A quick guide to ensure your wedding turns out exactly the way you dreamed it would be.
1. Stop and Think
Whether you were the little girl who always wanted a fairytale wedding, or the tomboy, who still can’t believe she’s getting married, if you want a wedding that’s you, you better start looking inward to figure out who you truly are, what you love and how you’re going to translate that to the venue, the stationery, the décor, your trousseau and so on. Pinterest is a great way to keep all your inspirations in one place if you’re an online junkie; if not, your trusty old journal and clippings will work just fine.
2. Date. Location. Vendors
With auspicious times to consider, family and friends flying in from faraway, and the possibility of a destination wedding, choosing a date may involve more debate and time than anticipated. Get cracking pronto, as the bookings of everything from ceremony and reception venues, to vendors (caterers, photographers, videographers, make-up artists, bridal attire designers...) to wedding officiants hinges on it.
Family and friends are a good source of venue and vendor recommendations. Asking vendors to recommend other vendors works as well. Aside from viewing or tasting their work, speaking with former clients of your vendors, will give you a fair idea of whether they do indeed deliver what they promise.
Be warned: The best options tend to be booked months and even years in advance, so the later you settle on a date the fewer your alternatives.
3. The Budget
Getting budget approximations from recently married friends will give you a fair idea of how much it costs to get married nowadays and what (quality and quantity) a certain budget can purchase. That said, once you’ve put all your pennies on the table, the best you can do is work out a percentage wise prioritisation of which aspects of your wedding matter most and allocate funds accordingly.
4. The Guest List
A guest list tends to grow outrageously when you start keying it into an Excel sheet than when it is just names in your head. Prioritise the list in terms of family, close friends and relatives, distant relatives, acquaintances, etc. so that in the event that you have to cut down on invitees to stay within budgetary or other parameters, it’s just a case of knocking off a few names at the end of the list.
5. Shopping Sense
This gargantuan task can go on till the day before the wedding and will quickly get out of hand if you don’t break it down into manageable bites ASAP. Attire, accessories, décor and giveaways are the primary purchase areas. Drafting a master checklist for everything from sindoor to socks for the groom should keep things on track.
6. The Organizer
Keep things together. The trouble with having too many safe places is that you can never find things when you need them. So create one folder for everything and file, pin or copy/paste it there. Theme clippings, shopping lists, fitting dates, vendor contacts, guest lists, cost comparisons, anticipated and actual budget, to-dos, a reasonable timeline featuring all the tasks in the run-up to the wedding and task lists for everyone who is lending a hand (don’t forget to hand out copies of this to all involved in coordinating) must all be at your finger-tips when you need them.
7. Enjoy the Process
No matter how much you plan there will be things that you just cannot control. So plan ahead, do not procrastinate no matter how small the chore, delegate as much as you can, and then put your best smile on, before that fancy candid photographer you hired catches you mid-frown.
With inputs from Candice Pereira, Co-Founder, Marry Me Weddings, http://www.marrymeweddings.in
Things may not always go as planned, but there`s nothing like a timeline to stay on track
Plan (9-12 Months)
Set date and destination (if applicable)
Book venue, caterer, photographer, make-up artist...
Prepare (4-6 Months)
Finalise card designs, attire, hair and make-up
Trim guest list
Book accommodation for outstation guests
Sort out marriage registration plan
Sort out entertainment (live band, DJ, MC)
Personalise (2-3 Months)
Settle on wedding theme
Figure out wedding gifts
Send out wedding invitations (preferably with a map)
Send event schedule to vendors
Give photographers/videographers must-shoot lists
Panic (not!) (4 weeks)
Visit venue to figure out seating, décor et al
Delegate responsibilities to family and friends
Go over checklist
On the day
Try to be on time
Smile like you mean it
With inputs from Bhavesh Chellani, Co-founder Monks Mediaworks, http://www.monksmediaworks.com