Simple wedding planning guide to ease your wedding journey
When it comes to wedding planning there are various options and ways how to go about it. However, there are simple ways to organise your wedding planning tasks that will reduce your stress levels and ensure you actually enjoy this exciting time!
Our step by step wedding planning guide consists of ten main wedding tasks that every couple should have on their to-do-list.
Step 1: Set Your Wedding Budget
Organising a wedding is surely something to set a budget for. It is one of the first things to think about when you start your wedding planning. How much you can afford to spend?
Sit down together with your partner and have an open discussion about your finances, how much you can both afford and how much you will be able to save over the coming months. You might also be doing your new home in the meantime, so budgeting is surely a key thing to do. Some couples also consider having a loan for them to be able to hold their wedding.
If you think that your parents may help pay for the wedding then it’s also helpful to talk to them early in your planning stages so you know exactly what they might be able to contribute. This depends a lot on the type of relationship you have with your parents. One can also consider the approximate intake of cash gifts you are predicting to receive, yet always budget for the worst case when predicting the cash gifts.
Setting the right budget is the first step and this budget should be treated as a living thing, being kept constantly updated.
Step 2: Choose Your Wedding Theme
Picking out wedding themes can be one of the hardest planning decisions that every bride’s faced with. Do you want to go the romantic route, or keep things fresh and modern? Once you pinpoint the theme of your dreams, you can officially move forward with the rest of your wedding plans. But, if you’re still on the fence about which direction you want to go, we rounded up the best wedding themes for any style and venue, no matter how unique. The theme will help you in the next steps, making your lives easier given that you would have narrowed down your options, thus making your decision making more effective.
When choosing your wedding theme you also need to keep in mind the ideal time of the year during which you wish to get married. If you wish a beach wedding, you can’t get married in December 🙂 So one might discuss and agree the month that the couple would want for their wedding day.
Step 3: Find Your Perfect Church and Venue (plus caterers)
Once you’ve set a budget and decided on a theme, you can start to think about choosing a wedding venue. Ideally, you agree on which weekdays you would consider for your wedding day, along with the preferred month(s). This will help you when calling the venue owners to give you the availability. Before you start the hunt for your venue, sit down together and talk about what you both want from your wedding and what type of venue will fit with the theme you’ve chosen.
You might ask, “where is the step to pick the wedding date?”. The thing is that it’s going to prove to be very hard in order to match both your preferred wedding venue along with the preferred church / chapel. Most couples in Malta get married between April and July. These months would be the hardest for the couple to match their preferred church, venue and caterers. In most cases, your wedding venue availability will determine your wedding date.
Should you wish your own caterer, you might start with checking their availability and also check which venues from your short-list they operate at.
Once you found the date, the venue and the caterer (if not offered by the venue itself), then it is time to find the preferred chapel or church.
There are some considerations you would need to make in order for you to have a shortlist of churches and chapels applicable for you.
- The date and time of your wedding day
- The approximate number of people attending your wedding mass
- The locality of your venue
Ideally, you find a church which is not as far from the wedding venue. It is important that you attract as many of your invitees to attend your mass, as having most of your family and friends will make an even more beautiful mass. Knowing the approximate number, will help you determine if you need to look for a church or chapel. The date and time must be taken into consideration as these can’t collide with the weekly mass times. One thing worth considering is the width of the aisle. Many couples do not take notice of this, but on the day, the bride and her father would struggle to fit next to each other when going up the aisle to meet the groom. The light of the church should also be considered and one should ask for the opinion of both the videographer and the photographer before deciding on the final church. Parking! Well, nowadays it’s a hard reality that parking is a problem everywhere, yet think how you can ease it for people to be motivated and come to your wedding mass. Can you provide parking in a hotel car park, or find a church having ample parking? Here is a list of churches one can use to start building a short list of churches that fits your criteria.
Step 4: Buy Wedding Insurance
While it’s not very romantic to think about what might go wrong with your wedding, it’s always best to be prepared. Purchasing wedding insurance from the moment you start spending money on your wedding could really help with peace of mind for both your wedding and honeymoon spendings.
It is always better to be safe rather than sorry. In comparison to the many thousands you are about to spend, this is surely worth buying, easing a bit the stress. Most leading insurance companies in Malta are now offering this, and one can have a peak at the proposal form of Middle Sea to have an idea what such insurance covers.
Step 5: Choose Your Bridal Party
You may already know who your maid of honour, bridesmaids, witnesses, ushers, best man, flower girls and page boys will be, or you might need a little bit of time to think about it.
If you’re not sure then don’t feel rushed into your decision. Think carefully about who will be the best people to support you and your partner on this special day and during the preparations to your day.
You may also want to consider the cost as your bridal party will need outfits, bouquets, buttonholes and thank you gifts, so the more people you have, the more this could impacts your budget.
One of the most fun parts of wedding planning is often asking your chosen girls if they’ll do you the honour of being your bridesmaids! Take a look at these “will you be my bridesmaid?” gifts which will do all the asking for you.
Step 6: Choose Your Wedding Suppliers
This is probably the biggest step of our wedding planning guide, since it covers everything you would need on your day.
Start by making a list of all the suppliers you’re going to need to hire. Your wedding venue may already have a list of recommended suppliers which is a great place to start, but make sure you widen your search if you want something a little different before you book and pay deposits.
It’ll help to visit a wedding’s fair, as you can find everything from traditional wedding suppliers such as photographers, makeup artist, florists, bands, bar services and many more, under one roof.
Contact the wedding suppliers you think suit your wedding style and then sit down with your partner and spend some time comparing prices and services to find what suits your style and your budget. Don’t be afraid to shop around!
Step 7: Buy Your Dress, Bridesmaid Dresses & Grooms wear
Choosing your wedding dress will be one of the most exciting and emotional parts of your wedding planning.
A lot of designer wedding gowns can take up to six months to make, so give yourself plenty of time to find the dress of your dreams.
Once you have chosen your wedding dress, you can think about bridesmaid dresses that will compliment your wedding gown, and grooms wear that will suit the style of your big day.
Step 8: Book Your Honeymoon
Booking your honeymoon will be one of the most fun parts of your wedding planning – you are basically planning your dream holiday! This will give you a bit of a break from the wedding thoughts, and the feel of knowing that you will soon head to somewhere of your dreams will help in making you feel less stressed.
If you have planned your honeymoon costs and budgeted for them then you can book something straight away, or you may have chosen to use your gifts to subsidise some of your honeymoon. If this is the case, you might want to wait until after the wedding to book.
You can then spend some time after the wedding saving towards a bigger trip later during the year that will be your official honeymoon.
Step 9: Arrange Stag & Hen Nights
Hopefully, your awesome bridesmaids and amazing best man will have this covered, but make sure you know if there’s anything you need to prepare for, pack or pay for, so you can factor this into your planning and your budget.
You also want to ensure that the timings suit both you and your partner – gone are the days where stag and hen parties take place the night before the wedding so make sure the dates and arrangements are appropriate.
Step 10: Send Your Save the Dates and Invitations
Whilst you’ve probably already told everyone you know about your upcoming marriage, now is the time to make it official.
Your wedding invitations should be sent out approximately three weeks in advance of your big day, but it’s never too early to choose a design, style or stationery supplier that you love.
As by Maltese tradition, invitations to close family and friends are handed by post, so some logistic planning need to be planned to make this more efficient and less time consuming. Time is very precious, especially three weeks before your big day.
- Before you start doing anything, pick a timeframe that works for you. Don’t pressure yourself to get married within the year if that will be too much of a rush.
- Work as a team with your other half – don’t try and do all of the planning yourself, and remember that communication is key.
- Only choose suppliers you’re comfortable with and who understand your style and vision. The last thing you want is a photographer who makes you feel awkward!
- Talk to other married couples! Ask them what worked and what didn’t. After all, experience is the greatest teacher.
- Make your wedding personal and don’t get too bogged down by tradition. The better weddings are always the ones which showcase the couple’s personalities.
- Read every contract before signing. Read reviews, find out about cancellation policies and get clued up on their payment methods – it’s always better to be safe than sorry!
- Take some time off. Consider taking the week before your wedding off work to organise any last minute details and spend some quality time with your other half. The last thing you want is to feel stressed when your wedding day rolls around!