Planning a do-it-yourself wedding is a great way to have a low cost wedding with lots of personal touches. With the prices of wedding skyrocketing, more and more brides choose to do some of the wedding details on their own. And thanks to the internet and other wedding resources, doing it yourself has never been easier or more manageable.
But, the tough thing about do-it-yourself weddings is that it is big event planning and there’s no getting around it. With wedding planning, there’s a lot to do and when you do it yourself, you’re responsible for it all. Planning a wedding where you take care of most of the details on your own can be overwhelming. Though doing it yourself is a lot of work, it doesn’t have to be a stressful experience if you can stay organized and do things as they come.
To help you get going, here’s a wedding schedule for the do-it-yourself bride. Follow the guidelines below and you’ll find that you really can do lots for your wedding without getting overwhelmed by the little details.
12 Months Before
Determine Your Wedding Budget
This is something that you and your fiance should do together. You’ve probably already given some thought to your budget since you’ve decided to take on some of the wedding plans yourself. Once you make up your budget, every other decision will be easier to make.
Decide the Size and Theme of Your Wedding
Sit down with your fiance and talk about the kind of wedding you want to have. Determine how many people you’d like to invite, keeping your budget in mind. Brainstorm a few possible dates for your wedding.
Book Your Location and Caterer
The location rental and the caterer for your wedding will represent the highest cost. To save money, look into using a public space (like a local park or historic place) as the spot for your wedding. Be prepared with your wedding budget and date when you talk to possible caterers. Work with the caterer to find the best use for your money. Also discuss any rentals that the catering company may be able to provide.
Create and Send Engagement Announcements
Buy card stock online or in a craft store. Using a wordprocessing program, create a template for your engagement announcements. Print the announcements and send them to friends and family.
10 Months Before
Make up Your Guest List and Decide Wedding Colors
Since you’ve already determined the general size of your wedding, go through and make up a list of friends and family for the guest list. Don’t forget to consult your parents and your fiance’s parents. Narrow down the list until it meets your wedding size criteria. Select the main color palette for your wedding using online resources, wedding books or magazines.
Begin Looking At Flower Suppliers
Whether you decide to use real flowers or silk ones, you’ll need to start looking at where you can purchase your blooms. Many floral wholesalers offer flowers for wedding in bulk and have websites where you can look at their offerings. Get an idea of what types of flowers you’ll want to use and then how many stems you’ll need. Also look at the ordering process to see when you should to put in your order and when your flowers will arrive.
Select Your Wedding Gown or Meet with Your Seamstress
If you’re buying your gown from a bridal shop, select your gown and order it. If you are working with a seamstress to create your gown, select a pattern and meet with your seamstress to determine when the dress will be finished.
Begin Looking at Invitations
Start looking at card stock and work out the cost for do-it-yourself invitations. Begin working on a wordprocessing program to create a template for your invitations. Order the card stock and any other paper accessories like envelopes and response cards.
Now you have a general idea of what you need to get done 10 to 12 months before your wedding. Keep on track for those first few months of wedding planning and you’ll be able to take care of most of the details without getting stressed. Stay tuned for Part Two of the Do-It-Yourself Wedding Planning Schedule.