So, you’re engaged. It’s supposed to be one of the happiest times of your life, but the impending wedding planning might be reason enough to have you running for the hills. After all, everyone has heard ‘bridezilla’ stories—your once sweet love-of-your-life turning into a wedding planning monster, forcing you to decide between centrepieces that quite frankly look the same.
You might even be confused over what your actual role in the wedding planning process is—does your opinion on the flowers even count? Do you have a say in whether you have a DJ or band? What about the venue? Thankfully, while your other half is transfixed on colour schemes and bouquets, there are some things that you can take responsibility over that we’ve handily outlined here.
Picking a wedding planner
Once you’ve gotten over the excitement of being engaged and announced it to the world, you should take the time to pick a wedding planner together. You may not think this is worth the price, but the truth is, hiring an expert saves you both time and money. Wedding planners spend their lives networking with vendors—from caterers to DJs to designers—and they can give you a long list of services from those they both know and trust. They can filter through and help you decide who will be the best fit for your wedding, and can even help you get a good deal on the price.
Find a wedding planner that works well with you as a couple, and understands what you want out of your wedding day. A professional wedding planner can take care of all the nitty gritty parts of planning, like securing the DJ you want, making sure your cake is delivered on time, and that your venue is fully decorated before you walk in. For example, luxury wedding planners Snapdragon pride themselves on the “military efficiency” of how they work, made possible by the ex-military members of the team. This minimises any risks of delays on the day, ensuring each wedding runs smoothly. Simarlily, expert Asian wedding planners Maia by The AC are highly renowned for planning Hindu, Sikh, and Muslim weddings, which often take place over a few days. Having a specialist wedding planner for these weddings means that no event is accidentally forgotten, and ensures that whole wedding week runs smoothly and on time.
Collect the right addresses for invitations
As more and more people rely on social media to connect with each other, it could be unlikely that you have everyone’s correct address. After all, you don’t want to a) send your invitation to the wrong address, or b) have to resort to creating a Facebook event for your wedding day. For family members, you may be able to rely on your parents to give you the address, but for friends or extended family, you may try using a platform such as Postable. Simply create an account and send a link to your guests, asking them to fill out an easy form to collect their addresses. Then, all you need to do is go through and stamp and address your invitations, ready to be sent out.
Secure accommodation for guests
If you have family and friends travelling miles to attend your wedding, or if you’re opting for a destination wedding, you have to make sure there is somewhere for your guests to stay. Scout the local area for hotels or Airbnb’s at various price points, and make sure to share this information with your guests, whether this is by messaging them, or including it in the invitation. Your chosen venue may even be able to connect you to local hotels and get you a good deal when booking several rooms.
Plan and book the honeymoon
Traditionally a groom’s duty, planning the ideal honeymoon is the perfect way to treat your significant other after the stress of wedding planning. You (hopefully) know your partner inside out, so pick a destination that you know they’ll love—going for a hike in the mountains probably isn’t ideal if they prefer being pampered in a spa. If you’re worried about making the wrong choice, spend some time together drawing up a list of “dream” honeymoon ideas, and some “nightmare” ideas, to help steer you in the right direction.
While there is no guarantee of flights running on time, good weather, and good food, properly planning your honeymoon can ensure that all bases are covered. If you only have a week set aside for your honeymoon, it’s probably not a good idea to go to the other side of the world, as you’ll spend at least two of your days on travel alone. You also want to account for jet lag once you’ve returned home, which can eat up the time you should be spending settling into married life. Wherever you want to go, research into the high and low seasons to make sure you increase your chances of getting the weather you’re after. The Lonely Planet have a great guide to planning a honeymoon, including checking online for events and trending bars as it gets closer to your break.
Write your wedding day speech and vows
The groom’s speech is one of the key moments of a wedding day. Everyone remembers it, and all eyes will be on you, so you should plan it well in advance. Try to keep on track as much as possible, and cut out as much waffle as you can—you don’t want to bore your guests to the point they stop paying attention. Of course, you need to remember to thank the key people in your wedding, including:
- Both sets of parents
- The wedding party (groomsmen, bridesmaids, ushers etc)
- Any special people (like if guests travelled particularly far to make your big day)
- All your guests for coming to your special day
Personalise your speech to your partner, but avoid only referencing private jokes, which can leave your guests feeling left out if they don’t get them. Instead, share little stories with your guests about the two of you as a couple, and remember to be and sound genuine with everything you say about your significant other. Take inspiration from Harry’s killer speech in When Harry Met Sally, and list out everything you love about your partner, even if it’s something miniscule.
It’s a good idea to not leave writing your speech, or even your vows (if that’s what you choose) until the last minute. The added pressure can only leave you feeling more stressed, and could give you severe writer’s block, leaving you with a speech that doesn’t quite reach the mark. Start writing your first draft about a month before the wedding, and keep refining it whenever you have a spare few minutes. This gives you extra time to add anything you might have forgotten, and leaves you with time to practice delivering your speech.
Planning your wedding could leave you feeling a bit lost, but focusing on these very important aspects, which you may have otherwise missed, can massively relieve some of that stress. Getting these things in order gives you the chance to actually enjoy your wedding day, building memories for the rest of your life.