By Kate Halim
The question was asked, the answer was yes. And now a ring is bouncing light around the room from one of your fingers. You are engaged—congratulations! But what happens next?
Now that you are getting married soon, you are actually staring down the long road of planning a wedding and a lifetime of marriage, and you might not know how to start. Surprisingly, many couples feel just like you right after they get engaged.
Organisation is key to keeping everything on track when you are faced with planning your wedding. The first step is making sure to give yourselves plenty of time for wedding planning.
A longer timeline is your friend here. So, 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.
To help you ease into wedding planning, and to make sure you enjoy the process of getting married from start to finish, there are some important things you should know when planning a wedding.
Saturday Sun spoke to an event planner, Ms. Priscilla Dikko, CEO/Principal Planner, Pee.Xquisite Events based in Lagos. And she shared some things intending married couples should do when planning for their dream wedding.
According to her, when it comes to how to plan a wedding, it’s a good idea to follow a checklist and tackle the listed steps in order. There’s a method to planning the perfect wedding, and sticking to a wedding-planning checklist will ensure a smooth and relatively stress-free process.
Announce your engagement
This one is optional, but some couples like to more formally announce their engagement to the great, big world apart from the excited phone calls and texts sent right after the proposal. You might choose to make your own announcement with a well-crafted post on social media.
Pick a date
Picking a date is the first step in the whole process. This will help in securing a venue for your wedding. This is because with a date, you can know if the venue is or would be available and also for hiring and securing vendors and it shapes the overall timeline for all the deliverables.
Choose your type of wedding
Do you want to have a small, medium, elaborate or an intimate event? Will there be an after party? You should decide!
Have a budget
Having a budget is one of the most important parts of the wedding planning process. No matter how big, small or medium you want your event to be, it is the budget that will determine if it is achievable and it goes a long way to help plan effectively.
Decide on number of guests
Making decisions about your wedding guest list can be a complicated process. The number of guests that you are looking to attend your event to a large extent would inform other things. It will inform, for example, venue capacity, provision of food/drinks and so on.
Decide type and location of venue
Different events come with their various costing. So, ask yourself, is it an indoor or outdoor event? With an outdoor event, you might have to spend fairly more on designs and decorations that you would need to use. However, for the indoor event, you can be sure to spend less in organising stuff compared to the former. So you must get this settled.
Choose theme of event
Couples usually have a penchant for one particular theme or the other. It is for that reason that they need to agree on a particular theme. To a large extent, knowing this will help the couple prepare enough time for the tools and accessories that would be needed to shape the overall outlook of the event.
If the event will have different tribes/culture or nationality, then you will have to consider whether it will be local and intercontinental dishes. This is so that you can create a balance on your menu list.
Hire an event planner
A professional event planner will help you save time, money and stress by recommending good and affordable vendors. They can help with budgeting and keeping your event well coordinated and managed as it should.
Hire good vendors
If you loved a particular aspect of a wedding you attended in the past especially the delicious food, gorgeous flowers, a show-stopping cake, etc, then you would understand how important the right vendors are to your event.
Make a list of wedding day priorities
Sit down with your partner and determine what the three most important aspects of your wedding will be. Is it the venue, hiring a certain wedding photographer or live band? Prioritize those details and be willing to compromise on the rest. This will help you stay within your budget and help you focus your efforts on what really counts.
Purchase your wedding dress and other attire
Give yourself time to find the perfect outfit for your wedding day. When it comes to wedding dresses, it can take months from the time you purchase your attire until it’s properly tailored and ready to go, so don’t wait until the last minute. The same process should be followed when it comes to buying the wedding suit.
Plan the Honeymoon
You may be thinking a lot about how to plan your wedding step by step, but don’t forget about the honeymoon. If you are planning on jetting off on your honeymoon shortly after your wedding, it’s time to choose a location, book your travel and accommodations, and start planning an itinerary.
Send wedding invitations
Wedding invitations are usually sent six to eight weeks before the big day and the RSVP deadline is typically about two or three weeks in advance. Sending your invites on time is one of the most essential steps to planning a wedding.
In conclusion, Dikko said the hallmark of an event is when the success benchmarks are met or even surpassed. So, it’s important to know key measurable areas where the event would be assessed.