Hey guys, some of you may not know but I recently got married. It was an emotional day for me, and I could not stop crying. I wasn’t the type of bride who knew what she wanted for her big day before she was engaged or even imagining how or what it would be like. I didn’t talk about it with my siblings or friends/girlfriends. I always knew I would get married but when, where and to whom, I never imagined.
I was on Pinterest a lot, I looked for wedding invitation ideas, wedding dress ideas, wedding decoration ideas, pre-wedding picture ideas, wedding cake ideas, etc. All that “pinteresting” can be very overwhelming and nerve-racking. To be honest, every single wedding idea I saw was beautiful but unfortunately, I knew deep down inside that I couldn’t afford some of it or use all the ideas. So, for my own peace of mind (because stressing sucks!) I quickly got the ideas I liked from Pinterest and started planning my wedding.
I focused a lot on my husband and I, how to make our wedding about us, and show our personality. This is extremely important because it’s easy to get overwhelmed and lose focus when planning for your big day. You might end up planning the wedding for others (family, friends or extended social circle), don’t get me wrong opinions are good but at the end of the day make sure to do what will be memorable for you and your fiancé.
Based on my experience planning my wedding I wanted to share with you guys some tips to making a memorable and successful wedding. Here we go,
It’s never too early to start planning your big day once you are engaged. In my case, I got engaged 10/9/17 and I started planning my wedding December that year. The first thing I did was research. Like I had mentioned, I had no image of what I wanted my wedding to look like before I got engaged, so I got a lot of ideas from Pinterest and worked with what I had. If you have a Pinterest board with wedding ideas or an image of your wedding, skip the research part and head over to wedding planning websites like the knot, or wedding wire, these websites are a one-stop shop for everything you will need to plan your wedding successfully.
CREATE A BUDGET
When creating a budget for your wedding, you need to consider the following:
– Weddings are expensive. Anything associated with a wedding means $$$.
– Figure out the kind of wedding you want and the price range for that type of wedding. For example, you want to have a bohemian or romantic themed wedding. You need to find out how much it will cost, by comparing prices from different vendors.
– Fix your budget based on what you are willing to spend. While planning our wedding my husband and I had to figure out what was important to us. We choose photography, videography, the venue, the DJ, and our outfits. When making our budget we made sure these aspects of the wedding will be covered in our budget.
– You don’t need to have everything on a wedding checklist. This will help you cut down on cost. For our wedding, we didn’t print save the date cards. We knew everyone that would be coming to our wedding so we used digital save the dates. We used Canva to make a save the date card and sent it via text to our friends, Hobnob is another good app to use for invitations.
FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE OR WEDDING FUNDING
Weddings can be expensive and in my opinion, there is no such thing as a cheap wedding. After you and your fiancé have created the budget for the wedding, you have to consider how to fund it. How much cash are you both willing to put in together? How much will be spent on your credit cards and how will the credit card be paid off? And if you have any relatives or friends that can help donate or contribute to the funding (don’t be afraid to ask, if you don’t ask you don’t receive, do not burden but ask politely). Also, there are installment payment options with vendors, so you don’t end up paying full prices at once.
up and take charge on your behalf. You know your friends, their strengths and weakness so choose wisely according to what you need for your big day.
DECIDE ON YOUR GUEST COUNT
If you are African, you will know how hard it is to stick to a guest list. People, you don’t know always end up showing up to your wedding and you are praying you don’t go over your guest count cause that means more money ($$$). What we did for our wedding was to invite the people we really wanted to share that moment with. We have lots of friends but we couldn’t invite all of them because it will cost more than what we budgeted for. We had to get on our parents too because they can invite all the uncle and aunties you don’t remember and give excuses such as “they knew you when you were younger”. So, stay within your budget, prioritize intimacy over numbers, quality over quantity. However, there is nothing wrong with a large guest count, if that’s what you want, and you can afford it.
This part is very crucial because any vendor you decide to sign a contract with will determine how much stress you will encounter on the day of your wedding. From my experience, I had two vendors that almost drove me nuts but thank God for his patience that’s at work in me. Choose a vendor that’s willing to work with your budget to make your wedding beautiful, choose a vendor who is willing to go above and beyond for their customer. Choose a vendor that you connect with and trust. Again! Don’t be scared to ask for a quote from vendors, this will help you choose the vendor you would like to work with. Asking for a quote doesn’t mean you are agreeing to work with any vendor.
CHOOSE YOUR VENUE BEFORE CHOOSING YOUR WEDDING DATE
We had set our wedding date for November but when we started looking for venues, the venue we really liked didn’t have our wedding date available. We had to change our wedding date in order to book the venue we liked.
CHOOSE YOUR WEDDING PARTY WISELY
I would like to emphasis WISELY! Make sure you choose people that will not be too self-centered. Choose friends who are willing to step up and take charge on your behalf. You know your friends, their strengths and weakness so choose wisely according to what you need for your big day.
DO NOT WAIT TOO LONG TO BOOK A VENDOR YOU LIKE
There is no such thing as a sale when it comes to weddings. The prices are always going up. I remember when my husband and I booked our videographer; we wanted to refresh our memory on what our package deal included. We couldn’t find the package deal we got and the prices on their website were completely different. I have seen this with other vendors I was considering; their prices change within a month its crazy.
CHOOSING THE VENUE
Before choosing a venue, you will need to consider a few factors:
- Will there be a lot of guest from out of town?
- Are there hotels within 5-15 miles distance to accommodate your out of town guests?
- How far is the venue from the ceremony location?
- What is included in the venue package? That is, what is offered complimentary by the venue?
- Does the venue allow outside catering or BYOB?
These are a few things to consider before booking a venue. I will be doing a more detailed blog post soon about wedding venues.
ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE
Finally, soak it all in, enjoy the experience, enjoy the journey, don’t worry too much about the ups and downs, also try and record the journey via pictures and videos. That part is just as important as the day of. Trust me time will fly, and the day will come, and it will go. Have fun and good luck.
Leave a comment below about your take from this post or any challenges you are facing planning your wedding, if you are engaged. You can also leave a comment if you have any questions or if you have any tips that you think will be helpful to others.