How To Simplify Wedding Planning

"What Do You Do To Simplify The Wedding Planning Process?" by Debi Buckley

Planning a wedding can be quite time-consuming, completely stressful and frankly it is extremely confusing.

Especially with so many decisions and options to choose from.  Read more here on how to limit your wedding decisions.

It is no surprise when you hear couples say they didn’t get to enjoy the process.

And all in all, it was more complicated than they thought it would be.

Well, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Here I share 7 phases to simplify the process of planning your wedding.

Let the journey begin and have some fun while you are at it!


Phase #1 Maximize Your Time By Gaining Insight

Information Gathering; the first phase in planning a wedding is to gather information and data.

Phase 1 Maximize Your Time By Gaining InsightYou will use this information to assist you in figuring out what is important to you.

Your likes as well as your dislikes.

Elements of your personality, religion, culture or traditions you wish to incorporate.

When your wedding date will be, the type of location you are looking for and the number of guests you wish to invite.

Start to develop an estimated amount you plan to spend for both your wedding and honeymoon.

Perform an initial exploration of ceremony and reception venues.

In addition, research other wedding services and products.

Get a clear idea of what your preferences are and how to fit them into your overall budget.  Find more here on creating your wedding budget.

Collect information from family members and friends.

You will use this later to compile your guest list.

Make sure to include first and last names, full mailing address, email address and a phone number if possible.

Keep this information together in one location so it is easily available when you begin to create a master list.

Determine which save the dates, wedding invitations and other stationery you are interested in.

During this phase, you will also make an announcement of your new engagement to family and friends.

As well as selecting your bridal party.

Once your bridal party is set, take a trip with them to local bridal shops.

Begin searching for wedding dresses, matron/maid of honor and bridesmaid gowns, shoes and accessories.

Check out tuxedos, suits or other men’s formalwear options.

Notify your entire wedding party of your decision as to which items they will need to be fitted for and/or purchase.

Think about how you would like to wear your hair and makeup the day of.

Convey to your matron/maid of honor as well as your bridesmaids if you would like them to wear theirs in a particular fashion.



Phase #2 Relax, Let Loose and Indulge a Little! 

Inspiration, the next step in wedding planning is to research various wedding ideas and inspiration!

Phase #2 Relax, Let Loose and Indulge a Little! In today’s technology age, you can find anything and everything you could possibly need online.

Review recent wedding images and wedding trends.

Use this for an indication of the types of weddings and various aspects of weddings that appeal to you.

Places of inspiration can include but are not limited to; online searches, social media sites, bride magazines and bridal shows.

Use popular social media sites to collect pictures; Pinterest is a great place to start on this.

You could also get bridal magazines in print or online and save the things you like for later use in the design concept process.

As well, register for a bridal show near you to see what wedding vendors are currently offering and for up-to-date wedding trends.


Phase #3 Key Ingredient To Take The Guesswork Out

Pre-Planning, the 3rd phase consists of developing various elements of your overall wedding plan.

Phase #3 Key Ingredient To Take The Guesswork OutOnce you have all of the information gathered from the steps found in Phase #1, you are ready to put everything together.

You will begin with compiling contact lists, developing your budget and creating numerous checklists to help keep you on track.

Create a master guest list with all contact information and other important information.

Track whether you have sent out save the dates, wedding invitations and other stationery as well as rsvp’s and gifts given.

You will also need to make sure you have a separate bridal party contact list.

Include items of responsibilities delegated to give to each participant.

As well you can start the outline of a vendor contact sheet; you will fill this out once you get to the steps in Phase #6 & 7.

Now that you have an estimated budget for your wedding you will want to put it into categories of where you plan on spending various amounts.

Make sure to include a section for budgeted amount, actual amount, variance amount, deposits made and remaining amount due for easy of tracking.

Develop a master calendar with tasks to do and various checklists to make sure you don’t skip any details.

Checklists may include but are not limited to: flower list, music list, beauty regimens, must have photos and video shots, seating chart if you have one, a day of timeline, registry items, emergency kit and honeymoon list.

Other things to consider and plan for are your wedding vows.

If you are going to write your own, you will want to put them down on paper.

To get ideas, consider writing down your favorite quotes or bible verses to incorporate.

As well reflect back to the first time you met, when you knew you had fallen in love and anything else that may be personal to each of you.


Phase #4 Engage In Some Playtime!

Design Concept, throughout this process the real fun begins.

Phase #4 Engage In Some Playtime! After having gone through the inspiration steps you should be ready to get underway on your wedding design.

You will see all your hard efforts come together and be able to see a clear vision of what your wedding day will look and feel like after completing this phase.

First, you will; pick your colors, develop a theme if chosen, select your necessary décor items and add any signature personal aspects.

You may also decide to incorporate certain traditions or cultural into your design.

As well, any specific etiquette requests for guests to acknowledge may be integrated into your scheme.

Next, you will make an inspiration board with all of the design concepts, pictures, swatches, colors, and notes.

The elements you want to consider when putting all of this together include getting your guests excited with save the date cards, wedding invitations, welcome bags and signs showing them where to go once they arrive onsite.

Then, you will create the feel of your wedding based on the type of venue, colors, theme and decorations.

Subsequently, you will add components of food and beverage as well as any activities and entertainment for your guests’ enjoyment.

Lastly, make sure to take into account items of gratitude for your guests.


Phase #5 The Ultimate Game Plan For A Smooth Experience

Wedding Plan; in this stage, you are ready to put the whole thing together into a written plan with all the details organized in one place.Phase #5 The Ultimate Game Plan For A Smooth Experience

You will be including additional information in your contact lists as you delegate who is responsible for designated items and whether they have been done or still need to be finalized.

As well, you will want to start filling out and keeping track of when you sent out save the date cards and wedding invitations.

Every time you spend anything towards your wedding, you will want to record it.

Include all deposits paid and actual amounts you have committed to, so you know exactly where you are in regards to your budget.

Begin to plug in calendar dates, as meetings are scheduled and when to do items need to be completed by, to keep you on schedule.

You will also start to check off items that have been fulfilled on your checklists until all the last details are finalized.

For help in developing a game plan, schedule your complimentary wedding planning consultation.



Phase # 6 Set Your Stage For A Lasting Impression

Venue Selection is where you decide which location you will have your wedding ceremony and reception.

After having Phase # 6 Set Your Stage For A Lasting Impressiondone an initial search of venues you should at least know the type of venue where you would like to exchange your vows and have your celebration.

You may even have narrowed down your search to a few venues by now.

If not you will want to do that in this phase.

Visit each location, get written documentation on what each place offers including their contract terms for review and any wedding packages they have.

Once you have 3-5 locations chosen you will begin to compare them in terms of price and offering.

It is helpful to put together a comparison sheet, which shows the details of each side-by-side.

After putting this together you will have everything you need in making your final decision on which venue you want to select.


Phase #7 Get Rave Reviews With Premiere Screenings

Vendor Selection, once you have selected the venue where you will be married and have your reception location is set, you will know which other wedding vendor services will be needed.

Phase #7 Get Rave Reviews With Premiere Screenings You will also know which décor items still need to be purchased to complete your overall design concept.

When choosing which vendors to hire you will want to interview each and check their references.

As in the venue selection phase, you will also want to get written documentation on what each place offers.

This includes their contract terms for review and any wedding packages they have.

Once all vendors have been hired and décor items acquired, you will continue finalizing any and all details.

Schedule follow-up meetings, set up of your menu and unless otherwise stated in your contracts figure out who will be in charge of décor set up and break down.

One week prior to your wedding date you will want to confirm your timeline and any last minute items with your vendors.


Remember, you don’t have to do each step completely in order, or finish one phase before starting another. Discover what works best for you and have at it, the important part to keep in mind is what brought you to this point in your life and to celebrate the love you have for each other! 

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