Tips for the Celebrants

Planning a wedding can feel pretty overwhelming at times. While couples often hire a professional to help manage their wedding plans, there are plenty of reasons why they might also opt to take on the majority of the responsibilities on their own, too. Maybe you’re working with a tight wedding planning budget or maybe you simply love all of the DIY possibilities—in any case, it's a lot of extra details, but it is possible to plan the wedding of your dreams on your own.

Organization is key to keeping everything on track when you’re faced with decisions, lists, deadlines, and everyday life to deal with. The first step is making sure to give yourselves plenty of time for wedding planning. A longer timeline is your friend here—aim for around a year, if possible. And don’t forget to involve your significant other in this step, as well. Your wedding should represent both of you, together as a couple.

You can use checklists, spreadsheets, Word, Excel, Google Docs—anything, really—as long as you can gather all your thoughts, budgets, numbers, etc., in one place. There are also some great online tools and apps out there that can keep you organized.

Don't feel like you're in this wedding planning process alone. Consult with your partner along the way; their opinion is bound to be invaluable and—even if they're only involved in some aspects—it makes wedding planning that much more fun when you can make decisions together. Working towards a common goal not only further bonds you and your partner but also helps you grow as a couple with every issue you tackle as a team.

Choose a few ideal dates for your wedding and try to be flexible, if possible, so you’re not constrained when attempting to book the wedding venue and vendors. Take into consideration external factors like how popular those dates might be for other to-be-weds (making availability scarce and prices higher), if the dates would be difficult for your guests to attend, and the price differences of venues and vendors between seasons.

Whether it’s specific wedding colors, seasonal or style inspiration, or an actual theme, sometimes it's helpful to choose a concept to design your wedding around. Once you have an aesthetic in mind, it's easier to make design decisions, and generally, everything looks more cohesive.

Making decisions about the guest list can be a complicated process and one that will depend largely on your venue and budget. Sit down with your partner and key family members to put together a wish list of wedding guests. Chances are, you’ll need to make some cuts. You will also need to decide whether you’re inviting children and who will be allotted a plus one.