the day to look. It’s not about spending as much as possible or getting all hands on deck – instead, consider what your priorities are and how much help you have to make them happen. Do you want an intimate gathering of close family and friends or a massive, glamorous affair? Make sure the day reflects you and your partner, not just what’s in trend.
Have Plenty of Time for Family and Guests
Your wedding day is more than just the ceremony and reception – it’s also a time when families come together to celebrate and reminisce. For a memorable wedding, be sure to plan plenty of much-needed downtime for your nearest and dearest. This could be a BBQ on the night before the wedding or a brunch the morning after. Let your guests know your plans ahead of time so that they can be part of the festivities.
Pick the Perfect Venue
Choosing the right venue for your wedding sets the tone for the entire day. When you’re planning a memorable wedding, pick a space that will allow you to capture the atmosphere you’re after. Is it a lush countryside garden? A rustic barn? An industrial loft space or an elegant hotel? Do you want your venue to come with a team of professionals to help everything run smoothly or do you prefer to have more control over the finer details?
Go for a Theme
Whether you want to subtly suggest it or shout it from the rooftops, themes can add a touch of magic to your day. Pick a color palette and design elements to bring out your theme and give your guests something to remember. You might decide on a ‘vintage chic’ or ‘forest fawn’ style to fill the spaces or turn your reception area into an enchanted forest. You can also choose games that reflect your theme like a bouquet toss or outdoor bowling for your guests.
Include Meaningful Moments
Your wedding day should feel personal for you and your guests – think about including activities and elements that tie into your story. Think about readings at the ceremony that share your love story, a video tribute to your favorite memories, or writing a special note to each guest. When your wedding day is filled with meaningful moments, it will be that much more memorable.
2. Establish a Vision for Your Special Day
The key to having a beautiful and memorable wedding day lies in establishing the right vision. Creating your own unique dream wedding requires effort and thought, and it’s important to carefully plan the details to ensure that your guests will love it.
Set the Tone: Your wedding theme should be the foundation for all your wedding planning decisions. Your theme should reflect your personality and dreams, conveying the kind of day you desire. The theme might be as specific as the French countryside, to something more general like vintage romance. Once you have your theme established, you’ll be able to make more of the big decisions regarding colors, textures, and displays.
Prioritize: When planning for your wedding, it’s important to prioritize what’s most important and allocate your resources accordingly. Start by creating a list of the elements you want to include, then assign them each a budget. This will ensure that the most important elements get the attention they deserve.
Create a Mood: Once you know the theme of your wedding, it’s time to start creating a mood. Start by selecting the right décor, music, and food. You want all of your guests to be able to feel the atmosphere and create a day that they will remember.
Create Keepsakes: Finally, you’ll want to ensure that all of your guests have a memento to remember your special day. Whether it is in the form of a personalized thank you card, a picture of your ceremony, or a custom-made gift, you can be sure that your wedding will leave a lasting impression.
- Choose a wedding theme that reflects your personality.
- Prioritize what elements should get the most attention.
- Create a memorable mood with the right décor, music, and food.
- Provide keepsakes so your guests can always remember your wedding day.
3. Gather the Right Support and Suppliers
- Vendors: Start your vendor search early to ensure they are available and can provide the services you require. Depending on the size and style of your wedding, you may require items such as catering, table decorations, cakes, favors, DJs, photographers, and florists. Consider which of these need to be booked in and shop around for the best prices.
- Venue: Select your venue as early on as possible. Consider location, size, catering options, and other factors that may affect your special day.
- Support network: Planning a wedding can be a lot of work. Depending on the size of your wedding and its complexity, you may require additional support. If possible, ask family and friends to help with the preparation such as setting up seating plans, addressing invitations, and attending tastings for food and drink. Wedding planning services are also available for more detailed requirements.
Your wedding day is a big event and the success of it will depend, to some extent, on the people you have around you. Make sure you have the right support and suppliers, who are experienced and can assist with bringing your dream wedding to life.
The first step in your vendor search is to decide what elements you need to create your perfect day. This could be anything from finding the right decorator or catering service to hiring a DJ or band to provide entertainment. Once you have an idea of what your wedding should consist of, start researching what is available in your area and identify potentials that may match your requirements.
When you have narrowed down your choices, check their availability and pricing. Getting quotes from several companies can help you compare prices and decide on the best option. Be sure to ask for referrals, read reviews, or request credentials when considering vendors to work with.
A venue is another key element to the success of your wedding. From finding the ideal location to assessing the catering and seating capacity, it’s important to find a venue that meets all your requirements. Again, researching venues in your area is paramount; once you have found a venue, make sure they can accommodate your guests and catering requests before making a commitment.
Don’t forget to think about your support network when planning a wedding. Ask family and friends to help you prepare and coordinate tasks. Utilizing their talents can save time and money. Alternatively, you can enlist the help of wedding planning services to take care of the more complex arrangements.
No matter how large or small your wedding is, gathering the right support and suppliers can help make it a memorable event. Utilize both your own help and the services of professionals to ensure everything comes together for you and your guests.
4. Managing the Costs of the Big Day
Your wedding is sure to be a memorable day, but wedding planning can also be expensive. Though you don’t have to scrimp on details, it’s important to manage expectations and costs so that things don’t get out of hand. Here’s a look at a few tips and strategies for managing the costs of your special day.
1. Establish a Budget: Assess how much money you have and where your priorities lie, so you can create a budget that suits your financial needs. Keep in mind that typically 40-50% of total wedding costs will come from the overall venue, while the remaining amount will go towards things like decorations, food, and clothing.
2. Forego the Extras: While extras may seem like a nice touch, many can be skipped without making a difference. Things like specialty lighting, a spectacular ice sculpture, and a photo booth can quickly add up.
3. Shop Around: Don’t be afraid to look for deals and cost-effective alternatives. Shop around for the best price on everything from dresses and suits to wedding cakes and flowers.
4. Don’t Forget to Haggle: A supplier’s main focus is to make a profit. So don’t be shy to haggle your way to a lower price – they may be more willing to budge than you think!
5. Ask Friends for Help: Many of your friends and family can often lend a helping hand — whether it’s helping assemble decor or contributing to the purchase of a special dress. Utilize the skills of the people who surround you, and save money along the way.
With some careful budgeting and careful cost-controlling, your wedding day can still be special without draining your bank account. When possible, utilize the resources available and take advantage of discounts and cheaper alternatives.
5. Taking Care of the Details
The devil is always in the details and when it comes to planning a wedding, this is certainly true. It’s often the details that will make or break your event. Here are some things to look out for and do to ensure nothing slips through the cracks:
- Explore all legal and administrative options: In order to get married, you need to get your paperwork in order — make sure you thoroughly explore all legal options and follow through with any that you need.
- Double-check your guest list: Before sending out your invitations, make sure to double-check the accuracy of your guest list. Check to make sure you haven’t made any typos on people’s names and make sure every invited guest is still going to be able to attend.
- Check your contracts: Once you’ve signed contracts with the venue and service providers, sit down and review all the details to make sure there aren’t any surprises.
These days, many couples send a checklist to friends and family to help manage wedding day surprises. You can make this list as comprehensive as you’d like, including items for the wedding party to bring, such as jewelry, shoes, or garters, or specific tasks like helping to light candles or tie balloons. Ticking off these tasks can alleviate a lot of stress and help everyone stay organized the day of.
Finally, be sure to schedule prep time for your wedding. What’s a little more prep time if it means a successful event you’ll remember for the rest of your lives? Even if it means sacrificing a few days of your honeymoon to attend to some remaining details, it can still be worth it for a successful and memorable wedding.
6. Last-Minute Tips to Ensure a Perfect Wedding
With the big day on the horizon, you’ll want to make sure you cross off every detail of your wedding checklist. You’ve worked hard on your event and the last few days are going to be hectic, keep an eye on the following:
- Timing: Check with your vendors and ensure everything is on schedule.
- Final headcount: Confirm the exact number of guests to provide to your venue, caterer, etc.
- Food selection: Make sure your caterer has all the right food selections.
Confirm payments are up-to-date with all vendors. If you’re having people walking you down the aisle, at the alter, or doing other important jobs, make sure you touch base with them. No one likes to be surprised by new information on the day of their wedding.
Lastly, look into packaging your wedding decorations. If you made decorations or bought a lot of items, you’ll want to store the decorations to re-purpose them later. Make an inventory list of everything you’ll need to take home.
If you use the above strategies in planning your wedding, it’s sure to be memorable for you, your partner, and your guests. With your wedding plans in place, you can now focus on the most important part of your wedding, the joy of finally being married!